Going out with family is one of the best moments people can have. After all, time spent with your loved ones is always precious time.
Sharing a meal is particularly memorable. Of course, it isn’t always easy to find a place that suits the taste of every member of your family, especially the kids.
The good news is that there are plenty of child-friendly food establishments in Doha, Qatar that also come with an ambiance to keep even the fussiest tots happy.
Here, you’ll learn about restaurants in the Qatari capital that provide kids’ entertainment and food, plus some helpful tips when eating out with children.
1. IKEA Restaurant
Did you know that IKEA is more than just a home improvement store? With two play areas and two dining sections, the place is one of the best food destinations for families in Doha.
Their free supervised indoor space has no official age limit, though children must be between 95 and 130 centimeters in height to play on the first floor play area. You just need to fill out a simple form and have your children wear the bib provided.
Children can be left there for 90 minutes under the supervision of IKEA staff. Materials for activities are provided, including:
- Coloring and craft materials.
- A large ball pit.
- Wooden toys.
- A play kitchen area complete with https://www.thermoplasticmarkings.com/ markings.
On the second floor, you’ll find the restaurant equipped with high chairs, plastic cutlery and plates, and a microwave and bottle warmer for preparing baby food. There are also two mini play pods to keep the little ones entertained while waiting for their food in the dining area.
Here, you can choose from a menu covering both parents and children. They have daily specials like salmon steaks and lamb chops, as well as salads, fruits, and pastries. For children, the most popular IKEA menu items are chicken nuggets and Swedish meatballs.
2. Cheesecake Factory
Among the best restaurants in Doha to bring your kids to is The Cheesecake Factory, an American food chain and cheesecake distributor with branches all over Qatar.
This food establishment offers over 250 selections of food every day. In its regular menu, you’ll find items like Glamburgers and sandwiches, steaks, chops, fish and seafood, egg dishes and omelets, salads, pasta, and desserts.
The best part is that they have a dedicated kids’ menu comprised of dishes like:
- Roadside Sliders: Two mini-bun bite-sized burgers served with fresh fruit or fries.
- Mini Corndogs: Three small all-beef hotdogs served with fries or fresh fruit.
- Flatbread Pizzas: Choose between cheese and pepperoni.
- Kids’ Pasta: Made with bowtie pasta and can be served with different types of sauces, including Marinara Sauce, Alfredo Sauce, and Butter and Parmesan.
- Kids’ Fried Chicken Strips: Boneless strips of breaded chicken meat, fry-cooked and served with fries or fresh fruit.
- Kids’ Quesadilla: Grilled tortilla dish made more child-friendly with melted cheese filling and can also be served with chicken.
They also have classic children’s favorites, such as spaghetti with meatballs and macaroni and cheese.
How to Enjoy Eating at a Restaurant with Kids
Now that you have a few potential destinations for your next family dinner, you’re almost ready to dine out with your brood.
To make the trip much more enjoyable (and less stressful), try the five tips listed below:
1. Teach and expect better behavior.
Sometimes, children behave the way they do because you expect them to.
Before your trip, try to set ground rules and tell your kids that you expect better behaviour from them.
Teach them about manners and responsibility and let them practise at home. Some of the items you can cover during your lessons are:
- Using their inside voice.
- Eating with dining utensils (except for bread.)
- Asking for things nicely (e.g., saying “may I” instead of “can I.”)
2. Let them choose their food.
Children who are old enough to come with you to a restaurant are usually old enough to decide what to order.
Besides choosing for themselves, allow them to communicate their orders respectfully. This is a good chance to apply what they learned at home.
3. Ease into fine dining.
When it’s your kids’ first time dining out, don’t immediately bring them to fancy restaurants. Instead, go to more family-friendly establishments where children are expected to be around so you can gauge how much your little one can handle.
4. Make dining out fun.
Your children are more likely to be on their best behavior in a restaurant if they find the experience pleasant. In short, make it fun. Avoid bringing gadgets and screened devices along as these could distract from what’s important – the food and the family.
Instead, treat it as a magical learning experience. Help them practice with a dining out role-playing exercise before your planned dinner. Don’t underestimate your children’s capacity to be responsible, as they like being treated like adults.
5. Arrive early.
One of the most critical tips you should heed is to arrive early. There’s no such thing as being too early when it comes to dining out with children.
Arriving ahead of the scheduled time will not only give you the chance to decide on meals without getting rushed by hungry children, but it also ensures that you get the best table in the restaurant for your family.
Don’t Stress, Enjoy Dining Out
Dining out with children doesn’t have to be a stressful event. With the right restaurant and thorough preparations, you won’t need to stress yourself out and can simply enjoy the experience with the whole family.