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    Bring the Kids Meals Out First!!!

    Provided by Monica Levine-Sauberman from www.FamilyVacationCritics.com     

    As my family walks into the restaurant on vacation, I am hoping I chose a good place to eat. Every parent knows the drill. Is it too fancy? Will we disturb the couples? Can we actually get through the meal? Do they have a good childrenís menu? Highchairs?

    As the Chief Critic at FamilyVacationCritics.com, I always get the question about where to eat at a certain destination. Here are a few things to think about before walking through the door of a restaurant.

    Location and Timing

    When planning where to eat dinner try to pick a restaurant close to your activities. To travel a distance to eat can be hard on the children. Most children become tired between 4:00 and 6:00pm, especially on a long day of sightseeing or amusement park play. Take a look at the time that is best for your children and stay close to your hotel.

    Call in Advance

    This is a good idea for two reasons. First, is to make sure the menu is appropriate for your children. Is there a childrenís menu? Are there items on the menu that your children like? Second, find out if you need a reservation. If they take a reservation that is great, but if it is a stand-by beware! Waiting with your children can be a disaster. Just the children smelling the food can make them hungry and tired. Then eating with them can be difficult. If they donít take reservations, ask if there is a line and what is the best time to come if you donít want to wait. Donít go to restaurants during their crunch time.

    Tricks in the Bag

    My husband and I swear to always carry a portable DVD player. Most parents donít want to use it, but when are kids are watching it every parent with a screaming child wishes they had one. The price of the portable dvd players are getting more reasonable and you can get a cheap one for under $100. Here is a link to a few of them.

    No parent should be without coloring books and small toys. A coloring book can at least give you time to order. If you have a baby always bring teething toys and Cheerios.

    Kids Meals First

    Always look at the menu when you first get it and if you have to wait before seating, decide what you are going to order! Order everything at once and ask for the kids meals to come out first. Do not wait and order the items separately. Then when the food comes, ask for the check. This way you do not have to rush, but if you need to leave quickly you have that option.

    People always are amazed that I take my children out to dinner all the time. Other parents say my children will not sit still. If you take certain steps, eating out can be great!

    Written by Monica Levine-SaubermanRate this article:

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