Can you even believe we’re suggesting this? We want you to take your kids where? This must be some kind of joke. But, just hold on to your diaper bag for a minute there, mom and dad. Think back to the days when you were first expecting your little bundle of joy and you were trying to convince yourselves that your life wouldn’t really change that much – you could surely still go out to dinner at all of your favorite places with your sweet angel in tow, because they would be perfectly behaved and know how to dine out properly… right? Well, time to put that theory into action and believe it or not, some of the poshest restaurants in Seattle are rolling out the red carpet for you and your kids. After you wipe the mud off their Crocs, that is.

ART Restaurant
Don’t overlook ART Restaurant just because it’s located in a hotel. After all, this is not a typical hotel. While a vacation to the Four Seasons Seattle may only happen in your wildest dreams – you know, the ones you have when your kids aren’t waking you up to take them potty in the middle of the night – dinner at ART in the Four Seasons Seattle is well within reach, and even as a temporary guest at the hotel for the evening, your family will be treated like VIPs. 

Making it Kid-Friendly: There’s not much you’ll need to pull out of your bag of parent tricks to make dinner at ART accommodating for your kiddos. Every meal gets started the right way – with fresh potato chips, often still warm from the Four Seasons kitchen and they have an entire “Larry Gets Lost in Seattle” themed menu that includes delicious variations of kid-faves, such as a grilled cheese, made with Beecher’s, of course, and even thoughtful choices like mini veggie burgers and soy hot dogs. Be sure to ask for a seat next to the windows, where you’ll overlook the Seattle waterfront, including the Seattle Great Wheel – it’s sure to keep your little ones entertained while you take your time savoring every bite of your own amazing meal.

ART Restaurant, Four Seasons Seattle
99 Union Street
Seattle, Wa 98101
For reservations, call 206-749-7070 or go online at artrestaurantseattle.com

Canlis
While reviews from some of the most renowned food critics and publications from around the globe have dished about Canlis, we will venture to say that this could possibly be the first time they’ve been on a list of places to take your kids to eat. While you’re likely have it in your mind that they don’t even allow kids at Seattle’s most beloved spot for gourmet food meets breathtaking views meets romance, you don’t need to be a card carrying adult to enter the pearly gates of Canlis (really, we triple-checked).

Making it Kid-Friendly: One of the biggest draws of a visit to Canlis, for those of us who are over three-feet tall, is their seasonal chef’s tasting menus. But, while you are completely willing to jump off the deep end into Seattle’s best contemporary dining experience, your kids are going to need water-wings. The Teriyaki Tenderloin is a staple on the Canlis menu and is a perfect choice for new palates, as is the must-have Twice-Baked Potato. When you make your reservation at Canlis, be sure to call, rather than book online, and let your reservation hostess know that you’ll be bringing your kids, as they can often also prepare special meal accommodations for your visit, given enough advanced notice. Also, they’d like to hide the good dishes before you arrive. (We kid…)

Canlis
2576 Aurora Avenue North
Seattle, Wa 98109
For reservations, call 206-283-3313. Online at canlis.com.

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SkyCity Restaurant at the Space Needle
It takes just over 30-seconds to get to the top of the Space Needle in its super-fast elevator and we guarantee that it will be the quietest 30-seconds you’ve had from your kids in ages without convincing them to play the “who can be quiet longest” game. Stop considering the Space Needle a place that only tourists visit and start making it your go-to local dining destination while your family wants to upgrade dinner. The restaurant is actually named SkyCity and it is often filled with families taking in the views while enjoying a family date night.

Making it Kid-Friendly: You’ll discover from the moment you  sit down at your very own rotating table that the staff and servers at SkyCity are going to fall all over themselves to make your kids feel comfortable. The kid-friendly menu offers everything from Space Noodle Pasta (made with real Space Needle noodles, natch) to a flat iron steak and smoothies that are made from the freshest seasonal fruit. If possible try to request one of the booths that sit along the edge of the restaurant – the booth part is the perfect trap, er, we mean, barrier, to keep your kids in their seats and there is a space between the booth and the windows that is practically designed for kids to stand up and watch the city go by. And, be sure to bring along a pad of paper and a pen – you’ll want to leave a note for the other diners on the window and see who’s left you a message when your table gets back to that same spot!

SkyCity Restaurant
400 Broad Street
Seattle, Wa 98109
Book your reservations online at www.spaceneedle.com or call 206-905-2100 (especially for parties over four guests). 

A few general tips for parents who are brave enough to take on these restaurants with their kids:

  • Go early: Book a table for as soon as dinner service begins. There will be far fewer diners at 5:30 pm and you will receive more attentive service. Plus, if you dine before your kids get to that crazy hunger melt-down time of the evening, things are bound to go better.
  • Warn them: You’ll need a reservation at all three of these locations and we suggest letting them know who is coming. It’s a great time to kindly request to be seated in a more kid-friendly location.
  • Wiggle it out: Sitting through an entire dinner is hard – even for adults sometimes! Keep a trip to the restroom in your back pocket for a “get the wiggles out” session.

What are your fave family date night havens? Let us know!

— Katie Kavulla (Thanks Katie for the pics!)