There are so many great family-friendly breweries that you can choose from in our area and beyond. Each year, as the weather heats up, I start looking for fun places for us to visit as a family. We always want something with outdoor space, maybe some music, oh, and some good beer to go along with it for Mom and Dad!
So here are some of my tried and true family-friendly breweries in Central Mass:
Sterling Street Brewery (Clinton)
- Parking: There is a small lot on site shared with other businesses in the plaza, but I have never had a problem getting a space.
- Food: Pretzels are a hit with our kids and tasty paninis win over the grown-ups. There are frequent food trucks that keep things interesting during each visit.
- Beer: Awesome variety with absolutely something for everyone!
- Bathrooms: Clean and spacious and both women’s and men’s rooms have changing tables.
- Seating: Plentiful seating inside (tables and chairs) and out (picnic tables).
- Tips: Live music usually starts later in the afternoon. Consider this when choosing your seating if you don’t want little ears to be too close to the speakers.
- Other: We have always felt so welcome here with our kids. The staff is always kind and accommodating.
- Nearby Attractions: Take a walk around the Wachusett Reservoir! A great place to let the kids get out some energy and allow the grown-ups to soak in some gorgeous views of the water.
Wachusett Brewing Company (Westminster)
- Parking: There is a small lot on site with a very big additional lot just across the street.
- Food: Flatbreads, burgers, and salads are available as well as tempting appetizers. Pretzels, nachos, and fried pickles are crowd favorites. Order right from your phone and it shows up on your table pretty quickly, even on busier days.
- Beer: Tons of options, something for everyone, including hard seltzers.
- Bathrooms: Lots of Port-a-Potties outside, standard bathrooms inside with changing tables.
- Seating: There is ample seating indoors, but the big attraction is the outdoor Brew Yard during the warmer months. This area features tons of picnic tables available in a wooded area. Some are under a large tent if you are looking for shade.
- Tips: While food is brought right to your table, you do have to go directly to one of the bars to order your drinks.
- Other: The Brew Yard is a large mulched space which makes it nice for the grown-ups to grab a table and let the kids play around nearby. Sometimes we bring an extra picnic blanket for the ground so the kids can stretch out and play. There is often times live music, so consider that while selecting a seat if you don’t want to be too close to the speakers.
- Nearby Attractions: Take a drive up the summit parkway of nearby Wachusett Mountain (open Memorial Day Weekend through the last weekend of October). After a very brief walk from the parking area, you can take in some incredible views. On a clear day, you can see Boston, Mount Monadnock, and more!
True West (Acton)
- Parking: There is a small lot to the right of the building with additional on-street parking.
- Food: This location is a restaurant that is also a brewery. They offer a full menu for both grown up and kids. The giant pretzel is a great app for sharing. The grown-ups love burgers and sandwiches, especially the Nashville Hot Chicken sandwich. The kid’s menu has classics like mac and cheese, chicken nuggets, and hot dogs.
- Beer: Their self-brewed options, while tasty, can be somewhat limited depending on the time of year, but they feature many “guest breweries” as well.
- Bathrooms: Standard restaurant bathrooms with changing tables in both the women’s and men’s rooms.
- Seating: High-top bar tables, standard tables, and outdoor seating are available.
- Tips: Go on the earlier side before the crowd and you’ll be in good company with plenty of other families sneaking in a meal before things get too busy. Consider making a reservation on OpenTable. Ask for a booth over a high top when you have little wiggly kids!
- Other: They have an adorable little art cart filled with small toys, crayons, paper, and books for their little guests to take advantage of during their visit.
- Nearby Attractions: Westside Creamery is a brief walk down the street and an awesome choice for a post-dinner treat! The “Brookie Dough” – half cookie dough, half brownie batter ice cream is my go-to pick here! Our son who has a dairy allergy is always thrilled with the vegan chocolate ice cream. I love how the servers wear clean gloves and use clean scoopers when preparing a treat for guests with food allergies.
The Cider Barn at Carlson Orchard (Harvard)
- Parking: Plenty of parking on-site, but it is a farm, so prepare for a dusty car! They often have employees helping to guide you to space during busier times.
- Food: Salads, sandwiches, pizzas, as well as frequent food trucks make it easy to find something tasty here for everyone in your group. Please note, due to state regulations, they do not allow outside food or alcohol to be brought to the barn.
- Beer: This location is a bit different as they do not serve beer, but instead serve their ciders! They have standard apple cider for the kids as well as many varieties of hard cider for the adults.
- Bathrooms: Plentiful and clean restrooms available with changing tables.
- Seating: Available inside the cider barn as well as outside under a tent. Most tables are picnic tables or bench style.
- Tips: They also offer various pick-your-own fruits in the orchard, so it can get busy here, but we rarely have had trouble finding a place to sit and enjoy the afternoon.
- Other: Grab an apple cider donut (or six) from the farm store on your way out. You won’t be disappointed!
- Nearby Attractions: At the nearby Fruitlands Museum, you get a mix of hiking and history. There are beautiful vistas to take in along numerous walking trails, historic houses to explore, and interesting art and artifacts to study. This is one of the numerous Trustees properties maintained across the state of Massachusetts. Local libraries will often offer discounted passes to Trustees properties, so be sure to check there before you go!
Dirigible Brewing Co. (Littleton)
- Parking: As many small craft breweries are, Dirigible is located in a corporate/industrial park. There is plenty of on-site parking.
- Food: While they don’t offer in-house options, they frequently have visiting food trucks. Check out their social media for upcoming visitors. You are also welcome to order delivery right to the brewery from local dining spots.
- Beer: A nice variety from light ales to rich ambers to hoppy IPAs that can suit the tastes of all beer drinkers.
- Bathrooms: Two unisex restrooms with changing tables.
- Seating: A mix of bar seats, tables, and bench seats. Limited outdoor seating in a small mulched area. They are planning to expand this more next year!
- Tips: It can get busy here on weekends so it may be worth a call ahead to see if there are any open tables before dropping by with kids.
- Other: It can get a bit loud if there is live music, so consider the calendar of events before picking your time to visit.
- Nearby Attractions: Discovery Museum is down the road in Acton. Pair these two locations together and you have a whole day of fun for the kids and grown-ups!
We can’t wait to hear where you and your family decide to explore! Let us know if you visit one of these family-friendly breweries, and don’t forget to tag us on social media @centralmassmom.