So many restaurants and cafes these days claim to be “kid friendly” but what does that ACTUALLY mean?
Does it mean they have a playground? Does it mean they don’t mind if your kid runs around and smashes stuff? Does it mean they have a fold out nappy change mat squashed into a dark dingy bathroom somewhere down the back?
Anyway, these things all come under the banner of “kid friendly” but we know, that not all kid friendly is made equal. And it TOTALLY depends on the age of your child, as to whether the “kid friendly” claim actually relates to you or not. And maybe not even the age, but the personality and demeanour of your individual child!
Why I don’t go out for meals right now!
Take mine for example. Since the time he could walk, or crawl even, he has not been a high chair sitter. He was climbing out of his high chair before he could walk, so the only time we ever went out for a meal was during nap time in the pram. Everything was very carefully scheduled around play, energy expenditure and nap time to just go out for lunch! Dinner? Forget it!
These days it’s more of a case of, does the venue have a playground or somewhere contained, and is there anything he can touch, break or destroy. We also have to know the menu to know whether he will actually EAT anything that they have there too. And while a kids menu with chips and nuggets is great, some days you need something a bit healthier or different because the nuggets just aren’t going to cut it.
So pretty much, if we go out, it’s to a playground venue and then we have the mobile phone for backup. Which mostly means we don’t go out! It’s just easier to stay home and avoid the chasing, telling off for hitting other kids and trying to wrestle them in the playground. It’s good fun!
But, for the older kids in their middle primary years, a simple colouring book might be enough to keep them entertained! Or a novelty type venue could be interesting enough for the tweens.
So Kid Friendly really does mean something different to everyone, and it’s not an easy banner to put on a venue. A comfy chair for breastfeeding doesn’t equate to welcoming toddlers who will destroy your displays in seconds. And a toddler play area doesn’t help much for the big kids who are so embarrassed to be seen with their parents. It’s a catch phrase with many many layers!
Which brings me to my point… finally, I know!
Kid Friendly Dining in Ballarat
Our team has spent the last few weeks painstakingly combing the streets of Ballarat for all the “kid friendly” dining venues we could find! Based on the list of restaurants and cafes we gathered from YOU guys last year through Facebook, we have added to it, checked the details of the venues and tried to make a resource for your family and friends that will become your BIBLE when it comes to deciding where to go for your next dining out meal.
Now, we have left out the take away venues with playgrounds, we figured we don’t really need to tell you about those as they are SO prominent that kids can spot them a mile away!
But we have bistros, restaurants, cafes, and venues on the outskirts of Ballarat too. From the guide you will be able to see quickly which venues have:
- Wide, single or poor pram access / space
- Change tables
- Kids menu
- Kids eat free offers
- Colouring packs
- Playgrounds / Play spaces
- Allergy friendly menus
- and more handy info
You can always get this info on our website anytime on the Ballarat Kid Friendly Dining page. But this download is something EXTRA special for you! You can keep this on your phone and whip it out next time you’re trying to work out where to go with your best friends for coffee, or book a table for Grandad’s birthday. We think you will LOVE IT! You can even print it out and stick it on the fridge, or take it to work to share.
Whatever you do with it, I would love to hear your feedback. We know it’s not going to be 100% perfect, so we are thinking of this as Release 1, and we can fix it up during the year to update for the next round! So if you’ve got suggestions, feedback, things you think we should add, then leave a comment below and let us know!
But in the meantime, happy dining with kids!
Download yours here!
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* Photo by Evolution Photography & Events