For many people with kids, sacrificing some of the pleasures they used to enjoy pre-children seems like too much of a tradeoff just for the joy of having children – which is ridiculous. But that doesn’t prevent many of these individuals from still trying to take part in pre-child adult activities with their kids. Mainly we’re talking about bringing kids to the bar. And while that can be ok in certain situations, it definitely isn’t in others. To help clarify when it is and isn’t ok to be at the bar with a screaming, rambunctious child, or even an angelic sleeping infant, here are the guidelines.

Ok – Bringing A Baby To The Bar In The Afternoon

The early afternoon on a weekend is a fine time to wheel up your stroller and grab a pint, especially if your preferred bar has outdoor seating. This lets your child breathe in the fresh air – instead of the stale bar air – and also allows any crying or screaming to fade into the wind. If there isn’t any outdoor seating and you must bring your child inside, please pick him/her up if crying ensues. Take the baby outside instead of attempting to ignore the shrieks while you continue to enjoy your beer. You might be used to the crying, but others at the bar aren’t.

Not Ok – Bringing Toddlers To The Bar And Letting Them Run Amok

You know that phase called the terrible 2’s? Well there is also the terrible 3’s, 4’s, 5’s or any other age when being a kid means acting out when there is nothing better to do. Let’s face it, kids get bored, and a bar isn’t the most entertaining place for them to be. Sure they may have a hard time leaving the bar once they grow up, but for now they’d much rather be at the playground. This means it is very likely that while you’re enjoying your drink and catching up with old friends your kid is probably running around building houses out of cigarette butts and knocking over other people’s glasses. Even if your kid is adorable, chances are that the strangers around you don’t think this behavior is cute. If your child is at the age where this type of behavior is common, it is not ok to bring him/her to the bar, no matter the time of day. Many people at the bar are there to escape reality and your child isn’t helping.

Get the latest in beer, wine, and cocktail culture sent straight to your inbox.

Ok – Bringing Your Child To A Sports Bar That’s Really A Restaurant With TVs

A perfect example of this is a place like Buffalo Wild Wings, or whatever local establishment in your area fits this criteria. At these sorts of places, bringing the kids in during the day or even in the early evening is perfectly acceptable. These establishments are usually noisy with a lot of activity and your kids are simply going to contribute to the clamor, not create it all themselves.

Not Ok- Bringing Your Kids To An Actual Sports Bar

You know what we’re talking about, this is a place that is insanely loud, a bit dirty and full of people cursing up a storm when their team absolutely blows it. This isn’t a place for a child. If you want to bond with your kid and teach him or her the ins and outs of your favorite game, please do it on your living room couch, or maybe try Buffalo Wild Wings.

Ok – Bringing Your Kids To A Bar That Is Really More Of A Restaurant

Many bars are known for their food, so much so that you really should call them restaurants with extensive beer and cocktail lists as opposed to bars with a few snacks. In these situations, it’s perfectly fine to bring the kids. Our one piece of advice would be to try and have your meal finished up before nine. After that we can’t promise every patron will be happy to watch your kids color while trying to pick up a significant other.

Not Ok – Bringing Your Kid, Even A Baby, To The Bar Once The Sun Sets

It’s totally understandable that you need to go out and unwind, but please pay for a babysitter. One of the main reasons people head out for a night on the town in a place that restricts entry to those who are over 21 is to escape. That’s not as possible when there are kids around. Also, while bringing your child into a crowded bar may make you feel hip, you aren’t winning any Parent Of The Year awards. Bars are loud, so shouldn’t you be thinking more about preserving your child’s hearing than having a drink?