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Free Babysitting

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Pre-recession, a night out for parents with a young child may have involved hiring a babysitter, and going out to a nice restaurant. Now, a night out means a family trip to Ikea, where parents unload kids at one of the store's Smaland play centers and then take advantage of low-priced food specials, or unwind on display furniture. The chain says that Smaland attendance has risen 20% this year. [NYT]