It's nice when you can get away for a dinner without the kids but if you are like me, you don't have many people available to watch the kids when you want to go out. Here are some things that we do when we go out for dinner:
Try to eat at your childen's regular mealtime. Trying to eat when the kids are tired and cranky or not quite hungry is a challenge.
Pick a place that is family oriented. You don't want to take the family to a place that has a fine dining ambience with a quiet setting and fancy tableware. You also want to ensure that the menu has food that kids like to eat.
Bring along a few toys that the kids have not played with in a while so the toys become "fun" again. Most family restaurants offer crayons and paper for the kids.
Ask for a starter as soon as you sit down. We ask for a few french fries or some bread to tide the kids over until the meal comes.
Don't force the kids to sit and eat if it's not working out. Simply ask the waiter/waitress to pack up the meals to go.