Fast Food With Play Areas Near Me


We are here to help you answer your question fast food with play area near me and find the best place to eat with your family. Our goal is to make it easy for you to find the best restaurants with play areas in your town or city that has a play area for kids and serves delicious food at an affordable price.

Where have all the fast-food playgrounds gone? The recent increase in the number of fast-food restaurants has led to a fundamental change in the appearance of those restaurants. There have been many advances in technology, which have led to new inventions and designs in the fast food industry. Below, you will find the health benefits of fast food.

Fast Food With Play Areas Near Me

We can all agree that lifestyles change after having children.

Eating out, for example, can oftentimes be more challenging with the restless little ones.

However, it is doable, especially if you choose the right restaurant, one that is child-friendly and has a play area near me.

Here are some of the Kid-Friendly Restaurants with a play area nearby that your kids will love while giving the adults the chance to enjoy the food and drinks at the same time.

Many of these have Patios too!

Central Market, Plano

Address: 320 Coit Rd, Plano, TX 75075

Phone: (469) 241-8300

Central Market Cafe serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner and the playground is such a great addition for the little ones to enjoy.

It is an excellent spot for a family outing, play date meet-up, and a fun place to hang out before or after grocery shopping.

My kids love running around the central market play area. And there are a ton of kid friendly meals, you just have to microwave them yourself. They have little kid-sized Mac and cheese or spaghetti. I think they have chicken tenders too.

Christi, Plano

Bellagreen Play area

Bella Green

Address: 2408 Preston Rd Ste 704A, Plano, TX 75093

Phone: (972) 975-9033

Bella Green, the greenest restaurant in Texas, offers chef-prepared meals in a fast-casual environment.

They believe that every meal is a chance to make life & Earth more beautiful. The Preston Towne Crossing location has a lovely patio and a lawn with some games that the kids can play.

We love the Bella Green by Preston & Park! It’s our go-to place for some healthy food options and the kids love their kid’s spaghetti and organic cheese pizza. The play area is a bonus!!!

Bon Bon, Plano

Bellagreen Outdoor Patio

Hat Creek Burger Company

Address: 3321 S Custer Rd, McKinney, TX 75070

Phone: (214) 592-0534

(They have several others in Dallas, Richardson, Allen, Rowlett, Little Elm/ Frisco)

Tucked into a sea of beautiful family neighborhoods, Hat Creek Burger Co. McKinney is the place to be to hang out with the whole family.

They serve offer breakfast, lunch, and dinner, each with healthy options, including freshly made salads, gluten-free options, and vegetarian fare, and offers an outdoor playscape for the kids to enjoy.

Hat Creek Burger on Custer in McKinney. Super cute play area for kids.

Gillian, Plano

The Yard McKinney play area
Photo Credit: The Yard McKinney Facebook

The Yard

Address: 107 S Church St, McKinney, TX 75069

Phone: (469) 631-0035

The Yard is located in the heart of McKinney, a perfect place to bring your whole family. They offer indoor dining, patio seating, and plenty of space to spread out in the yard.

You can enjoy your food and drinks while the kids can play ping pong or cornhole.

The Yard in McKinney just recently opened. It’s awesome. Great restaurant, outdoor patio/bar, fire pits, corn hole, ping pong, kids play area. It’s awesome.

Diana, Frisco TX

Nico’s Cocina Mexican Bar & Grill, Carrollton

Address: 3065 N Josey Ln #24, Carrollton, TX 75007

Phone: (972) 395-3663

Nico’s Cocina is a kid-friendly spot offering delicious Tex-Mex fare, margaritas, and a covered patio seating that overlooks an excellent playground for the kids.

Check out their weekend brunch, tasty food, and $2 Mimosas and $4 Bloody Mary’s to boot!

Nico’s in Carrollton! Its Tex-Mex with a playground and patio!
My 4 year old loves going.
Monika, Plano TX

It’s great because they have sets that littler kids can play on without help! Woohoo! My 3 year old loves it!

Hilary, Plano TX

The String Beans Restaurant

Address: 1310 W Campbell Rd, Richardson, TX 75080

Phone: (972) 385-3287

They offer a playroom for the kids, yes, you heard it, a PLAYROOM! The playroom has a play kitchen, lots of toys like some trucks, puzzles, trains, balls and ride-on toys, bean bags, and a tv with cartoons playing. Take note that kids eat free on Monday nights after 5:00 pm.

String Beans has a small alcove with toddler/preschool toys and a tv.
It’s on Campbell just east of Coit.

Sara, Plano TX

All of our Favorite Local Restaurants

If you’re looking for a specific type of eating place, we have tons listed in our Directory!Find a Restaurant

Super Chix

Address: 1551 E Renner Rd #830, Richardson, TX 75082

Phone: (469) 317-7895

Super Chix is an American-style restaurant, and they serve Texas Style – Bigger & Better!

Their menu offers something for everyone, from chicken sandwiches to salads and fried chicken.

They have an outdoor area for kids to play some games.

Super Chix in Richardson, just off Renner. They have a small patio with Connect 4 and Giant Legos in a cool enclosed play area for Kids. Kids meals come with an amazing frozen custard.

La Vista Cocina + Cantina

Address: 1012 W Hebron Pkwy W #100, Carrollton, TX 75010

Phone: (972) 939-5279

La Vista in Carrollton has a play area too but I would say it’s for smaller kids…5& under..

Anna, Plano TX

Gloria’s Latin Cuisine

Address: 152 Fountain Ct, Fairview, TX 75069

Phone: (972) 549-4031

Glorias in fairview has a splash pad right outside the patio and they keep the misters on to keep the parents cool.

The Magic Time Machine

Address: 5003 Belt Line Rd, Dallas, TX 75254

Phone: (972) 980-1903

My son loved Magic Time Machine in Addison. He loved the school bus!

Susan, Plano TX

Up Inspired Kitchen

Address: 5285 Dallas Pkwy #400, Frisco, TX 75034

Phone: (469) 579-4197

Mi Cocina – Lakeside

Address: 4001 Preston Rd # 502, Plano, TX 75093

Phone: (469) 467-8655

Mi Cocina off Preston Rd in West Plano has an outdoor area right off the patio.
Last time we went, they had giant Connect Four, but it’s mostly open space perfect for running around (and feeding ducks).

Desiree, Plano TX

Where Have All the Fast-Food Playgrounds Gone?

On a Saturday afternoon at a McDonald’s in Brooklyn — one of the newer McDonald’s made to more like a cafe than a fast-food restaurant — “Can You Feel The Love Tonight?” is playing over the Muzak speakers, and the current Happy Meal toys are Hot Wheels and miniature Barbie dolls. The Playplace, during what should be prime Saturday afternoon birthday party hours, is empty and locked. Between the song, the toys, and the locked playground, this McDonald’s looks like it stopped trying to attract kids in 1995.

A table of boys, around ages 8 through 13, are talking excitedly, half on their phones and half chatting. Would they be in the playground even if it were open? Today, these standard modular play structures — padded floors, platforms, polyurethane foam piping, a single plastic slide — are probably considered boring after age 9. At another McDonald’s, on Brooklyn’s Rockaway Beach, the indoor playground has been removed and replaced by more seating. At a Chuck E. Cheese’s near Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, a place where playgrounds are admittedly secondary to a casino of kids’ games, the usually standard play area is gone, too.“When stores are being rebuilt, they’re no longer including these play places.”

How much do kids today care if McDonald’s has a playground? They have iPads and Game Boys, and their parents might not even be taking them to fast-food restaurants anyway. According to Technomic, a food-service research and consulting firm, families with kids going to McDonald’s fell from 18.6 percent in 2011 to 14.6 percent in 2014.

Darren Tristano, president of Technomic, thinks that we’re unlikely to see fast-food restaurants focusing on playgrounds again anytime soon. “I’m not sure that they’re becoming a thing of the past, but we clearly don’t see growth in the opportunity for restaurants,” Tristano says. “Brands like Chick-fil-A and McDonald’s, who have indoor play places — we’re not necessarily seeing them expanding and, in some cases, when stores are being rebuilt, they’re no longer including these play places.”

Is taking away the playground really a bad thing if kids can still play at other community areas? Maybe not. But families will continue to go to McDonald’s, and there’s something sad about kids consuming a Happy Meal and having nowhere to expend energy except on their phones or iPads. During harsh winter weather, and especially in rural or suburban areas, a fast-food playground might be the only economical place for a child to move his or her body: A visit to a specialty indoor playground can cost as much as $12 per child, while a Happy Meal only costs three bucks.

Indoor playgrounds are unlikely to ever fully disappear, especially for McDonald’s, which is still the place to take your kids for chicken nuggets and a few hours’ reprieve after a shopping trip. But could we be seeing fewer of these structures as more chains shift their marketing away from kids — and more toward millennials?

Paige Johnson is something of a playground expert. When she’s not running a nanotechnology company, she’s a playground advocate and historian who heads the blog Playscapes. Johnson believes the nature of play is evolving away from a static, specific structure — especially the structure seen in modular “post and platform” play areas and not the more architectural, playground-as-art spaces that you might see in a children’s museum.

Johnson uses Pokémon Go as an example of playtime today: an individualized experience without geographic boundaries. “That’s the direction that play is heading,” she says. “Not just as an experience that’s divorced from any location, but also an experience that resides with the player and is individualized for the player. And the question is, how does any static playground, whether that’s a community playground or fast-food playground, compete with that experience or conform to new expectations of what play is?”

McDonald’s branded playground equipment debuted in 1972, when McDonaldland, featuring a set of characters marketed to kids, appeared at the Illinois State Fair. McDonaldland featured a trippy, vaguely sinister-looking fast-food fantasy world consisting of a cop (Officer Big Mac), a small-time criminal (Hamburglar), a pirate (Captain Crook), and a mayor with a giant cheeseburger for a head (Mayor McCheese). In the coming years, McDonald’s first playgrounds were based around these characters, with Officer Big Mac climbing structures, Captain Crook spiral slides, and more.

In Fast Food Nation, Eric Schlosser describes McDonaldland as borrowing liberally from Walt Disney’s Magic Kingdom, which is likely true, considering the play equipment was designed by Don Ament, a former Disney set designer. “Hoping that nostalgic childhood memories of a brand will lead to a lifetime of purchases, companies now plan ‘cradle-to-grave’ advertising strategies,” Schlosser wrote. “They have come to believe what Ray Kroc and Walt Disney realized long ago — a person’s ‘brand loyalty’ may begin as early as the age of 2.”

McDonaldland wasn’t just a play area; it was a whole marketing campaign with commercials, a kids’ magazine, video games, and The Wacky Adventures of Ronald McDonald, a direct-to-video series made by the Rugrats creators. Most of us probably had at least one birthday party at McDonald’s, our parents offering friends orders of four-piece chicken nuggets or a small cheeseburger, followed by a cake bought from the local grocery-store bakery.

The concept of the physical play area was popular enough that in the early ’90s, McDonald’s branched off the Playplace into a standalone brand of indoor playgrounds. Called Leaps & Bounds, it charged parents $4.95 to give kids unlimited access to a sculpted indoor play area; the first location, which debuted in Naperville, IL in 1991, totaled 11,000 square feet of play areas. By 1994, McDonald’s merged Leaps & Bounds with Discovery Zone and Blockbuster Entertainment Corp. The only remnant of that era that exists today, in the restaurants anyway, is the occasional glimpse of Ronald McDonald.

According to Tristano, it doesn’t make much business sense for a fast-food restaurant to invest in a playground now. The square footage alone costs money, not to mention the equipment, the maintenance, the safety hazards, and the insurance costs. “Over the last 30 or 40 years, we’ve seen the larger playground shifting to a smaller, condensed playground and, in some cases, moving outside, which doesn’t help in the winter. It’s evolved to a point where it’s smaller and much less relevant.”

It’s impossible to talk about fast-food indoor playgrounds without considering some of the main strikes against them: the public perception of these play areas as filthy and the liability associated with them. Myriad urban legends have circulated for years about things buried in ball pits, for instance. (Has a heroin needle ever actually been found in one? According to Snopes, no.)

That said, playgrounds can be undeniably gross places: Strains of coliform bacteria and staphylococcus and fecal bacteria have been found at poorly maintained play facilities. Dr. Erin Carr-Jordan, a playground sanitation vigilante and, more formally, the founder of Kids Play Safe, a research organization “committed to protecting the health, safety and well-being of children,” was banned from eight Phoenix-area McDonald’s in 2011 presumably for swabbing play areas for germs. A cross-country journey during which she tested the playgrounds of six national chains in both high and low socioeconomic, rural, and urban areas turned into a crusade.Playgrounds are woefully behind the times when it comes to integrating responsive, digital play experiences.

“I think the pervasive problem, and how it resonated with people in general, was enough to cause a response from parents across the board,” Carr-Jordan says. “For business owners and operators, many of them — and this is just my assumption — didn’t want to do the work to keep them, and it wasn’t necessarily worth the hassle of actually going in and maintaining the equipment and cleaning it on a regular basis. I think in McDonald’s case, that’s the reason you see so many of them closed.”

Surprisingly, there are no state or federal regulations for playground cleanliness or maintenance, and they’re not regulated in many counties and cities. Carr-Jordan has been working to change that, successfully doing so in her home state of Arizona. Kids Play Safe recently partnered with Chuck E. Cheese’s to, according to a press release, “collaborate on common goals to provide a safe healthy play environment for kids.” Chuck E. Cheese’s is the first major brand to work with Kids Play Safe, which could be a small step forward to improving the reputation of restaurant playgrounds.

“It’s a very easy fix,” Carr-Jordan says. “The problem is related to a) cleanliness, b) maintenance of the structures, and c) if people are cleaning it, they’re using toxic chemicals. Chuck E. jumped two feet in and said, ‘Okay, we absolutely agree to clean this once per shift. We’re going to change front- and back-of-house to all green products.’ And they agreed to look at the maintenance and integrity of their structures according to the standards.”

Indoor playgrounds, more than anything, seem to be in a state of flux. Playgrounds are woefully behind the times when it comes to integrating the more responsive, digital play experiences that kids now expect. Some restaurants and McDonald’s franchises are choosing to eliminate playgrounds in favor of more seating and lower land costs, while others are being expanded to encourage active lifestyles for kids. “McDonald’s has always placed a special focus on the family experience and will continue that tradition,” Lauren Altmin, a rep from McDonald’s PR, says. “Over the years, the evolution of the Playplace has allowed franchisees, who choose to include the feature in their restaurants, the ability to cater to their local community and customer needs.”

And as it turns out, the golden arches might be one step ahead. Last year, the world’s “largest entertainment McDonald’s” opened in Orlando, complete with a custom-built 22-foot-tall play structure; an even taller (and illuminated!) Ronald McDonald; and the kitsch addition of a singing, animatronic “Mac Tonight,” the chain’s late-night lounge singer spokesman from the ’80s. It’ll be interesting to see if more franchise owners pick up on this idea.

“I’d love to see them revisit the idea of their kitschy play sculptures,” Johnson says. “A series of arches the kids could play on would be every bit as much fun as what they’ve got and would contribute to their design aesthetic. I think the future is towards things that are more visually rich and compelling, and that do compete with a digital environment.”

There are myriad opportunities to make indoor playgrounds, simply put, really cool. Corporations can also look to Europe for inspiration: The Swarovski Crystal World playscape in Austria and Volkswagen’s super-modern Mobiversum are excellent, albeit slightly extreme, versions of what can happen when corporate money meets playground architecture. “Abstraction allows the child the space in their imagination to make it anything they want it to be,” Johnson says. “You can’t morph a physical object in the way that you can constantly morph a digital one. The playground world has not been innovative in that way. I think McDonald’s did lead in that idea once — a playspace along with a restaurant — and they could lead there again if they were more thoughtful about it.”

Restaurants with Play Areas

Going out to eat with kids? Its a fun thing to do, especially on a day when its cold or rainy. To help you out here’s a list of places in Greenville where you can eat and kids can play indoors. There are a few options beyond the fast food play areas where parents can relax and kids can play. Win for everyone.

TReehouse Cafe and Studio

864.610.2266 | 27 South Main Street, Travelers Rest, SC

Offers: The Treehouse Cafe and Studio offers sandwiches, sides, coffee and treats with toys, coloring, painting and crafts for children and families. An art teacher is available to work with your child on crafts and painting projects you can purchase at the studio.


Offers: McDonald’s food with indoor play space for younger children, often free wi-fi.

Locations with Indoor Play Place: 

2157 East Main Street, Duncan

5634 Calhoun Memorial Hwy, Easley

308 West Wade Hampton Boulevard, Greer

2111 Woodruff Road, Greenville

2200 Augusta Road, Greenville

5050 Old Buncombe Road, Greenville

114-M West Butler Road, Mauldin

3453 Highway 153, Piedmont

7611 Augusta Road, Piedmont

2137 Old Spartanburg Road, Spartanburg

924 North East Main Street, Simpsonville

Chuck E. Cheese

864.297.6400 | Two Locations, Upstate, SC

Offers: Video & Arcade Games and pizza

Spartanburg Location
660 Spartan Boulevard, Suite 250

Greenville Location
253 Congaree Road


Offers: Chick-fil-A food with an indoor play space for younger children

Locations with an indoor play area:

1519 E Main Street, Duncan
5175 Calhoun Memorial Highway, Easley
3890 Pelham Road, Greenville
1564 Laurens Road, Greenville
1225 Woodruff Rd, Greenville
1379 W. Wade Hampton Boulevard, Greer
3420 Highway 153, Piedmont
135 W. Butler Road, Mauldin
659 Fairview Road, Simpsonville
2801 Wade Hampton Boulevard Suite C, Taylors
22 Benton Road, Travelers Rest

Health Benefits of Fast Food

1. It is possible to eat healthy at a quick-service restaurant.

There are several fast food menu items that are under 500 calories. You may need to look deeper into the menu or take some condiments off during your order, but it can happen. The Shake Shack single burger, for example, is just 360 calories. You can get a cheeseburger at In-N-Out, without spread, for 480 calories. At Wendy’s you can order a full-size Mediterranean Chicken Salad for 480 calories. Even an Egg McMuffin at McDonald’s is 300 calories.

2. It saves time when a meal is required.

Even fast home cooking requires 15-30 minutes of time for the average family in preparation and cooking. Then you have another 15-30 minutes of eating time. Visiting a fast food restaurant can cut those time requirements in half. With fast food, you can also eat in the vehicle (though some jurisdictions may not allow drivers to eat) or take the food to your next destination. Fast food makes it possible for people to find time to eat together, even during busy days.

3. It makes food affordable for some families.

As of September 2017, there are several food items available on fast food menus that make eating at a quick-service restaurant cheaper than buying groceries at a local supermarket. The Whopper Jr. at Burger King, for example, is just $1.29 and contains 340 calories. At Checkers, you can order two spicy chicken sandwiches for $3.00. Jack in the Box offers two tacos for $0.99 and a Junior Jack is $1.29. At Taco Bell, a basic taco runs about $1 per taco. Ask for water instead of a soda and you’ve got a meal.

4. It supports local business owners.

Quick-service restaurants are often independently owned and operated franchises which are run by local entrepreneurs. There are brand-owned restaurants within most fast food chains, including McDonald’s, which owns and operates 18% of all their locations. Each location employs an average of 14 people with a pay level that can range from minimum wage to upwards of $15 for some entry-level management positions. Eating at these establishments is a way to support local jobs and businesses.

5. It lets you know what to expect from the food.

Let’s say you’re on vacation and want something to eat. You spot a Burger King. You know what to expect from that menu, even if there are some local items that are there as well. You know that you can get a Whopper and that it will be made in the same way as it is at the Burger King in your hometown. That’s one of the biggest advantages that fast food restaurants offer. They eliminate the uncertainty of the dining experience when you’re away from home.

6. It still puts eating choices in the hands of the consumers.

Since 2010, quick-service restaurants in the United States have been required to published nutritional information about their menu items on the actual menu. When you order an Egg McMuffin at McDonald’s, then you know for a fact that you’re getting 300 calories. That makes it easier to make informed decisions about your daily eating habits. You can also do a quick web search on a smartphone to find other nutritional facts about menu items, like it contains 18g of protein or 55% of your daily sodium intake.

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