Take the kids out for a treat. The following list is a sampling of Maryland restaurants that offer special children's reduced-price entrees or just a homey environment with activities for the kids. Specialties and entree price ranges are noted.
AE (American Express), DC (Diners Club), CB (Carte Blanche), MC (MasterCard), V (Visa), C (Choice). "Free parking" indicates the establishment has a lot; otherwise, expect street or commercial parking. "Bar" indicates the establishment serves alcoholic beverages. "Entertainment" indicates the restaurant provides diversion for the crew.
*Chuck E Cheese's, in the Briggs Chaney Plaza, 13807 Outlet Dr., Silver Spring and in Gaithersburg Square, 516 N. Frederick Ave., Gaithersburg. Tels.: 890-6767 and 869-9010 or 948-1613. Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday through Saturday. Cards: None. Cash, personal or travelers' checks only. ID required for check purchases. Free parking at both locations. Bar. Lots of entertainment at Chuck E Cheese's Pizza Time Theater, including the Cyberamics (robots), the Beagle, kiddie rides and participation games with prizes awarded. Video games too. Price range for kids' entrees is $1.59 to $1.99 for a hot dog, potato chips and an ice cream sundae or individual minipizza. Specialties: kiddie birthday parties at $3.95 per person Monday through Thursday and $4.50 per person on Friday through Sunday (includes a large pizza for every five diners, ice cream sundaes, soft drinks, and game tokens, as well as goody bags). Pizza, a salad bar, large sandwiches and lots of ice cream for the adults.
*Friday's, 6460 Capitol Dr., Greenbelt. Tel.: 345-2503. Hours: 11 a.m. to 12:45 a.m. Monday through Sunday. Cards: AE, DC, CB, MC, V. Free parking. Bar. Price range: .75 to $2.35 per child's entree. Specialties: A wide variety of food, including Mexican, Chinese and American dishes with beef, chicken and fish entrees.
*Hot Shoppes Cafeterias and Service Restaurants, 5454 Wisconsin Ave., (in the Barlow Bldg.), Chevy Chase. Tel.: 656-3872; Prince George's Plaza, Hyattsville. Tel.: 559-7433; Landover Mall, Landover. Tel.: 322-2997; Marlow Heights Shopping Center, Marlow Heights. Tel.: 423-6469; Montgomery Mall Cafeteria and Garden Potpourri, Bethesda. Tel.: 469-6094, and Wheaton Plaza, Wheaton. Tel.: 949-7056. Service restaurants are at Congressional Plaza, 1699 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Tel.: 881-0488; 6200 Annapolis Road, Hyattsville, Tel.: 322-8816, and 7500 Wisconsin Ave., Bethesda, Tel.: 656-3806. Hours: 7 to 10 a.m. for breakfast, 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. for lunch and 4:30 to 8 p.m. for dinner Monday through Saturday; 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday at all cafeterias. The service restaurants are generally open later; hours vary from restaurant to restaurant. Please check by telephone. Cards: None. Cash and travelers' checks only. Free parking. No bar. Price range: $1.25 to $1.50 per child's entree. Children 10 and under eat for half price. Ten percent discount for senior citizens. Specialties: American cuisine, blue plate special for $2.49, which includes a choice of entree, a vegetable and bread.
*Houlihan's, 4444 Willard Ave., Chevy Chase. Tel.: 654-9020. Hours: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to midnight Friday through Saturday, and 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday, with a buffet from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Bar hours are till 12:30 a.m. during the week and till 1:30 a.m. weekends. Cards: AE, DC, CB, MC, V and Woodies charge. Three hours validated parking in Woodies' lot. Bar. Entertainment in the form of coloring placemats with Houlihan's crayons. Price range: 75 cents to $3.95 for children under 11. Specialties: Burger-burger, kiddie hot dog, boneless chicken fingers, or a grilled cheese sandwich, all with optional french fries. For adults, ham and bacon quiche, fish and prime rib. Birthday parties are available.