Boston has seen an absolute boom in beer gardens (or biergartens) in the last few years, and luckily for anyone with kids, many are welcoming to families. If you like to sip a craft brew outside, these are the places to go with little ones in tow: Many have live music, lawn games, and great views. From the heart of the city to several of the suburbs and mountain resorts nearby, there’s likely a beer garden near you that's open from summer through fall or just in celebration of Oktoberfest. Sip—and play!
Keep in mind that all of the beer gardens are open weather-permitting, so check with each (most have active social media accounts) before stopping by.
1. Aeronaut Brewing Company — Allston and Arlington
While its home base is in Somerville, Aeronaut’s two outdoor, family-friendly locations are in Allston and Arlington. Visit Aeronaut Allston on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday nights through September 28 for live music and food trucks. Or stop by Aeronaut Arlington through September on Saturday afternoons for music and brews.
2. American Fresh Beer Garden — Assembly Row Somerville
Somerville Brewing Company is owned and operated by a local mom and dad, so it’s no surprise that its seasonal beer garden is family-friendly. Open from May through the end of September, this tented outdoor area at Assembly Row has kid-friendly live music on Sundays as well as a trove of toys for little ones to dig into while you sip and savor brews and snacks. It even made our list of places to relax and eat while kids play!
3. Cape Ann Brewing Company — Gloucester
Heading way up the North Shore, families can visit Cape Ann Brewing Company in Gloucester, which offers outdoor, harborside seating and an indoor beer hall. Beers like Fisherman’s Brew are right at home on the water. And there’s even a children’s menu (of food) for the younger set. Everyone in the family will enjoy watching fishing vessels coming in and out of the harbor.
4. Castle Island Beer at Constitution Wharf — Charlestown
Head to Charlestown to visit Castle Island Beer’s harborside beer garden, open through October. Grab a seat at one of the shaded picnic tables to sip a Castle Island brew and watch boats float by while sea breezes cool you down. Kids and dogs are welcome and food trucks will be onsite during open hours.
Castle Island Beer at Constitution Wharf. Photo courtesy of Castle Island Beer
5. Cisco Brewers — Seaport Boston
Nantucket-based Cisco Brewers just opened a pop-up beer garden in the Seaport District that will run through October. Not only will the new location have Cisco’s signature brews, it will also serve tacos and a raw bar courtesy of South Boston’s Loco Taqueria & Oyster Bar. You’ll also find cider and wine from Cisco’s sister company, Nantucket Vineyards, at the garden.
6. Downeast Cider Back Porch on the Greenway — Dewey Square Boston
Downeast Cider has set up shop on the Rose Kennedy Greenway this summer to sling its own beloved apple beverages alongside Washington wines and Lost Nation Brewing beers. Stop by this family-friendly space for lawn games, live music, food trucks, and of course, great local brews. The Back Porch will be open until October 21.
7. Lamplighter Brewing — Central Square Cambridge
If you can’t make it into Boston for SoWa Open Market (details below), come to Cambridge for the Central Flea every Sunday through October. Featuring tons of local vendors selling vintage wares and handmade crafts, the Flea also has food trucks, live music and an outpost of Cambridge-based Lamplighter Brewing. The brewery has a 100-person beer tent with lawn games to keep the whole family having fun.
8. Night Shift Owl’s Nest — Charles River Esplanade, Herter Park Boston
The Everett-based Night Shift Brewing has two outdoor outposts going through October this year. Both are located along the Charles River, so there’s plenty to see while you sit and sip. Catch Night Shift at the Owl’s Nest on the Esplanade or at Herter Park. Both are kid- and dog-friendly and have plenty of green space for a riverside romp.
The Notch Traveling Biergarten shows up at various Trustees locations. Photo courtesy of The Trustees
9. Notch Brewing Mobile Biergarten — Salem, Various locations
Visit Notch Brewing in Salem to take advantage of its year-round beer garden (yes, you read that right). With beautiful views that include appearances by harbor seals, games like cornhole and even a dog-friendly policy, there’s a lot to love about Notch. You can also catch the brewery as it pairs up with the Trustees of Reservations at various locations this fall.
10. Remnant Brewing — Union Square Somerville
Earlier this year, Bow Market, a hub for a variety of small business, opened in Somerville’s Union Square. And with it came Remnant Brewing, a family- and dog-friendly brewery with large a outdoor patio. Grab food at one of the neighboring businesses to eat alongside Remnant’s local brews.
11. SoWa Beer Barn — South End Boston
If you’re looking for a one-stop shop for family fun in Boston, look no further than SoWa Open Market, open through October. With tons of local vendors slinging crafts and food, plus music and now a Beer Barn, it’s the place to be on Sundays in the city. The Beer Barn showcases a variety of local beers and ciders, plus lawn games and live music.
12. TAPPED Beer Garden — Braintree
The Braintree Farmers Market is getting a new addition on Saturdays through October. TAPPED Beer Truck and Craft Beer Cellar Braintree will be opening a seasonal beer garden in the afternoons. The family-friendly space will also have a food truck and serve wine.
13. Trillium Brewing Company — Canton and Rose Kennedy Greenway Boston
This spring, Trillium Brewing Company debuted a patio at its popular Canton location. While there’s no restaurant on site, the brewery often hosts food trucks on the weekends and you’re welcome to bring your own food to enjoy alongside a pint of their local craft beer. Trillium is also hosting its Garden on the Greenway in Boston through at least mid-October.
Kids can toss a root beer keg at this Oktoberfest. Photo courtesy of White Mountain Oktoberfest
14. White Mountain Oktoberfest—Lincoln, NH
October 6-7, 2018
Pair a leaf peeping weekend with a stop to Oktoberfest, where kids are as commonplace as grown-ups in the festivities. There's an Oompah band all weekend long and a kids' root beer keg toss contest happening alongside adults' beer keg tossing competition.
15. Harvard Square Oktoberfest—Cambridge
October 7, 2018
Revelry in the Square returns as Oktoberfest coincides with the HONK! music festival in Cambridge. Expect six beer gardens, other tasty treat stalls, live music, and of course a parade of brass horns galore moving through it all. Dancing in the streets is typical (and encouraged).
16. Chatham Oktoberfest—Chatham
October 20, 2018
This annual Cape tradition not only has stellar beer, bratwurst, and German music, but an always impressive "pumpkin people" display of Jack-O-Lantern creations by area businesses.