Going out to eat with your family should always be something that everyone looks forward to. A night out for mom is always a treat and most kids enjoy a break from the day to day routine of spaghetti or baked chicken for dinner at home. Eating out should be a fun filled relaxing time away from the hustle and bustle of our nightly routines. However, dinner at a restaurant has the potential to be even more stressful than just staying at home. That's why it's important to follow these five tips to success!
1. Choose a restaurant that provides a family friendly atmosphere. I personally love to take all five of my children to Mt.Fuji in Castle Rock, Co. It's a hibachi style restaurant and of course the entertainment provided by the chef is practically priceless. Benihana is another hibachi grill with locations all around Denver. At Benihana, you eat free on your birthday. Can't beat that!
2. Think ahead. Some restaurants are known for their wait time. Even if you have a reservation, you may still have to wait. It's a good idea to have something to entertain your children with in case the unexpected happens. A lot of parents use apps from their smartphone as entertainment which isn't a bad idea. There are also pocket games you can carry with you in your purse- brain teasers are great. I recommend one called Rory's Story Cubes by Gamewright. It was voted "10 best games winner" by Dr. Toy.
3. Choose a location that's easy to get in and out of. Choosing somewhere near your home is always going to be less stressful. True, there are many enticing restaurants in downtown Denver, but the trip down, finding parking, and then the wait time could ruin your entire experience. Local is usually a better option for families. Save the higher end dining experience for date night.
4. Choose a restaurant that is economical for your budget. This will keep you from feeling like the "bad guy" when your child wants you to splurge on something extra fancy from the menu. It's also just smart! The more you are able to conserve, the more you're able to splurge later.
5. Keep dinner out with the family limited to actual family members. This boundary will eliminate those pesky neighbor friends who always seem to know when to show up at your house and its somehow usually right at dinner time. An added bonus will be that you can stay within the budget for your family and you will have more one on one time with your children because their friends won't take priority.