10 Kid-Friendly Taprooms in Dallas-Fort Worth for a Pint and a Play Date
This is the intersection of arts and crafts and craft beer.
At one point in time, bringing a baby to the bar was frowned upon. Fortunately, the puritanical notions that shook a finger at schlepping a toddler while sipping a pint have been replaced by more realistic standards today.
And yet, however far Prohibition-era parenting mores have evolved, there have been recent crackdowns on children at even casual restaurants. This is why those of us in the situation of caring for little people (albeit extremely loud and messy ones) need places where everyone can spread out and entertain themselves without fear of constant side-eye. Places where if a fight breaks out, it won’t be the first. And, if someone pees their pants, it’s not the end of the world. Spacious breweries are especially suited for this type of family-friendliness.
To help with the balancing act of parenting and drinking beer, we’ve delved into Dallas-Fort Worth’s family-friendliest breweries and taprooms. Patios—and other kids—are usually part of the scene, along with additional diversions, like generation-spanning games and food that kids and grown-ups equally can enjoy. The best perk for the ones paying for it all: excellent homegrown brews and a little peace of mind. (Also it’s worth noting here that many breweries become 21-and-over-only after a certain time, so do double-check that before you head out.)
Kid-Friendly Taprooms and Breweries in Dallas-Fort Worth
Beard Science Sour House
From the Brain Storm Shelter Group of Truck Yard fame, presided over by Wehrmann, is Beard Science Sour House, a sour-only brewery in The Colony across from Grandscape. Here, Dennis Wehrmann gives the German Reinheitsgebot purity law a rest and makes wild sours by capturing natural yeast from The Colony, TX. There’s also kettle sours, like the hibiscus seltzer sour and an exceptionally tart Berliner Weiss Extra Sour. Long banquet tables are suited for groups and board games, and for the outdoorsy, there’s a wide-open patio, food trucks, and a music stage in Truck Yard fashion.
Ground control to majorly yummy hazy IPAs at Celestial Beerworks, a galactic-themed brewery across from the Dart station in the Medical District. Since opening five years ago this Halloween, this cute place attracts with fun events, a shaded patio, and taps focusing on less bitter New England IPAs. While the taps are always changing, the food truck consistently delivers family-pleasing street tacos, tortas, and huaraches with pinto beans, lettuce, and avocado on fresh masa dough. Yes, there’s also chicken nuggets. That’s because most of the staff has kids too, which is why they recently began a regular Tiny Earthlings event series in their satellite production and event space.
Dallas; Fort Worth
For families that game together, there’s no better or more cost-effective place to play arcade games than at Bishop Cider’s two Cidercade locations. Everyday until 8 pm, when it becomes an adults-only place, a $12 admission price gives access to unlimited play on 140 retro and modern games at the Dallas Cidercade, and in Fort Worth, 275 games. Parents can choose from more than 20 of Bishop Cider’s dry, semi-sweet, and sweet ciders. There’s also tiki-toned ciders, like a Mai Tai and Zombie Attack with pineapple, apricot, lime, and rum flavors. The Dallas location in the Design District has food trucks and allows for outside food, and the Fort Worth location has an on-site kitchen slinging pizzas. Watch for an Arlington location coming soon.
With 20 mostly Texas taps and 350 tabletop games, it’s good times galore at D20 Tavern, a tap room in Denton’s downtown historic square. Craft beers from Sherman’s 903 Brewers, North Richland Hills’ False Idol, and Rockwall’s Siren Rock Brewing (among many others) can be lingered over while teaching older kiddos the ropes to Monopoly, backgammon, or Dungeons & Dragons. Game passes are $5 per player, but considering the games are well-maintained, it’s a fair price, and a fun indoor space where you can bring your own food and well-behaved furry family members, too.
Four Corners Brewing Co.
This independent brewery in the Cedars that was recently reacquired by its original founders is known for its crisp, honeyed Local Buzz and their smooth IPA, the El Chingón. Four Corners also has a reputation for its spacious, picnic table-lined patio outside the tap room that was once a horse stable and carriage house to the Ambassador Hotel. A kitchen serving loaded tater tots, fried bacon mac and cheese, elotes, and chicken fingers is open Thursday through Sunday. On Friday nights, Viernesito markets pack in small vendors, live music and sought after pop-ups.
Manhattan Project Beer Company
If you like Piña Coladas in IPA form and hanging out under umbrellas on some AstroTurf, you’ve probably already been to Manhattan Project hidden in an industrial alley in Trinity Groves. The Half-Life hazy IPA and Hoppenheimer West Coast IPA are the weapons of choice for many hopheads. For the kids, there’s Italian cream sodas and lemonades. The patio isn’t as large as others, but Manhattan has some of the better food served at a brewery, including whole family-pleasing hot arepas with five filling options, including braised pork, white cheddar with pickled green tomato, or black beans and avocado.
Martin House Brewing Company
It isn’t a surprise the weirdest beers in Texas have a kid-friendly home base. After releasing a Best Maid sour pickle beer in 2019, Martin House went truly wild with a Flamin’ Hot Cheetos beer, a barbecue sauce-flavored beer, and even a mayonnaise beer. Kids can go rogue here too in the expansive backyard with a food truck and view of downtown Fort Worth. For extra hot or rainy days, cozy up on a couch and play some board games while reliving your own days of innocence with rotators like the milkshake IPA brewed with Lucky Charms, called With Charms Wide Open.
On Rotation Brewery & Kitchen
After relocating from East Dallas to the Braniff Centre at Dallas Love Field in 2021, On Rotation is bigger and better than ever with 40 taps and a full kitchen serving beer biscuits, beer cheese queso, and gluten-free fried chicken. Everything that’s fried—okra, cauliflower, pickles—is gluten-free, as a matter of fact. To slake the thirsty, On Rotation’s most popular brew that recently scored a silver medal in the Texas Craft Brewers Cup, the Jalapeño Saison, is almost always on tap. Also a constant is the café au lait, a New Orleans-style coffee milk stout with chicory. There’s plenty for kids here, too: turf-covered patios, a classic Nintendo system, and sometimes, live music and kiddie pools.
Second Rodeo Brewing
Located in the agelessly family-friendly Fort Worth Stockyards, the 14,000-square feet Second Rodeo Brewing is big enough for kids to run around—although they probably shouldn’t, with people carrying drinks and all. The on-site brewery is helmed by Dennis Wehrmann, founder of McKinney’s Franconia Brewing Co. At Second Rodeo, he’s stewing an apricot Belgium Blond, a traditional German Hefeweizen called Cadillac Job, and a Mex Tex Mexican lager, among others. Second Rodeo is by Truck Yard’s owners, so there’s Philly cheesesteaks, along with nachos and wings. Kids can dance along to the live country music and play yard games. There’s even a treat for moms usually in charge of bathroom breaks with a photo of Burt Reynolds in nearly all of his hirsute glory displayed across the women’s bathroom doors.
Dallas’ award-winning-est, family-friendliest brewery is Lake Highlands’ Vector Brewing. Recently crowned the small brewery of the year at the Texas Craft Brewers Cup, this family-owned brewery survived a nightmare opening scenario. Today, it’s bouncing with libation-loving parents and their kids. They’re coming for Brittany Bryant’s sourdough pizzas and the sublime suds of brewing director, Tomás Gutierrez. They’re staying a little longer when the kids go at it in the enclosed “half pints” play area after finishing coloring sheets based on owner Craig Bradley’s patio murals. Like all good family-friendly places, they also know when to turn the chaos off. Kiddie curfew begins at 8 p.m. At that time, parents and other adults can rest assured they won’t be hit by flying Goldfish while enjoying Vector’s clean brews that capture traditional styles, as well as creative new ones.