We had our second baby just over a month ago which means Momma can 'happy-hour' again! And perfect timing too because the weather just screams, 'gin and tonic!' And while we LOVE having cocktails on our porch in the evenings, sometimes a venue change is just what the family doctor ordered. Here are our TOP 10 HAPPY HOUR LOCATIONS (in no special order) in Grand Rapids that are family friendly.
1. Mangiamo! in Cherry Hill
Overall, we are big fans of Mangiamo! - it's where Jeff and I had our first date so I'm a big softy when it comes to this beautiful old house turned restaurant. Mangiamo is one of our happy hour go-to's with kids because (say it with me) it has a HUGE fenced in yard and patio. A big bonus for us is that it's within walking distance. So we pack up the kids, take a nice walk into Cherry Hill and grab a drink and a snack on the patio while Natalie roams the yard. Daily specials include half off ALL beverages which runs from 3pm to 6pm. If you want to order a snack for the kids, go on Monday night which is half off deep dish pizza and if you're looking for a takeout, try Tuesday night which is half off all pizza (deep dish included) for carry out only.
2. Big Bob's in Gaslight Village
Outside of their micro brew selection on tab, tasty pizza and unique Briazzo (their take on a deep dish pizza), Big Bob's also offers sports TV entertainment and FREE popcorn which we all know is a kid pleaser. Daily happy hour specials include $1.50 off pints of beer as well as full glasses of wine for the price of half. Beware, it's located directly across the street from Jersey Junction (ice cream central for Gaslight)... you've been warned.
3. Brewery Vivant in Cherry Hill
We love Vivant and Vivant loves kids/families. Not only do they offer a wonderful kids designated space on their patio, but Vivant is also a big supporter of the Kids' Food Basket. Monday night is the day to go for happy hour with it's bring your own stein or boot night for liters starting at $5. While you're hanging out we highly recommend the duck nachos. If you're within walking distance you can feel comfortable parking your stroller or wagon outside the fenced in patio probably near the line of hipster bike brigade.
4. Rose's on Reeds Lake in Gaslight Village
During the summer there's nothing better than drinking a cocktail on the water. Enter Rose's on Reeds Lake. Daily specials include $2.99 select draft beers, house wine, sangria, well drinks and cosmos. You can also get 20% all appetizers and wood-fired pizzas. Happy hour is from 2pm to 6pm. And, if you've got kids old enough to roam by themselves and you get a table on the patio, you can watch them from afar as they play next door in John Collins Park.
5. Vander Mill located on Ball St. just off Michigan Ave.
There's good news and bad news about Vander Mill: bad first... they don't actually have any happy hour specials BUT the good news is that they've got a perfect set up for kids on their patio and have live bands (at least last year they did) on Wednesday and Thursday nights. Their outdoor patio is spacious and fenced in which is perfect for letting your kids toot around in while you enjoy a beverage or two listening to the music. There are a few yard games but I'd even recommend bring a few outdoor toys for the kids to enjoy while you're there.
6. Old Goat in Alger Heights
It's hard to justify the drive (however short) to Alger Heights when the Old Goat's sister location, Electric Cheetah, is within walking distance to us. However, when Old Goat offers a kids food menu with a $4 price tag and great options like their TV Dinner (salisbury stead or turkey with peas, grits and a brownie) you put the kids in their car seats. They've got a great daily happy hour menu including $1 off draft beer, $3 house wines and even food options like $3 sweet potato fries - so good! Happy hour runs from 3pm to 6pm and if you've got a dog in the family, they are welcome on the patio as well.
7. Jose Babushka's in Gaslight Village
Jose Babushka's in EGR probably has the BEST happy hour menu on this list including daily specials of $3 well drinks, draft beer and house wine that runs from 2pm to 6pm. In addition to the daily happy hour, they also offer specials like $5 sangria on Friday and (our favorite) $3 off all margaritas and Mexican beer on Thursday. They've got a small patio that is great for the kids that also backs up to the EGR high school side entrance where the kids can roam while you eat those chips and salsa and get your rita on. Last year they had fun advertising their family friendly atmosphere by placing a 'stroller parking' sign out front.
The Downtown Market in general is a great place to take the kids... lots to look at and stroller friendly. Happy hour runs Monday through Friday from 3pm to 6pm and includes $3 draft beer, $5 house wine and well drinks, as well as half off appetizers, pizza, sides and select burgers. If you haven't been, place an order of fries for the table... it feeds an army and they are very tasty. It's a pretty loud atmosphere so you don't have to worry about the kids making noise.
9. Jonny B'z on Wealthy St.
Now that I have kids I look at Jonny B'z differently; Jonny's used to be the place to stop after the bar closed and now... well it's not that anymore! Happy hour runs from 3pm to 6pm Monday through Friday and includes $3 beer and $4 appetizers including smoked wings and sliders! You can't go wrong with hot dogs for kids and with their newly opened location you can post up on their fenced in patio for the happy hour win!
10. Harmony in Eastown
And last but certainly not least, our neighborhood hot spot: Harmony Brewing. We frequent Harmony often, mostly on Tuesday night, for their very little advertised $5 cheese and $6 pepperoni pizza night. It's a family friendly atmosphere both inside and out complete with crayons and even a stack of children's books to occupy the kids. Harmony offers happy hour from 2pm to 6pm Monday through Thursday which includes a $1 off beer.