December 21, 2010

Fancy Restaurant - Christmas Edition


Sometimes we do babysitting swaps with some family in town, and one night a couple of years ago I found myself preparing to be in charge of 5 kids under the age of 6 and realized my husband wasn’t going to be home until late. So, I came up with the “Bylund Fancy Restaurant” to help us pass the time. My kids made signs to hang up on our front door and hallway, decorated the table, dressed up, and when their cousins arrived, we seated them at our fancy restaurant table and handed out menus and a family tradition was born. Now the kids love to play fancy restaurant on nights when Daddy’s not going to be home or we just have a lot of leftovers to get rid of.

Last year, I invented the Fancy Restaurant - christmas edition on a night when the parents were going out christmas shopping. We did one again last night with just our family, and thought I’d share in case you wanted to do one too.

Fancy Restaurant works best when you have leftovers or things in the freezer that can be warmed quickly. I just tried to make up names for things I had on hand. Here is the menu I used this year, with the translation in parentheses.

cold toes (dried blueberries)
dried reindeer noses (craisins)

reindeer Jet Juice (anything bubbly. We had ginger ale. I told the kids this is what makes the reindeer fly, but flying is not allowed in the restaurant.)
melted snow

Sides (choose 2)
Snowman noses (carrots)
Christmas lights (corn)
Holly and Ivy (salad)
bouncy balls (mandarin oranges)

Main Dish
Santa’s Whiskers (spaghetti, with “snow” or “dandruff” parmesan cheese)
toy dinosaurs (dinosaur shaped chicken nuggets)
Frisbees (eggo waffles)
drumsticks (corn dogs)

toy drums (little containers of pudding)
snowballs (marshmallows)
ornaments (m&ms or jelly beans or skittles or whatever)
Santa’s belly (red jello)

On the menu last year I had reindeer noses (grape tomatoes) as a menu option but I didn’t have any this year. Another option is to only offer the one main dish and just let the children pick the other things.

I tried to not tell my children what everything was and have them order based on name alone, but they just wouldn’t do it. Maybe your kids are more adventurous.

One of the most important parts of the fancy restaurant (according to my children) is the fancy restaurant waiter voice. My accent for fancy restaurant is an odd mix of italian, german, swedish, and spanish, with some nonsense thrown in. It makes the kids laugh hysterically, but will probably never be heard by anyone else.

After I seated the children at the table, passed out menus, and took orders, they colored some christmas sheets I had printed out from the crayola website. I think last year I had them watch a christmas movie with their cousins while I got their plates ready. Then they ate, and if they ate well they could order desert.

Another thing you could do to make it more like a restaurant is add prices and hand out money for them to pay their bill, but I was lazy and didn’t feel like it. Maybe next time.

I would love to hear your ideas for food names if you have any that I could use next year.


  1. What a cute idea! How about pretzel sticks for snowman arms?

  2. Good idea! And that would be really easy too. Thanks!

  3. I love, love, love this idea!! Super cute. I'm your newest follower from the hop! I hope you can stop by and check me out sometime. I can't wait to read more from you!

  4. What a very fun idea! I love this!

  5. You could do broccoli and call it Christmas trees.;)


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