One of the great perks of living in Colorado is that spring moment when the temps outside rise, the sun warms, and restaurant patios all over the state open. These restaurant patios welcome kids with a great menu, elbow room, and lots of ways to keep them happy. As we all know, happy kids on a restaurant patio means happy parents on a restaurant patio. Grab some sunscreen and let’s go!
Dine beneath a colorful mural on the patio at Flower Child in Boulder, nestled in a strip mall near 28th and Arapahoe Avenue. There’s an area for kids to run around right beside the patio.
The food: A health-conscious menu lets kids mix and match items like a protein (chicken, steak, or tofu) and two sides including broccoli with parmesan, gluten-free mac and cheese, and fruit to create their dream plate.
Acreage in Lafayette has plenty of space under the big sky with a 75-seat deck, garden, and fire pits.
The food: This is the urban cider house for Stem Ciders. Kids meals include a burger or cider brat, plus slightly more gourmet options like a pork chop and mussel pasta, accompanied by fruit and raw veggies.
Ace Eat Serve
Ace Eat Serve has an ample patio that’s partially covered. Ping Pong is king so, while it’s a great way to burn off some energy with the kids, don’t be surprised if an errant ping pong ball lands on your table.
The food: The menu here centers around Asian cuisine with options for kids like a stir fried noodle bowl or bao bun filled with pork belly or PB&J, served with rice, steamed veggies, and fresh fruit. Kids get complimentary shave ice for dessert.
Acova’s co-owner designed a Montessori-inspired play area directly next to the garden patio to make it easy for parents to enjoy their meals while their kids have a safe place to play. It’s called “The Nest.”
The food: Kids menu options, which include pasta with red sauce, grilled cheese, and cheeseburger, are cleverly titled “I Don’t Care,” “Whatever,” and “I’m Not Hungry.” In a community-minded step, $2 of each kids meal purchased will be donated to a local children’s charity.
Los Chingones Central Park has two west-facing patios—one for grownups upstairs and one that’s more family-friendly on the main level. Play giant checkers and cornhole and enjoy a Colorado sunset.
The food: Choose from street tacos and other takes on Mexican food like an enchilada, taco, or mini corndogs, plus sides for kids. Each kids meal comes with a Mole cookie.
Lowry Beer Garden
Lowry Beer Garden gives equal attention to beer and food. There’s practically more seating outside than in, with everyone sharing long tables and benches. A plaza just outside the fence leads to an ice cream shop housed in a rocket ship, and Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum next door.
The food: It’s standard fare for the kids with a hot dog, chicken nuggets, burgers, and grilled cheese. The super giant pretzel with cheese, served in a pizza box, is a favorite of all ages.
Oblio’s Pizzeria is tucked into a block of businesses in the heart of Park Hill. Family owned, they often have activities on the patio such as crafts or superhero and princess parties in conjunction with mealtime.
The food: Primarily a pizza joint, Tuesday night is Kids Night when kids pizzas, an ice cream sundae bar, face painter, and balloon animal artist are all free.
Spanky’s has a fully-covered patio to keep kids contained and safe from the busy street nearby. Booths are long and comfortable with enough space for a car seat. Play a kids’ scavenger hunt/trivia game, looking for clues throughout the restaurant. Complete it and get a free scoop of ice cream.
The food: The restaurant recently underwent a remodel and a revamp of its menu that features burgers, sandwiches, and other roadhouse fare for adults and kids.
The Farm House at Breckenridge Brewery
The Farm House has porch and patio seating and an expanse of backyard with games and room to run, in a country-like setting along the Platte River and bike trail.
The food: Comfort food (and beer) prevail, with options for kids including mini meatloaf with mashed potatoes, spaghetti, and PB&J. Warm weather brings out the food truck and an option to eat in the outdoor beer garden.
4 Restaurant Patio Etiquette Reminders
- Games and other activities might not be available when your child needs entertaining. Bring something to occupy your child at the table.
- Outdoor patios do not mean outdoor voices. Keep it down to conversational level.
- There may be room to roam and even games to play but keep tabs on your kiddo. Their running around can be disruptive and even dangerous if they cross paths with a server balancing a tray full of hot food.
- Consider the vibe of the restaurant and then decide when to go. What may be a great place for kids at 5 p.m. might turn into more of a bar-atmosphere after 7 p.m.