I was amused to read that parents in the New York area are bringing their kids to a free day care service offered at furniture store IKEA—even if they aren't shopping for furniture! Some say it's a relaxing "date night" for them and their spouse: They can relax on the couches for 45 minutes while their kids have fun in the day care center.

This reminds me of a story a friend of mine told me the other day. Her gym offers free day care as part of the monthly membership fee. Although she (obviously) adores her 2-year-old, sometimes she will go to the gym—even if she doesn't feel like working out!—just to have a 30-minute break from her daughter.

Obviously, parents love their kids, but it seems that sometimes they need an escape plan, if only for a few minutes.

I'm wondering how common these free day care services are in most areas. I know of a few grocery stores, retail stores, health clubs, gyms, and churches that offer free day care services to customers/members.

Do you ever take advantage of free day care?