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Everyone thinks of the beginning of the school year as the perfect time to create new family dinner traditions, but summertime is actually a great time to savor this time too!
Everyone is out of school, there are no homework assignments to do, and the days are longer with more sunlight in the evening. That all makes for a great opportunity to spend time together around the dinner table. Our favorite meal for family dinners is always pizza. No disrespect to other cuisines, but pizza is where it's at… and everyone LOVES it!
We set off last week for a fun dinner at Zpizza in Laguna Beach. Zpizza is the first artisan inspired pizza chain started in Laguna Beach nearly 30 years ago. Recognized for its high quality ingredients, Zpizza offers a wide variety of brick-oven baked pizzas, sandwiches, and fresh salads. Vegan and gluten-free pizzas are also available, and Maddie and I really loved the vegan pizza. Pete and the other girls had the other ones and thought they were amazing too!
Zpizza has some of the friendliest staff and they had this awesome party spread set up for us. But even the non party tables feel like party tables at Zpizza. It has a great relaxed beachy vibe that makes it a perfect choice for families wanting to spend some time together… or, you can even get your pizza and the rest of your meal to go!
Since I grew up in Orange County, I've been eating at Zpizza for years. In fact, it has been a trusted name for delicious and better for you family meals for over 30 years now! They also recently announced an exciting new partnership with non-profit, The Family Dinner Project.
The Family Dinner Project hosts community dinners across the country for underserved families, spotlighting the proven benefits of coming together around the table as a family for meals, and they provide free conversation starters, and fun games to make mealtime memorable.
Aside from hugs and kisses, we love games and talking about our day at dinner, although sometimes it can be a challenge getting the conversation started. That is why these games are so awesome. We have found that by playing some of the games at dinner it gets the fun started and makes everyone more open to having real family discussions.
From games to the conversation starters is how to get kids talking!
While we were talking and playing the games, we all enjoyed some appetizer salads and a hummus plate. I wasn't sure that we were going to be able to even eat any pizza because the starters were so delicious… but, after trying the pizza later, I was so glad we did!
Then it was time to make our pizzas!
Emmy loved creating her own masterpiece.
These were my favorite toppings. Fresh grilled vegetables!
Emmy took this job super seriously! She also is in love with Parmesan cheese!
You should have heard all the giggling while we were working on our pizzas! I love creating such awesome memories!
Soon our pizzas were ready. Like really soon. I couldn't believe how quickly they baked them. Emmy wasted no time digging right in!
And then it was back to more chit chatting and having fun!
Zpizza really made this evening special with the conversation starters, place mats, and games that they are making available for download here to enrich the family dinner experience. They also have a great free free upgrade (from a Large to an XL) every Tuesday night at participating locations through the end of June that you can use to create your own family pizza night, or nights as we are doing for the rest of this month! Seriously, Tuesday nights are now Pizza Tuesdays to us!
They will also be randomly awarding free family dinners and copies of Home for Dinner written by Dr. Anne Fishel, founder of The Family Dinner Project, to families that share pictures sitting together at their dinner table and use the hashtag #zpizza on social media! So be sure to share your pictures!
We had such a wonderful night and we can't wait to have another awesome meal from Zpizza! Here are the other zpizza locations to see if there is one in your area. Be sure to join ztribe for special member only benefits!