The Swedish touch

by Amy A little while ago I posted on my own blog about the dos and don'ts for servers in family restaurants and Lara asked me about doing reviews of how kid friendly restaurants around Ottawa are.

Now, I have my own criteria, but I've discovered that one of my favourite places to take the kid for a meal right now is Ikea. Yes, Ikea.

There are a number of complaints about shopping at the actual store, but the Ikea restaurants is great for kids. There are a lot of reasons we've eaten at Ikea twice in the past two weeks. One is cost - who can resist a dollar breakfast when you're buying a $600 piece of furniture? But the other things that I liked surprised me.

Variety: The restaurant has a pretty good number of choices for on the children's menu and it all seems fairly good. Some places your choice is between something fried or white pasta, but my daughter had meatballs with mashed potatoes and a milk to drink. She was a big fan of the lingonberry jam, which is a bit weird.

Serving size: The servings are absolutely reasonable for a child.

Utensils: Ikea uses their own stuff to stock the restaurant and for the children's meals that means plastic plates, kid sized utensils, plastic cups. This is the only place I remember eating that a fork she looked comfortable using.

And the best part? After spending more than two hours walking around the store, kid actually napped.

Amy is mom to two year old Maggie and a 6 year old schnauzer named Henry. You can read her blog at where she writes about motherhood and anything else that’s on her mind. She also shares a blog with her husband at where they talk together about parenting a daughter.

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IKEA for kids, a winner AND another giveaway!

by Lara If it weren't for IKEA, our house might look a bit bare :)

My husband and I have always been big fans and so when we had to choose furniture for our kids we went all IKEA !

They all had IKEA cribs (avoiding the DANGER DANGER of drop side cribs ;)

When it was time for a big boy bed we bought Kiernan IKEA bunk beds, which convert into two single beds (we're almost ready to set up the actual bunk beds, though we are very nervous about the antics our three monkeys will get up to once they're there).

Both twins have the day bed style beds that can pull out into King size beds and that have storage drawers underneath.  I thought this design was so genius we got one for the basement too.

They all have matching IKEA dressers too.  And this baby might be the most favourite thing my kids have in the house:

As you might well imagine - we're pretty excited about the new IKEA store and can't wait to explore all the new and exciting kids stuff they now have!

Kids in the Capital has been thrilled to be able to celebrate the new store with a giveaway for a $100 IKEA gift certificate.  Congratulations JennyB - #13 was the lucky number!!

Are your kids outfitted in IKEA too?

One more thing: Tomorrow we're announcing our next giveaway - 12 days worth - for the entire family. We'll announce one winner each day from the previous day's comments. Which means everyone who comments today is in the running for the first giveaway! This one's a surprise until tomorrow, though. :) It's a nice one that we'd kinda like to win also!

The Kids in the Capital Season of Giveaways: IKEA! {CLOSED}

Imagine, if you will, a store that has 9,500 products (increased from 4,500) stuffed inside a structure that is 427,000 square feet. A restaurant with 640 seats, 55 room settings, 3 full home displays, 36 cash lanes, 1,200 parking spaces, energy efficient AND gives its customers a workout in its 1.3km stretch of walkways meandering through this impressive structure. Well, as you've probably heard, you don't have to imagine it, because Ottawa is now home to Canada's largest IKEA retail store. It opened yesterday - December 7 - to a crowd of about 350 waiting outside the store to be the first to experience the brand new store.

Lara and I had the opportunity to go to a press event that IKEA had on Monday night where we were able to tour the store, ask questions and take lots of pictures to share with all of you.

This restaurant has a cafeteria feel to it, but it is not your run-of-the-mill, industrial cafeteria. No, it's stylish, attractive and the section for kids is just really cute!

If you ever went into the old IKEA store, you know how (not) big the children's section was. I didn't think to ask, but the kids section in the new store has got to be about 3-4 times bigger - and that's not including the IKEA Småland!

It's impressive, but beware - it's got a 45 minute time limit, so come to IKEA with your running shoes on and be ready to sprint through the store! I'm going to leave Brandon at home for the first trip so I can go get that elephant for Christmas - it's just too cute.

There's more - so much more - than I could include in the pictures. You'll really have to go out and see it to appreciate all that is available particularly for children. IKEA wants us to help one lucky reader have a little extra special time enjoying their new store with a $100 Gift Certificate to be awarded next week.

All you have to do to enter this contest is comment on this post and tell us one thing you're excited to go see in the new store! A winner will be picked from the commenters and announced next Tuesday on the blog. Your deadline to enter is Monday, December 12th at 7:00pm.

Come check back next Tuesday to see who the lucky winner is!! And don't forget that you can stay up-to-date on everything that's happening with IKEA Canada by following them on Twitter and Facebook!