Dining Out with Kids
Summer goes by so quickly. Before you know it, the school year has started and chill has filled the air. Before you dig out the winter coats, take some time to enjoy the sunshine. Even for busy parents, it’s important to spend some family time outdoors (with sunscreen on, of course!). If you’re short on time but still want to enjoy the weather, try dining out in the great outdoors at a restaurant patio or terrace.
5 Reasons to Dine Outside With the Kids
- Noise. In a quiet restaurant, even the softest baby squeal can seem too loud; outdoors, on the other hand, it might not be heard at all. Among the street noise, sounds from other diners and outdoor sounds, a few cries from a baby probably aren’t going to bother others.
- Baby can stay in the stroller. Crowded restaurant dining rooms can make it difficult or impossible to pull a stroller up to the table. Outside, there is usually more room. Just pull the canopy of the stroller over baby to shield him or her from the sun. Best of all, if baby starts to fuss, just roll the stroller back and forth – the movement just might lull him or her back to sleep.
- Messy is permitted. Cheerios on the floor of a fancy restaurant? Not good. Cheerios on the sidewalk? Fine – in fact, the birds will probably eat them up before anyone even notices. Just don’t let the kids intentionally throw things to the ground – be mindful that it is still a restaurant and someone does have to clean up.
- Distractions galore. Distractions can be a two-way street. On the one hand, feeding a baby or toddler while something else is going on can be difficult; however, if he or she isn’t eating – or is being fussy – distractions can be a welcome opportunity. Let your child watch the traffic, passers by or other diners at the restaurant – then feed him or her when you get home.
- Learning opportunities. With all the activity around you, there are also ample learning opportunities for your child. Count the number of people passing by, the number of red items or the number of cars. Or point out certain colors, shapes or patterns.
Dining outdoors can be an enjoyable way to spend time together – and enjoy the summertime weather while it lasts.