When the sun is shining, nothing quite beats dining al fresco.

Being a parent doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the fun, but it can often be difficult to find a venue that'll keep the kids entertained.

Pubs with outdoor play areas can be a godsend when it comes to giving parents the rare chance to relax while the kids play.

Now spring is here there will hopefully be lots of chances to get out outside in the sun over the next few weeks and months.

So here's a round-up of the best family friendly places to eat and drink with children near Chester.

Ring O' Bells, Christleton

Ring O' Bells - Christleton

This country pub is located in the heart of the picturesque village of Christleton. With a fantastic menu and wine list it's the perfect place to relax with friends and family.

There is a decked sun terrace and a family lawn, complete with picnic tables and children’s play area.

For more details see www.ringobellschester.co.uk

The Race Horse, Upton

Race Horse - Upton

Located on the new Upton Grange development next to the Countess of Chester Hospital, the Race Horse is perfect for dining out with the family.

There's a safe, enclosed play area an extensive kids menu with a free activity pack and baby food for children under three.

It is open from 10am every day to serve breakfast followed by the main menu from 11am Monday to Saturday, and from midday on Sunday.

For menu and bookings visit www.hungryhorse.co.uk

The pirate ship at The White Horse, Chester Racecourse

The White Horse - Chester Racecourse

This family friendly gastro-pub located at Chester Racecourse features one of the best children's play areas around, with a huge pirate ship.

A comprehensive kids menu includes the option to build a pizza from scratch at the dining table.

For more details visit www.thewhitehorsechester.co.uk

Old Hall Farm, Little Stanney, Ellesmere Port

Old Hall Farm - Little Stanney, Cheshire Oaks

Old Hall Farm in Ellesmere Port offers a safe haven from the crowds, just over the road from Cheshire Oaks Designer Shopping Village.

There is a daily carvery as well as varied pub menu, and families are welcome.

There is a lovely beer garden with a great outdoor kids' play area, perfect for when the sun comes out.

For more details see www.oldhallfarmpub.co.uk

The Stamford Bridge, Tarvin Road, Chester

The Stamford Bridge - Tarvin Road, Chester

Situated just two miles from Chester, The Stamford Bridge offers a varied and imaginative menu all day, every day.

With wonderful views over the Cheshire Plains and a great play area for the little ones, it's the perfect place to enjoy family time.

Pollards Inn, Willaston

Pollards Inn - Willaston

Set in a Grade II listed building in the pretty village of Willaston, Pollards Inn serves freshly prepared local produce in its conservatory restaurant.

There is a lovely garden seating area and a children’s outdoor playground.

This former farmhouse is 200 yards from the Wirral Way, a lovely countryside and coastal footpath and is only a 20-minute drive from Chester.

See www.pollardsinn.co.uk for more details.

The Goshawk, Mouldsworth

The Goshawk - Mouldsworth

This pub with a stunning al fresco dining area is a little gem in the heart of the Cheshire countryside. Just one minute's walk from Mouldsworth train station and one stop away from Chester.

There is a terrace and large grassy beer garden overlooking the children's play area, and well-kept bowling green which is frequently used in the summer months.

Food ranges from the famous steak and kidney pie to succulent Lobster Thermidor, all freshly prepared on site by highly trained chefs.

See www.thegoshawkpub.co.uk for more details

The Yacht Hungry Horse, Parkgate Road

The Yacht Inn - Parkgate Road, Woodbank

Situated six miles from Chester The Yacht Inn offers great value family food and drinks, from steaks to salad and the Super Horse kids menu.

Children are very welcome. There is an outdoor play area in the large and beautiful garden, where younger visitors can amuse themselves for hours while the adults enjoy a bit of relaxation.
The Plough Inn, Christleton

The Plough Inn - Christleton

The Plough is a traditional country pub situated in the beautiful village of Christleton , featuring a well maintained and enclosed family beer garden with a children's play area.

Walkers enjoying the local Cheshire countryside are welcomed as are well behaved dogs (except in the restaurant) if kept on a lead.

For more details see www.theploughinncheshire.co.uk

The Rake Hungry Horse, Little Stanney

The Rake Hungry Horse - Little Stanney

Located just five minutes' walk from Cheshire Oaks, The Rake welcomes families of all ages. It has an extensive menu, large gardens and a play area.

For menu and bookings visit www.hungryhorse.co.uk

If you know of any good pubs with play areas we should add to our list tweet us at @ChesterChron or @EPPioneer or email us at newsroom@cheshirenews.co.uk