Alcohol At Kids Events – Good Fun or Bad News?

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As you know, each week here at Red Tricycle we round up the best family events, from street festivals and garage sales, to parades and pajama parties. Sometimes the events we highlight serve alcohol to the adults, while setting up a play area for the kids.

One event in particular that we featured in our newsletter a few weeks ago, offered bouncy houses, giant hamster balls, and laser tag to keep the kids entertained while the parents tasted wine. That event received five times the click-throughs then any other event we featured that weekend in our newsletter (including a sand sculpture contest, a fire truck gathering, and farmers market concert) – with over 2,000 Bay Area parents looking for a way to combine playtime for adults and kids.

Clearly, mommys need a glass of wine. How many of us have fanned  “OMG I so need a glass of wine or I’m gonna sell my kids” on Facebook? Or commiserated with Stefanie Wilder-Taylor’s (Sippy Cups Are Not For Chardonnay, Naptime Is the New Happy Hour) alcohol-infused blog posts.

But are we setting a good example for our kids by attending events where alcohol is served alongside a jumpy house? Bay Area psychologist and educators Alyssa Levy and Jaime Nisenbaum don’t think so.

“My husband and I have been consistently surprised and concerned that sites focused on children and families also highlight “events with alcohol,” wrote Levy to Red Tricycle, soon after the wine tasting event was published.

“Kids learn through modeling more powerfully than any other way. Therefore, we really need to consider what we are modeling. We hope you take this seriously and consider the messages you are promoting by promoting these events on your site.”

That made us stop and pause. After all, Stefanie Wilder-Taylor sobered up in 2009. Marin county alone has one of the highest alcohol rates in the country for adults and teens. In fact, the whole Bay Area has high stats in this arena across the board.

What do you think? Do you serve alcohol at your kiddie birthday parties? Do you head to street fairs and happy hours with children in tow? Does reading about kids events that include alcohol encourage or enrage you? Share you thoughts. We’d love to hear.

— Jacqui Boland