The Fourth of July is in the books and summer has really begun. Time for long, lazy mornings spent lounging on the beach with a good book and a Pina Colada, followed by exploring a new city and capping the evening off at a trendy new micro brewery, right?
Sorry. I know. It really isn’t funny. But I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to completely give up on sneaking in a little bit of grown up fun this summer, even when the kids are with you. This past week my husband had a day off, and inspired by a recent slew of Snap Chats featuring his fresh faced, child free younger sister and her husband enjoying flight after flight from local breweries, we decided we needed to get in on that action. Problem was, we had no babysitter. Or rather, the only available babysitters (the grandparents) wanted to come with us.
Not to be deterred, I sprung into action (and by “sprung into action,” I obviously mean scrolled through Pinterest for inspiration) and came up with a plan. I figured I needed something distinct for the kids to do at each stop. We planned to go to three breweries (full disclosure: due to a combination of a late start and hungry adults we only made it to two) however, we had enough activities in our pocket that I’m convinced we would have made it through a third.
The Brewery Tour Plan:
At the first brewery, we had the kids do their own tasting. I got a variety pack of juice and a Sprite. Other ideas could include different flavored milks, seltzer water, or really whatever strikes your fancy. Having the kids do their own tasting was a blast, and the brewery was more than happy to let us use one of the flight paddles for the kids’ “flight.” My older son enjoyed having us write down the different juices and going back and forth between them to try to decide which was his favorite. We enjoyed the look on the face of my younger son (who never has carbonated drinks) when he tried the Sprite. He promptly declared it was “NOT his favorite.” We followed up the beverage tasting with a food tasting. My kids are fans of nuts, so we brought two varieties of almonds (smoked and plain) and two varieties of peanuts (honey roasted and plain), but here again, the possibilities are endless.
At the second brewery it was time to actually feed the children. Depending on where you’re going ,this might mean ordering something or, if they don’t serve food, bringing something more substantial than the snacks you use for the tasting. The promise of something to eat mollified the kids in the car and bought us some time once we got there. I broke out the Brewery Hunt activity (see below) at the second stop, and they had fun looking for all the items on it. We also got lucky in that there were some games to play. Many breweries provide games in an attempt to be a bit more kid (and adult!) friendly.
As I confessed above, we never made it to brewery number three. We had several small dollar store toys as “prizes” for completing the hunt at the previous brewery and for being so good. In our case, we were armed with slinkys and silly putty, which I feel confident would have entertained them for long enough for us to get another flight in. But there is something to be said for knowing when to quit. Arm yourself with the supplies below, call ahead to make sure the breweries are open to having kids (some tasting rooms are 21+).
- Dixe Cups
- Several different kid friendly beverages for a drink tasting
- A variety of small snacks for a food tasting
- A small toy prize (or two) from the Dollar Store
- More snacks. Always more snacks
- Crayons, pencils, and the printable activity sheets below
With a little confidence, some advanced planning, and a good deal of patience, you can successfully have a nice family day that does not include being held hostage at the swing set. Have fun!