BLOG: Dining with the Family in Door County

During your family vacation to Door County, it’s always nice to try out a new restaurant. Along with planning your agenda for the day, you may consider researching and checking out the many family friendly restaurants in the area.

One sunny August morning, Papa, Nana, Mom, Sydney and Emma sat down and planned our day. We noted that there was a scavenger hunt at the Nature Center in the Park and thought that might be fun for a two and four year old. The kids wanted to create some artwork for their teachers at school, and we added the art center to our list. Somewhere in there we would also stop for lunch. With our agenda complete, we set out for the day.

First stop was the Nature Center. The girls had great fun looking at all the interesting nature exhibits in the Center, although they were disappointed that they couldn’t touch the stuffed wolf and bear. Mom got a copy of the scavenger hunt, and off she and Sydney went to find the items on the list.  Papa and I kept Emma amused by taking a walk outside the Center, where she was pleased to follow the flower path and then sit on the swing. In no time at all, Sydney and Mom had completed the hunt, and before we left, Sydney claimed her prize from the desk.

Earlier in the day, as we made up our agenda, we picked out a restaurant right outside the Park entrance; it’s website described it as “family friendly”.  All of that outdoor fun had left us hungry and ready to eat. It was 11:15, perfect time for the girl’s lunch so we made the quick journey to the restaurant.

The hostess took us to a very bright room and we sat down. At four, Sydney considers herself a “big girl” and prefers to sit on a booster chair. She noted that Emma is still a “baby” and needs to sit in a high chair.  With Mom’s permission, Sydney also directed Nana, Papa and Mom to our respective seats. Settling into our chairs, the hostess handed out the Kid’s Menus, crayons, and the Adult Menus.

As usual, Sydney decided on the Mac and cheese as the rest of the group made their choices from the Adult Menu. Mom asked for a “to-go” cup with a straw for Sydney’s milk.

“Papa, let’s color, “ Sydney said, tugging at his sleeve. She picked out the purple crayon, and begins coloring the menu, which also doubled as a coloring book. Papa suggested that they try the word search and Sydney began reading the letters for the words on the list out loud. Emma wanted none of that, and asked for Mom’s ipad. Mom agreed and pulled up the latest “phia” (aka Sophia) movie on her ipad.

papa and syd

Emma ipad

That day, we were thrilled to be able to enjoy a quick lunch with the girls. Listed as “family friendly”, the restaurant was very accommodating to a group with young children. Among the things we enjoyed during our lunch was: kid’s menus, kid’s activities, kid friendly cups and dishes, kid friendly atmosphere, and, the kid’s favorite, the ability to pick from a treasure chest of toys when they finished their meal.

treasure chest

Check out a list of restaurants that offer kid’s menus, along with links to the restaurant’s websites where you can view their menus and any other special attractions/ activities that they offer. You may consider checking out your options in order to optimize your dining experiences with your children.