Kids should be allowed in pubs. Period.

Do kids really belong in the pub?



Are kids ever welcome in pubs? I say yes.

Although according to THIS article, “pubs are supposed to be places for adults to unwind away from the hassles of work and family life.” Ooops. I must have missed that memo.

Firstly, I want to say that I actually loved the writing and the style of this article about kids in pubs. It was brilliantly written and hooked me from beginning to end. But to the author, Sarah: respectfully, you are wrong. Wrongity wrong wrong.

Pubs aren’t the domain of any one generation or of any one genre. I think it’s more about timing and even more so, responsibility. On the flipside, I also believe there is a place that people without children should be able to go and have a beer and not have to deal with a child having a full apocalyptic meltdown because he was short-changed a chicken nugget.

Hear me out.

I get it. I do. There are “kid friendly” restaurants or parks or friend’s houses we can go. But what happens when we just don’t want to? Why should we have to? Isn’t our money just as good as yours? And isn’t our intention just as pure? To eat good food and drink reasonably priced beers and have a few laughs? Is it so bad that we have some tiny humans with us?

And look, I am often on both sides of the beer garden. I work in an office and therefore, have Friday afternoon drinks with my workmates. I work in a wanky trendy part of Melbourne that sees an eclectic mix of Friday funsters at any one of the establishments we choose to attend.

I mean, there’s a DJ in the corner FFS, when did THIS happen to pubs in Australia? I digress. I am with you here, writer Sarah. Friday arvo work drinks are no place for a child. It is a shambles by 10pm. And definitely not a place for children.

Reese Witherspoon is unimpressed….

I am also a parent of three children, aged from 7 – 14. We spend MANY a Sunday at a pub. In fact, since moving to Melbourne, we’ve made it quite a tradition to attend a different pub in Melbourne, following a recommended path.


I believe that eating a Parma the size of my face at a reasonable price that can be washed down by equally reasonably priced pale ale is my God given right, not just a Gen Y rite of passage.

I guess the gentrification of pubs has changed the landscape quite a lot. Once these pubs were a place you could take the family on a Friday night but now, it’s become a hip watering hole where the young and beautiful come to meet and talk about themselves and their week and themselves (see how I generalised there, yeah, generalising isn’t all that cool is it?).

I’ve heard the same argument for breakfast or brunch locations. That mothers turn up with their child that wants their babycino now, right fucking now and there is an appropriate tantrum on the floor if they don’t get it.

I’ve heard the complaints, people just want to enjoy their Sunday paper without having a booger flung into their latte. I agree with you. I really do. We as parents should control our children and not have them disturb fellow patrons but you know what, sometimes life is messy. Sometimes it’s just not possible. Sometimes kids are just shits and believe me, we are just doing our utmost to just get them to STFU without resorting to physical measures.

Bern with her boys.

I apologise on behalf of every parent if you’ve had a breakfast ruined by a wayward child. But also, I hope you’ve tried to understand that we want to be out too and don’t do this to intentionally ruin your day.

I think it’s the old adage, if you’ve been there, you understand, your patience is stronger, if you haven’t, it simply isn’t. I guess we only usually empathise with what affects us directly. It’s human nature.

I think the parents the author speaks of, are the kind of parents you’d see say in a large department store or fast food establishment. They have little regard for their fellow patrons, they don’t stop little Kevvie from pumping one too many tomato sauce portions onto his bowl of chips, they don’t care if their children are ripping up the utensils aisle in Kmart and they certainly don’t care if their child is being exposed to smoke in the outdoor beer garden.


The vast majority of parents though, care greatly for their children. They care about their experiences and their safety. They put shoes on their feet, make them sit on their bottoms in a public place and they also, equally, let them be kids. Remember that guys? Being allowed to be kids.To be allowed to be silly and spontaneous. Too soon, this is all taken away from us. Too soon, as adults, we forget what it was like to be a kid.

EVEN if I didn’t have children, I’d still remember that a great deal of my childhood was spent at the local AFL football club. Playing Space Invaders and eating BBQ Samboys. They were beautiful, carefree days. Those days, did not involve pretentious 20 something’s that believed the world revolved around their lives and their wants.

By all means, no child should be seen at a pub on a Friday night at 10pm, left to their own devices and to be honest, I am yet to see this. But it needs to be acknowledged that the Aussie pub is an Aussie tradition. One, I hope our children are respectively involved in for generations to come.

In conclusion, I hope Sarah comes back to me when she has children and lets me know if she attends a pub or establishment she believes at this point in time, should never be utilised by those with children. Because believe it or not, when you have children, your life doesn’t end, it just changes.

What do you think?  Do kids in pubs annoy you? Would you take your kids to a pub?