The debate over whether or not you should bring your kid to a bar is very real. On the right side, is you: The man who created life from nothing and has worked up a powerful thirst. On the wrong side are the 20-somethings who can’t believe you’re holding a baby in one hand and a Belgian tripel in the other. Let those non-breeders have their meeting houses for awkward Tinder connections (those places are dead anyway). You should be hitting the bar that caters to your lifestyle, and these 10 establishments across the U.S. have bottles for the whole family.
This is pretty much like taking your kid to camp, except the counselors are other parents and the bug juice is Shiner. Located right on Lake Austin, you can arrive there via boat (Miami Vice-style). Ski Shores boasts a giant play structure, an outdoor fire pit, and old school arcade games. The minors can go frolic while you down craft beers and listen to live music. Tell them this is Chuck E. Cheese, now.
Ski Shores Cafe
The reason this beer hall is good for kids is simple: Everyone inside is rowdy. The authentic Bavarian-style vibe is kept alive by lederhosen-clad servers who sing, dance, and play giant Alpine horns. Gather the fam around the communal tables and show them how adults make friends. Hint: It involves polka music and toddler-sized beers.
Get out of your living room and go have a beer in somebody else’s (someone with excellent taste microbrews). There are over-sized leather chairs and couches for the chronically sleep-deprived and arguably the best selection of breweries in the city. Order a grilled cheese that’s a notch above your average kids menu and grab a board game. Have you ever turned Risk! into drinking game?
ABC Beer Co.
In a Portlandia sketch waiting to happen, cycling, brewing, kids, and social action come together in a space that feels like a velodrome-come-funhouse. There’s also a designated play area, take-home coloring books, and even a monthly storytime to keep all the children entertained. For adults, there’s good beer.
Hopworks Urban Brewery and Bike Bar
For those that would never be caught inside a bar with a baby, you can relax because Wrecking Bar isn’t a bar. Well, it is, but it was a lot of other things too: A 20th-century Victorian-style home. A Methodist Protestant church. A dance school. And now a brewery. So if you have moral objections, just tell everyone you’re going to (former) church.
Wrecking Bar Brewpub
Golden Road Brewing Company, Los Angeles
It occupies a former Southern Pacific switching station, which means aside from being huge (32,000 square feet), it’s very likely that Thomas and Friends will be passing by. And because all useful engines need some fuel, they have a killer kids’ menu and some outdoor games to work off those baby bar snacks.
Golden Road Brewing Company
Capitol Hill is known in D.C. circles as Baby Hill, and not just because of your average Senator’s disposition. The Argonaut serves parents inside the Beltway by creating a setting that embraces your child’s unconstrained artistic expression. Sorry, that’s wonk speak for “this place is a dive bar that won’t care about some crayon marks or spit-up on its decor.”
As is custom in Miami, this is a backyard party you don’t have to do anything for but show up. Parents, enjoy the tropical vibes, chaise lounges, and James Beard-nominated cocktails (including a weekly changing “punch”). Kids, enjoy that shuffle board, ping pong tables, and … pool? Hey kids, they have a pool!
The Broken Shaker
Live bands, PBR, and a whole lot of rusted metal is what you’re going to find at this outdoor Dallas bar. But assuming your kids are up to date on their tetanus shots, they’ll love this place. You’ll hit up the “treehouse bar” for signature bottled cocktails. They’ll gravitate towards the rotating cast of food trucks and Rice Krispy ice cream sandwiches. Then you meet back at a lawn chair? Ok? Break!
This SF enoteca does what you normally do on playdates — stand around and drink while bitching to other parents about sleep training and preschool applications. This weekly Wednesday happening is appropriately called “Wine and Whiner.” Let the kids run while you spill, but lower your voice — your 3-year-old doesn’t need to know he’s been “…kind of an asshole.”