If you’re a parent, no doubt you’ve noticed more and more businesses catering to families. Restaurants offer special nights where kids eat free. Movie theaters and bowling allies lure busy parents with promises of low-cost, fun-filled birthday parties. Even fitness centers are jumping in on the action by offering special rooms or entire facilities where kids can have fun with other kids while doing something good.

Parents are working hard to balance the demands of a career with the demands of a family. And smart business owners are working hard to take advantage of this latest shift in priorities. Today, “kid-friendly” is as popular a marketing phrase as the “no-carb” craze that saturated the country just a few years back. It’s a smart move that benefits everyone – the kids, their parents, and especially the owners of these kid-friendly establishments.

Kids benefit because they’re made to feel special. Parents benefit because they can go out in public without fear of being blacklisted. They can change diapers, breast feed or give their kids time-outs and not feel embarrassed. Stay-at-home-parents who don’t get out much enjoy the opportunities kid friendly establishments create to meet other parents in the same situation. And of course, business owners know that behind every kid is a paying adult and they’re all too happy to take full advantage of this relatively untapped revenue stream.

What does kid friendly really mean?

Like other labels, there’s no clear definition of what it means to be “kid friendly.” Most of the time, being kid friendly is part of the attraction. Even the best-behaved kids want a chance to act their ages. They’re full of curiosity and energy and they need places where they can let loose and be around other kids. Kid friendly establishments offer all of these opportunities and more.

One of the hottest trends right now is kids clubs and lots of hotels and all the major cruise lines offer them. Kids clubs offer a wide assortment of supervised activities for kids of all ages. After filling out waivers and proving emergency contact information (in the event it’s needed) parents can leave their children in someone else’s care while they go off to have some fun of their own knowing their kids are safe.

Most kid friendly restaurants offer fun décor along with special dining options that are sure to please even the pickiest eater’s palette. Kid friendly movies and video games for the most part are absent any foul language, graphic violence, or sexual situations. They’re good clean fun for the whole family. And sometimes, saying a business is kid-friendly can be a subtle way to alert those without children of what’s waiting inside.

Basically, if it’s affordable, accessible, educational, fun or all of the above, chances are good that it’s kid friendly. But if you’re ever in doubt, take time to find out. Go online or call the establishment and ask what about it makes it kid friendly. Better yet, head on over to www.kidfriendlyguide.com – your comprehensive guide to kid friendly fun!

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