The struggle is REAL when it comes to going out to dinner with kids. Especially when you have your hands full with multiple, very active children, like me. We’re always on the lookout for outdoor patios to relax while the kids play.
So – after doing a little online and in-person research (which was very serious research I can assure you), I created a list of restaurants with kid friendly outdoor areas in and around the Dallas area. This list is ranked by Yelp reviews because sacrificing good food for kid friendly, is something I seldom do.
Check out Dallas’s best outdoor patios to relax while the kids play!
Located in Granite Park, Union Bear is situated right next to an open green space (green turf) where both little and older kids can entertain themselves with corn hole, table tennis, and other fun activities. My kids also enjoy looking for fish and turtles in the little lake bordering the boardwalk. There are tons of restaurants in the Granite Park area, but this is one of our favorites. The food and the drinks are good, and it has some of the best sight lines to the grassy area where the kids play. Also, when the sun starts going down, the string lights make the whole boardwalk just – pretty.
If you live in the North Dallas area, you’re probably familiar with the Shops at Legacy West, and also familiar with Legacy Food Hall. Take your food outside and enjoy your meal, while the kids have a chance to be a little more free. There may even be a game on or some live music.
This restaurant is located in The District at The Shops at Willow Bend. The District is packed with tons of good restaurants with a big open area in the middle for kids to play and run free. There’re also benches for parents to relax and watch nearby. Terra Mediterranean is positioned directly in the middle of this grassy turf area. We’ve only eaten here once, but when we did, the kids had a blast while we sipped our wine and relaxed.
Bella Green in Plano on Preston & Park has a nice, turf enclosed patio area as well. It’s small and quaint, but a place for kids to roam free nonetheless. Pre-Covid there were some hands on activities, but for now, it’s just a grassy area to keep everyone safe. Have your kids bring a few toys of their own and relax on the patio with a “better for you meal” while they play.
Gloria’s has been a go-to for my husband and I – even pre-kids (which has nothing to do with the banging margaritas). Now that we’re the proud parents of 3 munchkins, we’re grateful Gloria’s has a nice size patio next to a grassy area where kids run around and play. There’s a big bull that kids love to climb on and a little creek for skipping rocks. As I said, there’s a little creek, so we won’t let our two year old go without us, but my big kids (ages 7 and 8) have a blast, while we watch from the patio.
This is pretty genius. The Central Markets in Plano, Southlake and Fort Worth all have playgrounds where kids can play while parents enjoy a little snack and sparkling water. Makes for a great lunch date or play date with girlfriends! If nothing else, makes for a great reward for good behavior while shopping!
Whistle Britches is located in The District at The Shops at Willow Bend. Whistle Britches is positioned directly in front of the grassy turf area, so you can literally eat, while you watch your kids play until their food is ready. Another one of our personal favorites in the district is the Mexican Bar Company. The only reason, it’s not on my list is because a small street in front of the mall separates the restaurant from the grassy area, so the site lines or accessibility to children may not be ideal, depending on how old your kids are. But definitely check out both – with kids or not!
This is a large area with an even larger outdoor space. The Katy Trail Outpost patio is always pretty bustling around this time of the year, so you may have to make a reservation, especially if you’re with a crowd. While this restaurant is kid-friendly, it’s also dog-friendly. My kids love seeing all the different dogs and having a chance to pet them. Warning – if the idea of dogs and food together bothers you, stay away. The last time we went, my kids said, “Mom, we went on a dog tour and we didn’t even have to pay!”
So much fun! Don’t take my word for it, watch the video yourself! This is the perfect place to relax while the kids play. Not only that, but there’s also live music and events, and because it’s a truck yard, you have tons of options.
Chips is another restaurant in Granite Park. It’s actually on the exact opposite end of Union Bear. Chips is also next to a nice green turf area with a fun hill where the kids love to run up and down and make up their own little games. To give an honest review, the food at Chips leaves a little to be desired, but sometimes it’s worth going there just to keep the kids happy and entertained, especially if there’s a wait at Union Bear.
Hat Creek Burgers is literally a playground that also serves food. I couldn’t wait to bring my little ones here to have at it. They had a good time, and thoroughly enjoyed the shakes. My son loooooovvvess burgers, but for some reason, the burger connoisseur himself didn’t take a liking to the Hat Creek Burgers. That was a total bummer, since they had a blast playing. I would say, if you’re priority is an hour or so of peace of mind while getting everyone fed, Hat Creek is a great place to go.
Cane Rosso is located in The Star in Frisco (the Dallas Cowboy’s Practice Facility). There are number of good restaurants in The Star, but Cane Rosso makes this list because there’s a patio that sits directly across the street from the massive turf football field open to visitors. The football field is such a fun place. You’ll often see fathers and sons tossing around a football, or kids just running around, playing. My kids aren’t at the age where I trust them across the street from me to be by themselves and play, but if they were just a few years older, Cane Rosso would definitely make our family list.
Click on the link and watch the video! I could try to do describe it better than the video, but why try. Think – big open space, live music, food trucks and tree houses. There’s the teaser. In short – it looks like a good ‘ol country time.
Cane Rosso White Rock has a nice, airy patio that gives children a little more freedom than your average restaurant patio.
Located in Bishop Arts (which is a whole vibe by itself), Serve is a quaint coffee house with items like Acai bowls and avocado toast. It’s such a charming, quaint and stylish place that it feels a little whimsical enjoying a nice coffee while watching the kids play from the patio. Built in the 1940s (if I were to guess), this coffee house is modern nostalgia. This is another ideal place to meet up with a girlfriend for a little refresh session that you can even bring the kids to.
CiboDivino is an Italian restaurant in the bustling area of Oak Cliff. CiboDivino has a number of different menu items for vegan and vegetarian eating and also has a huge outdoor grassy area where the kids can do what kids do, while the parents enjoy watching them, enjoying their meal and vino.
Breadwinner’s is a Dallas area staple. Everyone loves Breadwinners, but the one at NorthPark is especially great because it opens up to a grassy courtyard, Central Park Garden. So while you wait on the food, the kids can roam free.
This is a pretty cool place that gives “big outdoor picnic” vibes. There’s plenty of space for children to roam, and there’s even a little play area with monkey bars, tires and jumbo Jenga. There’s live music too!
Well – there’s pizza and a playground. Two kid favorites in one place. What more could you want?
Click on the link and watch the video! I could try to describe it better than the video, but why try. Think – big open space, live music, food trucks and tree houses. There’s the teaser. In short – it looks like a good ‘ol country time.
Nico’s Cocina has a colorful, plastic playground right next to the outdoor patio. It’s so close to the patio that it’s easy to catch your kids’ attention when needed. The playground is definitely geared towards youngins, so it wouldn’t be for older kids, but let’s be honest – it’s the little ones we really want to keep busy.
La Vista is a Mexican food restaurant with a small plastic playground for toddlers. Admittedly, I didn’t get to do my in-person research at La Vista, but you go, and tell me how it was!
There’s no way I could leave Shady’s Burgers off this list. This is a local favorite because it is so kid friendly. It doesn’t necessarily have a separate area for kids to play, but the outdoor area is pretty spirited, so if your kids are a little on the rambunctious side, they’ll fit right in. There’s also live music on Thursday nights!
Visiting Atlanta? Check out Atlanta’s Best Patios for Adults With Kids.