What Activities Should I Offer at a Mommy/Son Dinner Date?

Updated on May 02, 2018
J.D. asks from Batavia, IL
11 answers

I am looking to host a mommy/son date night at my restaurant. My question to you is what would you like to see/do for something like this? A craft? Magician? What are some things I could offer to entertain our guests 2-10? Thanks so much!

We have a private loft space in the restaurant that would be the location for the event.
We of course are offering a dinner, but would love some before and/or after activities for fun!

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B.C.

answers from Norfolk on

Perhaps I'm not thinking about this the right way but to me - a dinner date is about dinner and not so much activities.

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W.W.

answers from Washington DC on

J.

Welcome to mamapedia.

Thanks for NOT mentioning your restaurant - you followed the T&C!! How refreshing!!

My boys are now teenagers. However, when they were younger and we went out on a "date"? We didn't need a magician or anything like that - we wanted time to talk and share without my cooking or them setting the table, etc. :) so that we could focus on each other.

Not everyone has the same time frame and desires. I would offer up a mommy/son night meal and special area - like the loft you mentioned and make reservations available and special menu.

If you want to have face painters and magicians available? that's a great idea. They can CHOOSE to participate or not....

GOOD LUCK!

4 moms found this helpful

C.T.

answers from Santa Fe on

I once met with a group of friends at a mexican food restaurant on kid's night. We were the only people there. They had a clown who made balloon animals for the kids...but also was just so funny and personable with each kid. He did little card tricks and some other small magic tricks. We adults could just drink our beer/margaritas. The kids were simply so happy with their balloons. He showed them how to shoot these long balloons across the room (sounds like mayhem, doesn't it?). But since no one else was there it didn't matter. Then when food came we all sat down to eat. Everyone had fun.

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L.C.

answers from Dover on

Hi J.,

This is s super wide age range, so if it were me, I would consider splitting this up into two events on the same day.

I would have one event for kids 2 to 5 yrs from about 3 PM to 5 PM. Maybe dinner and a matinee? Serve dinner and play a classic age appropriate movie like Finding Nemo on a big screen. Have seating in front of the screen like bean bag chairs and such. Have little play spots off to the side of the screen with things like Duplos or play dough for busier little guys that need to be doing something and can't sit for long periods but can still have visible access to the screen. This keeps it free flowing and easy, which you need for smaller kids. They can eat, get up, go to the viewing area or play areas. Have a craft table where they can make a specific craft to commemorate the event.

I would have something for 6 to 10 yrs from 6 to 9 PM. This gives you an hour to turn over the room. I would have a similar dinner and movie concept but with more of a theme. For instance, during dinner play the movie Robots. Have recyclable materials at each table - all kinds of stuff from boxes to paper towel tubes to egg crates, plastic bowls, lids and bottles - and basic craft supplies. Each table can make their own robot from the materials provided and then you can have a kind of show and tell where you show your robot and tell it's special "skills". The take-home would be a pic of mom, kids and robot.

I know, this is a lot and really specific. I got a little carried away with the planning. Just wanted to be helpful.

L.

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M.D.

answers from Pittsburgh on

Magician is a great idea. How about a bowl of discussion questions on each table? My families loves these. They are fun AND they get everyone talking. I'm including a link with some examples to get you started. They are things like: If you designed the ultimate cookie, what would be the ingredients? If you could be any cartoon character, who would you be and why?
https://www.anxioustoddlers.com/family-dinner/

ETA: For tables with really young kids, an easy and fun craft is to give them different shaped noodles and yarn and let them make necklaces. I love someone's idea below of giving everyone plain sugar cookies to decorate for dessert after dinner. Maybe foam picture frames that can be decorated with stickers (any craft store has these). Take a picture as each couple walks in the door, print out the pics as you go, and let them take home the pic in the picture frame. And I don't think that 2 is too young for a dinner date with mom. You just need to either have a variety of stuff on each table (a 2 year old will like the noodle necklace but not the discussion questions, vice versa for the 9 year old boy) or have 2 different setups ready to go, and give different mom/son combinations different table activities as they walk in the door, depending on the age of the child.

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M.G.

answers from Portland on

I have never heard of this - I'm trying to think.

I like the idea of having entertainment come to the table and having a nice break for mom. The magician thing sounds nice and giving a balloon made animal to child is nice (except watch out for water glasses etc.). Maybe if they made a hat for child to wear and a nice flower for son to give to mom or something.

The cookie decorating/cupcake icing/photo frame)is fun and can be changed up according to age. My child volunteers and does this frequently with different age groups at our local rec centre. It's popular. You could take a photo and pop in the frame as parting gift. Have someone oversee so mom doesn't get wiped out.

Another option is having kids/mom do their own pizza topics or something like that. Don't know what kind of restaurant you have but that's fun too.

1 mom found this helpful

D.B.

answers from Boston on

That's a big age range (2-10) and it's going to be hard enough to find a time of day that's good for all those kids. Two year olds are falling apart by 5 p.m., but 10 year olds aren't done playing outside then.

Can you say more about your reason for this event? Why just mother/son, for example? Why not a family night? It seems you are excluding moms who have girls, as well as sons who don't have moms, grandparents raising kids, moms who can't come because they also have daughters and no one to leave them with. That's limiting your target audience, in my mind.

I wouldn't do crafts at dinner. That's just way too much stuff, way too much mess, and a big clean-up problem for your staff. The only exception would be if you had a separate space/table for this, but I'd still try to contain it. You could consider decorating those foam or wood photo frames (kids glue on foam shapes or other embellishments - talk to the craft store for ideas and to get a discounted price for quantity). Then you can take photos at the table and email them to the families to put them in the frames at home. You can stamp or label the back of your frames with the name of your restaurant and the date of the event - maybe get some inexpensive labels for that. But be sure the cost is manageable and that you won't lose your shirt on this. You could also do something where they glue pasta shapes on something - you probably have a ton of that around your restaurant! You need a bathroom and a whole bunch of wipes to clean up messy fingers before they eat. Remember that little kids may want to leave the dinner table to go back and play, and that becomes a logistical nightmare. You may need two tables for a division by age, and you may need to shut that craft down during dinner.

I think you're better off with a magician who can do tricks that entertain people of varying ages. Be sure you have someone skilled with the littles kids and who can keep everyone engaged.I wouldn't do a clown if you have kids 2-4 - many are afraid. Balloon animals are cute but remember that 2 and 3 year olds won't be gentle and will probably pop their creations (which is followed by tears!). So be careful on what you offer if the magician can't get to every child.

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C.C.

answers from New York on

If your idea of "mommy/son date night" is for the son to act like a "little man" taking his mother out for a nice night (for Mothers Day or something similar), then age 2 is WAY too young...it can be hard enough to bring a 2-year-old to a restaurant, I don't think any mother would mistake it for a date night! A better age range would be something like 7-10.

A magician sounds like nice dinner entertainment. Any "craft" could be something that relates to your restaurant - for example, if you have a pastry chef who makes great cookies, maybe everyone could do cookie decorating after dinner as a take-home treat.

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N.K.

answers from Miami on

How about a movie, or going somewhere after dinner, like a park for a nice walk? I probably would have chosen something a little less formal, like a park picnic, where kids can make their moms tacos and salads by gathering ingredients from different tupperware containers, and getting a chance to chit chat, maybe have the moms and kids play traditional games like freeze, hide and seek, frisbee, etc., but that's just me.

Here is an article with some ideas: https://thejoysofboys.com/mother-and-son-date-ideas/ and here is another: https://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/92-date-ideas.... Maybe for next time, you could plan to go to a place like Chuck E. Cheese, Play Live Nation, Laser Quest, or any of those arcade/gaming spots that serve pizza and drinks, and you can all dine and play, maybe moms can play against kids, for example, or have kids team up by age group with their moms.

S.T.

answers from Washington DC on

crafts during a meal would be strange.

a magician could be fun, i guess.

the age range is wack. no way will 2 year olds want to do what 10 year olds are doing and vice versa.

i dunno. i didn't take my boys on 'date nights' per se, but whenever we got some one on one time to do fun things, we did stuff that the two of us were excited about- a meal in which we talked to each other (sans outside 'entertainment'), a movie, go karts, an arcade.

i guess it could be fun to do it in a crowd. but it sort of defeats the purpose of mommy and son having one on one time, doesn't it?
khairete
S.

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B.A.

answers from Columbus on

I love the idea of a mother/son date night, but I think that your age range is too broad. A lot of venues of father/daughter or mother/daughter events for really young girls and they work well because little girls tend to love dressing up and their fathers love doting on them. It's the whole concept of a father teaching a daughter from a very young age how they should be treated by men.

It just doesn't carry over to boys as well because mothers and sons tend to have a different relationship. The concept of a 'date' just doesn't work so well with a 3 year old boy.

So I'd restrict the ages to maybe 6-10. You can then do a lot of different activities. Several restaurants in our area routinely hire a local children's entertainer to perform at their family nights. Some times she does a magic show or goes from table to table doing magic tricks. Some times she goes from table to table doing balloon art. Parents and kids seem to love it.