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  • Writer's pictureDanielle

Dining with Toddlers and Liking it.

9 tips to guarantee a solid restaurant experience with small humans in tow.

We always knew we wanted to be the family who didn't let having kids be the excuse for not doing dining out, going camping, taking day trips to exciting places and thus taking naps on the go, and ultimately living our best life etc... But we also didn't want to be that family with kids at a restaurant, and after some parenting discussions and some polling of friends who seem to be "doing it right", we learned that the only way to do get the kiddos comfortable in restaurant settings, is to keep taking them and hacking our way to success.

How do y’all feel about dining out with kids in tow? This activity gives my husband extreme angst, me: I LOVE it.vglorious lunch, and I felt like a billion bucks eating it (even though there was a lot of sharing).

How do y’all feel about dining out with kids in tow? This activity gives my husband extreme angst, me: I LOVE it.

Sign me up for a kid(ish)-friendly dining experience where someone else cooks and cleans, and brings me all the napkins and beverages while I sit like a queen. Bonus if there’s lobster on the menu.

Here are some things that always guarantee a good family dining experience for me:

  1. Must have booster seats or high chairs; this says that the wait staff is used to cleaning up a complete sh*tshow. Obviously we will do whatever it takes to NOT be “that sh*tshow”, but this is the level of comfort I need.

  2. Cheap, delicious adult bevs; especially on the likely occasion that the toddler meltdown occurs early - and everyone has to slam their drinks and GTFO - like this here $5 delicious Bloody Mary.

  3. Affordable menu options; I don’t need a kids menu, but I do need options that are affordable enough so that if my kid eats/spills/wears most of his meal, it’s not soul crushing.

  4. Friendly and empathetic staff; the kind that is a-OK with the 5th ask for more napkins, crayons, water, or ketchup, and is extra nice to your kids the second you pour into your table.

  5. A water view. Or a view of something that both makes me feel zen and offers intermittent entertainment.

  6. Really good finger food, like these here kettle chips, or a bombass waffle fry — always a crowd pleaser and often the perfect toddler distraction.

  7. Bread delivered within 5 minutes upon seating, which can be made into a toddler friendly butter spreading or EVOO dipping activity. Oyster crackers will do too.

  8. Some kid-like theatric. This place had giant paper boats that doubled as a coloring book and food vessel.

  9. Fancyish-healthyish options for mama. Listen, if I have to subject myself to a dinner-theater circus, I need to be fed well. I typically know I’m in good hands if lobster, quinoa, or artisan/local-anything graces the menu. This lobstah salad was en fuego.

What do you need to ensure a good family dining experience?!

xx, Danielle

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