Going out to eat at a restaurant can be a great way to spend quality family time together, to encourage little ones to try new foods and to explore new and different areas of London. Whether it be perusing the stalls at Borough Market or sitting down to eat at a delicious, popular restaurant such as Tibits or Tootoomoo, eating out is always a unique and exciting experience. However, at times, going out to eat can be a bit of a struggle - perhaps, the food is taking ages or you've got some fussy eaters amongst your clan. During these times it's all too easy to hand over the iPad or tablet but we at Kidadl believe there's more to going out to eat than iPads! Check out our 8 fantastic activities to keep your little ones occupied and ditch the tech at the table!
Our friends over at The Kids' Table are fab at keeping little ones away from the technology and into some serious arts and crafts instead! Popping up in and around London, Surrey, Battersea, Wembley, Fulham and more, they are absolute pros at keeping your children entertained while you enjoy a meal and get some all important 'me time' - yay!
1. I-Spy – It's a classic and it works. Take it in turns to spy something in the restaurant and let everyone else guess what it is. It'll help your little one to observe and take in their surroundings and is great for passing time!
2. Take Your Own Printables – Most kid-friendly restaurants will provide colouring in sheets or other activities. If it's your first time at a restaurant print of a few before you go and take them with you. And don't forget pens, pencils and crayons.
3. Memory Games – Invite the kids to study all the things on the table for a minute then tell them to close their eyes while an object is removed. When they open their eyes ask them what's missing. Then let them do the same for you. It's bound to go on for ages!
4. Terrible Jokes – Before you go out tell everyone that they have to say at least one joke at the restaurant table. Intersperse them throughout the evening, asking everyone else to score the joke out of ten. At the end pick a winner and perhaps let them choose where you get to eat out next! Mmmm.
5. Yes Or No – A classic but a goodie. Take it in turns to ask someone a question to which they have to answer without using yes or no. Things can get tricky very quickly - can't it?
6. Telephone Game – Whisper a word or phrase in your child's ear. Then get them to whisper it into the ear of the person sitting next to them and pass it around the table until it reaches the last person to hear. They then get to reveal what they heard - trust us, you have no idea how hilarious this can get - especially with kids!
7. Alphabet Game - Choose a topic like food or pop singers then work your way through the alphabet naming something that begins with each letter (the first person has to find something that begins with A and so on). If you can't name something with your letter you're out - wish you luck for Z!
8. Who Am I ? - If you don't mind looking a bit silly this can be an hilarious way to pass the time before the food arrives. Someone writes the name of a famous person on a post-it note then sticks it to the forehead of another diner without them seeing what's written on it. They then have to ask questions to try and find out who they're supposed to be - a fantastic twist on the childhood game 'Guess Who'!
At Kidadl we pride ourselves on offering families original ideas to make the most of time spent together at home or out and about, wherever you are in the world. We strive to recommend the very best things that are suggested by our community and are things we would do ourselves - our aim is to be the trusted friend to parents.
We try our very best, but cannot guarantee perfection. We will always aim to give you accurate information at the date of publication - however, information does change, so it’s important you do your own research, double-check and make the decision that is right for your family.
Kidadl provides inspiration to entertain and educate your children. We recognise that not all activities and ideas are appropriate and suitable for all children and families or in all circumstances. Our recommended activities are based on age but these are a guide. We recommend that these ideas are used as inspiration, that ideas are undertaken with appropriate adult supervision, and that each adult uses their own discretion and knowledge of their children to consider the safety and suitability.
Kidadl cannot accept liability for the execution of these ideas, and parental supervision is advised at all times, as safety is paramount. Anyone using the information provided by Kidadl does so at their own risk and we can not accept liability if things go wrong.
Sponsorship & Advertising Policy
Kidadl is independent and to make our service free to you the reader we are supported by advertising.
We hope you love our recommendations for products and services! What we suggest is selected independently by the Kidadl team. If you purchase using the buy now button we may earn a small commission. This does not influence our choices. Please note: prices are correct and items are available at the time the article was published.
Kidadl has a number of affiliate partners that we work with including Amazon. Please note that Kidadl is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.
We also link to other websites, but are not responsible for their content.