Most bars, if they don’t ban children outright, only tolerate them. These three welcome half pints with kid-friendly menus, crayons, and games so you can enjoy a cold one, maybe even two.
Brooklyn Crab (Red Hook, 24 Reed St., 718-643-2722) While the scenic views from the top floors of Brooklyn Crab are what lure most people to this seafood-shack-on-steroids, it’s the beanbag toss and minigolf in back that make it easy to enjoy a pint while your children play in their humungous yard. Now that there are even more chairs to lounge in, an airy outdoor tent to shield yourself and the babes from the sun, and a sandbox filled with toys, you may never make it upstairs for food. Though if you do, be sure to order the fish and chips off the kids menu, and hope that your child doesn’t eat it all.–Nicole Davis
The Roof at Whole Foods (Gowanus, 214 3rd St. at 3rd Ave., 718-907-3622) On the day of the Kentucky Derby, a friend and I were looking for a decent place to watch the race over a couple of cold beers. Not a particularly tall order in Brooklyn under normal circumstances, but he happened to have his 6- and 9-year old boys in tow. We felt a little sleazy asking kids to spend a beautiful spring day in a dark bar full of drunk people gambling, so we headed for the Roof at Whole Foods and were pleased to find it was a great choice. The boys happily sipped (overpriced, organic) lemonade and played with a provided wooden Connect 4 set on the giant outdoor deck, while their dad and I took advantage of the extensive list of craft brews on tap and watched California Chrome nab the win on the big-screen TV. I also ordered a very satisfying BLT grilled cheese off a predictable but nonetheless appealing (kale salad) and kid-friendly menu (grass-fed burgers). Do I feel a little weird adding a chain grocery store to a list of outdoor bars? Sure, but then again, how many grocery stores offer weekly pub quizzes?–Kate Hooker
Habana Outpost (Fort Greene, 757 Fulton St. 718-858-9500) With their flower twined fences, colorful painted walls, twinkle lighting, and food truck kitchen, Café Habana appeals to children and adults alike. And as families have flocked to the neighborhood, you’ll often see a passing parent pull their stroller over to the side and grab a cold one during a much-needed break. For the preschoolers, the coin-operated batman car and some free coloring book pages provide ample entertainment as you sip a frozen margarita or beer (before the after-work crowd converges and turns this place into a zoo). The children’s menu offers some crowd pleasers like chicken nuggets and corn, and since Habana Outpost is New York’s first solar powered restaurant, it makes it easy to turn lunch or an early dinner into a teachable moment about recycling and saving energy. Added bonus? Picnic tables, benches, and outdoor chairs allow parents to rest easy knowing that their energetic children cannot break anything fragile, and the fenced-in patio guarantees that they can’t escape. -Gabrielle Sierra