My plans to celebrate my husband this Father’s Day include a mix of giving him alone time as well as some family time with all four of us. Unless my kids make him something (note to self, search Pinterest for easy dad craft ideas), I don’t plan on getting him a gift because he is extremely particular about things he likes. So instead of stressing out about finding him the perfect gift, this year I plan to head to one of our fantastic and local craft breweries with the boys in tow.
You may be thinking along the lines of Reese Witherspoon’s character in “Sweet Home Alabama,” “Look at you, you have a baby…in a bar.” And I agree, not all breweries are great places to bring the kids. Some are more bar-like than others with low lighting and a dingy aesthetic. Some straight up do not allow anyone under 21. And some are so small I wouldn’t want to bring the kids because they wouldn’t have any fun.
But the Tampa Bay Area is having a brewery renaissance that includes craft breweries priding themselves on being welcoming of families. Possibly because the owners have kids, or because they know parents like to hang out and drink a beer like other adults but babysitters are expensive. Whatever the reason, I like it and support it.
Since I live in Pinellas county, I’m not as familiar with the breweries in Tampa. I’ve heard wonderful things about the Cigar City Brewpub being great for kids (we really need to get there soon), and we’ve toured the Cigar City Brewery with our son in a stroller, but it’s not ideal for hanging out. Therefore, my top four family-friendly Tampa Bay breweries are all located in Pinellas county. I enjoy going to these breweries because my kids are welcomed, they can explore and play within eyesight, and I can relax and have a beer knowing they are having fun safely.
- 3 Daughters Brewing in St. Petersburg has a solid beer and cider selection plus jumbo-sized games like Jenga and Connect Four and other fun games like ping pong and tabletop shuffleboard, all within its giant warehouse space. Around the holidays they set up a huge train set that kids love to watch. It’s having a special event for Father’s Day – a BBQ and Cornhole Tournament so if the dad in your life loves those things, check it out.
- Arkane Aleworks in Largo has delicious sour beers in addition to the other rad beers on their menu. Add a rotation of food trucks to their open backyard area, plus a selection of board games and we all had a blast (my 4-year-old cannot get enough of board games, much to my dismay.)
- I’ve heard from several mama friends of mine that Crooked Thumb Brewery in Safety Harbor is lovely for families. Based on their reviews, I’m recommending it despite not having time to check it out in person. It recently fenced in its outdoor area so kids can more safely play nearby while parents have a beer. This brewery also has a rotation of food trucks, including a taco one this Father’s Day.
- Green Bench Brewing Company in St. Petersburg is a favorite of mine because of its green-space that is big enough for dogs and children to run around and feel free. It has outdoor games and comfy chairs to relax in while the kids play. Also, the brewery regularly shows movies projected on the wall outside in the beer garden.
In case you couldn’t tell, I’m drawn to breweries that have stellar outdoor spaces because I’m a Florida girl and love to be outside (and my boys do, too). If you live near any of these breweries, check them out, and if you live on the Tampa side of the bay, consider making it a part of your beach day, because the dads in your life deserve it (and let’s be real, you do too!)