The holy grail of parenting = a great cafe combined with a great playground or park (also a kid who sleeps through the night, isn’t a fussy eater etc., but that’s all for another time).
Of course, it’s possible to BYO snacks to a playground or BYO toys to a cafe. But the perfect cafe and playground combo means there’s something for them and something for you.
Here’s a list of my Top cafe and playground destinations, where the cafe is within sight of the playground or no further than across the road, and the food or the playground is worth recommending.
18 Best Cafes with Playgrounds in Melbourne
Aintree Cafe + Woodlea Playground
A large, thrilling and interesting playground that’s worth a special trip. It's also within walking distance to another four playgrounds (Frontier Park, Pioneer Drive, Muster Drive, Nugget Place), so you can hop on the playground hop!
Aintree Cafe, 27 Woodlea Boulevard, Rockbank
Serotonin + Golden Square Bicentennial Park
Serotonin is a health-conscious cafe where everything on the menu is gluten, dairy and refined sugar-free. Across the road are a park and a small playground with train-spotting opportunities.
Bonus points – you can collect a picnic basket and rug from Serotonin, order from the takeaway window, and they’ll bring your food out to you in the park!
Serotonin, 52 Madden Grove, Burnley
Curator’s Collective + Queens Park Playground
Curator's Collective is a sweet lake-side cafe within sight of a popular playground in Queens Park.
The playground could do with an update, to be honest, but it’ll still keep the kids amused while you sip your latte. Just beware of the pigeons – step away from your food, and BAM, it’ll be gone.
Curator's Collective, 778 Mt Alexander Rd, Moonee Ponds
Cowderoy’s Dairy + Jacoby Reserve
Cowderoy's Dairy is an old-style milk bar cafe within sight of a small playground. There's even a cute Little Library there for book swapping opportunities.
Cowderoy's Dairy, 14 Cowderoy St, St Kilda West
Little Captain + Hewison Reserve
Little Captain is a sweet but slightly ramshackle cafe which wouldn't be particularly remarkable on its own – but it has a back entrance that leads straight to the fenced playground at Hewison Reserve.
Little Captain, 353 Inkerman St, St Kilda East
The Boathouse + Maribyrnong Park
Along the shores of the Maribyrnong River, you’ll find a large marine-themed playground, a coffee kiosk and The Boathouse restaurant.
Depending on how busy the kitchen is, sometimes you can order from The Boathouse menu and get it taken away from the coffee kiosk.
The Boathouse, 7 The Boulevard, Maribyrnong Park, Moonee Ponds
Farm Cafe + Collingwood Children’s Farm
The Farm Cafe is a brilliant little cafe focusing on local and seasonal produce (with one of Melbourne’s best milkshakes) on the site of Collingwood Children’s Farm. Have brunch, then see the animals!
On the second Saturday of every month, there’s a popular Farmer’s Market too, and you can enter the farm for only $2 adult and kids free.
The Farm Cafe, 18 St Heliers St, Abbotsford
Park Street + Playground
Park Street offers sophisticated brunch fare in North Carlton with a back area that spills out into bike racks and a small playground.
Park Street, 815 Nicholson Street, Carlton North
Federation Square And Riverside Eateries + Artplay Playground
Bonus points for excellent ice cream at Popstic by the river.
Saluministi + Buluk Park
Saluministi serves rustic Italian-style panini, coffee and sweets.
The unusual playground at Buluk Park and the beautiful Library at the Dock makes this playground + cafe combo one of our favourite stops in Docklands.
Saluministi, 892 Bourke St, Docklands
Hahndorf Fine Chocolates + Montrose Community Playground
Hahndorf's Fine Chocolates, 960-962 Mount Dandenong Tourist Rd, Montrose
The Foodrinkery + Playground
The Foodrinkery is a small cafe that not only provides its play area but opens its back gate into a large local reserve with a playground.
The Foodrinkery, 22 Banksia St, Burwood
Cubbyhouse Canteen + Playground
Cute child-friendly cafe next to a local park and playground. A more ‘grown up' and upmarket option is nearby Gardiner and Field who also offer takeaway lunch packs (sandwich, salad, and treat) that you can take to the playground.
Cubbyhouse Canteen, 43A Union St, Armadale
Square And Compass + Fitzroy Gardens
Square and Compass boast a light-filled interior with a courtyard just a stone’s throw from the small dragon playground inside picturesque Fitzroy Gardens.
At the bottom end of Fitzroy Gardens (near Wellington Parade), there’s also a child-friendly Kere Kere cafe.
Square and Compass, 222 Clarendon St, East Melbourne
Leroys +Paine Reserve
If you STILL need entertainment after the cubbyhouse and toys at Leroy's, then there's a small playground in front of the Newport Community Hub at Paine Reserve.
Another alternative cafe for the same playground is The Backyard.
Leroys, 5 Mason St, Newport
Rogue District + Warr Park
At Rogue District, you'll find Korean-inspired but still approachable cafe fare, a sheltered courtyard at the back and a colourful public playground right next door.
Rogue District, 179 Albion St, Brunswick
North Point Cafe + North Road Regional Playground
Admittedly this is more of a great playground/ok cafe combination (rather than a great cafe/ok playground), but the North Point Cafe and handy kiosk make North Road Foreshore Playground an appealing stop for Bayside families.
The cafe does have a mesmerising fish tank inside!
North Point Cafe, 2b North Road Brighton
Upsy Daisy + Booran Reserve
A trip to the vast playground at Booran Reserve is an all-day affair, so thank goodness for Upsy Daisy. This aqua-hued cafe served a wholesome menu across the road from the main entrance.
Upsy Daisy., 1062 Glen Huntly Road, Glen Huntly
Playgrounds Near a Cafe in Melbourne
When the kids need to burn off that energy and you need a caffeine fix, nothing beats a playground right near a cafe. Luckily we are spoiled for choice, as there are plenty of great playgrounds right near a cafe in coffee-loving Melbourne.
Below we share some of the best playgrounds close to a cafe in Melbourne and surrounding areas. The cafes listed all make a decent coffee, have some delicious options on the menu, and include the bonus of being right near an outdoor playground - for you to enjoy your coffee with a dose of fresh air and beautiful sunshine.
Union Street Reserve Playground and CubbyHouse Canteen, Armadale
The lovely playground at Union Street Reserve is fenced and is located right near the infamous CubbyHouse Canteen. Slides, a fun crossing bridge, swing sets and a nice grassed area provide a morning of fun for your little ones while you sip on that well-deserved latte. Mummy Green recommends the quinoa salad as a top menu pick!
Gahan Reserve Playground and Admiral Cheng Ho, Abbotsford
Admiral Cheng Ho has a fantastic plant-based menu, so good that it is always hard to choose just one option! The coffee is always on point, with several different blends to try.
Gahan Reserve Playground is fun for the kids to explore and is not too far down the road.
CERES Community Environment Park and The Merri Table Cafe, Brunswick East
CERES Community Environment Park showcases organic produce, a nursery, a cafe, a playspace, traditional markets, workshops and courses and much more - it makes a great day out for the family!
Golden Square Bicentennial Park and Serotonin Eatery, Burnley
Everyone raves about Serotonin - and for a good reason. The food is amazing, both to look at and - most importantly - to eat! There are so many delicious options on the menu for hungry mums and plenty to choose from for your little ones too. Right across the road is Golden Square Bicentennial Park.
Waratah Reserve Playspace and The Foodrinkery, Burwood
The Foodrinkery is a fantastic little cafe in leafy Burwood, with a playground next door in the form of Waratah Reserve (or ‘Banksia Street Playground’, as some locals like to call it). The Green Detox smoothie is one of mummy green’s favourites!
Collingwood Children’s Farm and The Farm Cafe, Collingwood
We couldn’t have a list of the best playgrounds in Melbourne and not include Collingwood Children’s Farm! Although technically not a playground, it makes for a great day out with the family - with plenty of animals to see, activities to partake in and a cafe to fix that appetite you’ve all worked up!
Ormond Esplanade Playground and Combi, Elwood
Grab a takeaway smoothie from Combi (they are delicious!) and stroll down Ormond Esplanade, where you will soon find a neat little playground for the little ones to enjoy. The amazing Little Sunflower Cafe is another great option nearby for a bite to eat.
Edinburgh Gardens and Aphro and Wolfe Cafe, Fitzroy North
Johnson Reserve and Dumbo Cafe, Footscray
Located in Footscray West, Johnson Reserve is a neat little playground that provides hours of fun, lots of wide-open space, fun climbing opportunities and a good set of swings. The nearby kid-friendly Dumbo Cafe is sure to be a hit for little ones and parents alike.
Reddish Reserve Playground and Middle Street Food, Hadfield/Glenroy
Middle Street Food is a great little cafe in Hadfield. There is seating outside for mums with prams, and there are plenty of yummy smoothies to choose from. Once you have finished your meal, Reddish Reserve is not far up the road and has a nice little park for your little ones to play.
Hartwell Station Playground and Fordhams Milk Bar, Hartwell
Hartwell Station Playground is one for the train lovers (my little guy is one of them) - and it is fully fenced too! What a gem! Right across the road is a lovely little cafe - Fordhams Milk Bar - so you can stock up on supplies before heading over to the playground to enjoy a fun-filled morning tea.
Possum Hollow Playground and The Alleyway Cafe, Heidelberg
The Alleyway is a great local cafe for those in Heidelberg and a nice spot to stop for those travelling through the area. There are plenty of gluten-free options on the menu, with some vegetarian and vegan choices. Once you have enjoyed your food, be sure to pay a visit to the amazing (and fully fenced!) Possum Hollow Playground.
Hays Paddock Playspace and Pinkie Cafe, Ivanhoe
Hays Paddock Playspace is another gem of the East! It is fenced, full of fantastic play equipment for all ages, and set within nature. A short drive up the road is Pinkie Cafe, offering some great vegan, gluten-free and vegetarian options on the menu and lots of outdoor seating for mums with prams.
Pheonix Park Playground and Pheonix Park Cafe, Malvern East
Pheonix Park is a playground you could easily spend the whole day at (well, up until nap time anyway!). There’s a fully fenced fantastic wooden playground, with twists and turns, climbing equipment, plenty of swings and fun galore.
There’s a cafe, library, skate park and plenty of open green space surrounding the playspace.
Flagstaff Gardens Playground and Invita Living Food, Melbourne
Head to Queen Victoria Market to visit Invita Living Food for some nourishing takeaway eats and juice. Nearby you will find Flagstaff Gardens, with a decent playground and plenty of open space to roam.
Pavey Reserve and Leroys Cafe, Newport
Leroys in Newport is a must-visit cafe. Leroys’ caters for all dietary requirements, with their super nourishing menu, and they have a great outdoor space for your little ones to play.
There is also a lovely reserve nearby (Pavey Reserve) for the kids to explore, or they can enjoy some quiet time at the local library around the corner to round out their day. If you are feeling adventurous, the amazing Scienceworks is not far up the road and makes for a great day out for the family.
Joyce Park and Common Ground Coffee, Ormond
Located off Jasper Road in Ormond, Joyce Park is a lovely spot to play and enjoy with your little ones. The gardens are home to the historic Box Cottage and a nice playground. A short stroll along North Road will place you at Common Ground Coffee, where you will find delectable menu options and amazing coffee to fill your tank.
JS Grey Reserve and Elixir Cafe, Preston
This partially fenced playground houses slides, swings and a fun see-saw. Elixir Cafe can be found a stone's throw away across the other side of the street. Elixir serves up a mean waffle stack too!
Woodlea Adventure Playground and Go West Cafe, Rockbank
Woodlea estate in northwest Rockbank is home to a neat playground and cafe combo - Go West Cafe and the Woodlea Adventure Playground. Go West Cafe is light and airy with delicious treats on offer.
The Woodlea Adventure Playground features giant slides, in-ground trampolines and plenty of places to climb and explore, making it perfect for your little adventurers.
Edwardes Lake Park and Off The Boat Pizzeria Cafe, Reservoir
Edwardes Lake Park provides a range of experiences, from a playground to a walking track and even an awesome train! For lunch (Wednesday through Sunday), Off The Boat Pizzeria does a fine vegetarian pizza, you can share as a family. Clayton and Me is another nice cafe option, not too far down the road.
Harris Reserve and Est 1906 Cafe, Seddon
Harris Reserve features a lovely shaded playground and lots of green space to enjoy, and EST 1906 is your must-visit spot for a fantastic coffee. The amazing Eka Wholefoods Cafe isn’t too far up the road as well - mummy green highly recommends checking this place out to stock up on some nourishing snacks for the drive home.
Jacoby Reserve and Cowderoys Dairy, St. Kilda West
This funky milk-bar style cafe is on the doorstep of St. Kilda beach and is right next door to a nice little playground! Cowderoys Dairy does a great ‘lunch box’ style meal for kids, and they make good coffee for Mumma too!
The Grove Playground and Little Growling Cafe, Tarneit
This little cafe is an absolute gem out West. Little Growling Cafe backs onto a fantastic playground - which means mum and dad can sit back and enjoy their coffee while their little ones play ‘till their heart’s content.
Commonwealth Reserve and Tick Tok Cafe, Williamstown
This bustling cafe in Williamstown is a must-visit if you are in the area. Tick Tok caters for all dietary requirements, with their super nourishing menu, and they are open till late.
The dishes are beautifully presented and taste just as good as they look! Located right on the Williamstown foreshore, there is a lot to see and do once you have indulged in a lovely meal. Commonwealth Reserve is nearby for the kids to explore, or you can take a nice stroll along the foreshore with the pram.
FAQs About Melbourne Cafes
A playground is usually smaller and has play equipment that includes swings, slides, monkey bars, teeter-totters, etc. At the same time, parks are larger with various amenities for visitors to enjoy, such as picnic tables, benches, walk trails, or even tennis courts.
As we've seen, adult playgrounds can take on many different shapes and forms. The ability to play creatively should be available to children of all ages. Playground equipment designed for those entering their more senior years helps to keep adults physically fit and facilitates the enjoyment of an active social life.
If you use an environmentally friendly and hypo-allergenic playground disinfectant, it will disinfect your equipment for up to four weeks. However, if your playground has been known to get dirty more frequently, it will have to be cleaned more often. Routine maintenance should be performed every three months.
An indoor playground requires regular cleaning. All visible surfaces have to be cleaned every week with a moist cloth or soapy water. But there is more. Most dust accumulates at places where kids play the least.
Melbourne is famed for its vibrant café culture, with coffee shops lining every street corner. Its history began on Bourke Hill, and in the 1900s, the city saw numerous roasting houses sprouting along its streets.
Bourke Street is home to the famous Florentines restaurant, which houses Melbourne’s first espresso machine from 1901, as well as Pellegrini’s Bar - one of the first cafes to import a Gaggia machine in the 1950s.
These new water-driven espresso machines made a more flavoursome brew, far less bitter than their predecessors. Gradually, people were lured away from the traditional tearooms, and an explosion of coffee shops sparked throughout the city, one that has been growing ever since.
Top 3 Playgrounds with Cafes in Melbourne's East
The Wyreena Playspace is adjacent to the Conservatory Cafe. Not only is the playground super cute, with wooden carvings, small bird statues and a wonderful tube slide, but the cafe serves a lovely selection of meals and light snacks at reasonable prices.
The playground would be nice to visit anytime, but a visit here could be turned into a real treat with afternoon tea in the cafe.
A great place for bike riding, ball games, scooters, or just walking around, Jells Park is a lovely spot to spend the day. There are several playgrounds in the park and a great bird sanctuary area on the far side of the lake where you can see a large variety of birds from the bird hide or even just the track itself.
Whilst there are plenty of barbecues and picnic spots at the park, there is also Madeline's at Jells Cafe, which serves take away food and sit down meals either outside on the deck or inside overlooking the park. In winter, there is even a fire!
The Royal Botanic Gardens at Cranbourne
Well known for its spectacular Australian Garden, the Cranbourne Botanic Gardens offer a lot for families.
Children will love paddling in the Rockpool Waterway and playing in the Kid's Backyard. Still, perhaps the best thing about the gardens is that kids can be free to explore different plants and landscapes – Weird and Wonderful seems particularly popular with children.
There is a picnic area here and a beautiful cafe serving a wide variety of food, and a little kiosk near the lake precinct.
How great is it to grab a coffee or food that someone else has made while the kids have a ball in a playground within view? I know, too great – everybody’s happy!
Playgrounds in Melbourne are generally pretty awesome, but these happen to be near or right next to a cafe that’s equally as good. Let the happy outings commence!