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WRCC date night allows for parents to drop kids off

Parents with small children do not have to worry about a babysitter, Dickinson’s very own West River Community Center will take care of that. The WRCC is offering parents a date night, a chance to celebrate each other with various festivities provided by the community center.

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The West River Community Center, pictured above, offers parents a date night, while allowing to drop off their children Feb. 13, in honor of Valentine's Day. (Dickinson Press File Photo)

Valentine’s Day is a heartfelt day for many couples However, having to find a sitter may sometimes put a damper on those romantic plans. That’s why the West River Community Center has your back.

The West River Community Center will be hosting a date night from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 13, in which parents may drop off their children for a night of fun at the WRCC while they have a little fun of their own.

The cost is $20 for one child and $15 for each additional child. WRCC Facility Supervisor Caleb Burgard said the children will be able to enjoy various-age appropriate activities. After arriving, the children will be split up into two age groups. Children from 18 months to 4 years old will be able to not only enjoy the daycare facility but the indoor playground and multi-athletic court. Children from ages 5 to 12 will be able to enjoy tennis, racquetball, basketball, the climbing wall and more. Also, pizza and other refreshments will be provided at the event. Burgard also said parents may pick up their child at any time within the hours of the event.

Burgard said walk-ins will not be allowed. Parents must sign their children up prior to the day of the event. Only 20 children will be allowed to sign up, Burgard noted.

Before the fun begins, Burgard encourages parents to read the waiver posted online before they sign their children up for the event. The waiver contains information as to what can and cannot be brought with the child, behavioral expectations for the children and their parents. For example, the waiver states that bullying and other types of unacceptable behavior will result in the child being removed from the WRCC and if repeated, future loss of date night and daycare privileges.

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Also, due to COVID-19, if you have a child who is sick or has a fever, the WRCC will not admit them into the event as stated within the waiver.

Date night is not just for Valentine’s Day, Burgard said, adding that he hopes it will become a monthly occurrence if COVID-19 restrictions remain moderate.

Date night began in February 2020 when a member suggested something they thought would be a win-win for both parents and their children. Instead of parents having to stay on the premises in order to receive childcare, for one night per month, they could leave the WRCC and have time with their significant other or just by themselves. Burgard said he and a few of his associates agreed and voila, date night was born.

While off to an exciting start, festivities were initially short-lived as COVID-19 restrictions had been enacted last March.

“Obviously, come middle of March, we had to shut down for that month and a half… I wanted to say we were able to start offering them again middle to late fall,” Burgard said. “We only had a handful of kids. Typically, we want about five or six kids to attend for it to be worthwhile… We ended up canceling those and took a break… We’ll most likely do them monthly again.”

The WRCC’s childcare workers are excited to be able to step outside of the daycare center and explore the facility with the children. This is something different than the normal daycare routine, and it allows childcare workers and the children to enjoy the WRCC’s other facilities, he added.

Burgard noted parents should plan ahead, and to check on the WRCC website for the dates and times of future date nights.

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