We are absolutely spoilt for choice with amazing cafés here on the Central Coast. It can be tricky to know which ones are kid-friendly though. Lucky for you, we’ve eaten our way from Killcare to Charmhaven to bring you the best spots to have a bite to eat with the fam. Whether you’re after waffles and water views, or an excellent coffee with an indoor playground close by, we’ve got you covered with the best kid-friendly cafes on the Coast. We hope you enjoy discovering the best cafés on the Central Coast for families as much as we did, and when you visit be sure to tell them that Playing in Puddles sent you!

So without further ado, and in no particular order, here are our top kid-friendly cafes on the Central Coast!

Bumble Bananas, Wyoming

Bumble Bananas in Wyoming is a café that’s popular with all ages. Mother’s groups love it for its engaging play area and paper-topped tables with freely available crayons that have young children doodling, creating, and exploring – as well as its great coffee and array of food options. It’s also a new hotspot for after-school hangs with teens cruising past on their way home to make the most of the free wi-fi, the pastries and the 10% discount they can nab when they show their student ID card!

Bumble Bananas: 451 Pacific Hwy, Wyoming; 0478 915 251
Open for: breakfast and lunch. Please check their website for days and times.

The Tame Fox, Erina

If you’re after a café with an incredible playground for the kids, you need to check out The Tame Fox. Oh, and it’s not just a teeny tiny tokenistic playground. No, no, no: it boasts two cubbies, two slippery dips, a sunshine yellow row boat, ride-on diggers, a mini bouldering obstacle and multiple chalk boards. The entire play area is fully fenced, so adults can chill out with a well-deserved cuppa while their kids play safely. And there are tables both inside the play area and out, so you can be right there in the heart of the fun with your kids, or a little further away to, you know, adult.

As for the food, you’re in for a treat. From waffles to poke bowls, there’s something to satisfy any kind of food craving. If you’ve got early-risers, you’ll also be stoked to know that they open from 7.30am AND their coffee is top-notch. This is an awesome place to fuel up for the day ahead or to meet-up for playdates.

Read our full review here.

Tame Fox: The Industry Grounds, 224 Central Coast Hwy, Erina; (02) 4365 0760
Open for: breakfast and lunch. Please check their website for days and times.

Parklife Coffee, Terrigal

Perched at the far end of Terrigal Rotary Park (right next to The Central Coast Marine Discovery Centre), Parklife Coffee serves up hot drinks and some of the tastiest muffins we’ve ever had the pleasure of trying. There are also more substantial menu items if you’re after breakfast or lunch while you’re out and about. Go the wagyu burger – it’s a long-time fave with regulars. The food is all super well-priced and packaged up with both the environment and parent life in mind: meaning you can pull up a chair and get civilised on the large undercover deck, or have it in hand while you push your kids on the swing.

As for the playground, there are slides, swings, spinners, climbing walls, a flying fox, and a large wooden pirate ship that always has imaginations running wild. There are two large play structures, one for younger kids and one for older – so all age groups are covered. The park was also recently upgraded and now has shade cloths and softfall rubber. Yippee!

Read our full Parklife review here.

Parklife Coffee: 11 Terrigal Drive, Terrigal (within Terrigal Rotary Park); (02) 4385 5027
Open for: breakfast and lunch. Please check their Facebook page for days and times.

Bar Botanica, Erina

Best known to long-time locals as the Fragrant Gardens, Bar Botanica is a whimsical mud-brick building with cascading waterfall.

Dan has created an impressive menu of simple and seasonal dishes, which feature herbs and botanicals from the on-site gardens. There is something delightful to eat at any time of day. For morning tea, you can munch on almond croissants and berry danishes. When lunch time comes around, try a pure pork and sage sausage roll with spiced apple chutney (one of our mini reviewers demolished this in what seemed like seconds) or a Ploughman’s Lunch.

So where is the kid factor I hear you ask? The garden is large and offers multiple areas to dine. Pull up a table near the kitchen garden, grab a rug and picnic under the trees, or enjoy a little whimsy in the fairytale rotunda. And the gelato?

Bar Botanica: 25 Portsmouth Rd, Erina; 0405 655 100
Open for: lunch. Please check their website for days and times.

Saddles, Mount White

If you haven’t experienced Saddles yet, go go go! This place is no longer ‘our little secret’ – Sydneysiders are increasingly road-tripping to Saddles for its incredible vibe and mouthwatering menu. How lucky are we to have it on our doorstep?

When you arrive, you’ll be struck by the venue’s elegance and quality craftsmanship. And then you might wonder, “Is this place REALLY kid friendly?” You bet it is!

You won’t find a box of toys, but your kids will love going for a “ride” on the bespoke bar-stool saddles – each made from hand-tooled leather and hand-engraved silver by Heath Harris of Hawkesbury River Saddlery. There might not be a playground, but there’s a path lined with magnolias, camellias, rosemary and tibouchinas that wraps around the dam, which invites children to explore and practice a little rock skimming as they wait for their meal.

Oh and the meals! Order the beef cheek pie and Valrhona chocolate lamingtons. You won’t be disappointed.

Read our full Saddles review here.

Saddles: 20 Ashbrookes Rd, Mount White; (02) 4370 1152
Open for: breakfast and lunch. Please check their website for days and times.

San Churro, Erina Fair

A trip to San Churro at Erina Fair really hits the sweet spot! There are plenty of tasty kid-sized options on the menu, plus some indulgent treats for grown ups to enjoy.

Little hands will be kept busy dipping fresh churros into chocolate sauce and sprinkles, while you enjoy a rest and coffee; though, we recommend you treat yourself to one of their hot chocolates instead – the thick, rich Classic Spanish gets our tick. Ice-cream, fondue, fancy sundaes, and yummy milkshakes are also available.

San Churro: Terrigal Drive, Erina Fair Shopping Centre, Erina; (02) 4367 6002
Open for: breakfast, lunch and dinner. Please check their website for days and times.

Like Minds, Avoca Beach

People are coming from all over the Coast, Sydney and Newcastle to experience Like Minds. This café is all about community, sustainability and tasty eats. You’ll feel relaxed and welcomed as soon as you get inside. Kids will love it for its garden and banana smoothies. You’ll love it for its smashed avo on grain free turmeric bread, felafel plates and good vibes. If you haven’t been before, just look out for the double-storey mustard-yellow botanical wall mural – you can’t miss it.

Like Minds: 352 The Round Dr, Avoca Beach
Open for: breakfast. Please check their Instagram for days and times.

Three Trees Café, North Gosford

Forget babychinos: Three Trees Café has freckle-marshmallow tea cups and Tiny Teddy Mars Bar cars! And Pablo & Rusty’s coffee for the grown ups. That alone is reason enough to drop into this local gem of a café.

But there’s more. They have rugs to lie your rug-rats on, highchairs for bubs, a box of toys for toddlers and plenty of space for multiple strollers (i.e. mothers groups). Plus, they have lounges, and who doesn’t love a café with a lounge?

Lunches are light – think spring salads, vegie burgers and bruschetta – and they have kid-sized juices and milkshakes. With some 20 sugary treats on display, the slice counter will tempt the most stubborn of dieters. Go on, order that latte on skinny and enjoy a Portuguese tart, white chocolate brownie, some Nutella fudge or a slice of Oreo cheesecake. Your mouth will thank you for it.

Three Trees Café: Unit 1, 16 Laycock Street, North Gosford; (02) 4339 3713
Open for: breakfast and lunch. Please check their Facebook page for days and times.

Fair Cravin’, Point Clare

If you love op-shopping and delicious food then this is the place for you. Part of the Fairhaven social enterprise organisation, here’s a spot you can get your caffeine hit and find a bargain or three. Kids love finding their own treasures to take home too! The café has a small kids’ menu, some outdoor play equipment, and also colouring-in sheets available on request. Our milkshake arrived with a jelly snake wrapped around the straw, delivering happy faces all round.

Fair Cravin’: 209 Brisbane Water Drive, Point Clare; 0459 523 316
Open for: breakfast and lunch. Please check their Facebook page for days and times.

Wyong Milk Factory

We love venues with space to run, with space to play, and a place that embraces the chaos of families, and in each of these regards The Wyong Milk Factory delivers.

First of all, it has so many food options! Feel like some pub grub? Head to the tavern out the back. Want to enjoy the surroundings with a cold drink and a sandwich? Check out their riverside bar. Need a coffee or a wood fired pizza? The café out the front does both fabulously. Got a hankering for a maple bacon doughnut? Daily Dough Co is on site and has got you covered.

Another reason this place always draws the crowds is its excellent kids facilities. Inside you’ll find a multi-level playground with a large soft climbing area and a games area. And outside there’s a fully-fenced playground complete with cubby houses, swings, a slide and a huge boat to play pirates in. There’s also picnic tables inside the playground so you can bring food here from the café and tavern (or a big box of doughies from Daily Dough Co if you’re willing to share!).

The Wyong Milk Factory is a true family-friendly venue in every sense of the word and they host regular kids events throughout the year, such as movie nights, discos, Easter egg hunts, Halloween dress ups, pop-up jumping castles and live music. Pay it a visit.   

Wyong Milk Factory: 141 Alison Rd, Wyong; (02) 4355 4587
Open for: lunch and dinner. Please check their website for days and times.

Cake & Plate, Niagara Park

At Cake and Plate, kids are invited to decorate their very own cupcake! They’ll get everything they need to make a super sweet creation (icing, lollies, and sprinkles to boot) while you enjoy a tea or coffee (and some rare quiet time). Located in a quiet courtyard, this is a relaxed spot to catch up with friends, or to simply satisfy your sweet tooth!

Cake & Plate: Shop 9, 16 Washington Avenue, Niagara Park; (02) 4328 1819
Open for: sweet treats all day! Please check their website for days and times.

Gourmet Pizza Kitchen, Erina Fair

At GPK, they know that kids like to be entertained, and they give each child a squishy ball of pizza ‘play’ dough to get creative with while you wait for your order. The menu is full of tasty options for lunch or a snack, with pizza, pasta, salads and dessert available. There’s a good selection of kids meals too.

They’re located close to the playground in the Hive at Erina Fair – with plenty of outside seating – so it’s great for an eezy-breezy dinner. There’s lots of room for prams inside too, and the service is warm and friendly.

Gourmet Pizza Kitchen: Terrigal Drive, Erina Fair Shopping Centre, Erina; (02) 4367 8600
Open for: lunch and dinner. Please check their website for days and times.

Surf Café, Terrigal Surf Life Saving Club

You can’t beat the location: the Surf Café is literally a hop, skip, jump to the golden sand of Terrigal Beach. Located under the Surf Life Saving Club, this café boasts an enviable and uninterrupted view of the beach… and of your children, who will no doubt scoff down their bacon and eggs before scampering away to make sandcastles and splash in the waves while you enjoy your coffee and paper.

This place does all your brekkie favourites – sauteed mushrooms, grilled haloumi, poached eggs and smashed avo. It’s none too fancy, but it’s tasty and incredibly fast given how busy it gets on a sunny day, and the best part is, they do it all day. The Allpress coffee is poured by an experienced barista and there’s a separate three-page menu dedicated to juice.

Surf Café: Ground level, Terrigal Surf Life Saving Club, Terrigal Esplanade, Terrigal; (02) 4384 6283
Open for: breakfast and lunch. Please check their Facebook page for days and times.

The Secret Café, Charmhaven

Even though it’s called The *Secret* Café, this one is super popular with families, mothers’ groups and grandparents looking for great food and a happy dining experience where they needn’t keep shooshing the kids or begging them to stay in their seats. With its massive backyard, play equipment and ride-on cars, this is the kind of café that parents everywhere wish they had as their local. Hot tip: the pick of the tables can be found under the shade of the established maple trees at the back of the property and within handy eye- and ear-shot of the play equipment.

The menu is packed with classics like omelettes, pancakes and bacon and eggs for brekkie, and burgers, wraps and melts for lunch. They also have a good sized kids menu, featuring waffles, ham and cheese toasties, fish bites and more. That’s if you can tear them away from the slides, swings and cubby houses to eat!

The Secret Café: 170 Pacific Hwy, Charmhaven; (02) 4393 3100
Open for: breakfast and lunch. Please check their website for days and times.

Jasmine Greens Park Kiosk, Umina Beach

Perched right next to one of the Central Coast’s most epic parks is Jasmine Greens – answering all your coffee prayers first thing in the morning (and into the day). Sustainable food is their jam – think vegetarian bean nachos wrap with cheese, avocado, sweet chilli & sour cream, plus vegan toasties. But don’t worry, there’s also freshly baked muffins, banana bread and baklava for the sweet tooths. For kids there’s a $12 meal deal, which gets you fresh crumbed chicken breast or tempura battered fish with chips, tomato sauce, a 100% juice popper and a ring pop. Yum!

Jasmine Greens Park Kiosk: Peninsula Recreation Precinct, Sydney Ave, Umina Beach; (02) 4344 5398
Open for: breakfast and lunch. Please check their website for days and times.

Killcare Beach Kiosk

We’re always so excited to find a hidden gem! Killcare Beach Kiosk is a great spot to take the kids (and the dog!) after exploring the rockpools. Chill out on the grassy area with a Killy Kebab (which is a delicious mix of lamb, homemade hommus, tabouleh, lettuce, tomato and sauce… mmm!) while your minis try their hand at the amazing thongaphone, aka pitched pipes you can strike with thongs to make music. Ahh, the serenity.

The kiosk also boasts its very own beach toy library, so you can borrow spades, buckets and trucks if you’ve forgotten to throw yours in the boot. You can also donate your used beach toys for all to enjoy. Awesome idea, right?

Killcare Beach Kiosk: 81 Beach Dr, Killcare; (02) 4360 1330
Open for: breakfast and lunch. Please visit their website to check days and times.

The Shed, Tuggerah

Need to refuel after shopping up a storm at the Tuggerah Super Centre? The Shed’s all-day breakfast menu includes traditional favourites such as bacon and eggs or omelettes. For those who prefer a sweeter start to the day, we recommend the french toast: toasted brioche, mascarpone, fresh strawberries, poached rhubarb and caramelised bananas!

For those on the run, lighter snacks are also available with options including homemade muffins, chocolate brownies and savoury pastries – perfect for eating in or taking away.

The best part? The Shed is located within metres of a brightly coloured indoor playground (which you can read all about  in our full review). Keep this one up your sleeve for next time you’re looking for a rainy day activity.

The Shed: 2 Bryant Dr, Tuggerah; (02) 4306 2911
Open for: breakfast and lunch. Please check their website for days and times.

Macs Beach Café, Macmasters Beach

Overlooking Macmasters Beach and rockpool, Macs Beach Café has a location that’s pretty hard to beat! The cafe’s tables are located on the glass-fenced deck, so everyone is guaranteed a view of the water. Most of the tables are large enough to accommodate groups of 6-8 and are under the shade of umbrellas or permanent sails.

Expect breakie faves including smashed avo, acai bowls, sourdough toast, and their notorious “Dirty Bacon and Egg Roll”. The lunch menu boasts a delightfully adventurous take on your average cafe burger selection. We’re talking 15-hour slow-cooked pulled lamb, house-made tzatziki, thick truss tomatoes, Spanish onion, and rocket on a stone-cooked slab of ciabatta. Or house-made pastrami and Russian dressing on Sonoma rye, with sauerkraut, Westmount pickles, and melted Swiss cheese. And if those haven’t got you over the line, how about fresh Queensland Barramundi fillet, house-made chunky tartare, west mount pickles, and iceberg lettuce on a charcoal brioche bun?

They also have snacks by way of hot chips, croissants, toasties, donuts, and of course, coffee! PLUS, they’re open on Friday and Sunday evenings for dinner!

Read our full Macs Beach Cafe review here.

Macs Beach Cafe: 100 Marine Parade, Macmasters Beach;  0401 150 929.
Open for: breakfast, lunch and dinner. Please check their Facebook page for days and times.

PSST! Have you seen our sweet treats round-up yet?

We’ve taste-tested gelato, consumed crazy shakes, tried all the donuts, and even fallen into a chocolate coma after experiencing a particularly decadent fondue, just to bring you the ultimate guide to the best sweet treats on the Central Coast. Check it out!

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