Great dining spots for the entire family … kids can play while mom and dad sit back, relax and sip their vino!

Sometimes, parents just need some time to sit back and relax with a glass of wine and a delicious meal without being interrupted by the little ones every five minutes. We understand. So, in an effort to give them some time off while the littlies run wild and have plenty of fun, we’ve compiled a list of our favourite restaurants in Jozi that are child-friendly and can ensure moms and dads get a chance to catch up with the week in peace while indulging in a glass of vino.

Picolinos is a rustic, super-vibey hang-out in the middle of Fourways that’s always heaps of fun for kids. Not only will the jungle gyms keep them entertained for hours and ensure they get their healthy dose of Vitamin D in for the day, the duck ponds, slides, sand pits and delicious selection of food (think pizza and pasta … every kid’s favourite) will certainly ensure you get your five minutes of peace while they’re out playing. The restaurant also occasionally hosts live entertainment and broadcasts sport on the big screen … perfect for dads who can’t miss the game … plus, they’ll have someone serving them their ice-cold beers on demand (bonus). So, if you’re looking for a laid-back, rustic hangout that’s always sure to have a decent vibe for young and old, alike, this one gets our vote. Details: www.picolinos.co.za

If you’re looking for a place with gorgeous views that’s kid-friendly (we know this can be a challenging task), then we suggest you head for The Fat Olive Country Restaurant. Situated on the banks of a dam with views of the Magaliesberg in the distance, this stunning setting promotes great relaxation and enjoyment of the outdoors (a luxury in this concrete jungle) … not to mention the wide variety of birds and wildlife you might spot while enjoying your lunch – the food is simple and delicious. For kids, the entertainment options are endless … from jumping castles and jungle gyms to climbing trees and running around the fields for hours (old-school style) you might not see them again until dinner time. And that’s not where the fun ends, there’s also a farmyard with a pair of Dexter cows, miniature ponies, pot belly pigs, sheep, goats, rabbits, chickens and guinea pigs … yes, you might as well be on a farm. On warmer days be sure to take along your cozzies for a ride in the canoes on the dam, or a swish down the water slides. For moms and dads, every Saturday and Sunday there’s live entertainment on the deck, too … pairs well with a glass of wine, or two, we think. If you’re in the mood for a more laid-back, intimate, family affair, the picnic options are always a win as well … and delectable. This spot gets two thumbs-up from us. A must-try. Details: www.thefatolive.co.za

If you’re looking for an upmarket restaurant that caters for the whole family … a place that has a contemporary look and feel with a focus on style and decor, as well as excellent food and ample entertainment options … then Bambanani is a firm favourite with families. With a state-of-the-art four storey covered jungle gym, dress-up area and sand art, a media room complete with PlayStation, Wii, Xbox, a continuous reel of kids’ movies being screened, a jam-packed activity schedule, as well as a fully stocked library and absolutely brilliant child-minding facilities, you can rest assured your youngsters will have the time of their lives while you sip a delicious cappuccino and enjoy a good old catch-up with friends and family members. Plus, there’s more than just pizza on this menu … think peri-peri chicken livers, quesadillas, curries and Vietnamese spring rolls. Details: www.bambanani.biz

Another easy win when it comes to kids is Ri’Stretto … pizza, pasta, easy-eating, cafe-style restaurants in the heart of Sandton and Midrand that have plenty of play areas geared for kids. Not only will the play areas keep them happy, they’re also encouraged to create their very own pizzas … and who knows, they might even eat them this time around! There’s also a list of fantastic specials that can be enjoyed by the entire family. On Mondays you get a free kid’s meal per child attending with an adult. On Tuesdays you get a free glass of Splattered Toad wine with any medium pizza – yay! On Wednesdays you get a free Greco salad to share with any two large pizzas or pastas. On Thursdays you get three burgers for the price of two. And on Fridays it’s happy hour from 4pm to 6pm (go on, you deserve it). Details: www.ristretto.co.za

image courtesy of Bambanani instagram