In truth, most beer gardens are pretty kid-friendly — as long as you ignore the occasional side-eye from the kidless or even parents who successfully unloaded their little angels on a grandparent or babysitter for the afternoon. There’s usually plenty of open space filled with indestructible picnic tables and games, and you don’t need to worry about whether there’s something on the menu that your kid will actually eat since carb-heavy drunk-people food closely resembles your average tot favorites. (Hmmmm … come to think of it, drunk folks and toddlers actually have a lot in common.) Here are five places that go the extra mile to welcome parents, who could probably use a drink more than you know:
One of D.C.’s most beloved and established beer gardens is so family-friendly, there’s even a hashtag: #KidsofDacha. Roll up during Friday at lunchtime, when the Shaw restaurant opens at noon, and you’re bound to see a half-dozen strollers with kids and parents having lunch together. Parents love it so much that the beer garden has hosted toddler birthday parties.
1600 7th St. NW
Kids are welcome at this Park View beer garden Monday through Thursday until 8 PM, but after that it gets a bit too “lively” for the under 21 set. Coloring books and crayons are kept on hand, and the meats coming out of the 20-foot barrel smoker are a big draw for families. There’s plenty of shade and cornhole outside, as well as free pool and darts inside.
3333 Georgia Ave. NW
Not only are children welcome at this fourth iteration of the iconic local brewery, we honestly can’t think of anyone that wouldn’t be welcome. There’s a sandbox for wee ones, an off-leash dog park section, water views and breezes, shady areas under a bridge, occasional live music, not to mention the fact that it’s a stone’s throw from Nationals Park. Bring the family and a picnic, drinks some beer and say, “Ahhhh.”
25 Potomac Ave. SE
A recent visit to this newly opened hot spot in Rosslyn revealed that many patrons had no problem with toting the kids around — babies strapped to dads, moms chasing toddlers — and nobody batted an eye. There’s bocce and picnic tables, with strings of pretty lights above it all. If the kids get restless, order up some pigs in a blanket, a warm soft pretzel or some veggies and hummus.
1911 N. Fort Myer Dr., Arlington
For tykes who aren’t yet old enough for the beer-pong tables, this 8,000-square-foot beer garden features a large play structure with slides and nooks to explore. It’s set over a patch of mulch to minimize the risk of bumps and boo-boos while you get your beer on. Dogs are also welcome, and festivals held there sometimes feature a kid’s corner. If you can’t find parking in the 50-car lot, try the large, free parking garage that’s a four-minute walk down Leesburg Pike.
8346 Leesburg Pike, Tysons Corner