Auckland's best pubs to visit with kids

Kids love pubs! Take them this weekend
Kids love pubs! Take them this weekend Photo credit: Getty

As every parent knows, around 3pm on a Saturday is a good time for a drink. No judgement here.

And with chips for the kids and booze for the adults, the pub can be a great family option - but only if all ages are catered to.

Tight spaces, too much glassware and parsley sprinkles on the fries are all bad matches for tables with threenagers.

For the most part, the boozers of Auckland are missing a trick. Most are letting that key Saturday afternoon crowd pass them right by - the crowd that will warm up the tills but clear their tables by 5 o'clock.

But there is a handful catering to thirsty parents and cabin-fevered kids, so here they are, in order of awesomeness.

Brothers Brewery and Juke Joint

 

Doin' it and doin' it and doin' it well. Brothers is the king of kid-friendly pubs - from the slow-cooked meats to the tater tots to the shady sandpit filled with those broken plastic diggers and trucks that kids go crazy for. Plus a fine range of craft beer for the connoisseurs.

But its crowning glory sits inside - a beautiful blue vintage Morris Minor truck, with a wobbly old stick shift and slender steering wheel, and a trunk loaded with toys to boot.

Kids can drive, ride, hide and play, and the truck is surrounded by high tables and retro couches, so parents can sup in peace with their children locked inside their dream adventure playground.

Kid and parent heaven.

Good Home, Mt Eden

 

Running a close second is Good Home, Mt Eden, on the spot of the old Cardrona. The beer list isn't as crafty, but crucially, it has an entire room for the kids.

There are six Good Homes in Auckland now - this one is modelled around the Danish concept of hygge (cosiness) and is decorated as such with homely Dane-like touches such as dark walls, low-hanging lights, vintage mirrors and sit-up-and-beg bicycles.

At the far left of the bar, you can find the family room - there are a few large tables for the adults, chalkboard walls, books, blocks, beanbags, and a giant magnetic Scrabble board attached to the wall.

There are plenty of kid-friendly pub grub options and, as long as you can keep them contained to this room, your wild things can roar their terrible roars and gnash their terrible teeth to their heart's content.

Northcote Tavern
Northcote Tavern Photo credit: File

Northcote Tavern

 

It's a classic. This traditional old pub with its blue tartan carpets and stag's heads on the walls doesn't make a huge effort for kids - it doesn't need to.

The tavern offers a massive back garden where the little ones can climb trees and run themselves ragged while you keep a responsible eye on your ale and offspring from the comfort of a picnic table.

The garden isn't fenced, but this joint opened in 1884, more than a century before helicopter parenting was invented.

The tavern is a five-minute walk from the Northcote ferry terminal, so catch the boat from downtown Auckland and make a day of it.

Pt Chevalier Bowling Club

 

Bowling clubs have always been a great place to drink - cheap drinks, simple grub, friendly staff - but perhaps you outgrew them after university.

Well if you've bred, welcome back, because a couple of months ago the Pt Chev Bowls Club introduced a kids' zone to its already cheery range of facilities.

There's a playground complete with primary coloured monkey bars and hidey holes, and a range of small plastic slides that will cheer your children right to the tip of their staticky hair.

There's parking, a $10 two-course kids' menu and a chill-out room with children's telly and beanbags to boot. Bosh.

Silo Park, downtown

 

This is one for the weekend. Food trucks, craft beer and entertainment - plus space for the kids to go free range.

The downtown Silo Park contains a playground, a pond, games and puzzles, and events every weekend such as performers and live music.

Families can bring picnic blankets, or take a place at the shared picnic tables.

Grab your ale at the bar, your kid's burrito at the truck, and meet them on the beanbags.

Postman's Leg, Glenfield
Postman's Leg, Glenfield Photo credit: Postman's Leg

Postman's Leg, Glenfield

 

And one for the north Aucklanders.

The Postman's Leg takes the entertaining of kids seriously. There's a shady deck, a sandpit filled with toys, colouring games and pens provided, and a very decent playground set which includes a twisty covered slide.

There's plenty of sun umbrellas covering the tables in the garden, plus it's all fully fenced and there's tonnes of parking.

Job done. See you at the pub.

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