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The Boston Globe

Business

Alternatives to babysitters

Hiring a babysitter isn’t the only way that parents can steal away for a few hours of peace. With current babysitting rates hovering between $1 and $22 per hour, there are more affordable options. This isn’t a comprehensive list, but I’ve used these for my 5-year-old daughter. The plus side is that parents have more money for their fun evening out, but the down side is that parents must call it a night at 9 p.m. and still do bedtime routines.

One Stop Fun in Westford hosts a “Parents’ Night Out” about once a month on Saturdays. For $21.50 per child ($12.50 for each additional kid), you can drop off your little ones for four hours of playtime from 5-to-9 p.m. They have a terrific indoor play space with climbing structures, slides, a ball pit, and more, plus they open their full-size gymnasium (complete with a giant bouncy caterpillar obstacle course) so the kids can burn off all that energy.

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