If summer was a seasonal beverage, it might be a beer. Nothing quenches heat wave thirst like a frosty cold one. Thankfully, many of the breweries in and around the DMV serve brews in a family-friendly setting, meaning you can relax on one of these dog days with kids in tow. Enjoy!
Leave the hustle-and-bustle of all-things-metro behind at this rustic, barn-like brewery off Route 28 near Manassas. Tucked away behind a small, suburban strip mall, Eavesdrop offers plenty of space for kids (and adults) to run and play outdoors. You'll find the usual beer-garden staples, like cornhole, on the property. The patio area is expansive with numerous picnic tables; outside food is welcome and encouraged. Weather permitting, there is an outdoor fire pit for roasting marshmallows. The indoor space is small, but does feature board games and a popcorn machine.
7223 Centreville Road Suite 115
Manassas, VA 20111
Port City Brewing Company
Port City Brewing Company
This tasting room has all the beer hall gaming classics for an entertaining afternoon: giant Jenga, ladderball, darts, cornhole and more. It's the old school arcade games -- which don't cost a penny -- that are sure to please the 6 and up crowd. Picnics are allowed; there are plenty of tables to enjoy a meal and a beer, but only a handful with shade.
3950 Wheeler Avenue
Alexandria, VA 22304
Solace Brewery Company
Solace is a great place to unwind after a day at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center. This expansive tasting room has oversized picnic tables for families to gather over a board game and a beer. You'll also find a foosball table, a pinball machine and an arcade game to keep little fingers occupied. If the kids get the tummy grumbles, grab some popcorn from the old-timey popcorn machine onsite.
42615 Trade West Drive
Sterling, VA 20166
The Denizens slogan says it all: "Unified by beer." All are welcome at this Silver Spring beer hall, conveniently located off Georgia Avenue. Expansive rooms mean even parents with small children in tow can find a quite, un-crowded spot. The rooftop offers ample seating (but, note, there is limited shade outside). If hunger strikes, this brewery has a kid-friendly menu with crowd pleasers like chicken fingers .
1115 East-West Highway
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Dirt Farm Brewing
If you enjoy craft beers, heading to Loudoun County is a must. Dirt Farm, nestled on the side of the Blue Ridge Mountains, not only serves exceptional beers but it offers outstanding views. Kids will enjoy grabbing a meal here: Dirt Farm offers house-made flatbreads. You’ll find plenty of toys and attractions on-hand to entertain the little ones, like tubs of bubbles, monster-sized trucks and more. The most fun? Playing in the dirt, of course! Great Country Farm (owned by the same family that runs Dirt Farm) is at the foot of the mountain and a must-see stop.
18701 Foggy Bottom Road
Bluemont, VA 20135
Twinpanzee Brewing Company
If you enjoy family game night, bring your crew to this Sterling establishment for some beer and board games. Twinpanzee offers games for all ages, including Candy Land, Operation, Chutes and Ladders, Trouble, Sorry!, Clue and more. There is also a Nintendo Entertainment System with over 30 games to challenge your loved ones with. Kids 16 and under are treated to free chips and juice. The brewery frequently hosts family-friendly events like kart racing.
10 Executive Drive
Sterling, VA 20166
Peabody Heights Brewery
The largest brewery in Baltimore City is also the most kid-friendly; Peabody, located in the Abell Neighborhood, offers tours and tastings every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. In addition to the industrial-style tasting room, you’ll also find outdoor seating. The real draw is the dedicated kid play space, that includes two bookcases filled with children’s books, a train table, ride-on toys and more.
401 E 30th Street
Baltimore, MD 21218
Dacha Beer Garden
Set in a little townhouse a block from the Shaw metro, Dacha is part swim up bar, part diamond in the rough. Kiddos can hang at the picnic tables flanked by a giant mural, while the grown-ups pop over to the walk up bar and try to figure out whether they want mead, cider, or an impressive selection of Deutschland authentic beers to drink from “Das Boot.” We’re not lying, they really do come in a boot glass, so make sure the kids have their favorite sippy cups so they don’t get jealous. There’s no formal kitchen here, but you’re welcome to bring outside food. Note: The toilets here are of the portable variety, but regulars swear they are the cleanest outdoor bathrooms ever.
1600 7th Street NW
Washington, District of Columbia 20001
If you want to give your pint-sized world traveler an authentic Oktoberfest experience, without the cost of airfare, then check out Biergarten Haus. Little ones will chow down on traditional German food like Spatzle mit Ziegenkaese (mac and cheese), Kartoffelsalat (warm potato salad) and Wurstplatten (sausages). Adults can sample some of the top German beers (Spaten, Eggenberg, Hofbrau). Everyone gets to jive to the surprise appearances by polka bands.
1355 H Street NE
Washington, DC 20002
For fans of former Bardos, throw the kids in the car, and head to this Bardo. A reincarnation of the popular Arlington brewery, Bardo has reopened in Southeast as both brewery and beer garden. With room for 75 0 people, you can bring the kiddos and sprawl out. Older kids will love the corn hole games lined up on the side yard. It’s still getting its ducks in a row, so the future will see self-service taps, outside movies, and a full service restaurant. Its super rustic, so no need to dress the kids in their Sunday best.
25 Potomac Avenue SE
Washington, DC 20003
Harpers Ferry Brewery
This brewery is exactly 60 miles from the city; it's a mini road trip, but well worth the drive for the breathtaking views of the Potomac River. Make a day of it by spending some time on the water, visit the nearby historic town of Harpers Ferry, or take a stroll down the C&O towpath.
37412 Adventure Center Ln
Purcellville, VA 20132
Westover Beer Garden and Haus
Locals swear that Westover Beer Garden and Haus is the best place to hang with kids and enjoy a brew on a lazy Saturday afternoon. Hidden within the Westover Market, the Beer Haus is super fam-friendly with lots of other parents grabbing some shade and testing out one of the 16 micro brews they have on tap. With a giant volcano mural and twinkling lights outside, little ones will feel like they’ve stepped into a fairy tale oasis.
5863 Washington Boulevard
Arlington, VA 22205
Tucked away on 14th street is a marriage of American and Bavarian culture. Garden District is a fun, kid-friendly BBQ joint that pays homage to the biergartens of southern Germany with rows of picnic tables anchored by Hofbrau Munchen umbrellas, which help keep little melons from roasting in the sun. Kiddos can tuck into some homemade cider donuts, while Mom and Dad sip an ice cold draft of Weihenstephaner hefe-weissbier or Kostritzer Schwarzbier (both are top German beers). For extra good little girls and boys, Garden District offers Coca-Cola Classic with real sugar, or Boylan’s orange cream soda.
1801 14th Street NW
Washington, DC 20009
Vanish Farmwoods Brewery
Spend the day in the country at this Loudoun County brewery; set on over 50 acres, this rural establishment encourages guests to BYOG (bring your own games) and make use of its wide open spaces. You’ll find corn hole boards and gaga ball on the premies for patrons to enjoy. There is also a newly built playground on site. Kid-friendly entertainment, like face painters, are often on-hand. Enjoy over 20 beers on tap. While you are in the area, be sure to check out Temple Hall Farm, a working farm open free to the public (and a short five mile drive from the brewery).
42264 Black Hops Lane
Leesburg, VA 20176
MacDowell Brew Kitchen
Craft beer aficionados regularly gather here with their littles who like to play and build sand castles on the year-round beach outfitted with a couple of fire pits for chilly afternoons. With a full menu, this is the perfect spot for a laid back weekend brunch.
202 Harrison Street SE, Suite B
Leesburg, VA 20175
—Meghan Meyers and Hilary Riedemann
featured image: Ted Eytan via Flickr