Keeping kids entertained when dining out is a true challenge. But some Long Island restaurants come to the rescue of hungry parents by giving the little ones something extra to do. Check out these dining destinations that offer something fun for kids, beyond crayons and coloring pages.
Buffalo Wild Wings
At Buffalo Wild Wings, you'll find tablets for guests upon request with ordering ability at no charge; crayons are also available. Buffalo Wild Wings restaurants are located in Bay Shore, Centereach, Farmingdale, Miller Place, North Babylon, Oceanside, Riverhead, Valley Stream and Westbury. For more information, visit buffalowildwings.com.
Bertucci's restaurants present all children with a handful of soft pizza dough for pliable play. Locations are in Hauppauge and Melville; for more information check bertuccis.com.
Parents visiting LT Burger (62 Main St., Sag Harbor; 631-899-4646) can buy children an "LT Kids Box" that comes with a choice of children's menu items, sides, drink, fruit and kids toy; box has a maze and word search printed on the sides: $15. Crayons are available for free; a free-standing video arcade game is available for play (takes quarters; 50 cents a game). For more information, visit ltburger.com.
Kids dining at Benihana receive crayons and cardboard hibachi chef hats with activities printed on the reverse side; no added charge. Restaurants are located in Manhasset and Westbury; for more information, check benihana.com.
At Olive Garden, tabletop tablets are placed in seating areas with ordering ability; games are available on each tablet for kids to play (for $1.99, added to your bill; crayons are also available for free). Restaurants are located in Bay Shore, Centereach, Massapequa, Valley Stream and Westbury. For more information, visit olivegarden.com.
Red Robin eateries feature tabletop tablets placed in seating areas with ordering ability; games are available on each tablet for kids to play (for $1.99, added to your bill; crayons are also available for free). Restaurants are located in Carle Place and West Babylon. For more information, visit redrobin.com.
Anthony's Lucky Duck
Anthony's Lucky Duck (9 Nassau Blvd., Garden City; 516-485-4848) gives crayons for coloring, but in addition the restaurant works with The Crayon Initiative, a nonprofit group that collects the used crayons for remanufacture and donation to hospitals. More information available at theluckyduck.com.
At Friendly's, children receive crayons and large activity/coloring placemats, as well as cardboard crowns that proclaim wearers a "Jim Dandy For A Day" for no added charge. Restaurants are located in Baldwin, Commack, Coram, East Islip, East Meadow, Franklin Square, Hampton Bays, Levittown, Massapequa Park, Medford, Middle Island, Miller Place, Mineola, Riverhead, Ronkonkoma, Sayville, Shirley, Smithtown, Stony Brook and Syosset. For more information, visit friendlys.com.
Applebee's Neighborhood Grill & Bar
At Applebee's, tabletop tablets are placed in seating areas with ordering ability; games are available on each tablet for kids to play (for $1.99, added to your bill; crayons are also available for free). Applebee's restaurants are located in Baldwin, Bay Shore, Bellmore, Brentwood, Commack, Elmont, Farmingdale, Farmingville, Hicksville, Huntington Station, Lake Grove, Lindenhurst, Miller Place, New Hyde Park, North Babylon, Oceanside, Patchogue, Riverhead, Shirley and Westbury. For more information, visit applebees.com.
Both the Deer Park and Commack locations of Texas Roadhouse host visits from live entertainers on Mondays from 5 to 8 p.m. Children can also get their faces painted and enjoy tricks from Ivan the Magician in Deer Park or check out a balloon-twisting artist in East Meadow). Kids dine for $1.99 with the purchase on an adult entree all evening. For more information, visit texasroadhouse.com.
Krisch's Restaurant & Ice Cream Parlour
Guests of all ages can enjoy a free balloon-twisting show at Krisch's Restaurant & Ice Cream Parlour (11 Central Ave., Massapequa) on Tuesdays from 6 p.m.-8 p.m. Call 516-797-3149 for more information.
The Bulldog Grille
Children dining at The Bulldog Grille (292 Merrick Rd., Amityville; 631-692-1947) on Monday nights can have their faces painted from 6 to 8 p.m. Two kids can also eat free (with each adult purchasing an entree) from 4 to 8 p.m. (ages 10 and younger). Visit thebulldoggrille.com for more information.