Take the kids out for a Halloween treat! The following list is a sampling of District restaurants that offer special children's reduced-price entrees or just a homey environment with activities for 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 estabishment serves alcoholic beverages. "Entertainment" indicates the restaurant provides diversion for the crew.
Gepetto Restaurant, 2917 M St. NW. Tel.: 333-2602 or 333-4315 (for carryout orders). Hours: noon to 11:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday, noon to 1:30 a.m. Friday-Saturday, and 4 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. Sunday. Cards: AE, DC, CB, MC, V, C. Street and commercial parking. Bar. Price range: $5 to $7 per entree. Marionette puppets and cuckoo clocks make fascinating diversions for most young children. Specialties: a "bambino" 6-inch pizza, ricotta pie (ricotta cheese, chocolate chips, almonds and whipped cream in a graham cracker crust), as well as pizza, pasta, sandwiches and salads.
Houlihan's Old Place, 3222 M St. NW. Tel.: 342-2280. Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 1 a.m. Friday-Saturday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for Sunday brunch, to 11 p.m. for Sunday dinner. Cards: AE, DC, CB, MC, V. Street and commercial parking. Bar. Price range for children under 10: $1.95 to $2.25. Create-a-placemat and crayons for entertainment, as well as balloons. Kid specialties: hamburgers, hot dogs, grilled cheese sandwiches and boneless chicken fingers.
J.T. Ribbs, 4110 Wisconsin Ave. NW. Tel.: 363-7244. Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday, 5 to 11 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday. Cards: AE, MC, V. Free parking. Bar and saloon. Price range: $4.50 to $6.95 per entree and $4.95 for a half-pound burger. Specialties: babyback pork ribs, prime rib and seafood, as well as kiddie "mocktails" such as a Shirley Temple or Roy Rogers.
The National Gallery Restaurants, Constitution Avenue at 6th St. NW. Tel.: 347-9401. Hours: Cascades, East Building, open 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday-Saturday, noon to 6 p.m. Sunday; Terrace, East Building, open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Saturday, noon to 8 p.m. Sunday; the Garden, Main Building, open 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday, noon to 6 p.m. Sunday; and the Buffet, in the concourse between the two buildings, open 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday, noon to 6 p.m. Sunday. Cards: AE, MC, V and travelers' checks. Street and commercial parking. (Free parking from 10 a.m. to midnight behind the museum on Madison and Jefferson Drives). Tours and lectures by the gallery staff at 1 and 3 p.m. Monday-Friday and varying times on weekends. Price range: $2 to $5 per entree at The Buffet, $4 to $7 at The Cascades, Terrace and Garden Cafe's. Specialties: tea sandwiches at The Cascades; the Terrace Burger at the Terrace Cafe and quiche Lorraine at the Garden Cafe.
Swensen's Ice Cream Parlors and Family Restaurants, 1254 Wisconsin Ave. NW; 3414 Connecticut Ave. NW; in the Esplanade, 1990 K St. NW; in Mazza Gallerie, 5310 Wisconsin Ave. NW, and Van Ness at 4200 Wisconsin Ave. NW. Tels.: 333-3433, 833-1140, 966-8606, 362-3590 and 244-5544. Hours: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday at all D.C. locations. Check locations in Md. and Va. for hours. Cards: MC, V and travelers' checks. Street and commercial parking. Price range: kids' entrees from $3.95 to $5.25, ice cream is $1.10 for a single scoop, $2 for a double scoop and up Specialties: the Cable Car Kid's Meal (grilled cheese sandwich or a hot dog, served with potato chips and a coupon for a single scoop of ice cream), bubble gum ice cream and the "almost-more-than-you-can-eat meal deal" offering the choice of a chicken, tuna or egg salad sandwich, a super sundae and a large drink, all for $3.95. On Halloween, most locations will offer hot apple cider with a cinnamon stick and pumpkin pie a la mode.