Four Denver happy hours where you can take young kids and not piss everyone off

Ahhh, kids: Those little bundle of joys that eventually stop cooing and sleeping and suddenly start forming their own opinions and demanding instant gratification. But just because your little sweetheart likes to scream and throw their body in front of a random stranger anytime you tell them they can't have another graham cracker, that doesn't mean you can't still enjoy a damn fine happy hour in the city of Denver.

Here are four places in Denver where it's perfectly acceptable to kick back a strong drink, enjoy some cheap eats and keep junior happy at the same time.

1. Dunbar

Dunbar Kitchen & Tap House was one of the first new eateries along Welton in what is now a full-on hipster boom. A former barbershop, they've tried to retain some of the historic qualities of this traditionally black, jazz-inspired neighborhood.

On warm days find a seat out back, where kiddos have some room to run around and play (just be sure you explain to them ahead of time the consequences of throwing rocks at other people). Happy hour starts at 2:30 p.m. every day, perfect for those parents who want to get some grub early and get back to the house before the tantrum-time bomb goes off.

With sliders, a pita-based pizza that rotates daily and cheap prices on local craft brews, the whole family will truly be happy — maybe even for a full hour!

2. Vine Street Pub

Our first night in Denver was perfect.

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Shockingly located on Vine St. in the Uptown neighborhood, this is the cool Denver location for the legendary Boulder-based Mountain Sun Pub & Brewery family. With a hippy vibe, but still cool enough to rock Brian Jonestown Massacre on the house speakers from time to time, Vine Street's clientele reflects the neighborhood: A mix of cultures, personalities, and ages, and very family-friendly.

Grab a board game from the bookshelf to keep the kids happy, and remember that all children's meals come with fries — that way you don't have to upgrade your own meal's side. Happy hour deals, offered M-F from 4 to 6 p.m. (plus late night from 10 to 12), are mostly geared towards adults, with deals on pints of in-house microbrews (try the F.Y.I.P.A. or Java Porter) and other local beers, with some food offerings as well.

You won't catch any side-eyes here as you gulp down a pitcher of your favorite brew. Just remember that on nice days the patio fills up quickly and for long periods of time. Keep the little ones occupied with free cornhole on the stand-up patio while you wait.

3. Humboldt

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​​​​​​​At the bustling corner of 17th & Humboldt (apparently Denver really lIkes naming restaurants after the streets they're on), lies Humboldt :: Farm Fish Wine, from the folks who previously graced Denver with good eats from the now shuttered Encore.

Humboldt is one of those places where you can bring a big family for a birthday or put on a suit for a hot date. But when it comes to happy hour with little Jimmy, the patio shines. Starting at 3 p.m. every damn day you can grub on a tiered-price menu with everything from crunchy broccoli to the award-winning burger (seriously a steal), all while taking in the vibrant people and mild Denver weather.

They also offer a great kids menu that has more than just a gross hotdog with fries. My son loves the fresh-grilled salmon.

James Kerley is a senior editor at MapQuest who has lived in the Denver area for 18 years.