Mar 20 2015

Ultimate Moms’ Night Out

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Raise your hand if you need a night out — just you and your gal friends (that’s right, no kids). I think we’re all raising our hands after this never-ending winter of school cancellations, delays, and shoveling. Come join us at the Ultimate Moms’ Night Out presented by our friends at Mommybites Boston on Thursday, March 26th starting at 6:30 PM in Somerville.

Ultimate Moms’ Night Out is held at the Arts at the Armory – a funky and inviting space perfect for hosting a night of free beer, wine & mocktails, treats, free mini spa services, stand-up comedy by Boston Comedy Chicks, the fabulous Christine Koh as keynote speaker, raffles, gift bags and more.

Plus stop by and say hi to some amazing parent experts and brands you know and love. We’ll be there dishing on our new favorite kid-friendly restaurants. Plus we’re giving away a $50 gift certificate to the Rosebud American Kitchen & Bar. This newly renovated Davis Square institution recently made “Boston’s 10 hottest restaurants” list. Plus people are flocking here for their world-famous pies. We can’t wait to check it out ourselves!

Let’s kick winter to the curb and welcome spring. Hope to see you there!

Click here to register!

Mar 13 2015

The Curse of the Single High Chair

highchairThis week’s changing table rally call from Ashton Kutcher got us thinking—what other amenities could restaurants offer to make the lives of families dining out with kids easier? There are a number of items that we’re always on the lookout for at kid-friendly restaurants (changing tables are one of them). We always love spots that offer plastic cups with straws, crayons and paper are a nice touch, and kid’s menus are a lovely (albeit unnecessary) option. Then there’s the basics—like high chairs.

We still love to dine out at some of old pre-kid haunts, and even the less kid-friendly spots can work—we simply plan accordingly (and dine at a much earlier hour!). When we are about to venture out to somewhere new and untapped by KidNosh, a quick phone call to the restaurant to ask if they have high chairs usually provides the go/no-go decision. As a general rule of thumb—if there are high chairs (and especially if there’s a kid’s menu), the staff is ready and willing to welcome younger diners. But what burns our buttons are restaurants that only have one high chair, but the staff doesn’t bother to share that information when you call to inquire about these very high chair(s)—or if they do mention it, they refuse to reserve the lone high chair for the 20 minutes it’ll take to make our way there, and then end up giving it away to other diners before we arrive.

Do these staff members have any idea what we have to go through to get out the door??? And how long it took to get in the car (or walk—especially during this crazy winter!), wrestle with car seats, haul out strollers, try to reason with a toddler refusing to wear a jacket (or shoes, or a shirt, or ANYTHING…), or try to find parking?? Do they understand the desperation when we’re turned away at the door, when all these tired, hungry parents want is a big ol’ cocktail and a tasty meal cooked by someone else?? Do the restaurant owners not realize that these high chairs STACK and having two takes up no more room than having just one?? Sigh…

But no. You only have one high chair…and you just gave it to someone else.

And before this turns into a total rant, we want to give props to one of our favorite spots that does an amazing job of managing their “light on high chairs” situation (and where you can order a fried Mars bar): The Haven in JP, which only has two high chairs. But–they’re super proactive about managing their high chair situation. They even called us one time after we made an OpenTable reservation requesting a high chair, letting us know that the high chairs were already spoken for. Were we bummed we weren’t going to be able to dig into Scottish fare that evening? Yes. But instead we ventured around the corner to Canary Square and had a fabulous meal—with a high chair.

Have you ever been burned by the curse of the single high chair?

Feb 20 2015

Why You Should Get Snow Boots On and Go Out To Eat With Your Family Tonight

#digoutdineout

Growing up in the restaurant business, I saw first hand what it takes to make sure a restaurant was “open for business,” regardless of what mother nature had to say. Working on little sleep just to make sure the kitchen was open. There were hourly workers that depend on that day’s wages and tips to pay the bills. But without customers, restaurants cannot survive. They simply can’t.

Yes, we are all DONE with winter – the streets choked with snow, the horrific commute, ice dams, school and work closures. But restaurants owners, chefs and servers are making sure it’s “business as usual.” But artic temps and parking bans are keeping people away and businesses are taking a big hit. Which is why local restaurants are banding together to do what they can to entice us to buck up and eat out again.

So let’s all come together and support our local restaurants and other retailers. Check out #DigOutDineOut for some pretty amazing dining deals – making it that much more enticing to check out some new restaurants or visit some neighborhood favorites. Some recent deals:

We’re all a little cranky, probably from feeling tired of cooking and kids going bananas indoors. So slap on some snow boots and dine out with your family tonight (or this weekend). Parking bans are lifted. Restaurants and staff are going out of their way to welcome customers (code: super kid-friendly). Great food and drink deals. It’s win-win (and yum-yum).

 

 

Feb 6 2015

Mom Friends Matter Because Getting Out of the House Is Serious Business

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If you have kids, you’ve more than likely had one of those days where getting out of the house seemed

like it would be the easiest thing in the world. Everyone is behaving, already dressed, and amenable to the idea of actually leaving the house. Maybe you’re still riding high on last week’s successful outing, and so you pick a destination a little more ambitious than the playground. Like a restaurant that doesn’t automatically hand your kids a couple of coloring sheets. After all, what could go wrong?

Except everything!

Mere hours later you feel like the worst mom in the world because you were “that mom” – the one with the screaming baby or the toddler tossing food or the big kid who decided to throw a tantrum. So you pile back into the car and vow, not so silently, that you’re not leaving the house again until it’s time to drop off the kids at college — a logical response to a failed family outing. Except not only do kids need to get out into the world now and then to experience community life, but moms like you do, too. Social stimulation is good for all ages.

So what do you do? You say no to going it alone! You call on your mom friends. You start issuing invites. And suddenly it all gets so much easier.

Sharing outings means sharing the responsibility. It means someone to help with the coat buttons and to watch your kiddos when nature calls so a trip to the bathroom doesn’t have to be a spectator sport.

Mom friends take some of the pressure off of you to be a perfect mom in public, too. The glares from judgmental strangers who think children should be seen and not heard can’t wither you when you have a supportive mom friend at your side. When she can help, she helps. And when she can’t, she commiserates.

Maybe you haven’t ever thought about how powerful an extra set of hands can be when you’re dining out – even when the kids outnumber the grownups. Friends in general are great but only mom friends really understand how hard it can be to give one kid the attention she needs while making sure the other doesn’t run straight into traffic.

Getting out of the house is important, and yes, hard sometimes, but even the most ambitious plans are doable when you have your mom friends at your side.

Christa Terry is mom to two rather small but incredibly loud humans and is also one of the founders of Mom Meet Mom, a desktop app that helps mom friends meet. She blogs at Hello, Mamas! (pro) and I Know How Babby Is Formed (personal) when she’s not otherwise busy making working motherhood look easy. She can also tap dance and speak German, which she’d like to believe makes her sound interesting but probably just makes her sound weird. (photo credit: Mom Meet Mom)
Jan 9 2015

Kid-Friendly, Cold Weather Comfort Food Roundup

kid-friendly comfort food restaurants roundup

There’s no doubt about it–winter is upon us. Are the frigid temperatures and stormy weather getting you (and the fam) down? Never fear–your kid-friendly comfort food restaurant round up is here! Check out some of our cozy, comfort food favorites, guaranteed to keep the whole clan happy:

  • The Warren Tavern, Charlestown: Take a trip back in history (and gain a little perspective on the cold) while you imagine what it was like to brave the winter weather with nothing but a couple of fireplaces to keep you warm. Beyond the history lesson, you’ll find tasty pub fare and a cozy atmosphere.
  • Crow’s Landing, Hingham/South Shore: With stick-to-your-ribs favorites like Buffalo mac and cheese, thin-crust pizzas, burgers, salads and more, there’s sure to be something for everyone at this kid-friendly South Shore favorite. Even better–the crisp and delicious fries are baked…so you can indulge with less guilt.
  • Five Horses Tavern, South End and Davis Square: With a beer selection to please mom and dad, tasty comfort food and changing tables in every bathroom, what’s not to love at this kid-friendly pub?
  • New England Soup Factory, Brookline and Newton: This is one of our all-time favorites for wintertime take out, with some of the best chicken soup around. But don’t just grab what’s on the menu today–check out the freezer section and stock up for those times when it is -10 degrees outside and you just can’t drag yourself out of the house. Feel like venturing out? While the kid-friendly amenities are lacking in Brookline, the Newton location offers more space, plus a bathroom with a changing table.
  • The South End Buttery, South End: Whether popping into the cafe and bakery for a quick and casual lunch, or snuggling into the fireplace-filled dining room, this kid-friendly neighborhood favorite serves up comfort food, baked goods and more, with a cozy, South End charm.
  • For more kid-friendly, comfort food restaurant options, click here.

What’s your favorite winter comfort food spot?

Dec 8 2014

Tasty Holiday Events for the Whole Family

Boston Holiday Events for the Whole Family

There are enough holiday events throughout Boston and beyond to fill Santa’s sleigh. We’ve hand-picked a bunch of events featuring tasty treats – or festive events with some of our favorite kid-friendly eats nearby. Happy Dining and Happy Holidays!

 

South End Holiday Stroll
Wednesday, December 10th from 4-9pm

Make a dent in your holiday list at the 6th Annual South End Holiday stroll this Wednesday. Holiday shopping is more pleasant thanks to free parking, free pedi-cabs from 5-8pm and a chance to win a gift basket from every participating store. After working up your appetite strolling with the kids, head to one of the South End’s kid-friendly restaurants, including Cinquecento, Gaslight, South End Buttery, and Tremont 647 for a free dessert! Download the neighborhood map here.

 

Pain D’Avignon Holiday Pop-up at Fairmont Copley Plaza
December 12 & 19 from 2-6pm

After checking out the tree in Copley Square, head over to the Fairmont Copley Plaza for a holiday pop-up from the Cape’s beloved bakery and bistro. Pain D’Avignon transforms the tea court into a gourmet holiday farmer’s market. Pick up some treats for a holiday party or for a tasty snack for the little ones.

 

Anna’s Taqueria Welcomes Santa Clause as Charity Guest Roller
December 13 from 12-3pm, 446 Harvard St in Brookline

Santa Claus is rolling up his red furry sleeves to roll burritos for charity at KidNosh fave Anna’s Taqueria this Saturday. Kids will get a kick out of seeing their favorite jolly old elf make burritos behind the line. Donate $10 for a burrito with chips and salsa, with 100% of proceeds being donated to Globe Santa, The Boston Globe Foundation’s annual holiday gifting charity for local families in need.

 

Polar Express Story Hour at the Shops at the Prudential Center
December 13th from 11am-12pm

Get festive with a special reading of the beloved Polar Express by “The Conductor” at the Shops at the Prudential Food Court. Kids are encouraged to wear PJs while enjoying hot cocoa and cookies. Following the reading, kids are invited to stay for a movie screening of the holiday classic Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and a special kids’ concert. Check out kid-friendly Wagamama or Towne Stove & Spirits when hunger strikes.

 

Holiday on Ice: Free Skating and Ice Show
December 13th 11am-9pm

Kendall Square’s Community Outdoor Ice Rink celebrates its 8th annual Holiday on Ice with free admission all day, plus a free skating show at 2pm with former Olympians and international competitors. You’ll want to refuel at family-friendly Area Four, Commonwealth or Za after all that skating!

 

The Colonnade Hotel’s Holly Jolly Pops Package
Through December 31, 2014

If you’re lucky enough to snag tickets to one of the iconic BSO Holiday Pops performances, make it a weekend the family will remember with a special holiday package at one of the Back Bay’s landmark hotels. The Holly Jolly Pops Package includes overnight stay, prix fixe Holiday Pops menu for two at the Colonnade’s Brasserie Jo, plus complimentary parking and late check out. Rates begin at $279 per night.

Oct 31 2014

Happy Halloween! Tricks and Treats for the Whole Family

Boston's Best Trick or Treating NeighborhoodsWhether you’ve had the kiddos’ costumes ready for months, or you’re pulling something together last minute, everyone wants to enjoy the best of Boston’s Halloween festivities, trick or treating, and all around fun the night has to offer. Even though Boston slipped from the #2 spot to #7 in Zillow’s 2014 rankings of the country’s best 20 cities for trick or treating, Beacon Hill, Back Bay, the North End, the South End and Fenway still rank as Boston’s best neighborhoods for trick or treating.

Want to make a night of it and enjoy a family-friendly dinner with “fun sized” treats for dessert? Here are a few family-friendly dining tricks and some of our favorite dinnertime treats in the top 5 trick or treating neighborhoods:

#1 Beacon Hill — Tons of families flock to this quaint, gas lamp lit, historical neighborhood for its trick or treating riches. If you’re looking for a quick bite to please all ages, stop into the Cambridge Street location of Anna’s Taqueria for burritos, tacos and more. Once you’re belly is full, head up the side streets and you’ll find tightly packed brick row houses, most handing out some of the better candy options in the city. Feeling fancy? Stop in for a more leisurely dinner at Lydia Shire’s Scampo. Once you have your fill of gorgeous Italian fare, pop across the street to Charles Street and the surrounding neighborhood to score some sweets.

#2 Back Bay — Start the night by powering up with kid-friendly Middle Eastern favorites at Cafe Jaffa and you’ll also be poised at the edge of prime trick or treating territory up and down Comm Ave, Marlborough Street and more.

#3 North End — While the North End is known for tasty, traditional Italian restaurants, their size and popularity doesn’t often leave much room for kid-friendly extras. One spot that makes up for its lack of kid-friendly amenities with great service is tiny Trattoria di Monica, in the heart of the North End. Not feeling the pasta and red sauce vibe? Start across the Greenway at Hillstone in Faneuil Hall, where you’ll not only find delicious, more traditional American fare and beyond, but you can take advantage of their 3 hours of FREE parking (validation required) at the 60 State Street garage–more than enough time to grab dinner AND a whole lot of candy.

#4 South End — Speaking of free parking, you can find two of the most kid-friendly restaurants in the South End offering free parking. Stop by Gaslight Brasserie or Cinquecento Roman Trattoria, and you’ll not only find great dining, changing tables and more kid-friendly amenities, but you’ll be able to park for free right next door, with plenty of trick or treating around the corner among the neighborhood’s beautiful and historic Victorian brownstones.

#5 Fenway — While sweets will definitely be on the menu once you take in the holiday’s candy hauls, explore some savory dishes when you stop in to Sweet Cheeks Q before or after the door to door rush. With Texas-style BBQ deliciousness to make the whole family happy, you’ll be positioned directly across from the Fenway’s most popular trick or treating area.

What are some of your favorite trick or treating spots in Boston?

Happy Halloween!

Oct 3 2014

Kid-Friendly Restaurants in Boston: Surprises That Make Us Happy

Here at KidNosh we always find ourselves scanning eating establishments for fun, kid-friendly amenities—even when we’re out on a date night or brunch with some friends sans kids. While we love establishments for providing crayons and coloring sheets, kid’s cups (with lids!), changing tables and other standard kid-friendly dining items, when we find something, experience something, or actually just stumble upon something that goes the extra kid-friendly restaurant mile, it can’t help but make us smile.  Here’s a quick roundup of some of our favorites from restaurants that just “get it” when it comes to being a great place in Boston to eat out with kids.

  • Zaftig’s book bin: tucked under the host stand at this Brookline brunch and deli all-star is a bin of kid’s books. Let your kids pick out a few they like and they are yours for the meal. Just make sure to leave them behind for the rest of us!
  • Full Moon’s play space: If you don’t know about Full Moon, it is a poster child for all things kid-friendly dining. They get everything right for family-friendly dining, and go above and beyond with a great play space to boot.
  • Deluxe Town Diner’s sidewalk chalk: When a breakfast and brunch hot spot doesn’t take reservations, waiting for your table with kids can be…interesting. If you find yourself waiting at this diner, just grab some sidewalk chalk and head outside and create some roadside artistic masterpieces until your table is ready.
  • OTTO’s free pizza slices for kids: Yup—you read that right. Kids get slices…for free. Everyone wins!
  • Fairsted Kitchen’s creative staff: What Fairsted is lacking in your standard kid-friendly amenities, it makes up for with an amazingly friendly, attentive and creative staff. We’ve experienced bartenders loaning toddlers their stash of windup toys, host staff digging out extra paper and crayons from a hidden spot, and everyone just being genuinely lovely. High fives for being lovely!
  • Café Ula’s windowsill of fun: Tucked into a windowsill above the take out waiting area and the stack of high chairs, you’ll find a treasure trove of travel games, books, and other fun bits and bobs to help keep the kiddos entertained. Jackpot!

What are some of your favorite kid-friendly dining finds?

kid friendly boston restaurant

Deluxe Town DIner

 

Sep 19 2014

Do Good. Dine Out for No Kid Hungry.

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Did you know 16 million kids live in a household that struggle to put food on the table? That means one in five kids go to school hungry and are unable to concentrate in class because all they can think about is their next guaranteed meal: school lunch.

So what can we do about food insecurity in the US? Dine out at a participating restaurant with your kids this month and help raise money for Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign. Here in Boston, you can grab breakfast at Brueggers, a frozen treat at Orange Leaf, or kid-friendly dinner at Bar Louie or Henrietta’s Table. Every dollar that is raised will feed a child up to 10 meals. 10 meals! Here are some ways to get involved:

  1. Dine out at a participating restaurant and share your experience with #NoKidHungry #90Meals
  2. Host a kid-friendly meetup with other families for No Kid Hungry at a participating restaurant.
  3. Donate to No Kid Hungry. Every dollar makes a big difference!
  4. Spread the word.

Dine out. Donate. Make a difference. Let’s make No Kid Hungry a reality.

Aug 15 2014

Best Kid-Friendly Outdoor Patios in Boston & Beyond

Kid-Friendly Outdoor Patio

Hard to believe September is just around the corner and kids will be back in school. But there are a few more days of summer left to savor. Or as we at KidNosh see it, a few more days for leisurely meals outside under the bright sun and enjoying the warm temps. Here are our top restaurants with great kid-friendly outdoor patios for end-of-summer, al fresco dining!

Area 4 (Cambridge/Kendall)
Cafe Bartlett Square (Jamaica Plain)
Canary Square (Jamaica Plain)
Cinquecento (South End)
Dorado Tacos & Cemitas (Coolidge Corner)
Eastern Standard (Kenmore Sq/Fenway)
Fairsted Kitchen (Brookline/Washington Square)
Gaslight Brasserie (South End)
Granary Tavern (Government Ctr/Faneuil Hall)
Hull’s Kitchen (South Shore)
Petit Robert Bistro (South End, Kenmore Sq/Fenway, Needham)
Jake’s Seafood (Hull)
The Met Bar and Grill (Beyond Boston/Natick)
Scampo (Beacon Hill/West End)
Scarlet Oak Tavern (South Shore/Hingham)
Shake Shack (Chestnut Hill)
Stella (South End)
Strega Waterfront (Fort Point/Waterfront)
Sweet Cheeks Q (Fenway/Kenmore)
Toro (South End)
Towne Stove & Spirits (Back Bay)
Tremont 647 (South End)