Breweries around the country are becoming recognized for their family-friendly features and vibe. It is a true symbol of modern parenthood to have a baby in one hand and a beer in the other. So many breweries (and wineries) are family-owned and operated, it would only logically follow that they create environments that support families. Breweries are an amazing place to meet up with other families and build your village. Hang out with your kids in a taproom or enjoy the summer weather on a patio or spacious lawn.
While different amenities can make some locations appear more family-friendly than others, being prepared helps as well. Packing snacks, favorite special drinks, and a handful of small or simple toys can help your kiddos enjoy themselves at a table full of adult conversation.
An unintended perk of introducing your children to breweries and wineries is that they grow up learning how to drink responsibly. They may never become craft beer aficionados or master sommeliers, but they will have a foundation of seeing alcoholic beverages consumed in moderation in social settings. It’s a great opportunity to set an example, because our children are always watching.
This summer, enjoy a family-friendly brewery excursion and pair it with a nearby family-oriented attraction.
Try their signature Switchback Ale, an unfiltered reddish-amber ale, or check out the Citra-Pils Keller Bier, made with Citra hops, for a light summer refresher.
Kid perks: Kids can enjoy their own special beverages in the form of maple sodas. Board games are available for kids of all ages.
Best paired with: A short walk (three minutes!) to Oakledge Park situated on Lake Champlain featuring a playground, lake recreation, and a totally amazing accessible TreeHouse! Glass bottles are not allowed in the park, so you may want to make the park your first stop.
Most popular beverages are the Roll in the Hay IPA and Cow’s Out Milk Stout. Enjoy lunch specials and sandwiches from the kitchen (with an adorable farm-themed kids menu). Plan your visit on a Friday or Saturday night in July and August to take advantage of field-to-flame BBQ!
Kid perks: Stone Cow Brewery is located on Carter and Stevens Farm, complete with homemade ice cream (and waffle cones!), a playground, and of course a petting zoo!
Best paired with: A trip to the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, MA. Just under an hour drive away, this is a can’t-miss destination for both parents and children.
Known for their barrel-aged sour beers. Choose from the cherry of Montmorissey vs Baliton or the raspberries of Atrial Rubicite. With an awesome list of well-crafted brew names, your kids may have fun helping you make a selection. Food is available next door at Stanley’s Farmhouse Pizza.
Kid perks: Located on the gorgeous Ceres Park Ranch, there’s plenty of wide open space outside to run and play.
Best paired with: Head into the city to let off some steam at Austin Nature & Science Center or the Thinkery (Autstin’s Children’s Museum) for some indoor STEAM exporation.
Enjoy a pint of Devil’s Hump Red Ale, which won “Best Montana Beer” in its first year at Garden City Brewfest in 2008, or check out the seasonal Wolf Point Strawberry Wheat Ale (recommended with an added slice of lemon). Pair your beers with artisan pizza made with hand-tossed dough in the tap room’s Pizza Kitchen.
Kid Perks: The tap room has an awesome play space for kids featuring toys, a wooden play kitchen, and a puppet theater.
Best paired with: Children’s Museum of Missoula if you need an indoor adventure and A Carousel for Missoula and connecting Dragon Hollow Playground for outside fun.
Los Angeles, CA
Visit the original pub in Atwater Village and enjoy the tropical and citrus character of the Wolf Pup Session IPA or reach for the Saison Citron for a summer brewed with Meyer lemons. The menu includes traditional pub fare and features vegan and traditional kid-approved choices.
Kid perks: Enjoy an indoor round of tabletop games with your kiddos or take it outside for the jumbo lawn versions.
Best paired with: The location is perfect (a short five minute drive) for a day at LA’s famous Griffith Park and Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens.
Beverage highlights include Zest (a citrus hoppy ale specifically created for the founding mother of Optimism Brewing) and Whiskee Wee Mighty, newly unveiled in April 2017 (a whisky barrel-aged version of their scotch ale). A different food truck hangs out in the beer garden every day of the week, but you are always welcome to bring your own food.
Kid perks: The owners of Optimism Brewery are parents who love beer and created their brewery as the perfect environment for other parents who love beer.
Best paired with: Optimism Brewing’s location near Seattle University places it equidistant to the exciting must-see hot spots of Seattle. Head to Seattle Center for the iconic Space Needle, Seattle Children’s Museum, and Artists at Play Playground or make your way to the pier to explore Pike Place Market, the Seattle Aquarium, and the Seattle Great Wheel.
Highlights from their drink selection include the signature Hopworks IPA and the seasonal Ferocious Citrus IPA. They have a full menu with awesome selections for adults and kids, plus plenty of non-alcoholic drinks including Hopworks brewed root beer.
Kid perks: The kid’s area, featuring a train table, cannot be beat. Their menu even includes baby food!
Best paired with: A trip to Washington Park! Check out the Oregon Zoo or Portland Children’s Museum or opt for some simple play time at the accessible playground.
While breweries have become the face of family-friendly drinking experiences, many wineries around the country are opening their doors to kiddos as well. Here are some exceptionally kid-friendly options if the over-21 members of your family prefer fermented grapes over grains.
A Personally Recommended Winery by Washingtonian Magazine, Potomac Point Winery is an absolutely breathtaking location. Its most popular wine is La Belle Vita, a semi-sweet with fruity inspirations. Food is available onsite in the Bistro with a traditional “Lil Buds Menu” for kids. You can also pack your own picnic to enjoy on the grounds.
Kid perks: While the adults enjoy one of Wine Lovers Magazine’s “Top Ten Tasting Room,” kids can hang out and play in the adjacent Lil Buds Room.
Best paired with: Leesylvania State Park is a nearby outdoor destination with scenic hiking trails, river recreation, and bass fishing. Don’t forget the attraction that is the nation’s capitol! The winery is an hour and a half outside of Washington D.C., or you can opt for a slightly shorter drive to the closest metro station and ride into the city.
Estes Park, CO
Wines are created from grapes grown across the state of Colorado and handcrafted onsite. This winery features a wide selection of award-winning whites and reds and occasionally select bottles from surrounding Colorado wineries. Snowy Peaks offers a selection of carefully curated, mostly local, gourmet foods in the tasting room.
Kid perks: Treat kiddos to playtime in the “No-Wine-ing Zone” and an extra special fruit juice tasting.
Best paired with: Rocky Mountain National Park. If you have a child who just completed fourth grade (or the homeschool equivalent), make sure to pick up you Every Kid in a Park pass! An initiative started by former President Barack Obama provides every fourth grader free National Park admission for one full year (beginning in September and ending in August).
Family owned and operated, this winery is definitely a family-friendly affair. Bring a picnic, enjoy their large selection of reds and whites, and even visit the goats!
Kid perks: Larson Family Winery’s back pad offers open play space, lawn games, and the perfect place for a family picnic.
Best paired with: A ride on the Sonoma TrainTown Railroad! Fun is not limited to the 20 minute (handicap accessible) scenic train ride. It also includes a carousel, ferris wheel, and a petting zoo!