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outside fun dinner spot near Drumlin Farm (w/kids)?

a
amyamelia May 9, 2007 11:44 AM

Hi hounds
Can anyone suggest a good place to get dinner with another family after we all spend an afternoon at Drumlin Farm in Lincoln, MA? (or alternatively, an idea of another place for a similar farm/animal adventure with a restaurant pairing)

Between us we have 4 children under age 5. We'd love to sit outside, have some drinks (with EtOH for the grownups), and eat decent non-chain food in an atmosphere that will not lead to groans and mean stares if one of the kids is less than perfectly behaved. Bonus points for good ice cream or possible running around space for the kids while the adults sit and chat. Obviously nothing fancy, and we're all pretty adventurous eaters.

I haven't lived in the area in years and have NO IDEA where to start!

We're all staying in the Burlington/Bedford area if that helps with directionality.

Thanks!

AMyAmelia

  1. c
    chowcat May 9, 2007 11:56 AM

    Hmmmm...you're talking about the culinary wasteland out here...

    One place that comes to mind is O'Naturals in Acton on Rte 2A. It definitely has the child-friendly, relaxed atmosphere, and beer and wine for the adults. Food is decent, non-chain, healthy. It lacks on the outdoors and ice cream aspects - but I'd drive over to Erikson's Ice Cream on Rte 117 in Maynard afterwards for that.

    If you want all that in one place, I'm afraid you've got me stumped, especially anywhere near a farm out here.

    2 Replies
    1. re: chowcat
      b
      Blumie May 9, 2007 07:43 PM

      Not my top choice for food, but Amerian Flatbread, on the Bedford/Burlington border, might be a good choice. No outdoor seating, but it offers decent flatbread pizzas and salads, it's very kid friendly, and it has adult beverages.

      1. re: Blumie
        c
        cap May 10, 2007 01:41 PM

        The food at Flatbread is quite good. They serve beer and wine. It's close to where you are staying. They seem to be quite kid-friendly.And I can't think of anyplace else that better meets your requirements. Then go to Kimballs at Bates farm for ice cream, about 5 minutes from Bedford heading west on Rte 225 towards Carlisle.

    2. hiddenboston May 9, 2007 11:59 AM

      There is very, very little in that area. Unless you're willing to drive to Waltham or Framingham (and there isn't a ton of good outdoor dining in either of those towns, either), your best bet may be to grab food and ice cream at Dairy Joy on Route 117 in Weston. Lots of room for running around there, and plenty of picnic tables.

      Other than that, maybe do a picnic at Walden Pond or the North Bridge?

      2 Replies
      1. re: hiddenboston
        c
        chowcat May 9, 2007 12:00 PM

        You're psychic, hb! I was just about to add Dairy Joy -- but I think you'd have to supply the alcohol yourself.

        1. re: chowcat
          hiddenboston May 9, 2007 12:11 PM

          Hmmm, I wonder what kind of wine goes with hot dogs and soft serve? ;-b

      2. m
        Merryworld May 9, 2007 12:13 PM

        There's the extremely over priced but very family friendly Dairy Joy in Weston on Rt. 117. No alcohol, though.

        Head the other way on 117 and you will hit Sierra's in Sudbury. It's mediocre Mexican, but decent margarita's and family friendly.

        If you want to head even further out 117 to Stowe, look for little airport sign and go to Nancy's Airfield Cafe at the Minuteman Airfield. Very good food and the kids can watch the planes. It's small, so you might want to call ahead and reserve a table.

        Or, you can head to Rte 20 in Sudbury and go to Lotus Blossom. Excellent Chinese, no running around space, but still family friendly. There is also it's sister restaurant, Waterlilly, in Wayland which may be closer, but it's much smaller and not that great if you have a big group.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Merryworld
          hiddenboston May 9, 2007 12:23 PM

          Oh, boy. I had a meal at Sierra's that was one for the ages (and I don't mean in a good way). Maragaritas on Moody Street in Waltham isn't the greatest place, but I'd opt for that before Sierra's (plus Maragaritas has outdoor dining along the river).

          1. re: Merryworld
            c
            chowcat May 9, 2007 03:04 PM

            Duh! Forgot Nancy's in Stow, and I live there. Guess I was thinking of places closer to Lincoln. Nancy's probably has tables out on the patio by now, too, so that takes care of the running around/eat-drink-outside part. And terrific lamb burgers, locally raised.

            Definitely recommend over Sierra's, which may be kid-friendly but is a small space and that many small kids running around inside, could be dicey. Someone's margarita could get spilled...plus the food was ok to terrible the two times we tried it.

          2. t
            three of us May 10, 2007 06:00 AM

            An alternative to Drumlin Farms is Great Brook State Park in Carlisle. It's 15 minutes or so from Bedford Center. It's free and has animals to feed, an ice cream stand, and many child-friendly, wide trails. You can also take the kids on a barn tour. I always preferred it to Drumlin Farms because the hiking trails gave us more options.

            Kimballs Farm in Westford has food and drinks at their golf course in the summer but I don't know when that starts. It's another 15 minutes from Carlisle Center, has terrific ice cream and lots of running around room for the kids where the food is served.

            If you go to Drumlin Farms, you are not far from DeCordava Musuem's outdoor sculpture park which is an awsome place for kid to run around. Not much in the way of food, though.

            Concord Center has the Cheese Shop from which you can get a great picnic lunch and a bottle of wine. Head over to the North Bridge by car or canoe (rent one at the South Bridge canoe rental place).

            We've done all of these with kids from toddlers on up and the one the kids seem to talk the most about afterwards is the sculpture park/canoe/picnic North Bridge option.

            Have Fun!

            1. m
              madisoneats May 10, 2007 06:33 AM

              Mario's in Lexington
              red sauce Italian, very family friendly

              1. a
                amyamelia May 11, 2007 06:55 AM

                Wow!
                Thanks hounds for all the good ideas and tips.
                I've printed your comments and will decide with the hubby on the drive down to Boston tonight.

                I forgot all about Kimball Farms ice cream and I never would have thought of the park in Carlisle. We'll save the canoe idea for when my 22 month old has developed a little more FEAR--right now she would just dive right out of the boat into the water.

                thanks again, and give a shout if you are ever in need of recs in the Northern Vermont area!

                aa

                and now I know to avoid Sierra's!

                1 Reply
                1. re: amyamelia
                  m
                  michela May 11, 2007 10:56 AM

                  We usually hit Dairy Joy after Drumlin ... good clams but expensive.

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