#7 Progressive Dinner With Your Child

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have a progressive dinner with your kids

Progressive Dinner With Your Child:

You may have been a part of a progressive dinner before, but if not, the idea is to go to separate homes or restaurants for each course of the meal. It’s a fun, creative way to experience a meal throughout the evening uniquely.

The restaurant way.

Pick three or four of your favorite restaurants and go to each one for a different part of your meal.

If you’re doing this date with an older child, you can make it more specific regarding the courses of the meal. You may have a favorite restaurant for appetizers if so go there first. If you don’t have one, pick one that you think will be fun and exciting! For a younger child, this date is significant because even five-year-olds have their favorite places to eat. You may end up at four fast-food restaurants, but that’s okay! Have fun with it, and do creative things like take your picture with each person who waited on you.

The friend and family way.

I like this specific way better because it’s more personal, but it is also harder to plan and coordinate. If you are looking for an impromptu date, this may not be the one for you, but if you have some time to plan, this would be well worth it.  Set up an evening where you and your child can go and visit 3-4 homes of family and friends for a portion of a meal. Reach out to the individual or family before going and ask them if they will write your child a note of encouragement and have them share it during your time there.

WMTDS (What Makes This Date Special):

Either way, your child will feel unique for the time and thought you put into this. How many of their friends get to go to more than one restaurant in an evening? It would be fun and memorable for us as adults to have an evening where we have our favorite restaurant foods! For the friends and family model, there might not be many dates you have with them that would be as special. Getting to see their favorite loved ones, eating their favorite foods at those homes, but of course just having a night of affirmation from those they love most. I still remember as a child someone telling me they liked an outfit or something I was wearing, imagine what a night like this can do to your child’s self-esteem.

Teachable Moments:

One thing you can do is teach your kids how important it is to be kind to those who work in restaurants, especially the wait staff.

At one of the restaurants – or even all of them – you could pay for someone else’s meal to turn it into a date that helps others.

If you choose to do the meals at the homes of family and friends, you can make homemade gifts to take to each host’s home.


As discussed, there are two different ways you can primarily do this date with them. Some other ideas are a progressive dessert night or making a day of it and going to their favorite breakfast, lunch, and dinner restaurants all in the same day.


Dining. Family. Food. Restaurants.


If you go the restaurant route, you will have some expense, of course. Depending on the age of your child, this could be a reasonable date or an expensive one. Plan out the evening with them in advance if you want to talk to them about staying on your budget and keeping costs under control. If you do this with friends and family, this could easily be a free date option!


Either route you go, you will probably need to do some planning. You will especially need this if having a night out with family and friends. Make sure and give your host homes several days’ notice of the night you want to do this so to allow them time to put it on their calendars as well as give you the ability to schedule multiple homes on the same evening. Everyone is so busy, so consider their time and yours. 

Materials Needed:

No materials needed

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For a list of other ideas on how to spend one-on-one time with your child, see the full list here.

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