If you're used to eating out at restaurants regularly, having children can often put a stop to it. It doesn't need to, however, and there's no good reason why you can't still enjoy meals out as a family even if your children are very young. In fact, taking small children to restaurants can really help their development, teaching them good manners, social skills and how to behave in public.
The challenge for many parents is making sure everyone has a pleasant evening, including other diners in your restaurant of choice. If you want to take your children out for a meal but you're worried about how well it will go, follow these tips for a stress-free family evening out.
Choose an appropriate restaurant
It should go without saying that fancy high-end restaurants aren't the best places to take children and, in fact, they may not be welcome at all. This doesn't mean you have to stick to fast food or places where waiters are in costume, though.
You can usually tell a lot about a restaurant from its menu, and it's a good start to find out if there are children's dishes included. If not, but you think a place is likely to be child-friendly, give them a call and ask.
Avoid anywhere with a particularly quiet atmosphere or where you never see people with children.
Make sure the kids aren't starving
You don't want to give your children a full meal before you go out to eat, but a snack is a good idea. If they're desperate to eat before you even get to the restaurant, grumpiness and bad behaviour are highly likely.
Don't leave home with your children in a bad mood
If the kids are tired, make sure they have a nap before you head out. Try and have a relaxed time in general before you leave, and perhaps postpone your restaurant plans until another day if the children are being moody. It's only likely to get worse.
Go at the right time
Late at night is obviously not a good idea, so get an early booking if you can. It's better for the kids, who will be less tired, and there will most likely be fewer people in the restaurant. If you're really not convinced your kids will behave themselves, a lunchtime booking is a good way to test the water in a more relaxed atmosphere.
Take some activities
Boredom is almost as bad as hunger for making kids act out, and it can set in quickly when out at a restaurant. Take some things along to keep the children busy, like colouring books or small toys. Keeping them occupied until the food arrives will help everyone have an enjoyable time.Share
21 March 2018
When I decided to ask my girlfriend to marry me, I of course wanted the night to be really special. I knew she wanted to have a full movie proposal where we go to a fine dining restaurant, eat great meals and then have me get down on one knee and ask her to marry me. I checked which restaurants offered that kind of service and I even gathered some pictures from her favourite movie so I can get a place that perfectly matches what she was after. I ended up making this the perfect night. This blog is all about finding fine dining restaurants for the special dinners in your life.