Can You Bring Kids to Restaurants?

Find out which restaurants are appropriate for kids and what to do when faced with a tantrum. Modern Manners Guy is on the case

Richie Frieman
4-minute read
Episode #133

Tip #1: Avoid Restaurants with Long Waits

Even if you have a reservation, some restaurants still make you wait to be seated. When dining with kids, err on the side of caution and dine at places that you know can seat you relatively quick. It is very hard to explain to a child -- and have them accept your reasoning -- that it’s not time to eat yet. Kids think in the “now” so look for a place that understands this and you’ll avoid a scene.

Tip #2: Time Your Dinner Correctly

Don’t think you are going to visit a restaurant at the hip, hot hours when most people go out. Always go earlier. You’ll get a better table, beat the rush, and even if your child has an outburst, you’ll be bothering a much smaller amount of people. And if you have a baby, you can try to time it when they nap, which might give you a very peaceful meal as they sleep in their stroller next to you…a rarity!

Tip #3: Provide Your Own Entertainment

When I say this, I do not mean allowing a child to have a loud toy or electronic device that inhibits others from enjoying their meal. However, something to keep them calm doesn’t hurt. Even a mini DVD player with their favorite show is acceptable. Slowly over time you will wean them off of this, but when kids are young, a DVD player may save you. Just make sure it’s not loud enough to bother anyone else.