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TODAY

Thursday, April 18

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Airbags

Do you remember the last party you went to? The one with the kick ass martinis and that deep drum'n'bass that shook the entire room, the cute girls and boys dancing around and you were smoking and laughing and having a grand time? Yeah... I don't remember either.

While it is easy to get a babysitter and go out with your childless friends, it isn't so easy to put your kids out of your mind. Why not have a party with adults and your children? You'll be more relaxed and the kids will be happy spending time with you and other kids.

The next time you want to see your friends, consider one of these ideas, if they have children, too:

Fondue Parties
As cheesy as it sounds (ha! I made a bad pun) fondue parties are a great get-together for parents and their kids. The kids can enjoy dipping various breads and fruits into melted cheeses and sauces and the parents can, um, enjoy dipping various breads and fruits into melted cheeses and sauces, too.

Keep skewers, bowls of strawberries, cubed melon, grape tomatoes, various breads and bread sticks out for everyone to enjoy with the fondues you have created. Children can feel accomplished knowing they put together their own meals. They'll also be intrigued and entertained with the concept and you'll be happy knowing they are eating healthy things. Just keep on eye on the warmer when the kids are near!

Need some fondue inspiration? Check out these recipes from Geja's Cafe in Chicago.

Art & Craft Evenings
Not for the faint of heart or the white of carpet. An arts and crafts evening is a fun way to get children and adults mingling. Bust out some macaroni, glue, paper scraps, markers, crayons, colored pencils and rolls of butcher paper and you'll be good to go.

Stop by your local dollar store and stock up on coloring books. I have yet to meet an adult who doesn't like to color. Even if they say they don't want to, once the books are out and the crayons are rolling, they'll start to color. You'll see.

Some good places to shop for your arts and crafts evening needs are The Art Store and Paper Source.

Game Night
Pictionary, Charades and Uno are all games both children and adults enjoy. Or if you have very young children in your group, you can have two games going at the same time: one for adults and one for the children. Younger kids dig Chutes and Ladders, Uncle Wiggly and Candy Land.

Or, for those in the know, try Dance Dance Revolution. Everyone can easily get hooked on DDR, regardless of age. Be warned, you will look like a doof while playing this game, but that's OK. Children will think you're cool for doing it and risking the doof-factor.

Having children changes so many aspects of your life, and while crazy party nights may be over for most of us, fun get-togethers with grown-ups present don't have to be. Now go on and have fun, you party animal you.

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About the Author(s)

Alejandra Valera is a new mom and writer. If there's a baby- or kid-friendly place, product or event you think she should cover, email her at .

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