When parents need time to run errands, get work done, or even have a date night, it can be difficult to find impromptu childcare. We've created a list of drop-in childcare and babysitting services on Long Island to accommodate whatever your schedule throws at you. These services provide safe and fun childcare for your child to thrive, while you tick off items on your to-do list or even have some fun of your own! You’ll find mini-camps, drop-in childcare, parents’ night out, and babysitting services to meet all of your last-minute and sporadic childcare needs.
And for more family-friendly activities, be sure to check out our Long Island Events Calendar. You can also sign up for our FREE newsletters to get the best local events and reviews delivered right to your inbox.
Children at Kiddie Playland focus intently on building unique structures.
Drop-In Childcare Services in Nassau County
Kiddie Playland – Williston Park
Kiddie Playland is a nurturing and safe environment for your child. They have flexible drop-off hours, perfect to meet your childcare needs. Experienced staff and educational activity centers help develop your child’s fine and gross motor skills; letter, number, color, and shape recognition; and speech, listening, and social skills! The indoor playground and art activities will pique your child’s interest for hours.
Ages: 18 months-4 years old
Price: $15/hour; no registration fees. No sibling discounts.
Hours: Maximum 3 hours. Monday-Thursday 9 a.m.-3 p.m. and Friday 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
Reservations must be made a minimum of 24 hours in advance.
No food provided. Pack a snack and a sippy cup.
If your child is in diapers, pack diapers and wipes. Pack a change of clothes for all children.
Staff to child ratio: 1 to 5
Cup O’ Fun Cafe – Valley Stream
Cup O’ Fun Cafe’s mini-camp is a drop-off program available during school breaks. Located centrally on Long Island in Valley Stream, Cup O’ Fun offers an 8000-square-foot facility with tons of fun activities for children. The safe and clean interactive indoor play space is great for children to explore. During the mini-camp program children will also enjoy science experiments, reading, arts and crafts, and more!
Ages: 4 years-9 years
Price: $60/day; 25 percent early bird registration discount; $60 deposit is required upon registration. No sibling discounts.
Hours: Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. during school breaks (Based on public school and Yeshiva school calendar.)
Registration must be made at least 24 hours in advance.
Kosher Breakfast and snacks are provided. Children need to bring their own lunch.
Staff to child ratio: 3 to 10
Bright Horizons - Woodbury
Bright Horizons provides high-quality care and education for children. Bright Horizons is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children. Conveniently located in Woodbury, Bright Horizons nurtures children’s love of learning at an early age. Teachers engage children in the curriculum and there are age-specific playgrounds for children to safely play and explore.
Ages: 6 weeks-5 years (before Kindergarten) and open to children 5 years-12 years when schools are closed.
Price: Drop-in care is an hourly rate. Details provided at registration.
Hours: Monday-Friday 6:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m.
Parents can call or email longislandbrighthorizon.com 30 days in advance to arrange to visit the center to check availability and register for drop-in childcare.
Healthy and fresh morning and afternoon snacks are offered daily.
Ikea - Hicksville
Ikea offers a Swedish forest themed indoor play area for children, and it’s completely free. Parents can stroll Ikea or relax with a coffee or meal in the restaurant while the kids play. Just don’t leave the store while the children are playing. Children are safely supervised and will enjoy jumping in the ball pit, coloring, and playing. If you become an Ikea Family member (it’s free to join), the perks include 90 minutes of play for children and parents receive a free coffee or tea.
Ages: 4 years-10 years; 37-54 inches tall. Must be potty trained.
Hours: Monday-Saturday 10 a.m.-8:30 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m.-7:30 p.m.; 60 minutes maximum or 90 minutes maximum for Ikea Family members.
Weekends and holidays can get busy. Space is limited, so there may be a wait.
Tutor Time - Massapequa
Tutor Time’s Flex Care is a great program for parents with irregular work hours or who need childcare over school holidays. Flex Care is purchased in advance and is good for one full year. Activities focus on education, and classrooms are equipped with the latest technology. Staff customize their care to enhance the child’s learning development and academic skills. Tutor Time has various locations on Long Island. To reach your local Tutor Time you can call the specific Tutor Time location’s phone number, which is located at the bottom of each school’s web page. Check specific location for exact hours. Tutor Time is open weekdays and closed on nationally observed holidays and two additional days for professional development.
Ages: 6 weeks-12 years
Price: Infants $487/5-day pass; 18 months-3 years $471/5-day pass; over 3 years-12 years $425/5-day pass. Passes can be used as needed. No registration fees. 10 percent off for more than one child.
Hours: Monday-Friday 6:30 a.m.-7 p.m.
Enrollment paperwork can be completed online and spots can be reserved a minimum of 48 hours in advance.
Food is provided.
Parents provide age-appropriate items, such as diapers, sheets for napping, and a bottle.
The Little Gym - Rockville Centre
Parents’ Survival Night at The Little Gym of Rockville Centre is a fun, safe night for children. Children will enjoy a mixture of open play in the gym, organized games, LEGO building activities, music, and crafts.
Ages: 3 years-8 years
Price: $30 members; $35 non-members; $10 off sibling discount.
Hours: 6 p.m.-9 p.m. Dates alternate one Friday a month and one Saturday a month. See website for specific dates.
Reservations can be made by phone or online on the same day, based on availability.
Staff to child ratio: 1 to 6
Pizza is provided.
The children play together with a rainbow parachute during mini-camp at The Little Gym Huntington.
Drop-In Childcare Services in Suffolk County
The Little Gym - Huntington
The Little Gym offers mini-camps right in the heart of Huntington. Parents can drop their kids off and walk to local shops, restaurants, cafes, and the movie theater. Children experience a fun combination of physical activity, games, and arts and crafts. The Little Gym is open when many of the surrounding public schools and private preschools and schools are closed. Check the website for specific dates and times. Stay tuned for The Little Gym’s Parents’ Survival Nights; they're starting back up soon.
Ages: 3 years-8 years
Price: $45 members; $50 non-members; no registration fees. No sibling discounts.
Hours: 10 a.m.-1 p.m. and 12:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m. See website for specific times and dates.
Reservations can be made the same day if space is available. But spaces fill up fast.
Snacks are provided. For morning camps parents pack a nut-free lunch and water bottle.
Staff to child ratio: 1 to 8
This proud gymnast beams while she balances in stork stand at My Gym Stony Brook.
My Gym - Stony Brook
At My Gym’s Parents’ Night Out and Camp, children enjoy fitness games, gymnastics, arts and crafts, music, and more. My Gym’s highly trained instructors provide a nurturing, safe, and fun environment for children. Children will love the Superheroes, Ninja Training, Moana, and Glow in the Dark themed camps! Be sure to check out My Gym in Huntington and Babylon for similar childcare services.
Parents’ Night Out
Ages: 4 years-9 years
Price: Members $35 for first child and $15 for each additional sibling; Non-Members $40 for first child and $18 for each additional sibling.
Hours: 6 p.m.-9 p.m. on select evenings. See website for specific dates.
Reservations: Parents can enroll online up to one hour prior to Parents’ Night Out, as long as space is available.
Pizza is provided.
Staff to child ratio: 1 to 8
Ages: 3 years-9 years
Price: Prices vary. Parents can pay by the day or there are multiple-day discounts available.
Hours: 3-hour drop-off program on school holidays. See website for upcoming dates and times.
Reservations: Parents can enroll online up to one hour prior to camp, as long as space is available.
Light snack is provided.
Staff to child ratio: 1 to 8
Bounce U – Smithtown/Nesconset
Bounce U is a giant indoor inflatable playground; children will have a blast on the inflatable rock-climbing wall, spider climb, and the toddler obstacle course. Kids will engage in healthy, safe, and active fun! Camps offer a great mix of crafts and energizing activities.
Ages: 4 years-9 years
Price: $35 for a 1/2 day; $50 for a full day; $225 for a week; 10 percent sibling discount. Check the website for promotions.
Hours: Morning sessions are 9 a.m.-noon and afternoon sessions are 1-4 p.m. (Children doing a full day stay noon-1 p.m. for lunch.) BounceU camp is open during holiday breaks.
Reservation for camp made two-weeks in advance is preferred, but enrollment is flexible.
Lunch may be purchased for $4-$6 or children may bring a bagged nut-free lunch.
Staff to child ratio: 1:9
Outside playtime is guaranteed fun with the many outdoor activities at Pine Tree Day Nursery.
Pine Tree Day Nursery – Riverhead
Serving the community for over five decades, Pine Tree Day Nursery is newly renovated and offers daily themed activities: soccer, community day, and in-house field trips, including visits from the aquarium and wildlife refuge. They also offer dance, music, Spanish, and yoga class. Pine Tree Day Nursery is safe and nurturing for children and offers flexible scheduling for parents.
Ages: 6 weeks-6 years
Price: $65/day for 6 weeks-18 months; $55/day for 18 months-6 years; $5/day sibling discount; 10 percent community helper discount; no registration fees.
Hours: 6:15 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Only closed on National Holidays if they fall on a weekday
Reservations can be made the same day, if space is available. However, please allow time to complete the paperwork.
Home-cooked lunch is provided. Morning and afternoon snack are provided.
Staff to child ratio: 6 weeks-18 months is 1 to 4; 18 months-2 years is 1 to 5; 2 years-over 3 years is 1 to 7; 4 years-over 5 years is 1 to 9.
Playful arms wave in the air as children play in a sea of colorful balls in the ball pit at Tumbling Tunes.
Tumbling Tunes – East Northport
At Tumbling Tunes children can play in the craft area, pretend play space, book nook, baby corner, gymnastics area, and music area. During Parents’ Night Out and Themed Nights, children will enjoy pizza, crafts, and games. Theme nights offer a variety of interests from Minecraft themed scavenger hunts to making melted crayon masterpieces.
Ages: 1 year-8 years
Price: Drop-off and Parents’ Night Out $14/hour one child, $20/hour two siblings, $24/hour three or more siblings. Themed Nights $30/one child, $45/two siblings, $60/three or more siblings for the evening.
Hours: Drop-off Monday-Friday 2:45 p.m.-5:45 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m.-2 p.m. and Sunday 2 p.m.-4 p.m.
Extended Drop off hours during school breaks: 9 a.m.-6 p.m. See website for dates.
Parents’ Night Out: Second Saturday of every month 6 p.m.-9 p.m.
Themed Nights: age, dates and times vary. Check the website for details.
Reservations can be made at least 24 hours in advance. Special events fill up fast, so the earlier you reserve, the better.
Pizza is provided at Parents’ Night Out and Themed Nights.
Staff to child ratio: 1 to 5
Pump it Up - Plainview
Children are safely supervised and enjoy a minimum of one and a half hours of playtime. Pizza, drinks, and snacks are included. Children can jump, craft, watch a movie, play games, and more. Parents, be sure to pack your child’s favorite pillow and/or blanket to snuggle during the movie.
Ages: 3 years-10 years; children must be potty trained.
Price: $16.95 per child; no sibling discounts.
Hours: Parents’ Night Out are two Friday nights a month. See Pump it Up calendar for specific dates and times.
Reservations are required and can be made on the website at least 4 hours before the event.
Pizza, drinks, and snacks are provided.
Staff: There are usually three attendants on staff and generally a maximum of 12 children.
Adventure Kids – Sayville
Adventure Kids is one of Suffolk County’s newest learning centers and play spaces. During drop-in childcare, experienced staff supervise children as they explore the imaginative learning areas, LEGO room, and rock wall. Children will craft, paint, and bake, improving their fine motor skills and having fun! Stay tuned for Parents’ Night Out events coming soon.
Ages: 18 months and up. Children do not need to be potty trained.
Price: $35 for one day; $65 for two days; $90 for three days; $165 for a 5-day pack; and $325 for a 10-day pack. Multiple day packs do not expire. If not potty trained there’s an additional fee of $5/day. No registration fees for play school. No sibling discounts.
Hours: Monday, Wednesday, Friday 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
At least 24 notice is required to reserve a space. You can check availability by calling or sending a Facebook message.
Pack diapers if needed and an extra pair of clothes and socks.
Snacks and drinks are provided.
Staff to child ratio: 1 to 5 or 1 to 7 depending on the age of the children. There are always at least two staff members on duty at all times.
The Little Gym - Smithtown
Parents’ Survival Night at The Little Gym is a night for children to enjoy gymnastics and sports-related games, free play, and more. Once the kids have worked up an appetite, they take a break in the party room for pizza, juice and a craft activity that’s related to the theme of the evening. Then, ready for more playing, children return to the gym for another round of fun and games.
Ages: 3 years-12 years; must be potty trained.
Price: Members $30 for the first child and $24 for siblings; Non-members $36 for the first child and $30 for siblings.
Hours: 6:30p.m.-9:15 p.m. on select Saturday nights. Check the calendar for dates.
Reservations are required, but last-minute reservations are ok, as long as space is available. Spots fill up quickly.
Staff to child ratio: 1 to 8, up to 20 children.
Babysitting Services Across Long Island
If you’re looking for the convenience of childcare in your home, there are numerous babysitting services on Long Island.
Tiny Treasures NYC offers a Sitter Team service for occasional, event, temporary, and back-up childcare across Long Island. Babysitters are professional and experienced and love working with children. The babysitters are fully screened and vetted and Frist Aid & CPR Certified. There is a babysitter booking 4-hour minimum, added costs for booking sitters outside the specified time-frame, and cancellation fees that apply. Booking fees for members are $25 and non-members are $50 per booking. Standard hourly rates for babysitters are published on the Tiny Treasures website and payments are made through the Tiny Treasures agency.
Nanno is at the forefront of using technology to streamline the babysitting search process and maintains safety as their top priority. Nanno's app enables users to find and book babysitters. A full criminal background check and a skills test are required for babysitters. It’s free to use and there’s no charge for cancellations made within 24 hours of the booking. Payments are authorized through the Nanno app. Nanno is currently growing its caregiver database on Long Island, so not all areas have coverage.
Care.com is a well-known site and offers a wide database of babysitters to choose from. Parents can also post that they are seeking a caregiver. Parents must create an account to participate in the online community. Basic membership is free, but it’s limited to viewing caregivers and receiving applications. Upgrade to a premium membership to send and receive messages. Monthly membership rates are $39 or you can pre-pay for 3 months at $26 per month or 12 months for $13 per month. Payments to caregivers are made independently. Be aware that once you’re a member, subscriptions will auto-renew monthly, until you decide to downgrade to a basic membership or cancel the subscription.
UrbanSitter is a modern approach to finding childcare. It’s an app based on a network of babysitters with recommendations from parents within your community. Parents can search for a babysitter by date and location or post a job to find a babysitter. Filters help parents customize the type of childcare needed and what qualifications are important. Signing up for an account is free, but access is limited. Parents can become a member for $19.95/month or $124.95/year. There is a pay-as-you-go option too; a 1-month access pass is $34.95. Once a member, you can send messages to babysitters and interview and book babysitters. The live calendar feature shows babysitters’ availability and connecting with them is quick. Cancellations need to be made through the UrbanSitter app, and there are no cancellation fees.
Photos courtesy of the daycares/centers