Simple — bring them along. These are some of Houston's top kid-friendly bars. To clarify, this list is reserved predominantly for local joints, not places that cater to families and just so happen to serve alcohol (Top Golf, Downtown Aquarium, Dave & Buster’s, etc.).
Note: As always, please drink responsibly, but especially here.
10. SPINDLETAP BREWERY
Shortly after opening last holiday season, Spindletap hosted an event in which families could purchase a gingerbread house to build and decorate. All proceeds went to local charities. Plus, the beer is awesome, the burgers are on point and kids routinely get together outside to throw the football around. (10622 Hirsch, spindletapbrewery.com)
For starters, Beaver’s features a patio – a must for anyone looking to knock down a couple of beers with kids in tow. Second, Beaver’s offers a diverse array of a kid’s culinary favorite – mac 'n’ cheese – including classic mac, barbecue mac and Frito pie mac. Add in one of the best bars inside the 610 Loop, and you have an ideal spot for families. (2310 Decatur, beavershouston.com)
8. WAKEFIELD CROWBAR
Crowbar features tasty burgers, cold beer and, for the little ones, awesome big cookies. The patio is spacious, and considering it’s popular with Garden Oaks families, odds are your kid will find a playmate in no time. And when it’s not league night, the kids can usually play on one of Crowbar’s three sand volleyball courts, a.k.a. giant sandboxes. (954 Wakefield, wakefieldcrowbar.com)
7. WEST ALABAMA ICE HOUSE
Kid-friendly, and they mean it. Seriously, during last year's floods, while I was stranded in a parking lot with my two boys, we walked over and waited out the rains at West Alabama. The staff couldn't have been more accommodating. That's just how it rolls at West Alabama Ice House, one of the friendliest joints in Houston. (1919 West Alabama, twitter.com/theWIAH)
6. NO LABEL BREWING CO.
A bit of a drive for non-Katy types, but well worth it. The taproom is open daily, but every Saturday from noon to 3, the brewery opens up into a family extravaganza. Locals bring chairs and picnics, No Label serves up quality beer and live music plays throughout. For the kids, there's plenty of space to roam, food trucks and a basketball goal. (5351 1st Street, Katy, nolabelbrew.com)
5. ALAMO DRAFTHOUSE
It’s not often easy to find time-consuming activities for kids in the summer, mostly because the temperature hovers around 100 degrees from June to September. Fortunately, both Drafthouse locations offers free kids' movies on select days, which enables parents to occupy their kids without running the risk of heatstroke. With boozy milkshakes and a number of local beers on tap, plus a place to sneak in a quick nap while “Happy Feet” keeps the kids busy, the Drafthouse makes for an ideal summer spot. (Two Houston-area locations, drafthouse.com/Houston)