Smorgasburg, DUMBO
Kid wants food.

While food festivals are ideal outings to take a baby, toddler or older kid to, they can also be chaotic and overwhelming.

Here are our tips on how to survive (and hopefully enjoy!) a food festival with kids:

  • Pack your bag in advance. Lots of face wipes, water or milk bottles, bibs. Snacks, or possibly even an entire meal for the kid, incase the food takes too long to buy. Don’t forget sunscreen and a picnic blanket if there is no seating area at the event.
  • Bring entertainment for the child—a ball or baby doll stroller for restless toddlers, or something new your baby hasn’t yet seen.
  • Scope out what food vendors will be there or decide in advance what kind of food you are in the mood for so that there is a meal game plan of sorts.Remember, babies and toddlers have a very brief window of time in which they will tolerate, well, anything. Especially when it comes to you enjoying a meal.
  • Arrive early. We can’t emphasise this enough. If you are unable to get this step right, be sure to mind the following ones, or you might as well head straight home, feeling hungry.
  • When you first get there, have one person take the baby and stake out somewhere to sit. Find tables and chairs, or put down a picnic blanket on the grass.
  • Have the other person forage/hunt for food.
  • Note! The Food Hunter may have the urge to take her time browsing ALL of the food stalls and enjoy her time away from the baby. Don’t give in. Time is of the essence.  If it’s a busy day, choose the shortest line. Lunch decision made.
Smorgasburg, DUMBO
Dramatic backdrop at Smorgasburg.

That’s it! You made it! Enjoy your food, lounge in the sun (or, if you’re like us, take turns chasing your toddler while your partner lies in the sun), and congratulate yourself on successfully taking your family to a food festival.

Looking for a food festival to try? Our fave is Smorgasburg DUMBO—with Jane’s Carousel and several playgrounds nearby, it’s the most kid-friendly food festival we know of.

What’s your favorite food festival to visit during the summer?

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