Happy hour with kids in tow? We’ll cheers to that! Sure, happy hour may no longer be a post-work ritual like in those pre-parenting days, but when 5 p.m. rolls around and you’re ready to kick back with an adult beverage with pals, there are plenty of places in Austin to go — where the kids are welcome, too.
— Hat Creek Burger Company
With a fun play area at every Hat Creek Burger Company and a menu that appeals to the kids, we know we’re in for a solid good time here any day of the week. But did you know that Hat Creek offers $1 beers every Thursday?! This is a fantastic reason to plan a happy hour meet up with fellow families. Click here for a list of all Austin-area locations.
Happy hours: All day Thursdays
Special: $1 beers
— El Chilito
We love the casual, no fuss environment at all El Chilito locations (Manor Rd., Burnet Rd., East 7th). Patios are always a plus when we’re out with our busy brood. What’s even better is that El Chilito locations offer a daily happy hour featuring $2 Mexi-cans of beer and $2 frozen sangria, as well as $2 off delicious appetizers.
Happy hours: Daily, 3-6 p.m.
Special: $2 Mexi-cans & sangria, and $2 off guacamole, queso & ceviche.
— Phil’s Ice House
You can’t go wrong with Phil’s for their fun playgrounds, proximity to Amy’s Ice Creams, and menu that appeals to all the kiddos. All three Phil’s locations (South Lamar, Burnet Rd. and N. 183) offer “Parent’s Recess”, a happy hour in the late afternoon/early evening that’s perfect for some extra festive playdates or early bird dinners with the family.
Happy hours: Monday – Friday, 3-5:30 p.m.
Special: Half off on draft beers & wine
— L’Oca D’Oro
Located right next to the Thinkery and Mueller Lake Park in East/Central Austin, this is a prime location to go for a drink post-playdate with other families. Head in when the kids are worn out and order them something delicious from the children’s menu while you relax with a glass of vino.
Happy hours: Daily, 5-6:30 p.m. (patio or bar areas)
Specials: 50% off snacks, bar cocktails, .5 liters of wine
— Central Market
Yes, it’s a grocery store. But hear us out… Central Market on North Lamar has a fantastic playground, great cafe with a menu of kid-favorites, and you can buy a whole bottle of wine from their huge selection and share it with your friends on the patio. Plus, Central Market has a pretty impressive lineup of musicians that play on their outdoor stage each week, adding even more to your night out.
Happy hours: whenever you want
Specials: beer & wine available in the Cafe or check in-store weekly specials
Best for Margarita Lovers:
— Maudie’s at The Triangle
Not only do we love this spot for margaritas, cervezas and Tex Mex, we love their Triangle location in North/Central Austin in particular because it’s situated right next to a little playscape and big grassy field for the kids to play in.
Happy hours: Mondays, 3 p.m. – close; Tuesday – Friday, 3 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Specials: $1 off beer, $5 signature margaritas, $4 & $5 food menu
— La Mancha Tex Mex Tavern
La Mancha has one of our favorite patios in North/Central Austin for an easy breezy dinner out with the kids. While they don’t have a big play space, they do have a small fenced area of astro turf that our kids truly can’t seem to get enough of when visit. You’ll find kids running around and rolling down it almost any night of the week. Plus, they offer happy hour deals every day of the week.
Happy hours: Monday & Wednesday – Friday, 3 – 6 p.m., all day on Tuesdays, Saturday & Sunday from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Specials: Vary by day. Click here to view the full list of deals.
— Zocalo Cafe
While we’re not sure a Zocarita is exactly a margarita, we are sure that it’s delicious. With happy hour every day from 3-6 p.m. and a family friendly patio, we like this cute spot tucked into in the Clarksville neighborhood (and we can’t pass up the food while we’re there either). Click here for the happy hour menu.
Happy Hours: All day Wednesdays; all other days from 3-6 p.m.
Specials: $3 Zocaritas, Sangria, Horchata Colada as well as many $3 Mexican beers. And all day on Wednesdays you can get these cocktails for only $2 or $8 for a carafe.
Best for Beer Lovers:
— The ABGB
It’s no wonder that Austin Beer Garden Brewing Company (ABGB) won 2016 Great American Beer Festival Brewpub of The Year. It’s a great place to hang in South Austin. This is an all ages, pet friendly venue with big picnic tables for easy outdoor drinking and dining. The ABGB philosophy is “Beer Makes It Better”, and their craft brews are definitely worth sampling. Head over for happy hour, dive into their great food menu and stick around for live music (some early shows start at 6:30 p.m.)
Happy hours: Tuesday – Friday, 3-7 p.m.
Specials: $1 off pints, $2 off pitchers
— Easy Tiger
When our kids think of Easy Tiger, they immediately think of giant pretzels and they are ready to go. We think of that great back patio Downtown on E. 6th St. an awesome selection of drinks and a fun place to hang out and play ping pong. Plus, Easy Tiger’s happy beer selection & hour specials are pretty great.
Happy hours: Monday – Friday, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m.
Specials: $3 for Old Fashioned or Manhattan, Easy Shandy, Sparkling Rouge and Select Local Draft Beers. $3 for Sausage Link, Small Pretzel & Beer Cheese and $3 off Antonelli’s Cheese Plate.
We love this neighborhood spot on Manor Rd. in East Austin for very chill family time. They have great selection of craft beers, along with delicious food, an outdoor patio and fenced play space for the kids to run and play.
Happy hours: All day Monday; Tuesday – Friday from 12 – 6 p.m.
Specials: $2 draft pints of Lone Star, $3.25 local craft beer cans, $1 off all alcohol
Another Manor Road spot, Haymaker is a fun place to sit outside on the patio and enjoy one of the many seasonal craft brews on their expansive menu. They offer drink specials all day, every day including $3 Texas Pints on Tuesdays and $3 Beer-ritas on Thursdays.
Happy hours: all day, every day
Specials: The list varies by day & is pretty long. View the happy hour menu here.
— Pinthouse Pizza
The kids love going to Pint House for pizza and the small selection of vintage arcade games. We love the open seating, casual vibes and award-winning craft brews. Pop in to either their South or North/Central locations.
Happy hours: Monday – Friday, 5-6 p.m.
Specials: $2 off PHP beer
— Shady Grove
Shady Grove’s lovely pecan trees on the patio on Barton Springs Rd. make for a great spot any day of the week. (Keep in mind that on Thursdays in the spring and summer, you can ease from happy hour into a free concert, KGSR’s Unplugged at the Grove series featuring a variety of amazing local musicians.)
Happy hours: Monday – Friday, 4-7 p.m.
Specials: $3.50 drafts, $4.50 margaritas, half-priced appetizers & more. (Plus half-off bottles of wine on Wednesdays.)
Entertainment: Unplugged at the Grove, Thursdays through Sept. 14, $4 Ziegenbock pints
— Ski Shores
Boating, playground, sand pit, game room, s’mores, movie nights, lake views — Ski Shores has got a lot of extra fun stuff that will appeal to the kids. This Lake Austin spot is a really awesome break from it all, just a short drive West, making you feel like you’re on vacay during your happy hour visit.
Happy hours: Monday-Thursday drink specials all day; Friday – Sunday free entertainment
Specials: Monday – $3.50 margaritas, Tuesday – $5 Texas craft beers; Wednesday – $14 for a bucket of beers, Thursday – $5 Cruzan rum drinks
Entertainment: Friday – Kids movie nights & free s’mores, Saturday – Live music 5-8 p.m., Sunday – Live music 4-7 p.m.
Where do you like to go for kid-friendly happy hour? What would you add to this list? Share your favorites in the comments below.