It’s not always easy to eat out with kids. If you find a place with entertainment for them, oftentimes you give up any hope of the food being tasty. Or places say they’re family-friendly because they have a kids menu, but that menu has three things on it – the same hamburger, chicken fingers and hot dog every other place puts on their kids menu.
Sure, plenty of chain restaurants may meet the needs of serving something your kids will actually eat, but Wisconsin is actually full of great restaurants that will make you and your kids happy. A few are casual pizza places that will make the whole family happy, but there are plenty of places with full menus to delight everyone from your toddler to your grandma.
In no particular order, here are 14 places around the state that are really and truly family-friendly:
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life. While we continue to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, please take proper precautions or add them to your bucket list to see at a later date. If you know of a local business that could use some extra support during these times, please nominate them here:
1. Pizza Doctors - La Crosse
Just imagine the look on your kids' faces when they see the dessert pizzas here. Unlike other pizza buffets, you're not relegated to boring, soggy cheese pizza. Pizza Doctors will put pretty much anything you can imagine on their dough. Eating here is an experience. Located at 624 King St, La Crosse, WI 54601.
2. Mama Maria's - Hudson
You know a place is open to serving the whole family when they not only cover the table in paper, but they provide crayons and hold contests for the best tabletop artwork. You can enjoy their amazing seafood dishes and your kids will be happy with some spaghetti or lasagna. Located at 800 6th St N, Hudson, WI 54016.
3. Choo Choo Charlies - Kenosha
There are a couple of places across the state that will deliver food with a train, but Choo Choo Charlies takes the idea and turns it into a restaurant-wide theme. Situated in a Metra station, you can also pick up the Kenosha streetcar right here to complete the experience. Located at 5414 13th Ave, Kenosha, WI 53140.
4. Belgiis Waffle Bar - Wisconsin Dells
Everything here feels like an indulgence and treating your kids to a breakfast or lunch so ooey, gooey and delicious will make you their favorite. They do sweet and savory, but everything here just feels like an indulgence. Open 8 am to 3:30 pm Monday through Friday and 8 am to 7 pm on Saturday. Located at 126 Broadway.,
Wisconsin Dells, WI 53965.
5. PC Junction - Baileys Harbor
A model train delivers the food at this fun Door County restaurant, but the fun here is really outside. They've got peddle cars, a playground and lots of space for your kids to have a great time. Located at 7898 County Rd A., Baileys Harbor, WI 54202.
6,.Organ Piper Pizza - Greenfield
Your kids have probably never even seen an organ, but this place still seems to fascinate the younger generation. It's a novelty, for sure, but the entertainment is awesome and unique and you'll all find yourselves singing along. Located at 4353 S 108th St., Greenfield, WI 53228.
7. Ella's Deli - Madison
You will literally never run out of things to look at and do at Ella's. Their huge collection of mechanical toys is awesome and will keep you engaged and then there's the carousel outside. On top of that, this Madison institution makes their food from scratch, serving up one of the best comfort meals in town. Save room for dessert! Located at 2902 E Washington Ave., Madison, WI 53704.
8. Rock N' Roll Cafe - Stevens Point
This throwback style diner is family-owned. The food is hearty and delicious, kids love the decor and the ice cream at the end is always something to look forward to. Located at 2801 Stanley St, Stevens Point, WI 54481.
9. The Mineshaft - Hartford
This giant staple of Hartford has its own game room as well as a giant menu for every appetite. A recent meal here proved filling and delicious after hiking the nearby Pike Lake Unit. They have tons of daily and family specials, but the prices are reasonable on their own, as well. Located at 22 N Main St.,
Hartford, WI 53027.
10. Yola's Cafe - Madison
Yola's feels like quintessential Madison. Not only can they show you the provenance of all the ingredients, but there's a huge play corner to keep kids busy while moms chat.
Located at 494 Commerce Dr., Madison, WI 53719.
11. The Classic Garage - Eau Claire
Located in a former gas station, this place is a modern throwback, with awesome vintage car details, including full size cars inside. The diner is kitschy and fun in the best way. Located at 2111 3rd St., Eau Claire, WI 54703.
12. Copper Dock - Hubertus
Set right on the shores of Friess Lake, your kids can actually head outside and fish from the dock while you're waiting on your food. And you get to take advantage of this supper club and all it has to offer. Everybody wins. Located at 1474 E Friess Lake Dr., Hubertus, WI 53033.
13. Pat O'Malley's Jet Room
This hidden gem is located right next to Dane County Airport, meaning your airplane obsessed kids will get "free entertainment" watching planes take off and land. In the meantime, you'll get to feast on some of the very best benedicts you've ever imagined. Located at 3606 Corben Ct., Madison, WI 53704.
14. Wausau Mine Company - Wausau
Not only will your kids love the authentic mining details, but there's also a game room to keep them occupied while you indulge in prime rib and more. Located at 3904 Stewart Ave., Wausau, WI 54401.
Where are your favorite places to dine out with the family? Let us know in the comments!