These favourite ‘child friendly cafes’ in and around the Nillumbik area are not in any particular order in our list below, but seem to be the most popular for various reasons. We all know that when kids are happy and entertained, the parents also have a great relaxing time.
What makes a child-friendly cafe? It could be anything that entertains the little people and keeps them happy – it could be just an open space to move around, pram parking area, a sandpit, child friendly food reasonably priced, a playground, or even animals to see or feed! We are very lucky living in and around Nillumbik with our charming natural bushland scenery where kids can be mesmerised by the wildlife in some cases and nature settings.
- Panton Hill Hotel has a HUGE outdoor area, decking and grassed area for kids to run around on. It has a great kid’s menu with activities to keep them busy when they’re not exploring the grounds. Kids might even like to have a groove to some live music on the weekends.
- Shillinglaw Café at Eltham is centrally located, across the road from the awesome Alistair Knox Park and it’s located right next to the Eltham Library. It has a children’s menu, it’s fenced in and even has a sandpit in the corner!
- Dark Horse Café at Watsons Creek is set amongst beautiful natural country bushland, surrounded by wildlife. There are chickens to see and lots of space around the tables in the beautiful gardens for kids to move around if they can’t sit still. The new renovated playground is awesome too.
- Diamond Creek Rotary Tram Café is a fabulous new-ish café built into an old Melbourne Rattler Tram, just south of the incredible new play-space at Diamond Creek. It serves ice cream, milkshakes, coffee and yummy bites to eat.
- Edendale Farm Café at Eltham has a decking area to catch some sun and it has space for pram parking. Or you could grab some special home-made treats and coffee and stroll around the farm allowing your little ones to explore all it has to offer. Just don’t let the goats eat your muffin!
- Olivigna at Warrandyte South has space outside for kids to move around and enjoy the beautiful gardens. It has lovely views and delicious pizzas to fill the kids’ tummies.
- Rivers of Yarrambat is beautiful for children to be in nature. There is a large fenced pond where the kids can feed the ducks and turtles and watch them from the café decking area. Delicious fresh baked treats and again, lots of space to explore.
- Post Office Café at Hurstbridge has a great outdoor space with a lovely small waterfall, it has a children’s menu and delicious fresh food.
- Zen Den Café at Eltham has a fenced in outdoor area where kids love to romp around, it has delicious home-baked goodies and a great kids menu.
- The Boulevard at Montsalvat Café, Eltham has an outdoor courtyard where you can sit amongst the historical buildings and even have a visit from the friendly resident peacock. It has a great kids menu and it’s a perfect spot to enjoy the sunshine.
- Petty’s Orchard (aka Yarra Organics) at Templestowe is very child friendly with its large refurbished playground for kids to climb and play on. You can go on a lovely 3.5km walk or ride along a path from Eltham Lower Park, just take the bridge over the river and head left, follow that path, wave to the kangaroos on your way past and if you’re lucky you may see some resident wombats along the way too.
- Warran Glen Café at Warrandyte is such a beautiful space to play in, I love it in Autumn especially, my daughter and I played in the Autumn leaves between the nursery and cafe for an hour last time, it was spectacular. There is a court yard area with a small train to play on which keep the kids happy, or they will love feeding the ducks.
If you have a suggested café that you think belongs on this list, please let us know. We’d love to promote another child-friendly café in Nillumbik and keep children and parents happy when they go out!