It’s true enough that once you have kids, eating out is no longer the carefree, pleasant leisurely experience it once was. You need to know if the restaurant you choose has a kids menu, high chairs or even welcomes children through its doors! It’s so easy in the newborn days, you can just pop them down in their pram and they’ll sleep whilst you take your time ordering, chatting and eating.
If you have a toddler, going out for a meal can be pretty stressful. You won’t ever be sitting in your chair longer than a minute at a time and you will spend most of the meal picking food up off the floor and apologising profusely to the waiting staff…
But there are places that are geared up for this and most are accepting of the little devils that enter their establishments with their long suffering parents.
If you live in or are visiting our great city of Bristol though, here are some tried and tested kid friendly eateries to try:
This one has just been named the most family friendly pub in the UK so it’s definitely the one to head to first.
The food is excellent, they have a large back garden with a play area, rabbits in hutches, chickens and swings and at the back of the pub there’s a soft play room! Perfect in both summer and winter if you fancy a Sunday roast without the washing up, this place will feed you well and keep your kids entertained for long enough for you to catch up with friends and have a glass of wine. Absolute win.
Situated on Windmill Hill, this pub serves absolutely delicious food and smashing roasts on Sundays, they have a large family room complete with sofas, toys, high chairs and a old style jukebox.
Children are welcome until 8pm – which should be bedtime anyway, so that’s ok.
This pub is a favourite with most families I know. They serve up mouth-watering and locally sourced food, have a big enclosed garden, a WENDY HOUSE and lots of toys and games for the kids to play with whilst you eat and enjoy yourselves.
It’s in North Bristol, just off Kellaway Avenue.
A firm favourite with many Bristol yummy mummies, Bocabar is a large red brick walled space down at the creative hub Paintworks on the Bath Road. There are plenty of tables and sofas, an extensive menu filled with locally sourced homemade goodies including many gluten free, vegetarian and vegan options. Their mezze dishes and pizzas are legendary.
For kids, they have drawing packs, toys and books to keep the smalls busy while you gossip over high quality coffees. Bocabar is also so big that they can happily accommodate large groups and party bookings so it’s definitely one to consider for events. They’re a teeny bit on the pricey side but with the amount of space and good food they offer, it’s not a big deal.
A little out of the centre but great for families in the surrounding areas or who are headed to Emersons Green to go to the cinema, bowling, shopping or other. This pub is a fab family friendly haunt, with an actual soft play centre called the Wacky Warehouse attached.
The menu is filled with crowd pleasers and pub classics, they have a good range on the kids menu and the soft play is big enough for small kids and bigger kids to get involved.
They also have a big outdoor area with swings for when the weather is decent!
Sadly this one isn’t tried and tested but I have heard wonderful things about this pub so it’s on our list!
This is an old establishment, dating back to 1760 and has so much character that you’ll not want to leave. The food is excellent and their Sunday roasts are particularly popular so booking is recommended.
This pub has a great outdoor play area for children which looks out over the river. There’s also a nautical themed park next door with excellent play options for all different ages. A total family favourite.
I love this pub – especially in the summer as it boasts a really large enclosed beer garden complete with outdoor pizza oven and a big play area (with plenty of Little Tikes toy cars) with swings and a slide.
The food is gastro pub standard, freshly cooked locally sourced ingredients, plenty of fine wines and good ales to sample too. Inside they have a selection of toys to play with for a rainy day.
This was a firm favourite of mine in my pre-parent days and still is thanks to their child-friendliness. Another one with a large enclosed outdoor space (which is so rare, this close to the city centre) so definietly one to head to on a sunny day. The decor is described as ‘rustic industrial chic’ which pretty much nails it actually. Their food is bloody gorgeous and the staff are absolute poppets.
@Bristol is an amazing day out for the whole family, but if you only have time to stop for a meal, then their cafe is where you should go if you’re in the Millenium Square area.
The cafe has a small soft play area as well as all the necessities like high chairs, changing facilities and child lunch options.
A fantastic exhibition space with a top notch child friendly cafe that serves up delicious fair trade organic foods (including mouth-watering chocolate brownies). They also do ‘kids bites’ pick n mix bags to please the little ones.
I shall attempt to try a few more ‘child-friendly’ establishments in Bristol with my mad toddler and see how they fare so I can report back!
Let me know which ones you’d add to the list!