Let's say you and your spouse have finally scheduled a much-needed night out. You've lined up your trusty teenage babysitter (who the kids love), but now the kids are whining about how it's so unfair that you get to go do something fun without them. Normally, I say something like, "too bad, so sad" and tell my kids to suck it up, settle down, watch a movie, and don't give the babysitter any problems.

Maybe this time you decide to have your babysitter take your kids somewhere fun while you and your love are on a date. There are honestly not a ton of things for younger kids to do in the evening around Billings, but I found five that I would feel 100% comfortable sending my 6 and 11-year-old kids to go do with a responsible babysitter.

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Parks

This is obviously a seasonal option, as you probably don't want to take little kids to go play in a park on a cold, dark, winter night. But during warmer months with longer days, visiting a park in the early evening is a great way to kill time with kids. Pioneer Park at 8th and Grand is a favorite for its expansive collection of playground equipment, as is Terry Park at 6th and Terry. Other parents give Faith E Park (near 32nd and Central) great reviews on Yelp,

Love this park! My kids enjoy it here so much! It is very well kept, clean and it honestly feels safe! There is a canopy with picnic tables so you can bring lunch and have a nice place to eat. The playground equipment is fun and adventurous. There is a small field nearby for playing football, baseball or soccer. Definitely a great family park!

Find a park near you on Billings Parks & Recreation Park Locator. There are more than 50 to choose from in Billings.

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Scheels

One of the largest sporting goods stores in the region is always a great time waster, for kids of all ages. Check out the giant aquariums, do some miniature bowling, ride the Ferris wheel, or load some dollar bills in the "shooting range" for low-cost fun times at Scheels.

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Roller Skating

My kids have asked me to take them roller skating, and I'm not sure why we haven't done it yet. Skate World is open Wednesday through Sunday and admission is fairly affordable at  $10.50.

Kris Edwards, TSM
Kris Edwards, TSM
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Bowling

There are three bowling alleys in Billings; Sunset Bowl, Fireside Lanes, and Town and Country Lanes (on Highway 312 towards Shepherd). Each offers slightly different things. Sunset Bowl has disco bowling. Fun! Fireside rents lanes by the hour (and kids 11 and under get free shoes), and Town & Country has a decent selection of kid-friendly food options.

Credit: Pizza Ranch
Credit: Pizza Ranch
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FunZone Arcade at Pizza Ranch

Sure, your kids are probably addicted to their gaming consoles, but sometimes it's tough to beat the experience of full-size arcade games. One of the best in Billings is inside the Heights Pizza Ranch, where you'll find the FunZone Arcade. It's got tons of sweet new games, along with classics like Skee-ball, Lane Blaster, basketball "Pop-A-Shot" games, and more.

I left Chuck E Cheese off this list, mainly because kids are supposed to be accompanied by an adult parent or guardian at all times. I also left the trampoline park off this list, because the last thing I need is one of my kids twisting an ankle or getting hurt somehow with a babysitter in charge.

Where would you let your babysitter take your kids in Billings? Obviously, there are plenty more daytime options for younger children, but choices get limited in the evening. I'd love to hear from you. Email me at Michael@BillingsMix.com

Huge list of "Cool Stuff" that kids in the 80's and 90's were all about.

Everything from the 80's and 90's screams "Cool!". Ok, looking back at photos of kids in their bright neon shorts and Hypercolor shirts where their armpits were pitted out, that really doesn't look all that "cool" today but if you were a kid back then, we sure felt like we knew style. Go through the list and see how many of these items you had in your room or used back in the day.

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