We wanted to stay at the park till evening as our family wanted to see the glowing crater steaming after dark. We needed to find an evening meal after hiking across a 4 mile trail (good for a 5 yr old). We had packed food for the day, but needed to be inside in the warm for a hot dinner. If you are on a family budget like our family you might want to eat in the lounge (as the restaurant requires reservations anyway). The children's menu is the same as in the restaurant. The menu for adults is much more limited, and less pricey than the restaurant but still expensive. But considering the convenience and the placement giving view - its understandable. We were able to eat, hang out by the fire, and then take a seat in the lounge for viewing the crater. Then left to head to the Jagger Museum which is placed closer to the crater. Overall a good plan. Note: families may want to pack an extra set of clean nicer clothes to change into after hiking and exploring the park, if you are planning on staying to eat for the evening also.
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