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A few tips for going out to grab some chicken wings or buffalo wings with the kids… from quick solution to last-minute attempts, I hope that these PRACTICAL tips help you! These will help you get through those first few years, when your toddlers are still young and your preschooler’s attention spans aren’t QUITE their yet. As your kids get older (four year old and on…) it gets easier and even more enjoyable… if you teach them the proper way to go out to eat when they are younger.
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We love to go out to eat, but it is often hard to do, with our children being the ages that they are. We have a grade-schooler, preschooler, toddler and an infant. These ages making eating out more stressful than fun, at times. We still enjoy it and our older kids love to eat out. Plus, we don’t eat out often, which makes it even more special when we do go out! I am going to share with you some tips for taking your young children out to eat.
Before I begin, be sure to check out my money-saving tips for eating out– it will give you so many great tips to save money (on eating out and beyond!).
When we do go out, we have found these tips to be incredibly helpful:
1-Call ahead & order your meal and they will have it ready for you (at your table!)
We don’t do this often, but I have several friends that do this every time that they eat out. Call ahead, order your meal & it will be ready when you get there. You can still EAT THERE, but you won’t have to wait for your meal.
2- Bring a pen
Play tic tac toe or hang-man with your kids. Play the game where you make dots to make squares (the dot-to-dot game, we call it). Play dictionary. If you go to somewhere kid friendly like Buffalo Wings & Rings, you can even play games while watching real sports games on TV. Our kids do this with my husband… so “I say the next team to score is the Steelers. If they score, you have to make a silly face. If the Panthers score, I have to make a silly face.” It is a fun game that the kids LOVE!
3- ALWAYS have some sort of treat in my purse…
It could be a special marker that they love to use.
It could be a page of stickers.
It could even be a piece of candy.
I usually give our kids a little treat after their meal- it keeps them busy, quiet and lets us enjoy our time out as a family just a little bit longer. Lollipops are key in our house. I especially love them when we have a visit at the Doctor’s office. They last long & everyone likes them.
When I take them in my purse to go out to eat, I save these for the last few minutes of our meal, when the kids are getting restless and they are waiting for the grown-ups to finish eating.
The rule in our family, when eating lollipops while we are out at a restaurant: You may only eat it AFTER your meal and while you are SITTING in your seat. They can not get up. They can not move to another seat. They have to be seated and using good manners.
4- Electronics (WHAT?!)
I never wanted to be one of those moms that brought DVD players or tablets or phones to the table… but desperate times call for desperate measures! I now always keep one in my purse for when we are out. Its not our older kids that need it, but if our toddler or baby gets upset, it is best to have something on hand, just to get us through the meal.
We usually make it for about 20-40 minutes and that’s when our toddler starts to get antsy, so I surprise her with my phone ( I put on The Letter Factory & he is good for twenty more minutes while we finish eating.
You could also go somewhere like Buffalo Wings & Rings, where they have TV’s all over the place!
ps- I often take electronics away to reconnect… read why I have ‘no technology weeks’
5- “What am I?”
Give hints about what you are and have the kids guess. (Example: “I have four legs, black & white stripes… what am I?”)
You could even play the game “WHERE am I?” We do this and use restaurants & stores as our example…
6- Play “What’s your favorite _____”
(Movie, drink, food, shirt, vacation spot). We go around the table and give our answer. We are all engaged in conversation & keeping to ourselves. Our kids love this game! They love to tell everyone their answer and they love to hear our answers, as well.
Here are a few more conversation starters:
7- Color their pictures of THEMSELVES
8- Go somewhere family friendly!
We love BuffaloWings & Rings:
We go to Buffalo Wings and Rings in Charlotte, NC (I love the updated space!)
We love it because it is family friendly. Plus, we have three boys and they love sports, so this is the perfect place for them! My husband suggests it every time that we eat out after our son’s game (& just in time to watch the real game on TV at Buffalo Wings and Rings.
I love it because it is family friendly social eating…. what does that mean? The kids are welcome, they can talk in a regular volume and I don’t have to keep saying “shh… be quiet, please.” It means that my husband can let out a cheer when his team scores a point and everyone won’t give us that “Oh my goodness- he is crazy!” look!
They have the NFL Sunday Ticket… and tons of TVs (we like to sit by this wall of FOUR TVs!)
It means that I love the food because it is fantastic and the kids love it because it is FUN and tastes great…
My favorite is the burger & fries (how can you go wrong):
My husband and the kids love the nachos as an appetizer (we asked for EXTRA cheese for our boys) (I may snack on those a bit, too!)
& the kids menu is great:
I really don’t think that you can go wrong with any items on their updated menu…
Look at this (found on their menu)… Doesn’t it look fantastic?! Next week, this is what I’m getting!
Remind yourself, when they get a little ‘wild’, that one day they will sit quietly and “this, too, shall pass.” (And I’m sure we will miss these times!)
Do you want more tips?
Check out how I teach our kids to behave at the grocery store!
Leave your best tip below! I would love to hear it!