Food and Drink

Beers, Games, and More at These Family-Friendly Breweries in Boston

Some of these Boston-area taprooms are even dog-friendly.

Photo courtesy of Break Rock Brewing
Photo courtesy of Break Rock Brewing
Photo courtesy of Break Rock Brewing

Humanity’s love affair with beer dates back millennia, and in the modern era, few venues reflect this affinity as well as the craft brewery. Standing in stark contrast to your typical liquor store, breweries invite guests to hang out around property for hours on end, with free-flowing beer offered alongside lawn games and abundant outdoor seating-and many of these spaces aren’t confined to just the 21+ crowd.

All across the nation, breweries are opening their doors to families, and Massachusetts is no exception. For anyone hoping to spend their weekend surrounded by loved ones with the perfect IPA in hand, these breweries are waiting with open arms and a wealth of amenities available for all ages.

Here are the best family-friendly breweries in and around Boston.

Photo Courtesy of Cheeky Monkey Brewing
Photo Courtesy of Cheeky Monkey Brewing
Photo Courtesy of Cheeky Monkey Brewing

Family-Friendly Breweries in Boston

Night Shift Brewing Lovejoy Wharf
North End
Sandwiched between TD Garden and Boston’s historic North End, Night Shift Brewing’s Lovejoy Wharf location has earned abundant local acclaim for its sprawling outdoor patio and top-notch beer selection. There’s ample outdoor space for kids to enjoy while adults sip on tried-and-true classics like the Whirlpool hazy pale ale and Fluffy hazy IPA, and both groups can enjoy the stellar food selection up for grabs around here, with Local Fish Tacos, Nashville Hot Chicken, and flavorful Detroit-style pizzas all gracing the menu.

Dorchester Brewing Company
Dorchester
Boston’s largest neighborhood deserves a king-sized brewery to match, and Dorchester Brewing doesn’t disappoint. This sprawling space is equipped with its own kid-friendly game room, with pinball, skeeball, and a wide array of arcade games on display, and the rooftop patio is perfect for basking in the beauty of Boston’s skyline-but no visit is complete without grabbing a snack from M&M. This on-property restaurant has mastered the art of decadent barbecue, serving up savory sandwiches that pair perfectly with a boozy DIPA flight.

Distraction Brewing Company
Roslindale
Just a few steps off of the Needham Line, Distraction Brewing has been a beloved neighborhood hangout for Roslindale residents since 2019. All are welcome at this community-oriented spot, and the venue keeps a roster of non-alcoholic beverages on the menu for younger guests all while inviting customers to bring their own food in from Roslindale’s finest surrounding restaurants. Beer is-of course-the main attraction around here, but for the hop-averse, Distraction also offers brewed Maltini cocktails ranging from Elderberry Cranberry Crush to Blueberry Lemonade.

Cheeky Monkey Brewing Co
Fenway
There’s no shortage of stellar drinking and dining venues lining Fenway Park, but for seasoned beer fans, there’s no beating Cheeky Monkey. There’s a huge array of games up for grabs around here-pool tables, ping pong, and shuffleboards, to name a few-while snacks range from Fried Pickle Chips to Korean BBQ Beef Tacos. On the beer side, Cheeky Monkey is well-versed in a wide array of different styles, brewing flavorful concoctions like the raspberry-heavy Sour Batch Kehd Berliner Weisse and the hop-loaded Harambe’s Ghost DIPA.

Photo courtesy of Lamplighter
Photo courtesy of Lamplighter
Photo courtesy of Lamplighter

Family-Friendly Breweries Near Boston

Lamplighter Brewing Co
Cambridge
A Cambridge favorite since 2016, Lamplighter is equipped with two cozy venues across the city, each one offering a wealth of craft brews for guests to enjoy. While both locations are stocked with board games for younger visitors, the original 10,000-square-foot Broadway space is perfect for large groups, while the Cambridge Crossing spot has earned acclaim for their curated cheese and charcuterie boards. Yet no matter which venue you choose, both are united through a deep devotion to crafting incredible beer, with the Rabbit Rabbit DIPA and Space Monster West Coast IPA serving as two must-try options.
Distance from Boston: 15 minutes

Cambridge Brewing Company
Cambridge
A veteran of the Bay State beer scene, Cambridge Brewing Company made its debut back in 1989-and in spite of its mature age, this storied venue welcomes even the youngest of visitors. In addition to a roomy outdoor patio, the spot also boasts a particularly impressive food menu, with CBC Nachos, Buffalo Chicken Tenders, and a wealth of other savory snacks up for grabs. But of course, the spot is best known for their prowess at crafting intricate and unconventional beers, with options spanning from barrel-fermented golden ale to peppercorn-infused farmhouse ale.
Distance from Boston: 15 minutes

Aeronaut Brewing Company
Somerville
Equipped with a diverse portfolio of brews that span from fruited sours to Double NEIPAs, Aeronaut is a top spot for exploring the spirit of Somerville in liquid form. The original location is an ideal weekend destination for families, offering regular live music, board games, and hearty Venezuelan arepas from on-site restaurant Carolicious-and for anyone south of the Charles, Aeronaut’s summer beer garden has made its welcome return to Allston, providing guests with fresh brews, live music, and food trucks right on the water.
Distance from Boston: 15 minutes

Mighty Squirrel Brewing Co
Waltham
There’s a whole lot of room for activities at Mighty Squirrel’s Waltham taproom, with 24,000 square feet for guests to explore. While 21+ patrons have a wealth of beers to choose from ranging from Mango Lassi Sour Ale to the beloved Cloud Candy NEIPA, younger guests are welcome to try their hand at ping pong, grab a board game, or snag a soft pretzel from the on-site snack bar. And for those who prefer to stick closer to Boston, Mighty Squirrel also offers its own kid-friendly biergarten just a few steps away from Faneuil Hall.
Distance from Boston: 30 minutes

Courtesy of BearMoose
Courtesy of BearMoose
Courtesy of BearMoose

BearMoose Brewing
Everett
While Everett is best known for its high-end casino, the city is also home to a pretty stellar brewing scene, with BearMoose serving as a local favorite. In between pinball games, 21+ patrons can sample hearty 405 cream ale or a classic License to Chill IPA, while the Black Bear is a must-try for stout fans-and it’s not just humans that can get in on the fun around here. BearMoose is both kid-friendly and dog-friendly, serving as the perfect spot to gather with your furry friends in tow.
Distance from Boston: 20 minutes

Medford Brewing Company
Medford
After a long day of exploring Middlesex Fells Reservation with the fam, Medford Brewing is the perfect spot for a crisp post-hike lager. While there’s no shortage of fresh craft beer up for grabs, the venue is also home to a huge collection of board games for kids to enjoy as well as ample outdoor seating on the streetside patio-and as an added bonus, the property hosts regular live music and a rotating roster of food trucks.
Distance from Boston: 15 minutes

Trillium Fort Point
Fort Point
Fresh craft beer, hearty local cuisine, and an open-air rooftop deck are awaiting visitors to Trillium, one of Fort Point’s most idyllic hangout spots on a warm summer day. With three floors to choose from, the ground level taproom is a top spot for snagging a pour of classic Fort Point pale ale, while the second floor dining space offers high-end dishes like Scallop Aguachile and Spinach Sunchoke Dip. But for families in particular, the rooftop patio is tough to beat, offering wide open space for kids to play while parents sip their brews just a few steps away.
Distance from Boston: 10 minutes

Break Rock Brewing Co
Quincy
While it’s a bit of a hike from downtown Boston, Marina Bay’s Break Rock Brewing offers a combination of gorgeous seaside views and top-tier beer that’s too good to pass up. Both kid-friendly and dog-friendly, the venue boasts ample outdoor seating during the warmer months as well as regular live music throughout the year. Hop fans should be sure to grab a pour of Changing 500 NEIPA, while Peacefield is the perfect option for those in search of a crisp and refreshing Kolsch.
Distance from Boston: 30 minutesWant more Thrillist? Follow us on InstagramTikTokTwitterFacebookPinterest, and YouTube.

Jared Ranahan is a Thrillist contributor.

Food and Drink

Red Rooster Is Serving Free Chicken and Piping Hot Cash This Christmas in July

Get your early dose of festive cheer.

Red Rooster Christmas in July
Instagram / @redrooster_au

The cold weather in most parts of Australia coinciding with EOFY celebrations is the closest thing that we’ll get to snowy Christmas vibes. And if you’re in dire need of some festive cheer after the first six months of 2023, grab your ugly sweater and head to your nearest Red Rooster for Xmas in July deals.

From June 29 – July 31, 2023, Red Rooster is serving up free food items, a chance to win $10,000 or one of 10 merch packs valued at $400 and other fun prizes. All you have to do is sign up as a Red Royalty member and spend $5 on at a location near you or online.

Each week there’ll be new delicious deals and prizes to win. The week one deals have already dropped and they’re looking pretty tasty. You can get access to them via your Red Royalty account. The more you purchase, the more chances you have to win.

Spoiler alert: you can get 10 chicken nuggets for free, right now. Brb running to Red Rooster.

Terms and conditions apply. Visit Red Rooster’s Christmas in July to see all the deals.

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