10 Tips to Make the Most of Your Kid-Free Trip to the Mall

My default shopping partner is my 2.5 year old daughter. Since I’m a SAHM, we are together most days and that includes shopping days. And for the most part, shopping with my daughter is an enjoyable experience – I’ve been blessed with a good shopper who rarely puts up a fuss or throws a tantrum while out-and-about {knock on wood}.

While I really, truly do enjoy shopping with my daughter, there are just some times I’d rather not have her in tow. Particularly on the shopping trips where I need to try on a lot of different clothes (if she’s going to get fussy, it’s the trips that require a lot of dressing room time). But kid-free shopping days don’t come around very often for me, so when they do, I need to make the most out of my trip. For anyone else in this situation, here are ten tips for making the most out of your kid-free trip to the mall.

*Note: if you don’t have a goal for your kid-free shopping excursion and are just browsing the mall, please feel free to disregard tips 1-9!

  1. HaMallDirectoryve a game plan. Take a little time the night before to think about what you want to accomplish and the stores you think you’ll need to visit. This will help you get as much accomplished as possible in the limited time you have.
  2. Use a small purse. It’s tempting to just grab the diaper bag which already contains your wallet, but leave that heavy bag at home and grab the smallest purse that fits your wallet and keys. If you can sling it across your body too, even better.
  3. Dress lightly. It’s hard in the winter, but if you can get by without a coat, then go for it. Walking around the mall can get warm and uncomfortable if you have on too many layers or a big, bulky jacket. I don’t know about you, but the warmer I get, the grumpier I get!
  4. Wear slip-on shoes. If your shopping trip includes trying on shoes, wear slip-ons for easier and quicker access to your feet. You don’t want to spend half your time re-tying shoes!
  5. Park by a store you’re planning to shop at. That way, you can avoid wasting time just walking around. Also, avoid the Target parking lot if you aren’t planning on hitting up that store. I only park by Target if I plan to buy a lot of items there; otherwise I usually park by JC Penney, because 88% of the time it’s a lot less busy.
  6. Start at the stores where you anticipate the most success. Once you’ve accomplished your goals you can then start browsing for fun!
  7. Stay focused, but keep your eyes open. Try to stick to your game plan to make the best use of the time you have. But keep your eyes open as you walk through the mall–you never know what you might find!
  8. Don’t overlook the junior sections/stores. You know that store at the mall you wouldn’t be caught dead in? Yeah, that one! If you’re not having much luck finding just the right thing you’re looking for, don’t be afraid to go into that store! Or check the juniors sections at the department stores. They can be a goldmine for accessories, cardigans, socks, etc.
  9. Hit up the fun stores if you have time. I could spend all day browsing through the shelves at Barnes and Noble. But if I went there first, I’d never leave and would accomplish nothing! So I save that store as my reward for getting all my other shopping done first.
  10. HAVE FUN! It can be a rare luxury to go shopping without kids and even when I know I have all the time in the world, I still end up hurrying along so I can get home as soon as I can. So try to have fun and make the most of your kid-free time. Once you’ve taken care of business, you can reward yourself for a job well done. Maybe grab a cup of your favorite caffeinated beverage to enjoy while relaxing on a bench as you watch the shoppers rush by. Or get a cup of ice cream or frozen yogurt before heading home.

TargetCart_EmptyBonus tip:

Buy a carousel token and go for a ride! You can pick any “horse” you want and actually sit and enjoy the ride!

Who’s ready to go shopping?? What other tips would you give for a successful kid-free shopping trip?

Becky is a Minnesota Native and Wisconsin Badger fan living in the heart of Hawkeye Country. Since graduating from high school, she has lived in Duluth, MN; Birmingham, UK; Minneapolis, MN; Louisville, KY; and Madison, WI, but is now happy to call Iowa City home. She and her husband have been married for ten years and have a spirited four-year-old daughter and a mischievous baby boy. Becky juggles working from home and keeping two kids happy each and every day. In her free time, she enjoys working her side business, spending time with friends, relaxing with a good book, and eating snacks.


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