With breezier temperatures and college football back on the screen, I can’t get to a great patio fast enough! In my 20s, I lived in Chicago, and September Saturdays were spent bar hopping from patio to patio as we watched football games for each of my friends’ alma maters.
With two toddlers in our party of 4 now, our patio time looks a little different these days but with so many family-friendly options in Auburn and Opelika and the Alabama fall weather, my need for a great patio can be met all season long. Here are just a few of my favs:
Part flower shop, part market, part restaurant, Botanic really does have a little bit of everything! There are two full dining options indoors, the Market and the Grille, but the Patio Bar serves grazing boards, making this the perfect spot for a late afternoon snack – for the kids or for you! Pair that with a cold beverage while you listen to live music, and don’t forget to let the kids pick a few flowers before you leave.
Moe’s BBQ (Bent Creek)
BBQ has always been a staple in our family because it is something our kids will consistently eat even during their pickiest phases. Since Moe’s is counter service, we’ve yet to have a long wait here and can easily tack on another order of mac and cheese when our kids are extra hungry. The Moe’s patio backs up to grassy lawn with a kids playhouse and lifesize connect four. My kids call this “the restaurant with the games,” and we take full advantage!
Resting Pulse Brewing Co.
Located in downtown Opelika, Resting Pulse has an expansive corner patio that’s perfect for families. The food menu has a little bit of everything; paninis, buffalo chicken dip, and pizza to name a few. My family loves this spot because the food is both tasty and comes out quickly, and, as a big beer fan, I get to try different unique beers depending on the season. They also have live music on Fridays and Saturdays. In addition to dancing or borrowing the musician’s tambourine, my kids like to bring their dump trucks and play with the rocks on the patio.
19th Hole of Auburn
Dinner with a side of golf anyone? No need to bring a tablet or coloring book to entertain the kids while you wait for your food. Putt putt golf is available to both grown ups and kids at 19th Hole. Check their Facebook page for rotating food and putt putt specials. With lots of TVs and kid-friendly food options, you can even catch a game while feeding the family.
Though you might have to battle the college students for a table depending on the day of the week, the benefit to the often loud, crowded and dog-friendly patio at Live Oaks is that no one will even notice your toddler’s meltdown. This patio is BIG so you can be right in the fray or try to snag a table off to the side for the kids’ antics. The menu is also large so you are sure to find something for even the most selective eaters.
And last but not least, don’t forget your own (or a friend’s!) patio. We just moved our kids’ table out to our back patio in anticipation of spending a lot of time there this fall. Ride-ons, arts and crafts and games will be our go-to patio toys for the littles. We love a good finger food meal that provides easy clean up and lets the kids snack – their favorite pastime – while we relax with friends and watch college football. Hope to catch you and your family on a patio soon!