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Kid friendly Dining

I will have my 5 and 7 year old niece and nephew over spring break. Where are some good places to take them to eat that has the usual child appealing fare. I'm not sure I am going to make the trip to Maryland for Rainforest Cafe, but are there any comparable places left in No Va? I'm looking for suggestions in Fairfax, Prince William and Eastern Loudoun Counties. Please, no fast food, remember *I* have to eat too!

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  1. It has been my experience that one of the easiest and most kid friendly ways to dine is to go to a Chinese restaurant. Not the "high end" formal ones, but the normal, family Chinese restaurant. First they tend to be fairly noisy, and two, there are lots of things that kids will eat that can come out quickly.

    1. For this I really like Mark's Duck House- I always see tons of kids in there. You might check out www.dcfoodies.com since Jason always rates things on "diaper" ratings to see how kid friendly a place might be.

      1. Hi,

        Just an FYI..there is a Rainforest Cafe in Tyson's Corner.

        2 Replies
        1. re: rHairing

          Are you sure? I thought Coastal Flats had taken over their space.

          1. re: rHairing

            Rainforest Cafe closed at Tysons a while ago.

          2. While I didn't love the food there, a lot of posters here like Lucky 3 for the dimsum buffet, and it would be a lot of fun for kids. A great way to expose them to different food, plus there is enough familiar type--eggrolls, chow mein, french fries (yeah, french fries), a decent size dessert buffet that they'll find things to eat.

            We like Sweetwater Tavern, Coastal Flats, and Mikes because they have a decent kids menu (regular food but it's better than other places). If they like Mexican food, my kids like Anita's.

            1. The Rainforest Cafe in Tysons closed a couple years ago.
              Coastal Flats did not take the space, since they are in the new wing, which was not there when the Rainforest Cafe was there. I don't know what took the old space.

              Agree, the entire Sweetwater chain is great for kids.

              1. Woops. Sorry bout that...the last time I was there was with my niece and nephew a couple of years back.

                1. In my experience, Mexican and Tex Mex places are great places to take kids. They usually have a fun atmosphere and lots of things that kids will eat that aren't gross (soft tacos, quesadillas, etc.). There is a South Austin Grill in Burke, a Rio Grande in Fairfax Corner and Reston Town Center, and probably lots of others in Loudon too although I don't live out that way so can't give specific recommendations. One caution is that they tend to have a wait so you need to go early (By the way, why oh why do so few 'kid friendly restaurants take reservations? Drives me crazy!)

                  1. I think diner style restaurants would offer up some pretty easy to please food for all, breakfast 24 hrs a day is an added p;us because breakfast appeals to all. I agree about the chinese too, lo mein, sweet and sour chicken spring rolls.

                    1. A big second on the Dim Sum recommendation from me. Our 7 year-old really likes Lucky3, but you should know she's been going to dim sum with us since she was 5 days old. The bustle of the carts is interesting for kids, as is the ability to point to what looks good. Plus, there is almost no waiting for food to start arriving, which can be a huge plus for the kids.

                      You may also want to take them to one of our many wonderful local Thai restaurants or to Eden Center. Get them a virgin mango drink at a Thai place and a chicken satay. Our 7 year-old favors the satay at Tarin Thai in Herndon. At a Vietnamese place, go for lemongrass chicken or pork and a young coconut juice or a bubble drink.