Tropics with Toddlers: Dining on Vacation!

Today, we’re back with the latest addition to our Tropics with Toddlers series!

In this installment, our guest blogger Jess will tackle the ins and outs of dining on vacation with your little ones in tow.

Keep reading to check out her top tips!


Have you ever been to a restaurant at home, and had to leave before your food even arrived?  No?  Then you must not eat out with the toddler crowd very often.  I’m pleased to report that it hasn’t happened often to us, but every once in a blue moon, something will go horribly awry while out to eat.  Perhaps the moon is in retrograde?  Or, maybe it’s because I insisted that vegetables be part of the meal?  Or, sometimes, it’s just the perfect storm of dinner hitting the table and Daddy making the horrible decision to cut the grilled cheese in squares and not triangles. World. Ended. Dinner over.

So, if you’ve had the good fortune to experience a relaxing, delicious meal like that, then you can understand my worry about bringing these pint size dinner dictators to another country.  What happens if the chicken nuggets are not exactly like the chicken nuggets at home? Will they even have chicken nuggets? I spent a good few weeks in advance of our trip saying nightly prayers that the macaroni and cheese would be elbow noodle style and the pizza would be available with and without pepperoni.

If you relate to this, let me help allay some of theses critical concerns, and start by saying Dreams Resorts & Spas in general, and based on our experience at Dreams Playa Mujeres Golf & Spa Resort specifically, has got this feeding toddlers thing down pat.

Here’s the topline on dining with kiddos at Dreams Playa Mujeres:
Breakfast — you will find SO many great, kid-friendly options at the World Café restaurant! Pancakes, french toast, bagels, bread, donuts, fruit, smoothies, eggs of all sorts, those tiny boxes of cereal that you remember fondly from your childhood, and so on and so forth.  Even if your little one is hesitant to try some of the more fancy dishes that you may not be serving at home (read: hazelnut crepes, i.e. heaven on a plate), they will certainly be able to fill their plate again and again with familiar, delicious, healthy foods.  But don’t stop there, check out the breakfast room service options or, if you are staying Preferred Club, join the staff at Maris for a non-buffet option.
Lunch —  If your kids are like mine, they might be more interested in staying in the pool or playing on the beach than heading to a sit down meal.  The great things about Dreams Resorts is they offer so many terrific options for these types of busy kids. Our favorite? Dolce – the ice cream/coffee shop.  Ice cream for lunch, you may say, who is this parent of the year contender? Well, in addition the ice cream that my kiddos enjoyed (because – vacation), they also LOVED the warm soft pretzels and big bowls of apples/bananas available for take out.  And while that met their needs, we much preferred the Grab and Go salads and wraps from That’s A Wrap, especially that spinach salad with berries (yum!). If your kiddos are more of the “I’ve been swimming for hours and am starving for a big lunch” type, Dreams Playa Mujeres has their backs too and you can check out the Tides Pool Bar & Grill or the huge buffet at World Café (don’t miss the made to order tacos and fajitas!).
Dinner — There are so many choices, and all the restaurants, aside from L’Etoile, welcome kiddos.  Here’s the best news of all… all of the restaurants offer a comprehensive kids menu — the same menu at every restaurant! So, if your kids, like mine, settle on the pizza on night one, the same pizza will be available on night two while you are enjoying a more adult-appropriate meal (lobster pizza, perhaps, high on our ‘must have’ recommendation list at Maris). They will be able to choose from chicken fingers, macaroni & cheese, grilled cheese, spaghetti and meatballs, burger, corn dog and pizza. We also ordered the fruit platter each night as their appetizer course and the contents varied from restaurant to restaurant.
And, of course, I’d be remiss to end a blog post about dining at Dreams Playa Mujeres without another shout out to one of my kid’s favorite places there – Dolce! We didn’t end a night without popping in there for a scoop of ice cream, a waffle cone or a milkshake.  The flavors rotated daily but we got to try some really fantastic selections, including caramel, coconut, chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, candy, brownie and cookies and cream.  There were even more adventurous flavors (coconut with pineapple chunks) for those not catering to a three year old picky eater!

Keep checking back for more thoughts and tips on tropical travel with the teeny ones.  Drop comments or questions below and I’m happy to give thoughts or tricks that might make your travel and vacation a bit easier!

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