Kids Night Out

September 16, 2011

In my house, our latest form of entertainment to take to restaurants to occupy the kids before the food comes is Uno. We get into some fierce Uno showdowns, and the best part is that our 4 year old has begun to grasp it and is kicking everyone’s you-know-what! Today, our guest blogger Liz checks in with some thoughts on taking kids out to restaurants.

People without kids often question why people with kids bring them out to a restaurant.

With busy lives, the social environment and service that a restaurant offers can be an uplifting experience for a family.  Restaurants make us feel that we’re part of a community – often we’ll get to know the restaurant owner or staff and see people that we know from the neighborhood.  After a long day, once and a while, it is nice not have to cook and clean. It is nice to mix up the routine and sit down with the family in a different setting to share a meal together.  Frankly, sometimes it is just good to get out of the house to get a little air and a new setting.

In today’s day and age, everyone eats out in restaurants, unlike my in childhood, and that means kids, too.

Just as adults have different temperaments, so do children.  My three kids are all very different.  My oldest is well behaved in any restaurant, while my middle child can’t sit still for two minutes and the baby looks to be somewhere in the middle.

Here are some things to consider when taking your kids out to restaurants:

(I know that these things seem basic, but if we remind ourselves of them occasionally, it will be a better experience for everyone!)

1.     Is the restaurant appropriate for families?

2.     Is your child hungry or tired?

3.     Is the service good at the restaurant that you’ve selected?

4.     What things can you bring that will keep your child occupied (crayons don’t work for every child) until some food comes?

5.     Do you have a plan for what happens if your child starts to melt down?

Finally, it would be great to hear from those of you out there with kids about your experiences at restaurants.  Do you have any special tips or advice about things that you do at restaurants with your kids to make restaurant experiences work well for both your family and those around you?

Single de la Semana

Oh Ken, where have you been??

The music gods are playing nice this week. Great new releases from St. Vincent, Primus, Mates of State, Girls, Dream Theater and (someone fired up the time machine!) Anthrax make this the perfect weekend to focus on that tinnitus. Here’s a pick from The Kooks that I selected for my wife, on the occasion of her 42nd birthday. (Editor’s Note: Thanks! :))


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