Oh, won’t somebody please think of the children? Before the pandemic, there was a pretty wide range of restaurants where you could go to enjoy a good meal and a nice conversation while the children were busy playing. In the last two years, things have changed enormously: many restaurants closed their children’s areas until further notice (and have kept them closed), and several places that were specifically geared at children closed their doors altogether.
That means you may be looking for new options for your children, grandchildren, godchildren, nieces, or nephews. We set out to list a few that are worth the visit.
Boston’s is a great place to make children happy: pizza, pasta, burgers, quesadillas…and playgrounds for kids of all ages. Every restaurant offers an area with padding for children still working on their balance, a drawing station, a maze with a slide and a trampoline, and Xbox consoles they can use (as long as an adult says it’s okay). There are always two nannies in charge to supervise the games and activities, and to make sure every kid, regardless of age, can use the space safely.
Sucursales: Altabrisa, Caucel, Dorada y Montejo
Tel. 800 267 8667
FB: Boston’s Mérida
Café Bar 500 Noches
In addition to good music and a marvelous terrace with lush greenery, this café-bar offers a playroom for little ones to play in and have fun. In addition to the super cute decoration on the walls (which makes for a very nice atmosphere), the game room offers a wide variety of educational toys, and offers its mini-users the opportunity to keep themselves entertained with activities under the care of a “game-keeper” while the adults enjoy their food and live music.
This Brazilian buffet or Rodizio has a wide selection of steak and seafood (which servers bring to your table on large, sword-like vertical skewers), and a bar featuring salads and side dishes that will surely appeal to everyone. This is an excellent option for the whole family to eat until they’re well satisfied. The price of children’s buffets depends on their height, but what’s important here is that, while the parents make the most of the Rodizio, kids (up to 1.40 m) can have a great time in a small but well-kept play area, where a babysitter organizes games and other fun activities. They also have Xbox and Kinect consoles for the older children to play with their parents’ permission. Children under 2 years old must be accompanied by an adult.
Prolongación Montejo No. 118, Col. México
Tel. 999 688 6760
FB: Mr Pampas Merida
The Plaza del Buen Comer (Sirloin and Villa Rica)
I heard about this place and had to go see it to believe it. Their play area is huge: they have a movie theater (tiny compared to a regular theater, massive for what you expect upon hearing “they have a kids’ movie theater”), and (in addition to a multi-story maze) a giant slide that, in my experience, seems to be even more popular than the TV. Children up to 1.20 m are accepted (exceptions may be made if the area is not crowded and it’s not dangerous for the smaller ones), and they have two babysitters at all times to make sure everyone’s having a good time. Both restaurants (and a third in the same Plaza, El Pollo Leñero) serve food from the state of Veracruz: Villa Rica focuses on seafood, and Sirloin… well, on everything else. Their menu also has to be seen to be believed.
Baking has always been the heart and soul at Soco; however, Soco Norte seeks to stand out from the original store in Centro with a more modern twist on its breakfast and brunch dishes. Seeking to offer something for everyone, they have an air-conditioned area and a nice, wooded (pet-friendly) terrace with a small play area. However, what attracts many families to this restaurant is the mini spa (Tini Tale) on the top floor, which offers events and activities for the girls to have fun while the adults enjoy their food.
Soco Mérida Norte (Plaza Lima-Limón)
Calle 20 # 46-A x 3 y 5, Col. México Norte
FB: Soco Mérida
Lapa Lapa, El Original Montejo (at both locations), and Los Trompos (at all full-service locations, except Centro on Calle 59) also have well-kept play areas that offer activities for children of different ages.
Nothing can hold you back now! With these options, your family can enjoy a nice meal out, without (as many) interruptions, and without leaving anyone behind. Doesn’t that make you want to get going right this instant?
By Alicia Navarrete Alonso
Communicologist born circumstantially in Mexico City, but who says “uay” since 1985. Life has allowed me to see the world, which in turn has allowed me to discover how much I love the place where I live.
Photography by Mr. Pampas and Alicia Navarrete Alonso for its use in Yucatán Today.
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