PSA: Late-Overs Are the New Sleepovers

Does anyone else have memories of being eight, spending the night at a friend’s house and faking a stomach ache at 2 a.m. so your dad would have to come pick you up? No? Us neither. Anyway, today’s savvy parents have invented a loophole to avoid such sleepover-related shenanigans.

It’s called a “late-over,” and it’s exactly like a sleepover, minus the sleeping over.

We asked a mom of two late-over veterans (girls age eight and five) how it all goes down.

12 Tips for Hosting the Best Sleepover Ever

three girls baking

Q) What exactly is a late-over?

A) A late-over is just like a sleepover but rather than the kids staying up all night and keeping the parents up until midnight, leaving everyone grumpy the next day from lack of sleep, they do everything they normally would at a sleepover but come home late.

Q) How late?

A) Parents pick the kids up around 9 p.m. generally.

eating pancakes on the floor

Q) What kinds of late-over activities are in these days?

A) My eight-year-old went to one recently that started at 5 p.m. They did a craft, had pizza, then got into unicorn-theme PJs that the mom bought as favors, so they all matched, then they took funny pictures in a photo booth she set up, watched a movie, had cake and came home around 9 p.m. Some people even do late-over birthday parties. I once hosted one for ten girls. We had pizza and made ice cream sundaes, had a seriously loud dance party and then got into PJs at around 7 and watched Annie in sleeping bags the kids had brought with them.

Q) Are they ever co-ed?

A) We haven’t been to a co-ed one yet, but I suppose they could be! Why not?

kids in pajamas throwing confetti

Q) What are the benefits of late-overs? And are there any downsides?

A) When kids have sleepovers, they tend to get up at the crack of dawn. With a late-over, there's nothing too exciting to wake up for, so at least they sleep in a little in their own beds and aren't as wrecked the next day. My husband jokes that late-overs are evil because they give you a false sense of freedom—it seems like a night off where you can use the free babysitting to go out to dinner, but then you have to deal with sugar-crazed kids busting home way past their bedtime. He doesn't love them. But the kids do.