The local brewery boom has given rise to a particularly Seattle phenomenon—the family-friendly taproom. At places like the highly respected Fremont Brewing (*1050 N 34th St; fremontbrewing.com), a box of toys keeps kids entertained while their parents sip IPA and barrel-aged oatmeal stout (the firepit and bowls of free pretzels are a hit with both parties).
In nearby Ballard, breweries like Stoup Brewing (*1108 NW 52nd St; stoupbrewing.com) and Reuben’s Brews (5010 14th Ave NW; reubensbrews.com) are equally family-friendly and close to one another: a sort of pub crawl with strollers. Newcomer Optimism Brewing (1158 Broadway Ave; optimismbrewing.com) even built a separate play area into its vast, light-filled quarters on Capitol Hill; kids play with the dollhouse and mini construction vehicles while their parents enjoy a pint nearby.
Chuck’s Hop Shop (multiple locations; chuckshopshop.com), with two beery destinations in Greenwood and the Central District, offers dozens of beers on draft, but also scoops of ice cream, high chairs, and little niceties like changing tables in the bathrooms. Sometimes there are just as many kids as there are adults (and dogs, too).
But the most adult-pleasing, kid-entertaining destination in town just might be Ethan Stowell’s Frelard Pizza Company (4010 Leary Way NW; ballardpizzacompany.com). Here, parents linger over glasses of wine or pints from nearby brewers, free to engage in conversation while their offspring cavort in the “kid pit,” an area enclosed by a low wall and filled with toys, books, and chalkboards, the better to burn off energy before dinner. Best of all, the pizzas can satisfy palates of all sorts.
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