How to be a great patron at bars/restaurants

In addition to being amazing places to eat, drink and make merry, our local restaurants and bars must keep their establishments safe, healthy, and running smoothly, not only for families but for all visitors. Given our interactions with businesses in the past, we know that there are many attempts to work with families before deciding to establish “kid-friendly” hours and rules. We know that it only takes a few people’s behavior to cause these changes, and we want to remind you that there are many citywide rules and safety regulations (FDNY and Department of Health) imposed on bars and restaurants—plus some simple steps you can take to be a wonderful patron.

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We ask that you be extra-considerate and neighborly at our local bars and restaurants, where people may be looking for a break from kids (theirs, others’, both) and could conceivably mistake our children's fabulosity for excess.  Here are some guidelines, recommendations and rules from local bars and restaurants that we’ve heard from over the past 15 years. We feel that these rules should apply to ALL families patronizing restaurants and bars so that these establishments remain welcoming to families. If you feel we’re missing anything from the list below, shoot us an email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we’ll add it to the list.


Etiquette with Kids

👶 Children should be supervised at all times. Wait and bar staff are not de facto babysitters when parents are not paying attention.

🛋️ No climbing on the furniture, games, pool table, bocce ball court, etc.

🧷 No changing diapers outside of the bathrooms. (This is a health issue and could result in hefty fines for a bar/restaurant. It’s also just uncouth).

🚗 If you are waiting outside, please do your best to not block the sidewalks or doorways.

😡 If your child is screaming or crying for more than 30 seconds and cannot be consoled, please be considerate and remove them from the scene until they are calm.

🍴 If your child is throwing food/drink/silverware onto the floor do your best to stop the behavior. Do not place the spoon they just threw on the floor back into reaching distance.

🏃‍♂️ No running, pushing or horseplay.

🔥 Strollers must not block the front entrance or emergency exits. (This is a fire hazard and could lead to unsafe conditions as well as fines for a bar/restaurant)

🚼 If you can come without a stroller please try to do so. Bringing strollers into businesses means less walking space for others; please be mindful of passageways.

🪑 Do not let your child sit directly on the floor, inside or outside.

👟 Shoes and clothes must be worn at all times.

👩‍👩‍👦 Keep young children with you at your table rather than have an unsupervised “kids table.”

👉 Stay within arms reach of the kids you’re responsible for.

🗑️ Do your best to pick up after your kids if they make a giant mess.

🚯 Do not leave dirty diapers in the bathroom garbage without first wrapping them up in something airtight. (Small spaces and dirty diapers do not go together.)


Supporting the Venue

☕ Please remember to purchase a beverage  and a treat if you meet up at a cafe. Please do more than just take up a seat, especially if you hang for more than 30 minutes.

🥡 If you’re at a restaurant and didn’t buy a meal, consider taking one home to help support the restaurant. Or order takeout the next time you’re on your way to the park.

⏰ Try to meet up at slower times so the café/restaurant/coffee house can optimize their income during busy times.

💬 Review good businesses on Yelp, give them a shout out on Park Slope Parents, and in general help their business grow.


Being Space-Conscious

❓ Ask the venue for the best place to sit, especially if strollers are involved.

🪑 Consolidate tables if you can so other patrons have places to sit.

👞 Try to fold strollers and keep them out of the way of foot traffic.

🔈 Keep an eye on wandering kids, the noise they make in the venue, and the mess they make.

🚯 Do not change baby diapers on tables or benches (the business can receive health violations and it’s just ewwww!). If the place doesn’t have changing stations in bathrooms, put them in touch with PSP—there have been places who invest in changing stations if groups are regulars.


Being Mindful of the Staff

😊 Be kind, appreciative, and patient with the staff, especially if there are more than 4 people.

💰 TIP GENEROUSLY, especially if you’re taking up seating for longer than normal (more than an hour).

🙏 Thank the staff and manager on the way out and make them want to ask you back 😉.


The overwhelming majority of our groups (especially our baby groups) have wonderful relationships with our local bars and restaurants. We want to do our best to ensure that these positive experiences continue. If you’re meeting up with your PSP group friends,  please buy something from the meet-up place, tip the baristas and wait-staff generously, pick up after yourselves, make sure you have everything you came with, and be the kind of people who management and staff want to welcome back.


Useful PSP reviews:

Kid Friendly Restaurants

Baby Friendly Meet Up Spots