Keep the Kids Happy During Happy Hour

Family-Friendly Restaurant Dining

Posted: Jan. 22, 2018

Some parents are seeking out destinations to enjoy cocktails while being able to bring their kids along. In the third installment of our Family-Friendly Dining Series, we share ideas for kid-friendly happy hours.

Some restaurants and bars have embraced the families in their communities by offering kid-friendly happy hours. Hosting a happy hour for parents and children might sound alternative, but with clearly defined rules and kids’ activities, your bar can host a safe and responsible event.

There are a few reasons why hosting kid-friendly happy hours is a savvy business move for restaurants, but the one that stands out the most is that these types of family events attract a whole new group of customers.

For parents, a kid-friendly cocktail hour just makes their lives a little bit easier:

  • They can forego the sitter and save the money.
  • Parents can enjoy a part of their previous social life before children.
  • Parents and children can meet other families.

It’s difficult to find a restaurant that accepts kids. Knowing their children are welcome at your establishment is a huge reason for returning.

What’s more, parents are more likely to become a loyal customer than another demographic of diners. Finding a family-friendly restaurant is not just time-consuming, there’s no guarantee if the children will enjoy spending time there. Once they find a few places, parents are more likely to put their favorite family-friendly spots in the rotation and continue frequenting the same places.

If child-friendly happy hours are something you’re interested in starting at your bar, check out our tips below for hosting a safe and enjoyable event.

Set the Rules

Set the tone of your kid-friendly happy hour with clearly written rules. Parents are all too familiar with setting rules and would abide by your establishment’s guidelines.

In your rules section, include the following:

  • Curfew hour—how late children can stay.
  • Clearly written verbiage stating children must be accompanied by their legal guardian at all times.
  • Any rules specific to the kids’ play space.
  • Where strollers should be placed.

Set Up Game Zones

One of the main draws for parents coming to your happy hour is that the children will be happily occupied. To facilitate this, set up game zones. Choose a table or two in the corner of your bar for board games and coloring books. Kids get hungry fast so offer healthy and quick appetizers like carrots or popcorn.

As a gentle marketing reminder, print coloring pages out on individual sheets, and include your establishment’s logo in small print. More often than not, their artwork will be affixed to a prominent wall or kitchen door at home.

Have a Happy Hour Kids Food Menu

To encourage parents to become loyal customers, make sure they know that their children will eat well. With healthy children’s menu options, moms and dads are comfortable returning to your bar or restaurant often. Quesadillas or rice and beans are simple and nutritious dishes that would please parents and children.

Just like with your adult happy-hour menu, offer discount prices for the duration.

Offer Craft Classes

Host free craft classes throughout the month. During the classes, kids can make things like nature collages, bottle cap magnets, and flower crowns. The children will have a wonderful time and be occupied for hours.


Posted: Jan. 22, 2018 | Written By: Emma Alois

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