When my husband Chase and I were still young and hip and without kids (which we will now call BC = before children) we LOVED a good Happy Hour to unwind after a long day. Upon moving to Dallas we realized how many wonderful patios, cool places to eat, and fun dives there were in town to host our happy hours. Every week we would venture to a new place, and we also found a few favorites along the way… it became part of our routine and we enjoyed catching up with each other while we explored our new city.
Now fast forward a few years and we have a couple kids in tow. Happy Hour?! You gotta be kidding me! But one of the things I swore up and down when I got pregnant was that I would continue to live my life (or a slight resemblance of it) after we popped out some kids. So one of the things we have done to keep a piece of our old life is to continue the tradition of Happy Hour. It’s a little different than it used to be, we had to get a little creative, and it doesn’t happen as often, but it happens. And that counts. So for those of you who would like to attempt to have a social life while also having kids – grab your gang, maybe invite some friends who also have kids and need to get out, and check out my 5 best places to Happy Hour with Kids.
Five Happening Places to Happy Hour With Kids
The Arboretum is a great place to have a nice relaxing time and let your kids run free while you spread out a blanket and open a bottle of wine. The Arboretum allows coolers of food and drinks or you can explore some of the great restaurants they have as well. BONUS: go during one of the year’s events such as Dollar Days or Autumn at the Arboretum for extra fun.
2. Northpark Mall Courtyard
Perfectly placed right on the courtyard at Northpark is Bread Winners Bistro and LaDuni Latin Cafe. They each have great patios with direct access to the courtyard so you can relax at a table and let your kids run free. Both offer great cocktail menus, delicious food AND kid’s menus.
UPDATE: LaDuni Northpark permanently closed during the pandemic. Bread Winners is still going strong though!
3. Rodeo Goat
This place is located in the Design District. It has a very cool outdoor patio and the vibe on weekdays is pretty chill so it’s perfect for the kids to tag along. The beer and cocktail menu is large and if you are hungry the burgers are amazing! Official happy hour is M-F from 4-7pm.
Just across the Trinity River, over the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge sits Trinity Groves. It has a boardwalk setup and offers lots of great places to grab a drink and some food. The best part (other than all the options) is the HUGE and I mean really big patio areas out in front of each of the establishments. There are lots of places to sit and even more areas for kids to spread out without disturbing others. It’s become a hot spot for families in the early dinner hours and it’s a great place to unwind with the crew.
You must check this place out. It’s a huge park-like area with tons of games, picnic tables and fun to be had. There are always lots of dogs to keep your kids entertained plus plenty of room to explore. The food and drink menu is inventive and includes kid friendly snow cones and adult snow cones (try the Bourbon Bomber).
All of the spots I have recommended offer some sort of activity to keep your kids occupied, or at the very least from bugging the other patrons, but it’s always good to have a back up plan. When doing happy hour with kids make sure to pack some kid-friendly snacks. The menus might not always have the best offerings for those picky eaters. I also suggest taking an activity. We love the Grab-N-Go Play Packs that you can get at the Target Dollar Spot. They come in a bunch of different characters and include a little coloring book, stickers and crayons. I keep a large supply in my car and pull them out when we need some extra help staying entertained.
Believe me fellow Moms (and Dads) – this can be done. You can get out, have a refreshing beverage at a cool Dallas spot AND have your kids with you. It’s almost like a date! So be brave, pack up the crew, and Happy Hour like the BC days! Cheers!
Tell me…what is your favorite patio/restaurant/bar to socialize with or without your kiddos? I am always looking for new places to try.