I was traveling back home in Dallas visiting family and we decided to go out to eat. I asked if the restaurant was kid friendly, because I have kids and I am not going to take them somewhere were they are going to be miserable and make everyone else miserable as a result. I was guaranteed that it was, in fact, kid friendly so off we went for a dinner out. Apparently, “kid friendly” means a colouring sheet and 3 crayons.
I live in the Netherlands where kid friendly really means “the kids will be well entertained so you can enjoy your meal with minimal stress.” Restaurants like this are everywhere and they make my world a nicer place, but you kinda have to know where to look.
Bij de Neut in Westerhoven is pretty amazing. Great for the kids but the atmosphere is very “grown up”, meaning that the play areas are well hidden but easily accessible. The feel of the place is really fun. The Dutch word is “gezellig” and it is a wonderful word. It doesn’t have an exact English equivalent, it means. “cozy”, and “warm” and “welcoming”. A place or a situation can be gezellig. It’s a fun word. Give it a whirl sometime.
There are three main rooms. 2 with play areas and 1 without.
Walking in and to the right you find the biggest of the rooms. It is loosely seperated into two sections. Directly around the play area there are small bistro style tables, perfect for a coffee or wine while the kids burn some energy. The other part has more traditional square tables.
There is a padded area for little kids.
And beautifully hidden is the big soft play.
yep. Thats a soft play. Amazing! I never would have believed there was so much fun hidden away back there!
There are stairs in there that lead to a little cinema. There was nothing playing on the afternoon we were there but it was really slow that day.
There is a new addition since the last time I was there. A whole room in the back with yet another play area! It has the feel of a beach vacation complete with a boat ( with a soft play inside)!
The play area is so fun!
To the left of the entrance there is also a big room with more seating. There is no play areas inside and it has a much more “adult restaurant” feel.
What about the food, right?
I was also very impressed with the food. My daughter ordered the “kid pancake” and I ordered the “margarita pizza” . Her pancake came with fruit, 2 kinds of sweets, whipped cream and syrup. She nearly lost it when the waitress put it in front of her. I really think her brain was overloaded with joy, she literally just stared at it.
MY pizza was HUGE! I’m not ashamed to say that I very nearly finished it. Just in case you are wondering, that is a ramekin of mayonnaise on top of my pizza. I just put it aside and pretended not to notice it. It must be a Dutch thing.
What really impresses me about this place is the little touches that make the atmosphere interesting and yet very mature at the same time. It doesn’t feel like a kids playground but the level of whimsy is so high that my 2.5 year old daughter found the atmosphere delightful as well.
And I almost forgot about the ice cream.
There is a patio but it doesn’t have any play equipment.
Put this place on your list. I can’t wait to go back with both of my kids. My son would love it (in fact I felt a little guilty about going while he was at school). Bij de Neut could also be enjoyed by people without small kids. I would take visiting family or kidless friends here for a dinner out with the family and I know everyone would have a really nice time.
Cheers! To eating out with the kids and actually having a relaxing time!
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