Dining out with kids can definitely be a dilemma for parents. On one hand, you don’t have to cook. On the other, keeping kids entertained can be challenging, no matter how many crayons you’ve packed in the diaper bag. When it comes to fun restaurants for families in Boston, we’ve found a few. These eateries will not only fill little tummies, they’ll keep kids entertained, so you might be able to grab a bite too.
You don’t have to be a ping pong wizard to appreciate this art-adorned restaurant in the Seaport District that puts play center stage. With 14 ping pong tables and a menu with plenty of kid-friendly options that are super shareable, it’s easy to see why this is a great spot for kids who can’t sit still during dinner. Tables are rented by the hour ($39/hr.) and reservations for parties as small as two (and as large as 20) can be made online. Kids are welcome before 9 p.m.
Good to know: Birthday party packages are a thing here too. So if ping pong is how your kiddo wants to celebrate, it doesn’t get any easier.
30 Melcher St.
Another spot to play and eat, American Flatbread took over the beloved Sacco’s Bowling a while back. They’ve been pairing scrumptious flatbreads with candlepin bowling like pros ever since. It’s easiest for families to reserve a lane on a weekday, where parties of fewer than eight can reserve a spot. Or take your chances on the weekend with one of the walk-in lanes that are first-come, first-served. Lanes are $30 an hour to rent.
Good to know: Shoes are available for rent too for just $4.
45 Day St.
Fire & Ice
Is it us or is there something super satisfying about watching someone cook a meal? Or maybe it’s the fact it’s not you doing it (for a change). That’s the theme at this spot where families choose their food, and then watch the chefs cook it up on the iconic circular grill, the centerpiece of this eatery. We love the variety of foods families can choose from—Asian, Italian and Latin flavors are all on the menu, and the kids will be forever entertained by the cooking antics.
205 Berkeley St.
The Breakfast Club
Even if your kids have never seen the movie for which this Allston restaurant is named, they’ll appreciate the kitschy feel of this ‘80s-themed diner. It’s everything you love about the ‘80s plus that hard-to-beat greasy spoon food that fills you up so you’re ready to play all day. The walls are lined with memorabilia that will surely generate conversations about your younger days. And you might find your kids asking you if you were a Jock, Princess, Basket Case or Criminal over a hearty plate of eggs.
270 Western Ave.
There’s something comforting about this restaurant that’s been serving traditional Polish dishes since 2002. The welcoming exterior looks like a European cottage, and the cozy interior will make you want to settle in for a bit. Order any of your traditional Polish faves from the menu, like pierogi, Kielbasa or potato pancakes. Don’t forget the chocolate babka for dessert!
611 Dorchester Ave.
Historic places aren’t hard to find in Boston. In fact, they’re everywhere you turn. But if you’ve got out of town guests, or just want to play tourist for a day, the Warren Tavern in Charlestown should be on your visit list. The oldest tavern in the state, it has seen the likes of George Washington and Paul Revere through its doors. It’s an easy spot for crowd-pleasing dishes too. The clam chowder and lobster mac and cheese should definitely be on your gotta-try list.
2 Pleasant St.
More than a restaurant, this two-story Back Bay eatery will delight everyone in the fam. Whether you go to shop for fresh pasta, meat or baked goods, or you want to sit down at one of their three restaurants, it’s a culinary experience that’s monumentally memorable. If you go with the kids, plan to stay for a while, and stop by the cannoli cart too.
Good to know: Grab a pre-made, locally sourced meal to go from the Made in Eataly counter when you don’t have time to cook.
800 Boylston St.
Feel like you’re on vacation at this Polynesian-themed eatery with a diverse menu. Kids will love the just-for-them items that are comfortingly familiar. Or they can branch out with fish tacos, poke or coconut shrimp that will leave leftovers. The over-the-top drinks are the draw here. We love that they have a few fun mocktails on the menu too, so you can be festive with kids in tow.
2 Broad St.
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