Dining Out with Kids This Summer? Here are 10 Things You Need for a Stress-Free Dinner

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dining out with kids
Graphics by: Anna Wissler

I am ashamed to admit that the old me—the pre-kids version—used to get annoyed when parents took their young children to restaurants. I was baffled at how these kids used the eatery as their personal playground and assumed these parents simply couldn’t “control” them. Boy, have I had to swallow a big chunk of humble pie since becoming a mom of two active (and lovely) boys. 

Now, I’m the one getting the side eye glares from restaurant patrons because my kids are the rambunctious ones. We’re that family sitting at the table with one child catapulting food off their plate like it was an Olympic sport while the other performs a rowdy rendition of the familiar dinner song, “I don’t like my food and I am not hungry!” Having little kids can be an adventure, to put it mildly, when eating out.

If the thought of going to a restaurant with your youngsters elevates your anxiety sky-high like it does to mine, we’ve rounded up all the things you need to keep your children entertained—and actually even learning—at the table. It is possible to make dining out with kids a stress-free experience for everyone.

Read on for 10 products to help you savor your meal hot (and maybe even indulge in an adult beverage!). 


Kids Entertainment and E-Learning Subscription

Keep your kids engaged while they eat by inviting their favorite Nick Jr. characters like Dora the Explorer, Bubble Guppies, and Paw Patrol to join them by subscribing to the entertainment and e-learning platform Noggin on any tablet or smartphone. Designed for little kids ages 2-7 and developed by educational experts, Noggin provides educational games, e-books, activities, and so much more in a fun and interactive, ad-free online app.

With Noggin, your young ones can learn their ABCs and 123s while they enjoy each bite of their meal. Peppa Pig is a regular guest at our table, but without having to add to our meal tab.

Join now for $0.99 a month for the first 2 months!

amazon kids headphones

Foldable Headphones

For a more peaceful and noise-free meal experience, pair your child’s Noggin tablet time with these comfy headphones. Your little one can be fully engaged without distracting the adults with any background noise.

water pads
Amazon | Melissa & Doug

Water Wow! Pads

For a stress-free, noise-free, and mess-free meal time, take these water pads when dining out.

coloring book

My First Toddler Coloring Book

There’s something beautiful and nostalgic about a simple coloring book that can inspire endless coloring magic exclusively designed by your LO. By bringing your own coloring book, it can also supplement any free coloring pages provided by the eatery.


Stackable Crayon Boxes

Because sometimes the 4 primary color crayons provided by the eatery are not enough, bring your own crayons in these handy plastic stackable travel cases that will make transporting them easy peasy!


Wikki Stix Reusable Molding and Sculpting Sticks

Sensory fidget toys like these Wikki Stix can instantly calm your LO at a restaurant (or any location!) by encouraging creativity as your child designs a world made up of these moldable sculpting sticks.

activity book

Start Little Learn Big Series Learning Activity Book

If your meal is delayed, do not fret! Have this activity book on hand to give your child over 100 activities to complete which include dot-to-dot pages, coloring pages, mazes, matching, and much more!


Baby Bum Travel-Size Hand Sanitizer

Reduce the chances of a power struggle when going to the restroom to wash your little one’s hands by using this hand sanitizer to quickly disinfect their cute fingers which have probably touched everything since entering the restaurant.

Alexandra Cassel Schwartz

Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Calm at the Restaurant Book

To help prepare your little ones for the dining experience, read about the beloved character Daniel the Tiger as he enjoys a dinner outing with his family to eat tacos. Daniel the Tiger models appropriate restaurant behavior even though he shares it’s not always easy being calm. If Daniel the Tiger can do it, so can your little kid!


Farm Animals Figures

While waiting for your meal to get prepared, your little chick can create their own farm with these figurines that can bring the world of Old Macdonald to life. These toys also come with their own sturdy carrying case for convenience.

The Ultimate Kids Packing List for All Your Summer Trips (Plus, Enter to Win Our Travel Must-Haves!)

noggin logo

This post was in partnership with Noggin but all of the opinions within are those of The Everymom editorial board. We only recommend products we genuinely love.