The countdown to the 2010 FIFA World Cup is on, and it’s time to start thinking about where you’ll be watching. If you want to catch the action with fellow fútbol fanatics, you’ll likely have to head out. And for many parents, the kids will be watching, too—as both fans in their own right and tag-alongs with soccer-crazed moms and dads. Luckily, some family-friendly places will be airing the matches, several of which are recommend below.
And if you’ve got World Cup fever, then you probably already know that the city is allowing bars to open at 7am to air the games being broadcast from South Africa. This may be the only time you’ll be psyched for your kids’ early wake-ups on the weekends!
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’ palates (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 one of several local parks 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. They will be opening early on the weekends and airing all of the U.S. games. 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.
The Star and the Shamrock
If, like me until recently, you thought this relatively new H Street pub was a beer-guzzling adult kind of bar, think again. The Star & the Shamrock welcomes families to enjoy the food, libations, and occasional entertainment—all with a nod to Irish and Jewish cultures. A new 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 definitely be airing the World Cup.
The sports-themed restaurant is a well-known national chain, with the closest one to DC at Pentagon Row in Arlington. There are plenty 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 Little Champps section (burgers, dogs, chicken nuggets, etc.) especially for kids. And when the family has had enough football, you can grab an ice cream cone at Maggie Moos and hang out by the fountain in the plaza.
This Penn Quarter restaurant/brewery is one of our go-to places with the kids when we’re in the area. The food and beverage selections are extensive, the staff are always super nice to the kids, and they have a children’s menu that includes all of the standard kid restaurant fare. TV’s are in the bar area, so be be sure to request a booth in that section, or you could be straining your neck to see the game action.