Tips for Choosing a Family-Friendly Restaurant

 

Whether you’re looking for a good restaurant in the community where you live that can become a regular spot, or you’re traveling, when you’re looking for genuinely family-friendly restaurants, it can be a challenge. You want something that you’re going to enjoy, but that’s going to be a place where you can take your kids without feeling uncomfortable. 

With that in mind, the following are some tips you can follow in choosing a kid-friendly, overall family-friendly place to dine. 

Amenities

One way to get a view of how family-friendly or not a restaurant is is to do some sleuthing on the amenities available that cater to families with kids. You can often find this information online, but give them a call if not. 

You’ll want to see if a restaurant offers things to entertain kids, like crayons and coloring pages. Depending on your kids’ ages, you may need to check into high chairs or booster seats. 

Kids’ amenities can also include play areas, which increasingly restaurants are offering, and cups that are good for little ones with straws and lids. You may need a changing area or breastfeeding area, too, again depending on the age of your kids. 

Another amenity to think about if you have young kids is stroller parking. You want to be able to fold your stroller and put it away when you go into a restaurant, so you’re not trying to navigate it through tight tables if you can help it. 

Check Out the Menu

Increasingly, as more >families dine out together, even high-end restaurants are working to become more family-friendly. A good indicator of how family-friendly or not a restaurant is will be the menu. Take a look before you make plans. 

Even if a restaurant doesn’t have a dedicated kids’ menu, what they’ll often do is add a note to the menu that they can prepare items for little ones if requested. 

When looking at the menu online, there are often some codewords you might also see on the website. For example, outdoor seating, casual and bustling, can be indicators that you’ll fit in with your kids at a restaurant. 

Rethink Very Small, Intimate Restaurants

Even if a small, intimate, or cozy restaurant could theoretically be kid-friendly, you might want to skip these eateries. If your kids do get restless or noisy, it’s going to be a lot more obvious in smaller restaurants compared to larger ones. If you’re at a restaurant with just a few tables, something that might not be a big deal in a louder venue is going to feel much more noticeable to everyone around you. 

Plus, kids tend to want to move around. It’s natural, but if the restaurant is small, they could quickly be encroaching on other people’s space. 

If your kids are in strollers, and they, for example, are asleep in it, and you don’t want to take them out before a meal, you’ll be grateful for a spacious restaurant that lets you navigate it fairly easily. 

Read the Reviews

If you aren’t sure whether or not a restaurant might be the right choice for your family, head for the reviews. >You can go to sites like OpenTable, Yelp, and TripAdvisor and search for keywords and phrases to figure out what other people are saying. 

You’ll learn not just about whether the restaurant technically allows kids but also whether they’re truly kid-friendly. A kid-friendly restaurant will have a staff who generally enjoys interacting with your entire family. 

You can also go to local groups on social media, especially Facebook, and ask other parents their favorite picks for restaurants. 

Just Ask

If you’re traveling, for example, and you’re in the process of making reservations for your family, it can be nerve-wracking to try and figure out where you’ll be comfortable taking kids. If you really aren’t sure and you find conflicting evidence online as you’re researching, it’s a good idea just to give the restaurant a call or email them and ask. 

Even if a restaurant doesn’t come right out and tell you they don’t love having kids, you can usually get a feel for their perspective from how they answer the question. 

>If you take your kids out for a meal, remember to be respectful of other diners, don’t let them make a huge mess, and if they do get restless or rowdy, step outside for a break and calm them down if you can. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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