As a mum with small children I find an outing to a café, restaurant or any other food venue can be likened to an expedition to the gates of hell. Pristine décor, disapproving wait staff, slow service and a menu suited to adult taste buds guarantee high levels of anxiety and instant regret.
Finding a venue that welcomes families - and all their energy and mess - is the holy grail for parents keen to reclaim the ability to enjoy beautiful food, coffee and a decent chat with friends. So here’s my top 5 kid friendly venues in the Geelong region.
1. Picnic Time Café – Not only does this place have a great menu; think Baked by Jess cupcakes, Bronx Pressed Juice and a La Madre bread there is also an amazing indoor pirate ship playground for the kids complete with slides & a ball pit.
What I really love about this place is their passion for supporting local small businesses not just via their menu but they also stock a handful of Geelong's talented creative’s handmade wares like delicious smelling candles, cute little kids clothes, greeting cards & jewellery.
Location: 20/34 Murradoc Road, Drysdale
2. Hello Birdie - This groovy café features a huge grassed outdoor area equipped with cubby house & basketball ring amongst other fun toys & games, so parents can sit outside and let the kids play whilst they enjoy a coffee and a chat.
The kids menu is extensive and inexpensive; our favourite is the ‘tasting plate’ which as you may guess from the name offers a range of kids favourites all on one big board coupled with a little milkshake.
Location: 52 Grubb Road, Ocean Grove
3. Café Boticelli – Whilst only small this gorgeous café has a big heart, an all day breakfast menu and killer donuts. The outdoor playground is great for the kids to blow off some steam while you enjoy the finer things in life like coffee & donuts
Location: 7 Minerva Rd, Hamlyn Heights
4. Barwon Edge Boathouse – Two words; Wine & Playground! As far as information goes that’s probably all I’d need to get me there but I’ll give you guys a little bit more. This place is somewhere I’d never dream of taking my kids, it’s located amongst the most beautiful setting & has a fancy pants menu BUT we do take them because there is also a fantastic outdoor playground area for the wild ones to hang (with the dads lol) whilst I sip on a wine with my girlfriends.
Located: 40 Windsor Road, Newtown
5. The Clarendon – This is more of a dinner time venue for us, with an indoor playground that has cameras hooked up to TV’s in the dining area you can sit and eat in relative harmony, the Theatre room which plays kids movies is a winner with my tribe and the dessert bar keeps them quiet once the engines have grown tired of the playground. A delicious Pizza & Pasta menu along with other fan favourites has made this place a favourite of ours.
Location: 378 LaTrobe Terrage, Newtown