A round-up of Boulder’s anti-meltdown meccas — where food, fun and family bonding abound

Sweet Cow Louisville 

This ice cream haven is what dreams are made of offering 22 daily flavors (including a perfectly portioned “tiny” size), and a shaded patio flanked by an expansive stretch of grass peppered with bouncy toy cows, Sweet Cow has crafted a space perfectly engineered for enjoying — and expending — that post-ice cream sugar high.

637 Front St, Louisville

Southern Sun 

A spacious dining room, an endless array of fun games, and a playground (complete with a climbing wall!) just 100 feet from the dinner table? Yes, yes and yes, please. Complete with a yummy kid’s menu — featuring favorites like quesadillas and grilled cheese — and a vibrant atmosphere, Southern Sun offers families a no-stress dining experience.

627 S Broadway E, Boulder

Rayback Collective 

Rayback is as close as it gets to a parent-kid paradise. This self-described “backyard party” boasts over 30 taps on deck and features some of the area’s top food trucks-all surrounded by ample outdoor space and yard games primed for getting all of Junior’s energy out before bedtime rolls around.

2775 Valmont Rd, Boulder

Pica’s Mexican Taqueria 

For families craving some south-of-the-border flavor, Pica’s is a no-brainer: the kid’s menu offers a healthy variety of Mexican eats to keep little bellies full, while Pica’s stocked game shelf encourages quality family time — or simply keeps kids busy so parents can enjoy a healthy dose of Pica’s House Margarita.

5360 Arapahoe Ave f, Boulder

Sushi Zanmai 

For sushi-fiends and their families, Sushi Zanmai is an excellent choice. The restaurant’s bright, bustling atmosphere is the perfect cover for any potential outbursts, though they’re unlikely to occur with kids too busy using their cheater-chopsticks (a kid’s version of the real thing) to enjoy the kid’s menu’s tasty offerings.

1221 Spruce St, Boulder