Chili’s We Prep, You Play Survival Guide

I have a sign in my kitchen that reads, “My favorite thing to make for dinner is reservations.” Luckily I married a man who loves to cook but with work schedules, school pick up, and soccer practice, dinner prep is often the last commitment we want to make. Like anything post-kids, heading out to our favorite restaurant isn’t as easy as it sounds.

Now that my girls are older, 7 and 5, it’s much easier to keep them entertained. Pack their favorite hand held video games and we’re good to go. With two kids, however, the key is to have two of everything to lessen the bickering.

When it comes to dining out with the sippy-cup set, as Tom Petty said, the waiting is the hardest part. When my girls were toddlers I packed an extra sippy cup for them and small snacks, such as dry cereal or raisins, to keep them occupied while we waited to be seated. I also brought distractions like board books (the wipe-able, waterproof type are best just in case you spill food or drinks) and small toys that don’t double as party noisemakers (no sense in freaking out the nonparent patrons and getting evil stares as your kid plays “Old McDonald” on a kazoo.)

Chili’s Skillet Queso here we come!

Chili’s has a great new place called We Prep, You Play, featuring a Mommy’s Survival Guide with practical tips so busy parents can make dining out with kids a pleasurable break. Chili’s is one of our favorite restaurants. They offer several fantastic, healthy menu selections made with fresh cilantro and other seasonings with a kick, as well as traditional kid-friendly favorites like burgers and fries.

Do you need a break from cooking (who doesn’t)? Here’s a chance to win a $200 gift card to Chili’s! Visit DivineCaroline.com and chime into this conversation: “What’s the MOST fun you’ve ever had with your kids?” Just for commenting you’ll be entered to win one heck of a night out!

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Chili’s. They provided my family with a gift card so we can enjoy dinner on them. I can’t wait to take a break from cooking and cleaning! I might even go crazy and order one of their fabulous margaritas.

50 comments

  1. Katie says:

    OMG I would love to win that gift card — I will definitely be chiming into that conversation!

    In my pre-baby days, we lived in Florida and Chilli’s had Happy Hour all day, every day — it was awesome! Once the waiter even gave me the rest of my frozen margarita in a to-go cup. Not just any to-go cup either — it was a kiddie cup! I know that was probably so against the rules / laws, but it was awesome! Hee hee 🙂
    .-= Katie´s last blog ..M-O-M-Y =-.

  2. Jamie says:

    Katie, I love their margaritas. They have awesome happy hour specials…and the to go cup idea RAWKS.

  3. Margie says:

    We took our kids out to fairly nice places when we were out of the boonies and had the money. One time was a nice seafood place. They had grilled cheese and about a bottle of ketchup. It was funny if not fun. As they grew older their tastes improved and things got more expensive.

  4. Kelly Ann T. says:

    One of the best times we had was going to six flags theme park and playing all day. The water park was open too. Afterwords we went out for pizza and the kids were so tired they could hardly eat.

  5. Helen S says:

    One of our funnest times were taking our three kids and my niece and nephew camping. We had a great time. Just wished we had more time and finances to do things like that more.

  6. Emily says:

    My little girl is almost a year old. The most fun I’ve had with her is helping and watching her learn to walk and crawl. The sheer determination in her eyes is amazing. It’s such fun to watch her on the go!

    Thanks for a great giveaway and the chance to win!

  7. alyce poyner says:

    I have two kids…Abby 9 and jackson 4…we have the most fun together going to the zoo…every summer we travel to hit at least 1 new zoo…we have such great memories together doing this!

  8. Erin S. says:

    I am totally with you on how hard it can be taking a toddler out to eat! We just took our 15 month old out to eat tonight at a pretty nice restaurant and she was constantly grabbing things from the table. We tried distracting her the best we could, but sometimes nothing seems to do the trick.
    .-= Erin S.´s last blog ..Why I love this country: Reason #1 =-.

  9. Brittney Canady says:

    Since my baby isnt born yet my favorite time with her is when I lay down and night and she kicks as my husband talks to her! These moments are priceless. I would love to win this for one heck of a night out before out little princess arrives!

  10. Elsie says:

    Camping with children and dogs is the best! We eat together, sleep together, swim together, the laughs and giggles are wonderful, the memories of the licked faces and wet furry tails wagging, and dogs trying to catch fireflies , nighttime cooking around a campfire with a million stars above, dogs sleeping… ..

    …and now Chili’s sounds great, without the doggies this time!

  11. dawn says:

    oh my goodness i cant think of anything i would like to win more 🙂
    i think my best times with our little guy have been on little day trips, like to the water park, the animal sanctuary, or things like that where he gets to experience things for the first time 🙂
    burton40444@gmail.com

  12. jennifer horn says:

    My favorite time with the kids is anytime when we can all( my husband and I and our 3 girls) do anything together without rushing. We are always on the go so it’s great when we can actually sit down and enjoy quality time together. This would be a great way to have one of those days!

  13. Cheryl W. says:

    We love Chili’s. I usually hate french fries (weird, yes I know), but I can eat Chili’s seasoned fries all day long. Man those things are so good. I want to win $200 dollars worth of fries!

  14. Anna S. says:

    The Chilis gift card would be great.

    My son is almost 20 months and I have to say that we do have a lot of fun. The thing that jumps out was the trip to the aquarium in gatlinburg. He loved watching the fish. It was really neat watching him get so excited about something as simple as a fish swiming by.

  15. Deb K says:

    The most fun I’ve ever had with my kids is when we took a road trip from Wisconsin to Arizona! We had so much fun~as we stopped every night and stayed at a hotel and the kids went swimming and we got to go out to eat every night too! The kids and I really bonded on that trip~as we still talk about it to this day and that was over 20 years ago!

    Thanks so much for the chance to win 🙂

  16. Katie S. says:

    I checked out Divine Caroline, but I’m not willing to register just to post a comment. The most fun I’ve had with my son is when he went for a ride on the vacuum cleaner. The smile on his face almost made me cry.

  17. Mary says:

    When our boys were little we went out to eat and ordered breakfast. THe waitress asked our youngest son David how he would like his eggs and he said, “cooked!”

  18. John S. says:

    Taking our son to the Natural History Museum in Denver. It was wonderful to see how curious he was — about everything. Since then — he was 3 at the time — we’ve gone to other museums and seen lots of great stuff, but the first experience was memorable.

  19. Susan says:

    The times we had the most fun was usually when it was juts a lazy rainy day and we would read books or play games or baked cookies or brownies.. Even though the kids are grown now when they visit they will ask for just one lazy day while they are home.

    susan56bft at gmail dot com

  20. Sheila says:

    Oooo! Thanks for informing us about this! Our family loves Chili’s! Unfortunately, it gets pretty pricey – so this would be wonderful to win!

  21. barbara wright says:

    LOL – I wonder how my Divine Caroline ID ending up being “US”. It was really fun thinking back over the years and trying to figure out what the most fun I ever had with my kid was. As soon as I hit submit, I thought of several more ideas!

  22. Sandy M says:

    Wow, what’s the most fun I’ve ever had with my kids??? I’d say, ummmm, taking Amtrak to Florida when they were 6 and 7. The train trip was as much fun as the vacation itself.

  23. Gianna says:

    Every drs appt I had when I was pregnant with my son was a cause to celebrate with a mushroom swiss with bacon LOL

  24. Sharon says:

    We love Chili’s. My husband loves the ribs and I love their salads.
    My two Grandaughters would love to win.
    Thanks for the chance.

  25. Jackie says:

    Well it was an awesome lunch we had together as a family at Chilis just last Monday to celebrate my daughter finishing her first year of pre-k 3!

    We love Chilis even more since their website has all the allergy info that we need for our kids. WOW! What a “above and beyond” thing for a company to offer!!!

  26. kimberly says:

    The most fun was the summer of 2007 when my husband was home in between two 15 month tours in iraq. My son and husband and i went to the big island of hawaii and did so many fun things! Hellicopter ride over an active volcano, hiking to the black sands beach, hotel right on the ocean. My son was so amazed by all of these new sights, so were my husband and i.

  27. Melinda says:

    I’m not sure if this contest is still going or not, but I would LOVE to visit chili’s for a night out on the town

  28. KJ says:

    EVERY day is fun with my kids – but the summer we spend camping a school bus out in the woods is in the top ten best experiences!

  29. Carrie says:

    Today, I went to the beachfront with my children. I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She placed the shell to her
    ear and screamed. There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear.
    She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is completely off topic but I
    had to tell someone!

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