Optimism Brewing Company
Along with rain, coffee and Amazon, Seattle is known for its hopping — pun intended — beer scene, with plentiful microbreweries and nanobreweries to prove it. Wineries aren’t far behind: Washington state is the nation’s second-largest wine producer. But if you thought that indulging in these 21-and-older libations is limited to kid-free outings, get ready to reconsider.
Unlike bars, which aren’t allowed to seat minors, breweries and wineries have no such restrictions. Local brew, vino and cider spots make full use of the opportunity to host families. From kid menus and free snacks to play areas and gaming consoles, these hangouts are stepping up their game — literally. Throw in spacious patios, relaxed vibes and, of course, a tasty sipper for Mom or Dad, and you’ve got the recipe for a perfect Seattle-area afternoon. Check out our roundup of favorite family-friendly pours around town.
Troy Hakala and Gay Gilmore, husband-and-wife owners of Optimism Brewing Company, have a few kiddos of their own, so they designed their Capitol Hill brewery to be a place where they would want to hang out. Housed in a 100-year-old former warehouse, the brewery now stretches over 16,000 square feet. Littles have full run of their very own colorful gated play area at the back. There’s no food menu on tap, but a rotating lineup of food trucks serves goodies; families are also welcome to bring their own or have food delivered to them on-site. The space is even available to host a children’s birthday party! As for the brews themselves, Optimism prides itself on a wide range of innovative beer styles to suit all tastes. Beer novice? Let the certified beer servers guide you to your new favorite brew.
This community-centered brewpub, started by two friends in 1997, is the ultimate no-frills hangout, and has three locations, in Burien, Lake City and West Seattle. One of the few local breweries dedicated to producing organic beer, it offers a rotation of handcrafted seasonal ales inside a cozy, warmly lit space, along with an impressively varied food selection. The kids’ menu is extensive, featuring all of the picky-kid classics, from hot dogs and grilled cheese to a fun grazing platter of turkey, cheese, veggies and mandarin oranges.
Queen Anne’s Rooftop Brew Co. has rightfully earned its reputation as one of the city’s most kid-friendly breweries. A major draw is the machine dispensing free popcorn, but there’s also a chalk wall, magnetic darts, and a rotating food-truck lineup to keep little ones busy and fed while the grown-ups sample the brews. Plus, what kid wouldn’t get excited about being on an actual rooftop? The open-air taproom overlooks the Ship Canal, though when the days turn chillier, a tented outdoor space at the front is set up with heaters and fire pits.
Fremont’s buzzing brewery is famous for its Urban Beer Garden, or UBG, a lush outdoor hub with covered and heated seating. A rotation of specialty, seasonal, and year-round beers and ciders is offered on tap, and food can be ordered in from one of the many neighborhood nosh spots. In the meantime, kiddos (and grown-ups) can munch on free pretzels served by a friendly beertender. Youngsters — along with anyone else not imbibing — can order kombucha, soft drinks or juice to sip along.
This recently opened brewery is the latest addition to Kirkland’s new Feriton Spur Park, set right along the Cross Kirkland Corridor trail for the perfect cycling pit stop. You won’t miss it — kiddos are bound to spot the awesome red caboose and water tower in the distance, marking Chainline Station.
Along with unique craft beers, the historic train car turned taproom serves espresso drinks for tired parents and ice cream bars for perky children. The patio faces the trail and an adjacent urban garden, pickleball court and splash pad, where the littles can beat the heat on summer days while you kick back with a cold one. Hungry? Just a few minutes away, in Kirkland Urban, Chainline’s second taproom cooks up a menu of pizzas, Bavarian pretzels and empanadas to go with its brewskis!
Can you imagine anything more appealing to a kid than alighting smack-dab in the center of an amusement park? This long-awaited, brand-new brew spot is located at beloved local Remlinger Farms, Carnation’s kid haven of rides, cute animals and old-fashioned farm fun. Lure Dad in with the promise of chilled brews and tasty tacos, as a well-deserved reward for an outing to the Country Fair Fun Park or one of the farm’s seasonal events. Hungry kiddos can refuel at the adjacent farm café and explore the indoor train-themed play area and toy-filled gift shop.
Is hard cider more your jam? Grab the fam and head right to one of Locust Cider’s many locations. But be warned: The colorful cans and fun flavors might tempt little hands into trying to sneak a sip! Luckily, there’s no shortage of distractions in the cideries’ groovy taprooms, including sectioned-off kids’ corners, giant lawn games and free retro video game consoles right at the tables, where you can challenge your offspring to a Super Mario battle. Several locations even host local game-night gatherings. In the meantime, explore Locust’s hard cider flavors, ranging from classic apple to the adventurous vanilla bean and smoked blueberry. Most locations also serve a variety of savory snacks, such as Nutella and bacon flatbread (!), while kiddos devour the mini corn dog bites.
Another one for cider lovers, Mill Haus is a bit of a drive outside the city limits, but it’s definitely fantastic enough to merit a mention. The recently renovated cidery is tucked away in the town of Eatonville, conveniently on the way for families heading for a visit to Mount Rainier. You’ll first catch sight of the giant spinning waterwheel right in the center of the lovely patio. Then, take in the rest of the incredible outdoor space, where kids can wander as if through an enchanted forest. Burbling creeks run through the natural landscaping; charming rustic décor is set off by twinkling fairy lights; inviting Adirondack chairs are arranged around fire pits; and covered seating abuts a stage for live music performances. Ciders come in sophisticated flavors such as prickly pear and habanero-lime, and a creative food menu features flatbreads, sliders, street tacos and more.
Wine and walks? Sign us up! The JM Cellars’ Woodinville property, known as “Bramble Bump,” is nestled in a sprawling 7-acre outdoor arboretum, where you can stroll with your wine glass in hand while your little tagalongs explore the short trails. There’s even a bocce court on-site, should you feel up for an impromptu game. Try this family-run winery’s signature white or red tasting flights, which come with plates of mixed nuts and crackers that double as wine accompaniments and essential kid snacks. Note: Once inside, the owners do ask that kiddos remain seated at tables for safety reasons, so make sure the littles burn off excess energy around the grounds before having a seat.
The oldest winery in Washington state, Chateau Ste. Michelle is an iconic landmark of Woodinville’s wine country — and for good reason. Rising up from the 105-acre forested property is its historic chateau, like something out of a fairy tale. The most popular way for families to enjoy a visit is by having a picnic on the pretty grounds — pack your own or grab some picnic-ready provisions from the winery gift shop, along with your bottle of wine, of course. Be on the lookout for the resident peacock flaunting his tail feathers around the grounds! The venue is also widely appreciated for its family-friendly outdoor summer concert series, which brings in visitors from all over the Seattle area for high-profile musical performances.