I personally like to go out with my kids a lot. You might be thinking, isn’t that cumbersome? If you find the right place to go out with your kids, it is certainly not!
The last time around, when I was in the windy city, I was surprised to find that there are so many kid friendly restaurants in Chicago where your kids can eat and play that you will be spoilt for choice.
When you choose such a place, you can enjoy your meal while your kids can enjoy not just the food but the activities that such restaurants have to offer. That brings me to a vital question, what kind of activities do such restaurants offer.
What Games Can Kids Play in Restaurants?
While the type of activities can vary but usually restaurants offer:
- Board games
- Lego playsets
- Arcade games
- Pizza dough games
- Chalk and board games
- And so on
What Should You Consider While Choosing an Eat and Play Restaurant?
The list below includes 16 restaurants. Of course, you will have to choose between them. The question is, how?
I've taken care of that as well. Shortlist the restaurants on the parameters below, and you can choose from the list.
Of course, the type of activities on offer is of vital importance. The list below includes the kind of activities these restaurants offer.
If your kids do not like the food, they won't be interested in the activities. Do check out the kid's menu which such restaurants offer before heading over to the place.
Whether you are going to a restaurant as a couple or with family, the ambiance matters a lot. It would be best not to ignore it while choosing from the list below.
Expensive restaurants can indeed burn a hole in your pocket. To avoid such nasty surprises, it is a good idea to check the cost of entrees, main courses, as well as deserts at the restaurant before heading over.
Now that you know how to choose from the list, let us look at the 16 options.
Our Top 16 Best Restaurants for Kids in Chicago City
1. JoJo's Shake Bar
Official site: https://www.jojosshakebar.com/
JoJo's Shake Bar offers a large Lite Brite Wall, Got Milk Mural, and much more to keep your kids entertained. If you're planning a visit during the winter months, there's more!
The winter wonderland it is hosting includes a giant Christmas tree (17 feet), red food truck, igloo domes, giant presents, and so on.
Couple that with the nostalgic decor and reimagined deserts, and it is easy to understand why your kids will love the place.
2. Pilot Pete's
Official site: http://www.pilot-petes.com/
The reason why I have included this restaurant on my list is because of its aviation theme. It is located in the Schaumburg Airport. That might seem a bit far, but it is certainly worth visiting.
That's not all!
The restaurant is actually on a plane. That is why it can keep your kids mesmerized and excited for a long time.
The runway is directly visible from the restaurant window, which means that your kids can witness airplanes taking off and landing.
Inside, they will find modern planes as well as other flying objects.
The menu does not disappoint either. Also, the restaurant is famous for its everything made from scratch. That is why; you get high-quality ingredients and culinary delights like chicken tenders. The theme and the view of the runway make it worthwhile.
3. Kings Dining and Entertainment
- 10 pin bowling lanes
- HD projector
- Billiards table
- Air Hockey Tables
And much more. Yes, all this is part of the restaurant I am highlighting now!
Your kids will indeed remain occupied at this restaurant with so much to do. Just make sure that you book a table in advance as there is usually a waitlist at the place.
If you want to enjoy your bowling game real fast, make sure that everyone orders an entree or an equivalent item. That will bump you up the bowling waitlist to the top position.
This restaurant won't disappoint whether you're looking for activities for adults or kids.
Official site: https://www.enterrium.info/
The best place to eat and play along with your kids is an arcade. Enterrium features an arcade and a restaurant serving contemporary American delights.
For adults, it offers craft beer and an elegant dining experience, and there are arcade games, bowling lanes for kids. Since it is located inside the Woodfield mall, there are plenty of things to do in the vicinity.
5. Lucky Strike Social
With over 100 electronic gaming options, your kids will certainly not get bored when they visit Lucky strike social. The place is spread over 30,000 ft². Apart from the arcade games, you have board games, basketball games, pool tables, etc.
All this is coupled with some delicious culinary delights, which ensure that you can satisfy your appetite as well when you head over to this place.
6. Punch Bowl Social
Official site: https://punchbowlsocial.com/location/chicago
Games of the 1980s can certainly make you nostalgic at the Punch Bowl Social. Apart from that, it offers you bowling, Virtual reality games, Ping-Pong tables, and shuffleboard. It is the perfect combination of vintage as well as modern games.
You will have no complaints when you combine this with the made from scratch dishes on offer. They also serve craft beer which ensures that you can have a gala time when you head over to this restaurant. Just ensure that you reach there before 10 PM as that is the family-friendly deadline.
7. Rainforest Cafe
Official site: https://www.rainforestcafe.com/
Aren't there are too many restaurants offering arcade games on this list?
The restaurant which I am highlighting now is a bit different. It takes the forests theme way more seriously. That is why, on the inside, you will find a volcano desert and various mascots representing the forests.
On the outside as well, you will notice a behemoth frog. The restaurant takes its forest theme very seriously, and therefore the menu is also themed.
If you're looking to provide your kids with a holistic experience, surely head over to this cafe.
8. Little Hopper's Play Cafe
Official site: http://thelittlehoppers.com/
The Little Hopper's is the cafe to head over to in case you're looking for a venue where your kids can play uninterrupted while you enjoy ice cream, smoothies or wingstop.
With numerous activities on offer like dancing classes, music, arts, yoga, you can certainly keep your kids entertained. The venue is available for birthdays and private parties, making it even more attractive.
Head over to Little Hopper's Play Café if you're primarily looking for a place for your kids while you sip a drink or two.
9. Little Beans Cafe and Playspace
Official site: https://www.littlebeanscafe.com/
This cafe can keep your kids occupied with five different play areas available. Whether your kids like the gym, karaoke, or any other activity center, this cafe offers all of that and more.
For the parents, the cafe offers numerous delicacies along with the drive-through. It means that even if you want to have a quick bite, this cafe can serve you well.
The vast area and the numerous activity centers make it worth a visit.
10. Ignite Gaming
Official site: https://www.ignitegaming.com/
Ignite gaming takes the fun way more seriously. They offer you console and PC gaming rooms along with a private Rock band studio.
On the menu are pizzas, grilled sandwiches, and various healthy options. You can either enjoy them in the restaurant or right at your gaming seat. Since its launch in 2002, it has garnered raving reviews from parents and kids.
11. Ball Factory Mount Prospect
Official site: https://www.ballfactoryfun.com/
The ball factory is nothing but a large playground divided into different sections. It offers a ball pit, ball blasting arena, mega blocks, as well as various other attractions for your kids.
Due to its vast area, it can club together ten different attractions. As for the Cafe, it offers snacks and foods which will keep the kids and parents delighted. In case you're looking for healthy options, they serve a variety of salads as well.
In a nutshell, you as well as the kids will have plenty to do when you head over to this ball factory.
12. Roots Handmade Pizza
Official site: https://www.rootspizza.com/locations/lincoln-square/
Roots handmade pizza is a bit different than other restaurants on this list. While the design and other items are delicious, they do not have a dedicated play area for the kids.
However, they certainly provide the kids with pizza dough to play around with when they are among the patrons. That can certainly keep your kids occupied.
Apart from that, the handmade pizza by roots is another reason to visit this place.
13. American Girl Cafe
Official site: https://www.americangirl.com/retail/chicago.html
Most of us know American girl is a brand that sells dolls. However, when you head over to their store on mag mile, you will also find a cafe inside. They regularly host special events in the cafe and themed parties and birthdays that are sure to keep your kids occupied.
Official site: https://pinstripes.com/
If you do not mind traveling a bit, Pinstripes is undoubtedly a good choice. The restaurant features a special kid's club that includes a bowling range. Apart from that, it has a kid's menu.
The good news is that bowling is free for parents. There is a separate menu for parents, ensuring that you can enjoy your favorite delicacies and beverages.
Official site: https://www.eataly.com/us_en/stores/chicago/
With events like Kids Kitchen, Storytimes, and so on, this place can certainly keep your kids occupied. As for the menu, it offers pizza and gelato for kids. Parents can choose from homemade pizza and their drinks.
16. Antique Taco
Official site: http://www.antiquetaco.com/
Instead of keeping your kids occupied in board games or bowling, you can allow them to play with nature. Antique Taco offers a large patio for your kids. They have some board games as well. However, the sidewalk chalk ensures that your little ones can experiment and draw whatever they want.
There are various themed events at this restaurant and food truck nights, ensuring that you always experience something new. Tacos, as well as margaritas they offer, are simply delicious.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are kids-friendly restaurants different from eat-and-play restaurants?
Family friendly restaurants at the most have separate kids' menus and ambiance suitable for kids. Eat and play restaurants have not only that but also a dedicated playing area for kids.
How to know if a restaurant is kid-friendly?
The best way is to check the official website of the restaurant. If indeed they are kid-friendly, it will be listed on the website or the yelp listing of the restaurant.
Next time around, you're in Chicago, no need to bore your kids by taking them to a fine dining restaurant. Instead, use this opportunity to bond with your kids by visiting any of these Chicago restaurants for kids.