Along with a child who falls asleep through the night, eats their vegetables without complaint, etc., but that's another story, the pinnacle of parenting is a cafe near a park or playground.
In the same way that you can bring your own food to a park, you can also bring your own toys to a cafe. There's a cafe and play area nearby that's perfect for you and your family.
My favourite cafes and parks are listed below; most are within walking distance of one another or can be seen from across the street.
No cafes that also had inside or outside play areas could be included due to space constraints.
Best Cafes with Playgrounds in Melbourne
Farm Cafe + Collingwood Children’s Farm
Located on the grounds of Collingwood Children's Farm, the fantastic Farm Cafe serves up seasonal and local fare (and one of the best milkshakes in Melbourne, to boot). Then, after you've filled up on brunch, you can go on an animal safari
A popular Farmer's Market is held on the farm every month on the second Saturday, and admission is only $2 for adults and free for kids.
Upsy Daisy + Booran Reserve
Thanks to Upsy Daisy, a day spent at the massive Booran Reserve playground doesn't have to be a drag. The aqua coloured cafe just outside the front door offered healthy food options.
Park Street + Playground
Park Street in North Carlton is a favourite for a stylish weekend brunch, and the restaurant's back patio features a playground and bike racks for children.
Federation Square And Riverside Eateries + Artplay Playground
There are a tonne of great places to eat in Federation Square and Birrarung Marr, such as Chocolate Buddha, pilgrim, and Riverland. Then, have fun at Birrarung Marr's massive Artplay amusement park.
Bonus points for excellent ice cream at Popstic by the river.
Saluministi + Buluk Park
At Saluministi, you can get panini, coffee, and pastries with an authentic Italian flavour.
One of our favourite places to visit in Docklands is the playground and cafe at Buluk Park, thanks to its proximity to the stunning Library at the Dock.
Hahndorf Fine Chocolates + Montrose Community Playground
Quite possibly the only Melbourne playground with a chocolate shop right next door! Visit the Montrose Community Playground and then walk around the corner for a tasty treat.
Aintree Cafe + Woodlea Playground
One heck of a fun and educational playground. Four additional playgrounds can be reached on foot: Frontier Park, Pioneer Drive, Muster Drive, and Nugget Place.
For me, it was the Aintree Cafe in Woodlea that swayed my decision. It's a great restaurant with lots of natural light and it looks like it would be at home in a hip urban area.
Curator’s Collective + Queens Park Playground
Located in Queens Park, close to a popular playground, is the quaint cafe Curator's Collective.
Despite the playground's dated appearance, it will successfully occupy your children while you sip your latte in peace. Be wary of the pigeons; they can quickly and easily steal your food.
Cowderoy’s Dairy + Jacoby Reserve
Cowderoy's Dairy is a cafe designed to look like a vintage milk bar, and it overlooks a small playground. There's a cosy book swapping spot called the Little Library.
Little Captain + Hewison Reserve
The Little Captain cafe is quaint but a little run down, and it wouldn't be noticeable if it weren't so close to the fenced play area at Hewison Reserve.
The Boathouse + Maribyrnong Park
Along the Maribyrnong River, you'll find a large ocean-themed play area, a coffee store, and The Boathouse restaurant.
You can place an order from The Boathouse's menu and have it delivered to the café if the restaurant is particularly busy.
The Foodrinkery + Playground
The Foodrinkery is a cosy cafe that doubles as a gateway to a large park with a playground in the neighbourhood.
Cubbyhouse Canteen + Playground
Adjacent to a park and playground, this quaint cafe welcomes families with young children. Nearby Gardiner and Field is a more "mature" and upscale option that serves takeout lunch packs (sandwich, salad, and treat) perfect for bringing to the park.
Square And Compass + Fitzroy Gardens
Square and Compass is located near the small dragon playground in Fitzroy Gardens, and its interior is bright and airy thanks to a courtyard.
There is a family-friendly Kere Kere cafe at the southern end of Fitzroy Gardens, close to Wellington Parade.
Leroys +Paine Reserve
After exhausting Leroy's cubbyhouse and toy collection, the Newport Community Hub at Paine Reserve has a small playground for the kids.
The Backyard is a second cafe option for the same playground.
Rogue District + Warr Park
Cafe fare with a Korean twist, a quiet back courtyard, and a colourful park with playground equipment are just some of the features of Rogue District.
North Point Cafe + North Road Regional Playground
The North Point Cafe and convenient kiosk make North Road Foreshore Playground a popular destination for Bayside families, though the two features do not quite balance out.
One of the attractions of this cafe is its fascinating aquarium.
Serotonin + Golden Square Bicentennial Park
There is not a single item on the menu at Serotonin, a cafe with a focus on health, that contains gluten, dairy, or refined sugar. Across the street, in a small park with a playground, train watchers have a great vantage point to see the trains.
The convenience of having your meal delivered in the park after you have picked up a packed lunch and rug from Serotonin's takeout window is unmatched.
Playgrounds Near a Cafe in Melbourne
The proximity of a playground to a cafe is ideal for parents in need of a caffeine fix while watching their children burn off excess energy. Fortunately, Melbourne is a city that loves its coffee, so there are many excellent playgrounds within easy walking distance of cafes.
Here are some of the best cafe-near playgrounds in Melbourne and the surrounding areas. You can enjoy your coffee with a dose of fresh air and beautiful sunshine at any of the cafes on the list; they all make decent coffee, offer some delicious menu options, and are conveniently located near an outdoor playground.
Union Street Reserve Playground and CubbyHouse Canteen, Armadale
Union Street Reserve has a beautiful playground with a fence and is conveniently located near the world-famous CubbyHouse Canteen. While you're enjoying your morning latte, your children can play on the playground's slides, crossing bridge, swing sets, and nice grassy area. The quinoa salad is Mummy Green's favourite item on the menu.
Gahan Reserve Playground and Admiral Cheng Ho, Abbotsford
The plant-based options on the menu at Admiral Cheng Ho are so delicious that it can be difficult to pick just one. The coffee is consistently good, and there are a number of different roasts available. The playground at Gahan Reserve is a great place to take the kids and is not far from where you are.
CERES Community Environment Park and The Merri Table Cafe, Brunswick East
Visit CERES Community Environment Park for a fun day out with the kids, where organic produce, a nursery, a cafe, a playspace, traditional markets, workshops, and courses are all on display.
Waratah Reserve Playspace and The Foodrinkery, Burwood
Burwood is home to the wonderful Foodrinkery, and right next door is Waratah Reserve, also known as Banksia Street Playground by the locals. Mama Green loves the Green Detox smoothie.
Collingwood Children’s Farm and The Farm Cafe, Collingwood
If we were to compile a list of the best playgrounds in Melbourne, Collingwood Children's Farm would have to make the cut. While not a traditional playground, this attraction offers a fun day for the whole family thanks to its many animal exhibits, fun activities, and on-site cafe.
Ormond Esplanade Playground and Combi, Elwood
Take a walk down Ormond Esplanade with the kids and pick up a takeout smoothie from Combi (they're delicious!). Eventually, you'll reach a cute playground. In addition to the excellent restaurants already mentioned, the Little Sunflower Cafe is another fantastic nearby option.
Edinburgh Gardens and Aphro and Wolfe Cafe, Fitzroy North
Aphro and Wolfe Cafe has some of the best toasties in town. Grab a few for you and the kids, and take a trip to Edinburgh's beautiful gardens to play.
Johnson Reserve and Dumbo Cafe, Footscray
Johnson Reserve, located in Footscray West, is a great little playground with plenty of open space, exciting climbing opportunities, and quality swings that can keep kids entertained for hours. The nearby Dumbo Cafe caters to families and is a hit with kids of all ages.
Reddish Reserve Playground and Middle Street Food, Hadfield/Glenroy
Great food and friendly service can be found at Middle Street Food in Hadfield. Outdoor seating is available for nursing mothers, and delicious smoothies are available in abundance. Once you've finished eating, take the kids to the nearby park in Reddish Reserve.
Possum Hollow Playground and The Alleyway Cafe, Heidelberg
The Alleyway is a fantastic neighbourhood cafe for residents of Heidelberg and a pleasant rest stop for visitors. Vegetarian and vegan options are available, and there is no shortage of gluten-free options. After you've finished eating, take the kids to the fantastic (and secure) Possum Hollow Playground.
Hays Paddock Playspace and Pinkie Cafe, Ivanhoe
Another Eastern treasure is Hays Paddock Playground. It is surrounded by a fence, has great play equipment for kids of all ages, and is located in a natural setting. Pinkie Cafe, located just a few minutes away by car, caters to mothers with strollers by providing plenty of outdoor seating and delicious vegan, gluten-free, and vegetarian options.
Pheonix Park Playground and Pheonix Park Cafe, Malvern East
You could spend all day (or at least until nap time) at Pheonix Park. A fantastic wooden playground with twists and turns, climbing equipment, plenty of swings, and loads of fun is contained within a secure fence.
Surrounding the playground is a cafe, a library, a skate park, and a large grassy area.
Jacoby Reserve and Cowderoys Dairy, St. Kilda West
Next to a cute playground, this hip milk-bar style cafe is conveniently located near St. Kilda beach. Kids will love the lunch boxes at Cowderoys Dairy, and Mom will appreciate the excellent coffee.
Flagstaff Gardens Playground and Invita Living Food, Melbourne
If you're looking for some healthy to-go options, check out Invita Living Food at the Queen Victoria Market. Flagstaff Gardens is conveniently located close by, and it features a nice playground and lots of open space for exploring.
Pavey Reserve and Leroys Cafe, Newport
The cafe Leroys in Newport is a must-see for anyone in the area. Leroys' offers a kid-friendly outdoor area and a menu that will satisfy even the pickiest eaters.
Kids can round out their day with a visit to the nearby library or an exploration of the nearby Pavey Reserve, both of which are beautiful natural areas. An exciting day trip for the whole family can be had not too far away at the incredible Scienceworks.
Joyce Park and Common Ground Coffee, Ormond
Joyce Park, just off Jasper Road in Ormond, is a great place to take the kids for a picnic, some playtime, and some fresh air. The gardens feature a nice playground and the historic Box Cottage. It's just a short stroll down North Road to Common Ground Coffee, where you can fuel up on some delicious food and excellent coffee.
JS Grey Reserve and Elixir Cafe, Preston
There are swings, a slide, and a see-saw at this playground that is only partially fenced in. Elixir Cafe is just a short distance away, over on the opposite side of the street. Elixir is also known for its excellent waffle stacks.
Woodlea Adventure Playground and Go West Cafe, Rockbank
Located in the north-west corner of Rockbank, the Woodlea estate is home to the Go West Cafe and the Woodlea Adventure Playground. The food at the airy Go West Cafe is to die for.
The Woodlea Adventure Playground has everything your little explorers could want, including a giant slide, in-ground trampolines, and a variety of climbable structures.
Edwardes Lake Park and Off The Boat Pizzeria Cafe, Reservoir
Playgrounds, walking paths, and a fantastic train are just some of the attractions at Edwardes Lake Park. Off The Boat Pizzeria serves up delicious vegetarian pizza for lunch (Wednesday through Sunday) that the whole family can dig into. Not too far away is Clayton and Me, another pleasant cafe choice.
Harris Reserve and Est 1906 Cafe, Seddon
Harris Reserve is home to a charming shaded playground and expansive green space, and EST 1906 is where you should go for great coffee. As an added bonus, mummy green suggests stopping by the fantastic Eka Wholefoods Cafe on the way home to stock up on healthy snacks.
The Grove Playground and Little Growling Cafe, Tarneit
If you find yourself out in the West, you must stop by this adorable cafe. The Little Growling Cafe overlooks a wonderful playground, so parents can relax with a cup of coffee and watch their children play for as long as they like.
Commonwealth Reserve and Tick Tok Cafe, Williamstown
If you're in Williamstown, you can't miss this humming cafe. The super nutritious menu at Tick Tok is sure to please diners of all stripes, and they're open late.
Each dish has a lovely presentation and delicious flavour. After a delicious meal, there's plenty to do in the immediate area, as the restaurant is situated on the Williamstown waterfront. In addition to taking a stroll along the waterfront, you can take the kids to the nearby Commonwealth Reserve.
Hartwell Station Playground and Fordhams Milk Bar, Hartwell
My son adores trains, and he and other kids his age will enjoy the fully fenced Hartwell Station Playground. Wow, what a precious gem! Fordhams Milk Bar, a charming little cafe just across the street, is a great place to stock up on refreshments before having morning tea in the park with the kids.
Golden Square Bicentennial Park and Serotonin Eatery, Burnley
Everyone seems to be raving about Serotonin, and with good reason. The food is fantastic in appearance and, more importantly, flavour. Moms can choose from a wide variety of tasty dishes, and kids have plenty of options, too. Just across the street is Golden Square Bicentennial Park.
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
Conveniently located besides the Conservatory Cafe is the Wyreena Playspace. The playground is adorable with its wooden carvings, small bird statues, and fantastic tube slide, and the cafe offers delicious meals and snacks at affordable prices.
While a trip to the playground is enjoyable at any time, a stop for afternoon tea in the cafe elevates the experience to something truly special.
Jells Park is a wonderful place to spend the day, whether you want to ride bikes, play ball, ride scooters, or just stroll around. The park has a number of playgrounds, and on the opposite side of the lake is a fantastic bird sanctuary where you can observe a wide variety of birds from the bird hide or the track. Madeline's at Jells Cafe serves both takeout and eat-in meals on its deck, which looks out over the park, and its indoor dining area, which also has a view of the park. There's even a fire for the colder months!
The Royal Botanic Gardens at Cranbourne
Cranbourne Botanic Gardens are a popular family destination, and for good reason: their Australian Garden is truly breathtaking.
Kids of all ages will have a blast exploring the Kid's Backyard and paddling around in the Rockpool Waterway. Weird and Wonderful appears to be particularly well-liked amongst young visitors, but all of the gardens are great for letting kids run wild and discovering new things on their own.
Near the lake precinct, you'll find a picnic area, a beautiful cafe selling a wide variety of food, and a small kiosk.
Cafes and parks are the pinnacle of parenting if you're a mum or dad. The Foodrinkery is a cosy cafe that doubles as a gateway to a playground. Hahndorf Fine Chocolates has a chocolate shop right next door to its playground. Coffee and playgrounds are two great ways to burn off excess energy. Melbourne is a city that loves its coffee, so there are many excellent playgrounds near cafes.
Here are some of the best cafe-near playgrounds in Melbourne and the surrounding areas. Ormond Esplanade Playground and Combi have some of the best smoothies in town. Great food and friendly service can be found at Middle Street Food in Hadfield. Fordhams Milk Bar is a great place to stock up on refreshments before having morning tea with the kids. Hays Paddock Playground is surrounded by a fence, has great play equipment for kids of all ages.
The Grove Playground and Little Growling Cafe overlooks a cute playground. The Woodlea Adventure Playground has everything your little explorers could want. Off The Boat Pizzeria serves up delicious vegetarian pizza for lunch. Harris Reserve and Est 1906 Cafe is where you should go for great coffee. The Royal Botanic Gardens at Cranbourne are a popular family destination.
Jells Park has a number of playgrounds and a fantastic bird sanctuary. Madeline's at Jells Cafe serves takeout and eat-in meals on its deck, which looks out over the park.
- In the same way that you can bring your own food to a park, you can also bring your own toys to a cafe.
- There's a cafe and play area nearby that's perfect for you and your family.
- Along the Maribyrnong River, you'll find a large ocean-themed play area, a coffee store, and The Boathouse restaurant.
- One of our favourite places to visit in Docklands is the playground and cafe at Buluk Park, thanks to its proximity to the stunning Library at the Dock.
- Fortunately, Melbourne is a city that loves its coffee, so there are many excellent playgrounds within easy walking distance of cafes.
- Collingwood Children's Farm and The Farm Cafe, CollingwoodIf we were to compile a list of the best playgrounds in Melbourne, Collingwood Children's Farm would have to make the cut.
- After you've finished eating, take the kids to the fantastic (and secure) Possum Hollow Playground.
- Hays Paddock Playspace and Pinkie Cafe, Ivanhoe Another Eastern treasure is Hays Paddock Playground.
- Joyce Park and Common Ground Coffee, Ormond Joyce Park, just off Jasper Road in Ormond, is a great place to take the kids for a picnic, some playtime, and some fresh air.
- Woodlea Adventure Playground and Go West Cafe, Rockbank Located in the north-west corner of Rockbank, the Woodlea estate is home to the Go West Cafe and the Woodlea Adventure Playground.
- The super nutritious menu at Tick Tok is sure to please diners of all stripes, and they're open late.
- Jells Park is a wonderful place to spend the day, whether you want to ride bikes, play ball, ride scooters, or just stroll around.