Monkey Mag – International Lifestyle and Travel Blog

No Embarrassment Zone: Practical Advice for Taking Your Kids Out to a Fancy Restaurant


Every now and again, it’s nice to treat the family to dinner in a restaurant. Not only does it give you a night off from cooking and dishwashing, it’s also a good opportunity for your children to show what excellent table manners they have. However, young children quickly get bored and that can be embarrassing for mom and dad and uncomfortable for other diners. Here are some tips to keep your kids occupied while you’re dining out.

Kid-Friendly Technology  

While you may not usually allow smartphones or tablets at the dining table at home, in a restaurant young children can become restless when they’re having to sit still a table waiting for the food to be served. You can keep then quiet and patient with the mandala coloring book app. It allows kids to add bright colors to hundreds of different designs and pictures with just the touch of a finger.

Take a Busy Bag

This is a great idea to keep toddlers busy. Pack a busy bag with tactile, fun to use materials like pompoms, large buttons, felt shapes. pipe cleaners, Lego bricks, pony beads, magnetic letters, plastic numbers, and foam sheets. This will give younger kids plant of activities to play and learn with while they’re waiting for dinner of after they’ve finished.

Dinner-Time Conversation

Just because you’re not eating at home doesn’t mean you can’t have your usual dinner-time family conversation. Meal times are important moments for family sharing and bonding. Go around the table and let everyone talk about the best part of their day, the funniest part, or talk about favorite vacation memories.

Order Dessert

You’ve probably noticed that when they eat out, kids often finish their meal sooner than when they eat at home. It can sometimes be a good idea to order them dessert straight away so they are distracted and you have time to finish off the rest of your meal.

Take Cards

The whole family can join in a kids’ card game like Old Maid, Snap, War, Donkey, Chase the Ace, Crazy 8, or Go Fish. Kids love to play these games and they’re also educational. This is a good family fun way to pass the time while you’re waiting for a table or for your food to be served.

Fun On The Run

This is an invaluable book for parents of young children. If contains 324 activities for young children that you can do in minutes to pass the time while waiting in a restaurant. Activities include story telling games, drawing, car games, and mind benders to stretch their imagination.  

Whether you have a toddler or an older child, you can prepare her for eating out by teaching her good table manners, such as chewing with her mouth closed, using a napkin to wipe her hands, not her clothes, asking nicely for food to be passed and speaking politely to the servers. Happy eating!