Restaurants that cater to families aren’t hard to come by ’round these parts. And, lucky for us, a few eateries really go out of their way to not only refuel kids, but feed their need for fun. From bowling to bocce, live music to magic, read on to see how the lures of the following favorites give everyone their fill.
photo: Mr. Singer & The Sharp Cookies at Beat Kitchen
Rocking Brunches at Beat Kitchen
Beat Kitchen and their Concerts for Kids series is the place to be for rockin’ families on Sunday mornings. Their musical matinees give everyone a chance to rock and roll to one of the best kindie lineups in the U.S. while indulging in a finger-licking, full brunch menu featuring pub fare faves. A dance floor means kids can really get their groove on, with prime table spots so mom and dad can watch the fun and perhaps sip a Bloody Mary or two. The winter fun concert series has already kicked off, so what are you waiting for? Doors open at 11 a.m. for brunch; shows start at noon.
2100 W. Belmont Ave.
Bowling and Bocce at Pinstripes
There’s something for everyone at Pinstripes, a huge upscale-casual dining and entertainment emporium featuring a bistro with exceptional Italian-American cuisine; a bowling alley, a year-round outdoor patio and fire pit and live music. But the Bocce courts are where all the action takes place, and even the smallest kids can play this traditional Italian lawn game. Family perks abound: Kids under 5 get half-off the kids menu, with an entree-eating adult, every Sunday after 5 p.m.;
435 E. Illinois St.
7 Oakbrook Center Mall
1000 W. Higgins Rd.
150 Willow Rd.
photo: Kings Bowl Lincoln Park via Maria Chambers
Bowl and Eat at Kings Bowl
Kings Bowl features everything you need to keep the kids entertained, including luxury ten-pin bowling lanes, a full-service restaurant, HDTV’s and HD projector screens for all the sports action, billiards tables, shuffleboard, foosball and air hockey tables. Call ahead to make an Dine Then Bowl dinner reservation. If everyone in your group orders an entrée or equivalent, your party will be moved to the top of the bowling wait list.
1500 N. Clybourn Ave., #c102
5505 Park Place
Tableside Magic at La Villa
La Villa Restaurant is a family style favorite in Old Irving Park. You’ll find all your Italian-American faves, including city-famous pizza, in a charming yet casual, old-school setting. Families flock here on Sunday nights when a live magician pulls tricks out of his sleeve tableside from 4:30 p.m.-8 pm. Your kids will be wowed with card and balloon tricks in this fun, family and foodie friendly pick.
3632 N. Pulaski Rd.
Old Irving Park
photo: Hofbräuhaus Chicago via Kelly Aiglon
Dance to the Oompah Beat at Hofbräuhaus Chicago
It’s a party every night at Hofbräuhaus Chicago, the first and only German micro brewery, beer hall, restaurant and beer garden to call Chicago home. This replica of the legendary Hofbräuhaus in Munich, Germany, features nightly live entertainment by traditional German bands. Your kids will want to jump up on their feet and dance to the Oompah beat — especially when the parade of merry dancers prances around the beer hall.
5500 Park Pl.
Fun with Chocolate at the Chocolate Sanctuary
Calling all Chocolate lovers! Every dish at this adventurous eatery in Gurnee includes chocolate as an ingredient — from the Cocoa Chili to the Turkey, Mozzarella and Cocoa Candied Bacon Flatbread Sandwich. The pastry and chocolate team is always at work, so request a table near the action and your kids will be entertained as the splendid chefs work their magic making homemade cakes, puddings, truffles and more. The real entertainment, however, is the dessert menu: a magical chocolate fountain flowing with your choice of white, milk or dark chocolate will be brought directly to your table, as well as an assortment of dipping items including housemade marshmallows, Rice Krispys, sable biscuits and fresh fruit, just waiting to be dipped.
5101 Washington St.
What is YOUR favorite restaurant that keeps the kids occupied? Share it with us in the Comments!
— Amy Bizzarri