Monday, March 10, 2014

Family Friendly Restaurants

Close your eyes, wait no no no, then you can’t read this! Okay, think of a restaurant that you would consider going out to eat dinner and taking your child(ren) and feel comfortable, dare I say relaxed. The adults have a nice meal, the kids have a nice selection, and if the kids get a little loud it’s okay because no one is going to give you the dreaded ‘hey lady, control your kids’ stare. 

We live in Washington, PA less than one hour outside of Pittsburgh and I haven’t found many options for family friendly restaurants. Oh and another little can’t stand in line to order; think of sitting down and giving your order to a server, yes, that eliminates McDonalds, Panera Bread, or any other fast food. 

There are many great places to eat in our town, actually lots, but just not a ton that seem to be focused on families. 

However, the top three that I would recommend:

  1. Red Robin - They have game machines when you enter, a television built into the floor and a large waiting area in case you have to wait a short time for a table. There mascot is a huge red robin for the kids to point out and the most important part, a kids menu - with a pizza option. The pizza option is pretty crucial in our family. Also the atmosphere is fun, it’s a little noisy but in a good family way, and people are relaxed. The servers are friendly and the kids can receive a balloon when they leave. A special bonus for our son is when we are driving there, he does the little slogan - “Reeed Robin...DING!” I actually think it’s “Reeed Robin, YUM” but he likes the DING at the top of his lungs much better.
  2. Eat-n-Park - Maybe it’s because I loved this place growing up because my pap would now and then take my cousin and me for breakfast when his ham-radio club met once a month. We didn’t always go, but when we did my pap was so awesome he would let us cool 8-year-olds sit at a table by ourselves. Yes, it was right next to his, but it was separate, and for us, cool kids, it was the best! My son loves this place too - he can get a meal AND pick items off the soup and salad bar. He enjoys picking and choosing exactly what he wants on his plate - a space for cheese, a space for tomatoes, a space for sunflower seeds, and etc. Don’t worry he orders a meal off the kids menu too. Plus you get the free smiley cookie.
  3. Applebees - While this isn’t exactly approved by our son it’s a nice atmosphere for families. They have a large kids menu; my son’s groan is that they don’t have regular pizza, it’s a cheesy bread stick item. The restaurant has a ton of pictures and items on the wall for kids to look at and talk about. The servers are friendly and always try to take the time to talk to our son, asking him if he likes his dinner or his drink. 

These three are by no means the only family friendly restaurants, just the ones that seem to work best for our family. Do you have a go-to family friendly restaurant that you visit? If so, please let me know in the comments. Or do you have one that my family should try? 


  1. Check out the Red Rooster Grill and Pizza located 7 mi west of Washington on Rt 844 aka Jefferson Ave. They have a fantastic back deck with a play house and tons of toys for the kids. Parents can relax and enjoy the scenic pastoral view and not to mention awesome sunsets while the kids play. No pressure to keep them at the table through the whole meal. Deck open weather permitting.

    1. Oh we definitely need to try this, I already know my son will love what you've described and with pizza, it's a win. And not that I have anything against chain restaurants but I really enjoy going to a restaurant that isn't. I'm excited to try this! Thank you so much for the advice and posting a comment.