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Where Can I Take Kids and Toddlers to Eat and Be Entertained in Dallas?

Your Eater Dallas editor takes on the tough dining and drinking questions

A three year old girl eating pasta, Siena, Tuscany, Italy.
Little kids and restaurants don’t always mix.
Courtney E. Smith Courtney E. Smith is the editor of Eater Dallas. She's a journalist of 20 years who was born and raised in Texas, with bylines in Pitchfork, Wired, Esquire, Yahoo!, Salon, Refinery29, and more. When she's not writing about food, she co-hosts the podcast Songs My Ex Ruined.

Welcome to Ask Eater, a monthly column where Eater Dallas editor Courtney E. Smith answers specific or baffling restaurant questions from readers. Want to know which places have the breeziest patios and the best margaritas on steamy summer days? Want to know where to get the best front row seat for people watching in Bishop Arts and Deep Ellum? Looking for some hard to find dish and want a little help locating it?

Have a question? Send them via the tipline, and Eater will feature the answer to one or more each month. No question is too difficult or silly to be considered. The names of the people who write in with questions will remain anonymous on the site.

Dear Eater Dallas,

Are there any good restaurants/bars in the area (especially North Dallas/Plano) with playgrounds or things for young kids to do?

Dear Parental Units,

Now that kids under five are approved for the Covid vaccine, parents are understandably eager to get them out of the house. With the closure of The Lot on the spillway in Lakewood, a huge gap in the outdoor playground market opened — or so all my friends with kids wistfully tell me. You might try Hat Creek Burger Company in North Dallas, with its astroturfed playground set and kid-friendly menu, or its second locations in Richardson or McKinney if they’re closer to you. The Southwest burger is a spicy treat for adults (as is the beer and wine menu) and the ever-present kid favorite of chicken nuggets guarantees something for even the most difficult to please palates.

The Magic Time Machine in North Dallas has fun seating options for kids, from under a merry-go-round to inside a school bus to inside a spaceship. Plus, your servers will be in costume. Its menu of classic American fare includes some more sophisticated adult options, including shrimp alfredo and a few different cuts of prime rib. And its Blue Lounge, where cocktails are served, becomes an adults-only space after 10 p.m.

Hat Creek Burger Company

5400 Burnet Road, , TX 78756 (512) 452-2025 Visit Website