Four years ago, when the last World Cup rolled around, I wrote about places to watch with kids. It turned out to be quite a popular post, so I’m bringing back an updated version. I should note that while all of these places are generally family-friendly during the day, they may be rowdier while the World Cup is going on — but that could just add to the fun for everyone. And if you have any other recs for good places to see the FIFA action with the kids, feel free to share in the comments. Happy World Cup watching!
One of my personal favorites for eating out with the kids, Argonaut serves up family-friendliness along with tasty food, a fantastic beer selection, and extra entertainment, some of which all ages can enjoy. To boot, the H Street gathering place will be part of a group of venues in the Atlas District hosting World Cup Viewing Parties from June 12 – July 13.
The Queen Vic
The name alone is probably a good indicator that World Cup watching will be happening here – you know the British and their football. This H Street pub is one of my faves to grab a beer in my neighborhood, and we’ve enjoyed brunch with our kids here as well (traditional English breakfast – yum!). They’re also part of the crew hosting viewing parties, and an employee told me that it would be fine for kids to join during the day.
The Star and the Shamrock
Another H Street pub, this one might be a beer-guzzling kind of place at night, but during the day The Star & the Shamrock welcomes families to enjoy the food, libations, and occasional entertainment—all with a nod to Irish and Jewish cultures. The kids menu adheres to the theme with items like MacRoni & Cheese, Hebrew National Hotdogs, and a Kids Pizza Bagel. They have several TV’s around the bar, which will be airing the World Cup daily at noon daily starting June 12.
This was a brand new addition to H Street’s bevy of establishments when I first posted about it four years ago, but it’s practically old-school now. There are bars and seating inside and a beer garden out back with large wooden tables, even larger shade umbrellas, and big screen TV’s along the walls that will show all the World Cup games. While they don’t have a menu specifically for kids, feeding the little ones isn’t a problem; between the starter menu and sides, there are plenty of small plates that will appeal to young eaters. (And they do serve drinks other than beer!) They will open at 11am during the run of the World Cup, plus they serve brunch on weekends 11am – 3pm.
I’ve only been sans kids, but friends who live in Columbia Heights regularly frequent Meridian Pint with their children. Along with earlier hours to accommodate game start times, they’ll have food and drink specials during the World Cup. And there is plenty on the menu to please little palates – macaroni & cheese, nachos, and burgers among them.
The sports-themed restaurant is a well-known national chain, with the closest one to DC at Pentagon Row in Arlington. There are lots of well-placed TV’s all around the space, including at least two big screens for optimal viewing. The menu contains pretty much every kind of food, including a Champpion Kids section (burgers, dogs, chicken nuggets, etc.) especially for children. And when the family has had enough futball, you can grab an ice cream cone at Maggie Moos and hang out in the plaza.
Soccer hooligans flock to this saloon on Barracks Row (8th Street SE in Capitol Hill) during the regular season, so if you want to be in the thick of World Cup mania, this is a good place to go. Several TV’s line the bar, facing out to the entire restaurant, so every seat offers a good view. They don’t offer a special kids menu, but there is plenty that will please the little ones (think burgers, chicken fingers, sandwiches). Tables are all high tops, but they’ll accommodate babies and toddlers in secure booster seats. Make a day of it on the Hill, and hit Eastern Market or a local park when the final goal is scored.
Cleveland Park Bar and Grill
With 27 TV’s, you can count on Cleveland Park Bar & Grill for your sports viewing. During the last World Cup, they aired all of the U.S. games and more. You can’t go wrong with the menu of Italian and American food, and their kids’ menu has the standard fare at good prices. Take a break from the games and head up to the roof deck. And if there’s time after, head down the street to the National Zoo for an animal tour.
Located in both Penn Quarter and the Capitol Riverfront, this restaurant/brewery is an easy one to do with kids. The food and beverage selections are extensive, the staff are always super nice to young patrons, and they have a children’s menu that includes all of the standard kid restaurant fare. TV’s are in the bar area, so try to request a booth in that section or nearby, or you could be straining your neck to see the game action.
Capitol City Brewery
A solid family-friendly spot to go anytime, the DC United will be hosting World Cup viewing parties at the New York Avenue location on June 21 and July 1, and the restaurant will air games at other times, too. The food choices are extensive, plus kids have their own menu, so feeding them won’t be a problem. After watching, head over to the National Building Museum, only about an eight-block walk away.
This “contemporary version of the traditional Irish Public House” just installed a 10-foot HD projector for the soccer games, that’s along with carry 13 HD screens, including one other 10-foot HD projector. Children are more than welcome, and they said plenty of kids joined their parents to view the last World Cup. Their kids’ menu has many mini versions of the adult fare with cheeseburgers, fish-n-chips, shepherd’s pie and chicken tenders. When asked last time how crazy the place got during intense games, they said on a scale of 1 to 10, at least a 9.5. But, they noted that kids contributed the hoopla, too. P. Brennan’s is located at 2900 Columbia Pike in Arlington.
Catch the action in the open air! A new Jumbotron with a 18’ x 32’ foot LED screen located on the plaza at National Harbor will be screening select matches throughout the tournament. Guests are welcome to bring lawn chairs and watch on the plaza. Be sure to check the calendar to see what times they’ll be airing games, as they vary by day.
Reston Town Center
The DC United is hosting “Celebrate Soccer,” a World Cup party here on June 22. The free event will take place in the pavilion and on Market Street, where fans of all ages will have a chance to meet and mingle with DC United players. The fun begins at noon, with the live broadcast of USA vs. Portugal from Brazil at 6pm, and the party will last until 9pm. There will be two giant screen TVs, as well as food, drinks, giveaways and activities for kids.
*Find out about more DC United viewing parties, and check out this Washington Post article for more places to watch World Cup by team.