Where to Drink with* Your Kids in Dallas

It's Drinking Week at City of Ate, which means even more stories than usual about our favorite pastime. Check back for more stories about craft beer, killer bartenders and more.

*Not with with. You know what we mean.

It's hard to recall, now that your brain is sleep-starved and littered with stray Cheerios, but once upon a time, weekends meant meeting friends at bars for drinks and laughs. And now look at you: zealously guarding a small person's nap schedule, driving a minivan and never, ever leaving the house without extra diapers and a wooby.

How did this happen? You used to be cool, man.

Fear not, thirsty parents. With a few modifications and some advance planning, you can still be cool. Ish. Behold, our favorite places to drink with our kids in Dallas:

It'll Do Club Longing to revisit your pre-parenting past as a club kid (or a disco queen)? Thanks to local mom and event planner Alicia Duncan, It'll Do Club in East Dallas has you covered with Disco Kids.

On the first and third Friday of most months [check the club's Facebook page for details], the dance club caters exclusively to kids, from toddlers to tweens. There's a DJ, a disco ball and a light-up dance floor. The fun rolls from 6 to 9 p.m., complete with food trucks, a candy stand for tots, and a full bar for Mom and Dad. Aw. Yeah.

Alternate suggestion for the seriously coordinated: If you've got deep pockets and sturdy ankles, Red Bird Skateland in Duncanville and Super Skate in southeast Dallas will allow you to BYOB, but only if you rent the entire rink.

Dave & Buster's It purports to be the place "where a kid can be a kid," which is all well and good. But will animatronic rodent Chuck E. Cheese sell the kid's parents a cold brewski to help wash down the non-artisanal pizza? No. No, he will not.

Solution? Dave & Buster's. Headquartered in Dallas (who knew?), the chain's larger, flashier arcades will satiate your munchkins' Skee-Ball addiction while you slake your thirst at the full bar.

Alternate suggestion for suburbanites: Main Event. Arcade-wise, it doesn't hold a candle to Dave & Buster's, but the bowling alleys can be modified for small fry. Also: laser tag. SCORE.

The Foundry Remember concerts? Yeah. Those were good times. Until you procreated.

All is not lost, however. At The Foundry, you can find music for your face on most weekends, as well as a wide-open space WITH A PLAYGROUND, YOU GUYS that keeps rug rats happily entertained. On-site restaurant Chicken Scratch boasts family-friendly eats, and you'll find a wide selection of craft beers and cocktails at the bar.

Alternate suggestion for early birds: the Dallas Arboretum's Cool Thursdays concert series. You won't find a bar on-site, but you're welcome to BYOB, and the 7 p.m. start time means you'll be home before miniature concertgoers melt down completely.

Central Market You've shuttled your little darlings from school to the soccer field while dialed into a conference call ... just as you remember that your refrigerator holds only condiments and a battered box of baking soda.

If you live in Plano or Southlake, Central Market offers the perfect multitasking solution. Dinner on the patio with a bottle of wine, while your soccer stars scale the playscape? Ah, yes. Invite some friends and squeeze in some socializing while you're at it.

Alternate suggestion for the truly frazzled: Grab your groceries and a bottle of Two-Buck Chuck at Trader Joe's, and hie yourself home, honey. Tomorrow will be better.

State Fair of Texas Last but not least, it's the ultimate mashup of child's play and adult refreshments: the Texas State Fair. For 24 days every Dallas autumn, it's nearly unavoidable --and for good reason. The fair is good times, y'all.

If your kids are old enough to be enrolled in school, good news: They'll bring home a free ticket AND get a day off from school just to go. See? NOW YOU HAVE NO EXCUSE. To sweeten the deal, this year you can sample the ultimate mashup of fair and beer, Funnel Cake Ale.

Alternate suggestion: Nice try, but you're going, and by cracky you're gonna ENJOY it. P.S. Tell Big Tex I said "Howdy."

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Amy Franklin
Contact: Amy Franklin