5 answers

Special Birthday Dinner for 3 Year Old

Does anyone have ideas for where we could bring our soon-to-be three year old for dinner on his special day (somewhat close to the North Riverside/Brookfield area). It is a family tradition, but for us adults we usually only go to a neigborhood restaraunt or Olive Garden. This is the first year he's old enough to really understand, so we want to take him somewhere more geared towards kids his age. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance!!! :)

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My boys love train restaurants, but we live in the city and they're all really far away, even from Brookfield, but if my husband's working I'll take them as a treat and an outing. I particularly like All-Aboard in Downers Grove and Choo Choo Johnny's in Naperville. (I have a friend in Naperville who usually meets me with her kids, so it's worth the trek.) My friend takes her daughter to Rainforest Cafe - I've never been, but she says her daughter loves it.

A child-friendly or theme restaurant would be great but I think as long as it is somewhere your child will like the food and atmosphere, it will be a great memory. When my brother was little he LOVED Chinese food, so our family tradition was to go to the same neighborhood Chinese restaurant each year. He has moved out of that area, but guess what he still has for his birthday dinner (30+ years later)? Yep, Chinese! Our family's celebratory restaurant for many years has been RJ Grunt's near Lincoln Park Zoo. It's just a place our kids grew up loving and so they often request it for their birthday dinner. My son actually loves breakfast food so he usually chooses somewhere he can get French toast. Or if your son loves pizza, go to a sit-down pizza place. Rainforest Cafe is fun too. And, while most of us adults hate it, kids do love Chuck E Cheese. He might see that as a special place for his birthday dinner plus playtime. And there will come a day when your kids don't want to go there, so it can be endured for a few years. Most of all - have fun!

Hi R., I have a suggestion however it is not in your area but maybe worth considering. This little place The Choo Choo is in downtown Des Plaines. Check out their website for more info. Happy Birthday to your "Big Boy"!! LOL


Hi R.,

Click through the online Family Dining Guide found on www.kidwinks.com for some great ideas, including several train-themed restaurants throughout the area. If you become a member of kidwinks, which is free, you can sort the list of restaurants (or any other search results on kidwinks) by distance from your house. Here's the link to the Dining Guide: http://www.kidwinks.com/KidsRestaurants/3/ChicagoAreaFami...

Good luck, and happy birthday to your son!

There are two train restaurants in downers, two toots right in downtown downers near the tracks and there's all aboard diner on 75th. both are fun! my son was afraid of rainforest cafe when he was 2 but maybe he'd like it now that he's older...

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