This happens more often than one might think.  First, we like going out to eat.  Second, we think its good to keep our kids in practice.  We eat out roughly twice a month.  How?

  1. We usually go at lunch. It’s not just that prices are better at lunch (kids meals are generally the same).  The real reason is that the restaurants are emptier so there are fewer people to bother.  And, the kids are more rested and thus less bothersome.
  2. Some folks with kids go to noisy restaurants so they don’t stand out. We don’t.  We like to hear each other.  That being said, we don’t take them to overly stuffy places either.  Pretty much anyplace that could be attached to a mall works for us.
  3. I don’t bring entertainment. Most places have crayons.  Most places have bread/chips/crackers/etc.  Those work fine.
  4. All kids out of diapers have to go to the bathroom after we order. Inevitably someone will have to go again after the food arrives, but this helps cut down on the disruptions and there’s nothing else to do then anyway.
  5. It’s not always the case. But, we’d prefer to go someplace where they make things we don’t have at home and the kids like – like sushi.

We planned to go out to eat this time because we knew we’d have everyone in the cars at 5:30 coming home from various activities.  Obviously we could just have met up at home.  But, it was a good excuse to go out.  There’s no grand plan to all of this, but thus far things have worked out fairly well.