Today, I spent 4 hours at IKEA with 2 toddlers. Yes, I said 4 hours. No, we didn’t break anything. No, there were no major tantrums. And yes, everyone seemed to have a good time!
A friend and I had been discussing making a trip to IKEA with our kids for a while. When today’s forecast called for rain, we decided it was the perfect day to go. Not only would we be getting out of the house, we’d be able to get some shopping done, work on getting in our daily steps, and grab a bite to eat all in one place.
Before going, we each had a vague idea of items we wanted to shop for. We also made sure to pack some snacks, and we printed out a couple “IKEA Scavenger Hunts”. We found the scavenger hunt lists through Pinterest. All the lists involved taking pictures of your “team” (read: us and our toddlers!) doing silly things around the store. We weren’t sure how well a 2-year-old and a 3-year-old were going to do with staging photos, but it was something different we looked forward to trying.
We arrived at IKEA around 11:00 and made sure to park in the parking deck so we could walk in without getting wet. Once inside, we looked over our scavenger hunt lists. They included things like “Find the highest priced item”, “Take a picture of a team member hiding in greenery”, and “This artwork makes me feel so emotional”. My friend and I each got a shopping stroller, gave each kid a list, and set out for an adventure.
We spent an entire hour exploring the upstairs. There we managed to “Spell out Ikea using Ikea products” and get a photo of “A team member reading a good Swedish book”, among other things. By then, it was time for a much-needed potty break. IKEA’s restrooms were definitely family friendly. Not only do they have a super spacious family restroom, there is also a changing table in the women’s room as well as a diaper dispenser. Located not far from the restrooms is the kids’ area. Huts, tunnels, chairs, and a rocking moose are set up for the kids to play with, and play they did! At one point, there were three boys holding a ninja meeting in a CIRKUSTALT Children’s Tent.
After that was lunch in the IKEA restaurant. The restaurant is basically cafeteria style. Cold menu items, like chicken wraps and salads, are self-serve, and hot items are plated for you by IKEA restaurant staff. Soft drinks and coffees are self-serve as well. There are a variety of kids’ meals available for $2.49, not including a drink. Our tots both opted for chicken tenders with fries, but they could have gotten meatballs, grilled chicken, or pasta. (Side note: kids 12 and under eat free on Tuesdays.) We also decided to splurge and get a slice of Chocolate Conspiracy cake. It was seriously good– one of the kids described it as tasting like chocolate syrup!
We ventured downstairs next to continue our scavenger hunt and do a little serious shopping for some shelving needs. The kids staged more photos for things like “Storage not being used properly”. And of course, we hit up the clearance section near the cash registers!
Since we were still short on our step counts, we made a second trip around both levels of the store and finally got into the check-out line around 2:45. By the time we got back to the car, we had spent a full 4 hours at IKEA! Both toddlers said they had fun and seemed to finally be coming down from their Conspiracy Cake induced sugar high.
I definitely recommend considering a trip to IKEA if you are looking for an easy way to spend any yucky day. You could potentially get through the entire trip with spending little or no money. There’s furniture to try out, toys to play with, and photos to stage.
If you’re interested in an IKEA scavenger hunt, the ones we used can be located here, or you can be creative and make your own!