While there are plenty of options out there for kid-friendly activities, sometimes parents long for some diversions that are fun for both the kids and mom and dad. Many establishments in the DC metro area have heard their cries and are offering some great kids-welcome happy hours, events and parties. So forget the sitter, grab the kids and head on out.
Twisted Vines welcomes moms, dad and kids every other month for their Stroller Happy Hour which features snacks and toys for the children and much needed happy hour specials for their parents. Try their flatbreads, like the Fig and Prosciutto with Gorgonzola, or get a cheese board to share while sipping fantastic wines at the wine bar. Check the website for the next scheduled Stroller Happy Hour.
Twisted Vines: 2803 Columbia Pike, Arlington, VA; 571-482-8581; www.twisted-vines.com
Barrel Oak Winery
While not a restaurant itself, although they do offer small portions of eats paired with their wines, Barrel Oak Winery was recently named by Wine Enthusiast Magazine as the top family-friendly winery in the country. The winery welcomes little ones with juice boxes and there is plenty of space for them to run around while mom and dad relax with a nice glass of wine.
Barrel Oak Winery: 3623 Grove Ln. Delaplane, VA; 540-364-6402; www.barreloak.com
Located in the family-friendly neighborhood of Del Ray in Alexandria, Fireflies does not have a regular stroller happy hour, but they are certainly welcoming of thirsty parents and their kids. They supply crayons to keep the children occupied while mom and dad enjoy cheap drinks every day from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Fireflies: 1501 Mt. Vernon Ave. Alexandria, VA 22301; 703-548-7200; www.firefliesdelray.com
The Reef Restaurant
The Reef’s rooftop is one of Adams Morgan’s most popular destinations, but not only for the view: Chef Dwayne Hickman’s seasonal menu is executed to perfection by his kitchen staff with local and/or organic products whenever possible. On Fridays from 5 to 7 p.m., families flock to The Reef for Kiddie Happy Hour. The restaurant gets rave reviews from moms and dads for this event and offers normal happy hour specials as well as extra discounts on food for the kids. There are fish tanks and ‘80s music which will make kids of any age happy. Here’s the kicker: free stroller parking on the second floor!
The Reef Restaurant: 2446 18th St. NW, DC; 202-518-3800; www.thereefdc.com
Parents can thank the beer gods for Wonderland’s baby happy hour. The Columbia Heights go-to beer joint hosts a weekly happy hour especially for parents who need to enjoy a cold pint while watching over their rugrats. 5 to 8 p.m. every Wednesday.
Wonderland Ballroom: 1101 Kenyon St. NW, DC; 202-232-5263; www.thewonderlandballroom.com
From the fish tacos to the Argo burger and sweet potato fries, even the little ones may find something they like here. And if families head over on Wednesdays, kids under 12 can eat for free off the kids menu. Happy hour for the adults runs from 5 to 7 p.m. every day.
The Argonaut: 1433 H St. NE, DC; 202-250-3660; www.argonautdc.com
Occasionally Tackle Box, a seafood restaurant with locations in Cleveland Park and Georgetown, hosts a Lil’ Skipper and Parents Happy Hour. They get a special place in the upstairs dining room. Follow Tackle Box on Twitter for the latest updates on the seafood house’s happy hour for kids – @tackleboxdc.
DC Cleveland Park: 3407 Connecticut Ave. NW, DC; 202-450-6875
Georgetown: 3245 M St. NW, DC; 202-337-8269
Located a few blocks from downtown Clarendon, this cozy restaurant and wine bar is a great place for parents to bring their kids on Sunday mornings, as they offer a Sunday Cartoon Brunch each week beginning at 10 a.m. Parents can enjoy brunch offerings and sip on wine or mimosas while their kids enjoy classic cartoons. Those with a more mature palate will enjoy menu items such as Tallula’s Benedict with a house biscuit, crispy pork, pickled jalapeño and home fries. Kids may gravitate towards their delicious Belgian Waffle with strawberry compote, whipped cream and maple syrup, or their 3 Eggs Any Style, accompanied by red bliss home fries, bacon or sausage and toast. – LF
EatBar: 2761 Washington Blvd. Arlington, VA 22201; 703-778-9951; www.eat-bar.com
Comet Ping Pong
Step inside Comet Ping Pong and you’ll realize that it’s not just another DC pizza joint – from the live bands who frequent their stage, to the multiple ping pong tables where you can find diners of all ages duking it out, this funky restaurant offers a little something for everyone. Notoriously kid-friendly, parents love it here because they can relax while kids play for free (something you can’t find at your local Chuck-E-Cheese’s!). They have a wide variety of beers and wines for those 21 and up, and your kids will be excited about the cream soda, root beer, and chocolate milk boxes. Now on to the food! Comet’s thin crust pizza offerings are as creative as their décor. Craving pizza but love Mexican flavors? Go for the “Rodrigo,” with organic black beans, organic beef, crema, lime salsa and the option to add jalapeño. Channeling your inner Popeye? Go with the “Steel Wills,” which comes topped with spinach, fresh ricotta, garlic, parmesan, Kalamata olives and Comet tomato sauce. Of course,t here is always the option to add your own toppings to create your own. For dessert, Comet offers local organic ice cream, homemade cookies and, of course, what would an Italian restaurant be without some amazing tiramisu? They don’t take reservations here, but don’t be afraid of a slightly long line on the weekends – just pick up a paddle and lose yourself in a few games while you wait! -LF
Comet Ping Pong: 5037 Connecticut Ave. NW, DC; 202-364-0404; www.cometpingpong.com
The open kitchen and circus theme at Mellow Mushroom gives the kids plenty to look at while waiting for the food. Mellow Mushroom offers both an interactive menu and crayons. The pizza is great kids’ food and mama’s not complaining about the beer menu. All summer long, kids under 10 eat free at lunch Monday-Friday with purchase of any entrée. Mellow Mushroom donates 25% of the proceeds from all kid’s meals to different non-profits that focus on issues impacting kids. Tasty and generous!
Mellow Mushroom: 2436 18th St. NW, DC; 202-290-2778; www.mellowmushroom.com
Capitol Riverfront Concerts
Every Friday through September 14, parents can take their kiddies to a free outdoor concert at the Yards Park. It’s a great chance to enjoy some great local music and for the kids to run around and get some of that energy out! Plus, great food and beer and wine are available on-site. 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Yards Park: 10 Water St. SW, DC; 202-465-7080; www.yardspark.org
Friday Night Concerts at Yards Park
The Yards Park hosts a series of free concerts each Friday through Sept. 14th. People can relax on the river with friends and family and enjoy beer and wine from ChurchKey and Planet Wine, and food from Frank by Red Apron, Buzz Bakery, Stix and more.