Just advertising that a restaurant is “family friendly” and including a small children’s menu does not actually mean that a place is a good one to take your kids too. It is important when choosing a restaurant to take your whole family to, both young and old, that it has an atmosphere welcoming to small children, teenagers, and adults, as well as a well-rounded menu that can allow for everyone to eat healthy. It is also important that the prices match any budgeting concerns.
Five Mile Heights Pizza Parlor on the north side of town is an old-school style pizza place with checkered tablecloths, large pizzas, and reasonably priced pitchers of beer. They also have an arcade which includes some older and newer videogames. Professor Pizza, the official “mascot” of Five Mile Heights Pizza Parlor, is also on hand to keep the children entertained. Similar in idea, Round Table Pizza on the South Hill also offers a welcoming place for families with children. Voices can get loud, children can walk around and play, there is a small arcade to grab the attention, and even a large TV to keep the hardcore television watchers happy. Pitchers of beer are reasonable and they have good deals on family-sized meals.
If you are willing to spend a little more money on dinner, Red Robin in both the Spokane Valley and in Downtown is a popular place to celebrate events and birthdays. There is often a wait to get a table so you may only want to bring little kids if they can be patient. The atmosphere is loud and boisterous, wait staff often stop to sing “Happy Birthday” to patrons, and the food is large and filling. The main bulk of the menu is made up of burgers of all shapes and sizes, as well as appetizers such as a tower of onion rings and a chili con queso with fresh made chips. Red Robin isn’t recommended for a quiet dinner with easily heard conversation, but if you want to take the family out to a high-energy restaurant this would be a good pick.
The Old European, located in Spokane as well as nearby Post Falls and Pullman, is a breakfast only restaurant specializing in Scandinavian and Norwegian style dishes. Don’t worry though, their menu options will appeal to adults and kids (especially the crepes). Like Red Robin they tend to be very popular and there is usually a wait to be seated, especially on special days such as Mother’s or Father’s Day and Sunday mornings. They have crayons and little puzzles on their menus to keep the kids happy as well as lots of coffee to keep the adults happy. They also have booster seats and high chairs readily available for anyone a little too small to sit by themselves at the table.
Perkins near Downtown is open late and serves a full menu of breakfast, lunch, and dinner options all day long. They are very popular with both families with small children and senior citizens, catering to both crowds with specialized menus. The wait staff is used to children and offer friendly smiles and coloring pages to the little ones. Perkins also has a special events room in the back to accommodate parties and meetings, and this gives kids a place to wander around during functions if they start to get bored.
All of these restaurants go that extra way to cater to families, by offering children’s drinks in cups with lids if necessary, by having easily accessible and clean baby changing stations, and by offering an atmosphere where children can be themselves.