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.
Modern Snack Bar
Kids who dine at this classic North Fork restaurant (628 Main Rd., Aquebogue; 631-722-3655) will receive Wiki Stix to keep them occupied; if they need more just ask your server as there's a small stash of crayons available upon request. For more information, visit modernsnackbar.com.
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, Hicksville, Miller Place, North Babylon, Oceanside, Riverhead, Valley Stream and Westbury. For more information, visit buffalowildwings.com.
Bertucci's (881 Walt Whitman Rd., Melville; 631-427-9700) offers all children a handful of soft pizza dough for pliable play; 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: $17. 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.
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, 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 Bellmore, Carle Place, Commack and West Babylon. For more information, visit redrobin.com.
At Friendly's, children receive crayons and large activity/coloring placemats, as well as cardboard crowns for no added charge. Restaurants are located in Baldwin, Commack, Coram, East Islip, East Meadow, Franklin Square, 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, Bellmore, Bethpage, Bohemia, Brentwood, Commack, Elmont, East Farmingdale, East Islip, Farmingville, Huntington Station, Lake Grove, Lindenhurst, Miller Place, New Hyde Park, Patchogue, Riverhead, Shirley, Westbury and Woodmere. For more information, visit applebees.com.
Both the Deer Park and East Meadow locations of Texas Roadhouse host visits from live entertainers on a weekly basis from 5 to 8 p.m. Check out a balloon-twisting artist in East Meadow on Mondays, while children can either get their faces painted and do crafts or enjoy tricks from Ivan the Magician in Deer Park on rotating Tuesday nights. For more information, visit texasroadhouse.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.