Tag Archives: Argonaut

Where to Watch the 2014 World Cup with the Kids


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.

Biergarten Haus
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.

Meridian Pint
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.

Molly Malone’s
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.

Gordon Biersch
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.

P. Brennan’s
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.

National Harbor
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.

1 Comment

Filed under All ages, DC, Maryland, Sports, Virginia

Where’s the Party?

Before I had kids, I swore I wouldn’t be that mom who obsessed about birthday parties and went over the top for the perfect celebration.  I vowed to keep them low-key and in control with just a few friends and limited presents. Then, I had kids. And like many pre-child ideas I had about the kind of parent I would be, that one went straight out the window.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not crazy excessive about parties, but I do put a lot of thought into them, trying to come up with the right venue, at least a loose theme, fun activities, and a nod to the party guests’ parents (hello, beer and wine!).  And I’m well aware that some eyes are rolling now (ooh, she’s that mom), but I can deal.

As we’ve surged into spring, birthday parties have been on my mind. (Is it just me, or is spring, like, birthday party season?  Something good must be happening nine months prior to this time of year.)  And I like to see what other parents do for their kids’ celebrations to get much-needed ideas for my own.  Birthday parties are a challenge for me for a few reasons:  1) I have two January babes, which means parties have to be indoors 2) We live in a typical DC rowhouse that doesn’t host 15 toddlers, plus siblings, plus parents very well (and we know this from fun-but-utterly-chaotic experience). 3) Parties out of the house sometimes have rules and limitations that aren’t so easy to heed (what, no beer at the zoo?!).

All that said, I’m always on the lookout for good party places and ideas, and surely I’m not alone in that endeavor.  So, I’ve compiled a list of places and ideas, both indoor and outdoor, to help with the party planning.  Some come from experience, some are recommendations from friends, others I’ve just read about.  And I’m sure I’ve missed some good ones, so feel free to add suggestions in the comments section.

Tumbling – If your kids are toddler age or older, you’ve likely been to a birthday party at Gymboree, Jonah’s Treehouse, JW Tumbles, or a similar place.  The great thing about these parties is that the work is done for you—party supplies are included, fun activities are planned and led by staff, and there’s no cleanup afterwards.  A party at Jonah’s Treehouse in Glover Park costs $395 for a 90-minute package, which includes just about everthing but the cake.  JW Tumbles, which has locations in Virginia, costs $320 for the same amount of time.  Gymboree costs $375.

FONZThe National Zoo hosts parties for childen ages 4-8 in one of three indoor decorated party rooms.  For $325 for up to 10 children (plus $20 for each additional child) two hours of party time includes a walking tour of selected zoo exhibits, zoo-themed goody bags, party supplies, and snacks (you supply the cake).  They also offer goodies like bagel platters for adults and Geogetown Cupcake delivery at extra cost.  Parties are at 10am on Saturdays and Sundays.  I hear they book up early, so be sure to reserve the date well in advance.

H Street Country Club –  We went to a party here this past winter and loved it.  This H Street Corrider establishment is popular among bar hoppers at night, but early in the day on weekends it’s all about kids.  After a good while of fun on a fantastic DC-themed minigolf course, kids feast on quesadillas, chicken tenders, and birthday cake while parents can mingle at the bar. The party continues with a piñata and more minigolf before wrapping up. Visit their website for details.

Lucky Strike Lanes – Who doesn’t love a bowling party?   Lucky Strike Lanes offers packages that are recommended for kids ages 3-4 and up.  You get your own party space, plus your own bowling lanes (which you can decorate). Costs depend on the size of the party and what you include, so give them a call for specifics.

Capitol Skyline Pool – This is for summer birthdays only, since the pool is only open from Memorial Day to Labor Day.  We attended a super fun party here last year.  While they don’t have a set package for kids’ birthday parties, you can work with the manager to plan a bash.  Not only can guests splash around in the competition-sized pool, they can enjoy food, cake, and other birthday fun in a sectioned-off area by the restaurant.

National Building Museum – At select times on Saturdays and Sundays, the museum hosts birthday parties in the Building Zone and other museum rooms.  Activities include a walk around the upper level of the museum (acrophobes beware), building related stories and crafts, and free play in the Building Zone.  Costs run upwards of $400 for members and $480 for nonmembers.

Glen Echo Park – There are a couple of options for birthday parties at Glen Echo Park, a wonderful milieu of art, culture and amusement that kids love.  Kids can watch a play or puppet show then celebrate in a private room—facility rentals and party packages are available.  If you think the crowd will get too antsy for a production, rent the room for food and cake, then enjoy the carousel and other fun throughout the park.  Give them a call for costs and details.

Color Me Mine – The pottery painting place with a few locations in the area offers party packages for kids.  Packages may vary by locations.  At the Silver Spring store, the type of party depends on the age—Paint me a Story is for children 3-5, The Pottery Party is for ages 6 and up, and The Tile Party is for ages 10 and up.  Prices depend on the size of the party, but generally start at $100 for 12 people, plus about $8 for each piece of pottery.

Restaurant Party Room – Many area restaurants have private rooms where you can throw a party for little or no cost (for the room itself)—they figure the profit comes from all of the food and drinks ordered for guests. We went that avenue for Owen’s last birthday and reserved the upstairs at The Argonaut, a tavern on H Street NE, for his bash. The space was great with plenty of seating in the main room (we covered the tables with paper and let the kids color) and a couple of small rooms, including one that became a dance area for the kids.  It did turn a bit into happy hour for parents, but that can happen at 4pm on a cold winter Saturday, especially when there’s a bar in the room (kids drinks served, too!).  But, we avoided the hassle of cramming everyone into our house, pulled off a mean game of Pin the Tail on the Donkey, and the kids—young and old—had a blast. 


Filed under All ages