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Fun place to take a four year old???

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I am taking my favorite four year old out to dinner tomorrow night and I am racking my brain to try to think of a place that might be fun for a preschooler. If only there were a Chuck E Cheese nearby! I am not too much concerned about food but would really love to take her somewhere where she can have fun. Any suggestions? I will be in a car and would like to stay in Boston or closeby to the west.

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  1. How about a picnic in the park? Take her shopping in the North End and get lots of yummy groceries. Then head to Christopher Columbus park or to the "Froggie Park" in Boston Common and let her run around before sitting down to a nice dinner on the grass.

    1. Full Moon in Cambridge (Huron Ave. or also Arlington, Mass. Ave.) has decent food for grownups and a play area for kids - not the WOW factor that Chuck E. Cheese, has, though (can't really think of anything else w/that level of WOW, actually!). One of our "fun moves" is to go to the Larch Rd. playground (Larch runs one-way off Huron, a few blocks up from where Full Moon is, toward Fresh Pond Pkwy.), play, and then go eat at Full Moon.

      I also like the picnic idea - our daughter thinks eating outside is very exotic and fun. I can serve her a PB&J in the backyard and she's happy as a clam.

      4 Replies
      1. re: gansu girl

        The Arlington location of Full Moon has been gone for what - 2 years now?

        That location is now occupied by Za which makes good pizzas but probably isn't a great child destination :-)

        There ARE Chuck E Cheeses in Natick, Worcester, Burlington, and Everett BTW. The Everett one is a pretty easy drive from Boston.

        1. re: Stiv

          PLEASE don't take your favorite 4-year-old to Chuck E Cheeses! There's no reason to teach kids that that crap is food. (Plus, Chuck E Cheeze scares the daylights out of most 4-year-olds. He scares me too!)

          I like the picnic idea. Or go to The Bristol Lounge at The Four Seasons Hotel, which is an adult restaurant but is very welcoming to children. (Ask for a low table with a sofa; it's much easier for kids than sitting at a regular table.) You can then take her, either before or after dinner, into the Public Gardens for a ride on the Swan Boats and/or a romp in Froggie Park.

          1. re: Blumie

            Totally agree -- no need to teach the younguns that ChuckECheese is food. I've had succesful trips with friends kids to Full Moon and also to dim sum in Chinatown. No one ever minds them running around the tables and there are always a few good morsels they'll try. Makes food fun and adventuresome and that's great to instill at any age.

          2. re: Stiv

            Geesh, sorry. Never had been to the FM in Arlington, didn't know where it was on Mass. Ave., and just assumed it was still there. BTW, Za is very good for kids. We've been there several times and they are very welcoming w/coloring stuff and milk in a covered straw cup, etc.

        2. I took your advice and took her to the Swan Boats and the frog pond. She had a blast! For dinner we ended up at Picco in the South End. It didn't have a specific kids menu or anything but how could I go wrong with pizza and ice cream!

          1 Reply
          1. re: lmuller

            Thanks for reporting back. People rarely do that here.