Themed Restaurants in New Jersey for Family-Friendly Interactive Dining

The Rainforest Cafe has two family-friendly restaurants in New Jersey. A meal out here is part adventure, part restaurant.
The Rainforest Cafe has two family-friendly restaurants in New Jersey. A meal out here is part adventure, part restaurant.

Looking for some fun along with your food? From knights and horses to model trains, many New Jersey restaurants offer themed and interactive dining experiences for the entire family. Read on for more than a dozen restaurants in New Jersey that will make your next family meal a bit more magical.

Check out our Family-Friendly New Jersey Restaurant Guide for more ideas for kid-friendly restaurants, including places where kids eat free, the best spots for Shore eats and treats, and more.

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Family-Friendly Themed Restaurants in New Jersey

1. Clinton Station Diner – Clinton

This diner is perfect for the train lover in your family. You can dine inside a train car or choose to eat in its main room where there is a model train suspended from the ceiling for little engineers to enjoy. The combination of choo-choo excitement and fantastic food choices is likely to put the Clinton Station Diner among your go-to favorites. It's even open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

2. Delsea Drive-In – Vineland

Catch a double feature at New Jersey's only drive-in movie theater! Open for the season from late May (Memorial Day) to November (sometimes beyond, weather permitting) on weekends only. The Delsea serves everything from traditional popcorn, candy, and pretzel bites to dinner items such as chicken parm and perogies. Be sure to check out its impressive gluten-free menu!

RELATED: Jersey City Restaurants for Family-Friendly Eats

Medieval Times offers dinner with a knight show
Cheer for a knight during the jousting matches at Medival Times. Photo by Kaylynn Chiarello Ebner

3. Medieval Times – Lyndhurst

Enjoy a rousing live jousting tournament, marvel at awe-inspiring horsemanship and falconry, and enjoy a medieval meal at this Bergen County family favorite, where you'll be out of your seats cheering for your chosen knight. The food selection is kid-friendly and utensils are a no-no. Check the website for prices and discount codes (gratuity for meal service is not included). Make your reservations on the website! Tip: You can arrive up to an hour before show time to explore the castle and mingle with members of the royal court!

4. Rainforest Café – Atlantic City and Edison

This restaurant is part adventure, part eatery. Rainforest Cafe recreates a tropical rainforest setting, complete with a waterfall and vegetation, and the waiters are “safari guides” who take you on a dining voyage.

5. Chuck E. Cheese – Multiple Locations

Chuck E. Cheese gets top marks from the kids. It's loaded with games, rides, and a budget-friendly menu, and there are 10 locations across the Garden State. Check the local website for the one nearest you.

6. Oreo Cafe — East Rutherford

Here's a sweet option for Oreo lovers. Located at the American Dream Mall, Oreo Cafe is a retail store specializing in Oreos of every kind and gift items, but there's also a dessert counter and tables where you can buy some outrageous, delectable Oreo-themed cheesecakes, sundaes, shakes, and more. 

RELATED: Family-Friendly Vineyards and Wineries in New Jersey

Gather around the grill at Arirang Hibachi Steakhouse
Dinner is the entertainment at Arirang Hibachi Steakhouse.

New Jersey Restaurants With Family-Friendly Fun

7. Arirang Hibachi Steakhouse – Mountainside and Parlin

If you're looking for a fun family night out, look no further than Arirang Hibachi Steakhouse. Don't forget kids eat FREE on Mondays and Tuesdays, with the purchase of an adult meal.

8. Joe's Crab Shack – Multiple Locations

The second you arrive at Joe's you realize this is quite the dining experience. From dancing and singing waiters to cracking open lobster and crabs, this untypical chain restaurant involves the entire family in the dining process. New Jersey locations include Clifton, Deptford, and South Plainfield.

RELATED: Where To Enjoy High Tea in New Jersey With Kids

Dip into fondue at The Melting Pot at three family-friendly New Jersey locations
The Melting Pot's fondue is a crowd-pleaser.

9. The Melting Pot – Westwood, Red Bank, and Maple Shade

Enjoy a sweet and savory experience like no other with menu options that include accompaniments for chocolate and cheese fondue, as well as beverages and adult spirits.

10. Silver Diner – Cherry Hill

This classic diner has its own jukebox. Visit its website to check out the Silver Diner's Kids Club, which offers specials, free meals, apparel, and more! It also has an award-winning healthier kids' menu!

RELATED: NJ Restaurants Where Kids Eat Free

Enjoy The Pop Shop's family-friendly special events likes story time
The Pop Shop has an ongoing schedule of kids' events, like this Fancy Nancy story time lunch.

11. The Pop Shop – Collingswood and Medford

Kids love the all-day breakfast options, comfort food, sweet treats, and fun activities at this lively retro eatery. It hosts special events, parties, and catering, and is now offering delivery.

12. Rosalita's Roadside Cantina – Englishtown & Brick

Rosalita's is Tex-Mex with a focus on locally-sourced meats, produce, and dairy. Check out its website for daily specials, or to make reservations and order online. It also offers party packages!

RELATED: Family-Friendly Beer Gardens in New Jersey

Two boys wear Benihana hats and enjoy a family-friendly New Jersey restaurant
Don a Benihana hat and watch your meal get prepared in a fantastical way in front of your eyes. Photo by Sara Marentette

13. Benihana – Short Hills, Cherry Hill, Edison

Benihana is the original hibachi restaurant. While sitting in awe of the Teppanyaki being performed in front of you, make friends with the others sitting at your community table, or come in with a large group of your own. And don't forget to sign up for Kabuki Kids to receive a birthday postcard and souvenir mug when you come to celebrate.

15. Texas Roadhouse – Multiple Locations

Round up the family for a feast to remember at this country steak and rib joint. NJ locations include Old Bridge, Hamilton, North Plainfield, Holmdel, Parlin, and Howell.

16. AMC Dine-In Theatre – Multiple Locations

These theaters offer a "fork-and-screen" family experience. Featuring a menu of classic favorites—pizza, burgers, and sandwiches—AMC Dine-In Theatre offers full waiter service during the latest feature films.

Unless noted, photos courtesy of the restaurants

Originally published 2014, this article was updated in 2023. 

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