Restaurants

Great Outdoor Dining Spots for Kids on Long Island

What could be nicer during the warm-weather months than taking the kids to a family restaurant with an open-air atmosphere? There's just something about a warm breeze that makes a tasty meal even more delectable.

With that in mind, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite places to eat with kids in Nassau, Suffolk, and the East End. These family-friendly menus, locations, and attractions make them ideal choices for parents with hungry kids. It's just part of our comprehensive guide to Long Island family-friendly restaurants.

If, after dinner, your kids crave some sweets, why not check out our list of old-time ice cream parlors, or for more outdoor inspiration, see our guide to summer fun on Long Island.

Family Restaurants in NYC with Fun Things for Kids to Do and See

If you're anything like me, a meal out with the family is a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, a restaurant will give you the night off from cooking and cleaning; on the other hand, you're forced to navigate menus with your preschooler's finicky eating habits top of mind, and constantly reminding your older kids not to fill up on soda. Parents might feel they're spending more time scolding and discussing what proper table manners look like than relaxing and enjoying their meal.

What to do? Even with the myriad family-friendly restaurants across NYC, sometimes the key is to find more than just a menu filled with tasty, kid-friendly options to get you through a night out with your sanity intact. Outdoor dining is one option, while play cafes are another. But we've also rounded up 10 NYC restaurants that serve kid-friendly eats alongside extra special fun things for kids to do and see. The kid-pleasing entertainment ranges from ninjas to video games.

The Museum of Ice Cream Returns to NYC with Help from Target

Any New Yorker with the tiniest love of ice cream remembers when the Museum of Ice Cream (MOIC) debuted in Manhattan with a temporary pop-up in the summer of 2016. It was a full-on experience, from tastings by local ice cream purveyors to an interactive “sprinkle pool.” Tickets went quickly, like so much ice cream in the sun. The museum later expanded to Los Angeles and San Francisco. Now, the play-space-like dessert museum is returning to NYC in a new iteration, again in the Meatpacking-Chelsea area, and this time to stay.

On June 6, with helpful backing from Target, the Museum of Ice Cream will launch The Pint Shop, a permanent venue, which blends the MOIC experience with a visit to a grocery store, offering Brobdingnagian-sized pints, rows of new flavors for tasting, and interactive installations. There's also a paid, reservation-only ($28) Tasting Room, where the secrets of ice cream making are unlocked for all to see.

The collaboration with Target will extend nationally with a new MOIC-inspired children's apparel line and ice cream pints available at the national retailer.

Brooklyn Restaurants with Kid-Friendly Backyards and Patios

Brooklyn boasts its share of restaurants with sidewalk tables, but those of us with kids enjoy those eateries with more spacious outdoor dining. A backyard, picnic tables, roof decks, or sometimes even a bit of grass? We're sold!

Just in time for summer, we've rounded up of our favorite spots from across Brooklyn that feature ample outdoor space, serve delicious food, and welcome families with children. If you're in the mood for variety, we've included a mix of cuisines: Japanese, Mexican, Cuban, Southern comfort and, of course, pizza, BBQ, and New American.

Headed to Brooklyn from a surrounding area? Browse our Brooklyn Kids Guide to take full advantage of the borough while you're there, or peruse our NYC Restaurant Guide for more family-friendly eats.

10 Boston-Area Restaurants Where Kids Can Play While You Eat (and Relax)

It’s one thing to go to a kid-friendly restaurant, where you know you won’t get any dirty looks from the proprietors or other patrons. But family dining heaven might just be a place that also allows kids to play—the idea being that you can actually enjoy your meal after they wolf down theirs. We decided to round up a list of such restaurants, focusing on ones that serve up truly good food along with some sort of entertainment.  We call that a win-win!

Family Friendly Waterfront Dining in Fairfield County

It took me a long to admit this to myself, but since we're among friends I'll just come out and say it: I do not enjoy eating in restaurants with my children. Or, at least I didn't. Now my kids are older and reasonable and do not have temper tantrums if their grilled cheeses are cut into quarters instead of halves--or at any rate they don't do it often. Even though, for a long time, my idea of "family friendly waterfront dining" was grabbing a blanket, some drinks, and those precisely cut grilled cheese sandwiches and heading to my town beach, I have recently branched out to actual restaurants where I leave the picnic basket at home. In the warmer months, there's nothing quite like a meal with a waterfront view, and the options in Fairfield County do not disappoint. Here are some of our favorites.

12 NYC Restaurants with Backyards for Kid-Friendly Dining

Great outdoor dining makes summer in the city tolerable, at least in my book. An hour sitting on a shady patio, sipping a cold drink, steels me for the rest of the week on sweaty NYC subways and dog-pee-scented streets. It's also a great way to savor those first sun-filled days of spring.

Of course, eating out with kids is never as simple as that, so we’ve selected not just sublime outdoor dining spots but ones with enough room to roam. Hopefully, these family-friendly Manhattan restaurants, from the Battery up to Inwood, will make you forget you are in New York City with that backyard living life, even for those of us whose apartments are too small and too dark with nary a leaf to be seen.

We’ve also covered the best backyard outdoor dining in Brooklyn and Queens. See all our restaurant recommendations in the Mommy Poppins NYC Kid-Friendly Restaurant Guide.

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