by Leslie P 


Between packing up, getting a table and keeping the kids entertained, taking the whole family out to eat can be a major accomplishment. Wouldn’t it be great if there were restaurants that offered a unique, entertaining dining experience for the whole family? You’re in luck! With the help of our readers, we have compiled a list of area locations with a fun dining twist.

Check out what YOU recommended to other parents:


Arcade Games

Big T Restaurant155 North Main Street, Lawton, MI 49065 | 269-624-1200

Kids can get impatient waiting for food to be ready. Big T’s in Lawton offers free popcorn and a special arcade video game area to entertain your children while their delicious meal is being prepared.


Chuck E. Cheese6175 South Westnedge Avenue, Portage, MI 49002 | 877-581-5732

Games, pizza and prizes? Who doesn’t love a fun trip to Chuck E. Cheese? You can enjoy dinner and buy tokens for your kids to run around and try all of the different games. Save your tickets to trade in for fun prizes! Chuck E. Cheese offers Reward Calendars that your children can complete at home and turn in for free tokens.



Bowling, Go-Karts, Laser Tag & Other Activities


Airway Fun Center5626 Portage Road, Portage MI 49002 | 269-327-7061

If you are looking to make a Sunday a “fun” day, check out Airway Fun Center’s Pancakes and Pins. On Sundays a group of four can enjoy all-you-can-eat pancakes and all-you-can-bowl from 9:00 am to Noon. Price is $10 per person and includes shoes.  Plus, you can check out their Taproom Lunch Buffet, Monday through Friday from 11 am-2 pm. They offer fresh pizza and a full salad bar. Airway Fun Center also offers other activities including:  laser tag, go karts, balladium, and mini golf. Look out for their new ropes course opening this spring!


Craig’s Cruisers5730 Clyde Park SW, Wyoming, MI 49509 | 616-530-2900

Indoor & outdoor go-karts, bumper cars, ropes course, frog hopper, mini-golf, kiddie karts and laser tag. Pack up the whole family for a mini road trip to Craig’s Cruisers in Grand Rapids “where the fun never ends.” Be sure to fuel up on their pizza and pasta buffet to enjoy an entire day of fun.




Unique Drive-up Diners


(picture courtesy of Tara Fletcher Photography)

The Root Beer Stand, 3100 Portage Road or 4400 South Westnedge Avenue | 269-345-4418 or 269-349-7361

When the weather warms up, it is always fun to visit a drive-up diner. Lucky for us, Kalamazoo has two Root Beer stands featuring hot dogs and old fashion root beer. Both locations are now open for the season.


West Lake Drive-In9138 Portage Road, Portage, MI 49002 | 269-327-5985

The West Lake Drive-In has been a popular landmark since it opened in 1962. Overlooking beautiful West Lake in Portage, the diner features traditional American items such as hot dogs, burgers, onion rings, shakes and even homemade root beer. Be sure to try their olive burger – it’s their specialty!


Extra Entertainment for Kids


(picture courtesy of Greenleaf Hospitality Group)

Burdick’s For Breakfast100 West Michigan Avenue, Kalamazoo, MI 49007 | 269-226-3155

Did you know that Burdick’s for Breakfast offers fun Character Breakfast events. Monthly, some very special guests visit the restaurant. Check out the list below to see who your child could have the chance to dine with. Be sure to follow their facebook page as new dates are announced. Reservations are required.

  • Sunday, May 10: Mother’s Day with Mom
  • Saturday, June 13: Spongebob & Patrick


(picture courtesy of BenJammin Educational Music)

Old Dog Tavern, 402 East Michigan Avenue Kalamazoo, MI 4900 | 269-381-5677
Old Dog Tavern in downtown Kalamazoo offers special entertainment and a family-friendly brunch on Saturdays from 10:00 am- 11:00 am. Some of the upcoming dates are: April 25 and May 2, 9, 16, & 23. Your kids can join in the fun with educational entertainment from BenJammin and Analisa.


Texas Roadhouse, 7039 South Westnedge Avenue, Portage, MI 49002 | 269-323-7427

The Portage Texas Roadhouse offers special activities with performances by Magician Alan Kazam. Call to verify the dates of performances as these vary monthly. In addition to the special entertainment and activities, your child can enjoy a .99 cent kid’s meal with each purchase of an adult entree.


 Stay tuned…we have more to come!





By | 2015-04-21T06:42:38+00:00 April 21st, 2015|Categories: Around Kalamazoo, Guides, Newly Published|Comments Off on Unique Dining Experiences-Fun Places To Grab A Bite-Part 1

About the Author:

Leslie is passionate about promoting everything the Kalamazoo area has to offer. A mother of two, she enjoys reading mystery novels, trying out new recipes and browsing Pinterest for new ideas.