NYC restaurants with kid-friendly entertainment
These eateries provide more than place mats to keep kids entertained.
Thu Jan 14 2010
Photograph: Jolie Ruben
Amusing little ones during restaurant meals used to be a tall order. Not anymore. Check out these popular spots, where music, art and fun are complimentary side orders.
On Saturdays, the rustic Southwestern dining room of this Upper East Side favorite hosts kid-friendly entertainment—a magician and a balloon artist have recently put in cameos—while $4 drink specials and legendary guacamole keep parents happy. Your gaucho-in-training can order banana pancakes or french toast off the kids' menu or brave an order of huevos rancheros all on his own. 1470 First Ave between 76th and 77th Sts (212-734-1600, canyonroadnyc.com)
The Soho Latin bistro opens its doors to the very young and the young at heart one Sunday a month at the SalsaBaby Brunch. A live band plays while parents linger over eggs and chorizo; young diners can join in with mini tambourines and maracas. 349 West Broadway between Broome and Grand Sts (212-625-1441, ideya.net). Oct 16, Nov 20 10am--1pm. Reservations required.
Families make craft projects together at Moomah's combination caf/art space. Working artists are on hand to lend guidance, and kids can draw additional inspiration from an eclectic library stocked with artful picture books, as well as from the Funky Forest, an interactive art installation that mimics a fantastical wood. Moms and dads recharge with soups, wraps and Counter Culture coffee, while kids chow down on organic grilled cheese and chips with homemade guacamole. 161 Hudson St between Hubert and Laight Sts (212-226-0345, moomah.com)
The Moxie Spot
Popular among the pint-size crowd for its birthday parties, this whimsically decorated two-story diner and play space features family-friendly game nights (Beatles Rock Band, anyone?), foosball and a ton of toys alongside reasonably priced pastas, burgers and salads. Even better: Kids eat free after 5:30pm with the purchase of an entre. Don't miss the charming three front doors—one for adults, one for kids and one for pets. 81-83 Atlantic Ave at Hicks St, Brooklyn Heights (718-923-9710, themoxiespot.com)
Taking the mullet approach to family meals, PSbklyn offers a chic dining area in the front and a supervised rec room in the basement—complete with air hockey, Skee-Ball and arcade games. Between matches, kids can sample the child-friendly bar food—including gourmet pizzas and sliders—and catch a show at booths equipped with DVD players. A full drink menu gives parents a chance to unwind, too. 833 Union St between Sixth and Seventh Aves, Park Slope, Brooklyn (718-398-5474, psbklyn.com)
Travel back in time at Roll-n-Roaster, a Sheepshead Bay icon still serving the melt-in-your-mouth roast beef sandwiches that have made it a hit for more than 40 years. On Sunday afternoons, kids can alternate chowing down on corn fritters and cheese fries with old-fashioned family fun courtesy of the house balloon artist (noon to 6pm) and sticker giveaways. After lunch, take a stroll along the waterfront, just across the street. 2901 Emmons Ave at Nostrand Ave, Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn (718-769-6000, rollnroaster.com).