Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Joe’s Crab Shack. All opinions are my own.
We are a family on the go. Most week nights I am running from work to pick up the kids at two different schools on the opposite sides of town and then trekking them to soccer, karate or dance. The other nights my husband is pick up one kid to go somewhere and I am picking up the other! In between all the kids’ activities and working all week when the weekend rolls around I look forward to getting out with the kids whether it’s going to a soccer game or heading out to dinner.
Since our kids were born we have been taking them out to eat. In the beginning it was easier since they would sleep in their car seat (in the restaurant!!) but as they got older it became a bit more challenging. We had to be more specific about the types of restaurants we could go to for many different reasons. Check out my tips below for having a successful family dinner out at a restaurant
8 Ways to Keep the Kids Busy (and happy) at a Restaurant
- Go to a loud restaurant. I know for sure that my kids are going to argue, whine, laugh, yell and cry when we go out to eat (or anywhere) so I make sure to find a place that their cries and giggles will just blend in.
- Find a place that is vibrant. When a restaurant has tvs on the wall or a fun theme, kids always seem more excited to be there.
- Bring entertainment. This one is huge for us. Aside from the new norm of bringing an iPad or iPhone for kids to play games, why not bring a Busy Bag? You can even keep it in your car at all times if you want. This will help when you have an impromptu dinner out. Some of our favorite Busy Bag items are below
- Kid Friendly Menus. This is a huge one here. My kids like bread on the table and french fries on the menu!!
- Find a restaurant that has entertainment!! We recently went to Joe’s Crab Shack and when the wait staff started singing and dancing, the kids were mesmerized!!
- Bring family. Sometimes this can make my kids behavior even wilder but if you bring their Grandparents you are sure to make the kids happy! My kids just see my dad and they start jumping off the walls. At least you know you can eat your dinner while it’s still warm!
- Offer incentives. If you eat your dinner and behave at the restaurant you can have ice cream after dinner (or whatever it is that your child might like!)
- Make sure all the food comes out at the same time. We have been out when the kids were served first and that makes for a complete nightmare once our food arrives because they are usually done and ready to run. At least if their food comes when yours does you can get a few bites in before they want to go home!
One of our absolute favorite places to go lately is Joe’s Crab Shack! The kids love to try to help us crack open the crabs and how about the giggling at Rob in a bib! They are too young to get the joke, but it made us laugh!
Joe’s Crab Shack is making September all about kids, and will be offering Kid’s Eat Free from September 8 to September 30, and will also feature a special Kid’s Menu. The promotion is simple and sweet: Families can enjoy up to three free kid’s (ages 13 and under) meals per visit, with the purchase of one adult entrée. This is dine in only and not valid with any other offer.
If you are a regular reader here you know how much I LOVE a good cause. Childhood hunger is something I have blogged about before and I love that Joe’s Crab Shack will be raising money for the No Kid Hungry campaign. A small donation to this will net guests a coupon for a future visit!
- $2 donation – $5 off a $20 purchase
- $5 donation – $10 off a $20 purchase
- $10 donation – $20 off a $40 purchase
All certificates are valid for a future visit between October 1 and December 31, 2015.