About Playing in Puddles

Playing in Puddles brings you the best of the Central Coast for kids. It’s a one-stop site for mums, dads, grandparents and carers who are keen to discover all that the Central Coast has to offer their families. Whether you’re looking for a fenced playground, a cafe large enough to host your mothers’ group, a mums-n-bubs fitness class or a party venue suitable for sugar-hyped 12 year olds, you’ll find it on Playing in Puddles. We’ll do the hard work for you – we’ll keep you updated on what’s going on at the popular hotspots, plus we’ll share in the small, secret and new businesses that are sure to become your local favourites.

We want to make it simple and easy for you to find the facilities and services your family needs, so that when you want to enrol your baby in a music class or get your tween involved in their local cricket club, Playing in Puddles is your go-to resource for finding that information.

We are all about supporting local families and local businesses and helping to link the two together. So grab your sippy cups, gym bags and hats, and together let’s discover The Coast.


Who Started Playing in Puddles?

Hi, I’m Katie, founder of Playing in Puddles. I’m a mum to two gorgeous little boys, a wife to a patient, hard-working husband, and a local of the Central Coast. After working in print media for more than a decade, I launched Playing in Puddles in 2017. My boys and I love exploring – finding new parks to play in, new cafes to eat at and new events to experience.

Why did we start Playing in Puddles?

I grew up in East Gosford – I ate ice-cream cake in the McDonald’s party train, played basketball for the Rebels, climbed The Skillion sans steps and was denied entry to Key Largo for wearing flats. Following school I studied journalism and was lucky enough to spend a few years overseas before settling in Sydney as subeditor of Australian Gourmet Traveller magazine.

Fast forward seven years, add one handsome hubby and two beautiful babies and we decided it was time to move home. But, despite growing up on The Coast, I didn’t know where to take my boys and I found it difficult to find information on what was going on. Where were the toddler-friendly playgrounds? Who ran the best music class? Which barista made the perfect babychino (i.e. coffee for mummy)? I asked my friends and they, too, were asking the same questions, and so Playing in Puddles was born.

 These days, I’ve ditched the backpack for a nappy bag, I favour kids menus over degustation sittings, and my fellow reviewers are aged 0, 7 and 9… and I wouldn’t have it any other way.


Editorial Team

Katie Stokes

Katie Stokes

Founder & Editor

After working in print and online media for more than a decade, Katie launched Playing in Puddles in 2017. A mum of three young boys and local of the Central Coast, Katie loves discovering and sharing all that’s happening in our region. 

Favourite park: Sun Valley park at Green Point. It’s fully fenced, shaded, and is great for all ages with its basketball court and play equipment. 

Favourite cafe: More restaurant than cafe, Sounds on West allows us to adult and parent simultaneously. Meaning, this is a space where adults can sip spicy margaritas, dine on fab food and enjoy table service and the kids are also given a fun area to play.  

Favourite place: Macmasters Beach – our Friday night go-to. A swim in the surf and play in the park followed by dinner: burgers from Macs Beach Cafe, wine from the surf club, an outdoor  table with a stunning view and space for the kids to run. It’s our “secret” local.  

Alison McCann

Alison McCann

Social Media and Digital Content Creator

Alison has been a proud local since 2006. She’s mum to three delightful kids (and one crazy cattle dog!), who all love getting out to explore our amazing region. With experience in corporate communications, copywriting and brand management, Alison can’t wait to share the best of the beautiful Central Coast with you and your family.

Favourite Park: Couche Park at Koolewong.

Favourite Cafe: Parklife Cafe at Terrigal. It’s a relaxing outdoor spot with great coffee. The healthy kids meals are a winner, plus there’s loads to do nearby, including the popular Rotary Park playground and Central Coast Marine Discovery Centre.

Favourite Place: It has to be Little Beach – part of the Bouddi National Park. A short bushwalk leads to an idyllic beach where you can unwind while the kids play and explore.

louise meers

louise meers

Social Media and Digital Content Creator

Louise spent a decade in the publishing industry writing for children, and was the editor of K-Zone magazine prior to moving to the Central Coast in 2018. These days you’ll find her creating content from a cosy corner in her living room, at the beach, or trying out new cafés and playgrounds around the Coast with her son and husband.

Favourite park: The Entrance Waterfront Playground.

Favourite cafe: Bamboo Buddha in Holgate. Eating delicious food in a tranquil rainforest garden (complete with a pond of koi fish) – what’s not to love?

Favourite place: Long Jetty – the food, the coffee, the shopping and the proximity to a handful of incredible beaches… It’s a definite vibe!