Top Places to Take the Kids Out to Eat

For most of us with children, going out to eat means running to get some fast food. And most of us miss the time when we could go out to eat, sit down and truly enjoy ourselves. Now, going out to a restaurant requires a lot of preparation and time. But wouldn’t it be nice to know of a few places that are easy and hassle-free to take your children? Well, here are a few hot places to go that are kid-friendly.

The first on the list has to be Cici’s Pizza. It’s reasonably priced, and if you are like me with two children under 2, then you’ll love it because they eat for free! I recently took my 2-year-old along with six of her friends and their moms to Cici’s. They were very accommodating, even when they kids decided to take over a whole section of the restaurant. The food is kid-friendly as well. They have everything from the basic pepperoni pizza to the one-of-a-kind mac and cheese pizza. Not only did the kids enjoy it, but so did the parents.

The second restaurant would have to be Applebee’s. They have a wide variety of food as well, as a few good drinks for you. Not that you will be getting drunk with your children, but sometimes it’s nice to have a white peach sangria with dinner. The kids menu is perfectly suited for those picky eaters, making your children’s meals as enjoyable as your meal is.

Numbers three and four may come as a surprise to some, but they are Cracker Barrel and Perkins Pancake House. A lot of times when we think of these places, we may think of taking our grandparents out to eat. But sometimes you may just want to go out for breakfast or brunch as a family, and it’s hard enough finding a sitter in the evening, let alone in the morning. So that means the kids are coming with you.

Cracker Barrel has that warm family atmosphere, which makes anyone’s kids feel at home. Everyone enjoys the warm crackling fireplace, the extra-large checkerboard, even the dozens of rockers waiting for you outside. And let’s not get started on the wide variety of vintage candies. Each piece takes you back to your very own childhood. And for me, there is nothing like seeing the eyes of a child light up when their chocolate milk is brought to them in an ice-frosted mug. When they are comfortable, then that makes for a relaxing meal.

Perkins Pancake House makes the kids feel special with the free cookies they give them. The warm pancakes with a variety of toppings or the delicious desserts to choose from make this experience worth it. My family growing up always went to our local Perkins restaurant because it was quick, easy and the menu had something for each of us. That still proves true today.

The last place would have to be Red Robin. Even though the last time my family went may have not ended up being the greatest time, it still makes my top five because number one, it has endless fries. My daughter loves fries, so this is a no brainer. You can’t go wrong with the speckled lemonade either. It’s something that tastes good that you don’t have the time to make at home. And the free balloon for the kids always has them leaving with a smile.

So just because you have children now, it doesn’t mean you can no longer go out to eat. You just have to learn how to be flexible. On the days when you can’t find a sitter and need to get out of the house, choose one of these places. They are light on the pocketbook, open to kids, and you will leave full and happy. You also won’t have to clean the dishes!