13 Philly Restaurants Where Kids Can Play While Parents Eat
We've all been there. You bravely take the kids out on the town for a fun family date night, hoping the novelty of it all will be enough to enjoy some semblance of a grown-up outing. But it's not long before the troops get restless and you're desperately searching for the check. Luckily, Philly has loads of kid-friendly food options where children can stay occupied so that parents can eat and talk at a slightly less frenzied pace. From game cafes to bona fide indoor playgrounds (!!!), here are our favorite family-friendly restaurants in Philly where kids can play.
For more of the best places to eat in Philly with kids, check out our Philadelphia Restaurant Guide for Families.
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Philadelphia Restaurants with Play Space
1. Craft Hall
This parent haven in NoLibs took Philly's play cafe scene to a whole new level. A brewery and restaurant with a legit pirate ship playground inside, not to mention video games, shuffleboard, foosball, even a dog park...Craft Hall is the Philly parent's secret to dining in peace.
Patio games at Landing Kitchen. Photo by the author
Just across the river from Manayunk at the Pencoyd Bridge resides an outdoor dining family haven in Bala Cynwyd. Top-notch brunch and lunch food by Top Chef winner Nick Elmi is made all the more delicious when your kids are occupied with corn hole, bocce ball, and a set of amazing spinning chairs that my kids could twirl in for hours. The patio is contained so children can roam freely, and there's even an outdoor cocktail and snack shack for easy food access.
Eat pizza and play board games at Thirsty Dice.
3. Thirsty Dice
Philly's original board game cafe in Fairmount is the perfect place to level up your family game night. With over 800 games in this full-service restaurant's library, be sure to ask a gametender at the bar for new recommendations and tips. Indulge in ice cream and milkshakes--there are even boozy milkshakes for grown-ups!--to keep that energy high as you roll the dice one more time.
RELATED: 11 Kid-Friendly Cheesesteak Spots
Choose from over 1000 games at Queen and Rook.
Browse through 1200 games, from modern to retro classics at Queen and Rook, another top board game cafe where kids 12 and under always play for free! Indoor and outdoor seating options are available with gamekeepers to help you with all of your gaming needs.
Visit SquareBurger in Philly's famed Franklin Square.
Kids work up an appetite in no time at Franklin Square. After a spin on the carousel, romp through the playground, or a game of mini-golf, head over to SquareBurger, with all your favorite family foods and indulgent milkshakes, including the epic Cake Shake. Once the kids are refueled and sugared up, unleash them back to the square while you enjoy your cheesesteak in peace.
Gather around a picnic table at this Fishtown beer garden and chow down on a giant Bavarian pretzel. Though it's not really a restaurant with play space, one of Frankford Hall's staples is its collaborative Jenga games, where guests write messages on game pieces for other patrons to read as they play. Kids will love the cozy outdoor vibe as they get their Jenga on while parents enjoy a delicious draft.
A kids' paradise sits just beyond Sister Cities Cafe.
With its magical children's garden, wading pool, splash pad, and tons of green space, Sister Cities Park is a magical mirage right on the busy Ben Franklin Parkway, complete with an adorable cafe serving prepared foods and plenty of coffee to keep you going on your full day of play.
While Lulu's isn't a restaurant, this Main Line play space offers a genius Friday Family Pizza Night, where they'll order a pizza for you and have it waiting so that you can have Friday dinner while the kids play in their incredible play space. Don't forget to BYOB and toast to the end of a long week as the kids let off their own steam.
9. Bok Bar
This rooftop hangout above the iconic Bok Building opens for the season in mid-April. Bok Bar welcomes both human children and leashed fur children. Amazing views, binoculars, and space to roam and puppy watch will keep the whole family feeling the chill and creative vibes that surround this building, which brims with studio spaces and artist collectives.
Enjoy snack time in a colorful hammock or sip your juice box in an Adirondack chair while watching the barges float by on the water. With pop-up activities, twinkle lights, gardens, and dining options to explore, Spruce Street Harbor is the perfect family outing for warm weather.
This creative public space not only offers tons of family-friendly programs, activities, and art installations, but it also has awesome dining options at the Garden at Cherry Street Pier, designed for visitors to take in the views, relax under the steel trusses, and enjoy the blooming garden beds.
12. Liberty Point
In Spring 2022, Liberty Point joins the Delaware River dining scene, as the city's largest outdoor dining destination yet, with a capacity of 1400 people. With that much outdoor space to romp, it's sure to become a family dining destination.
Waterfront views at Morgan's Pier
13. Morgan's Pier
Kids will love the views of the Ben Franklin Bridge at Morgan's Pier, with tons of outdoor seating and menu options, from backyard BBQ to summertime cocktails for the grownups. Enjoy daily entertainment, live music, DJs, and even Yappy Hours for four-legged family members.
Unless noted, photos courtesy of the restaurants