Bigger Kids

9 best play cafés in Canada

Looking for a kid-friendly café where you can do some work or enjoy a cup of coffee while the kids play? We've rounded up the best play cafés in Canada.

kids-fort-play-cafe Photo: Kids Play Café

British Columbia

1. Kids Play Café This adorable play café is packed with fun for little ones ages zero to six. The gated play area includes a lovely wooden climber located on soft astroturf and a road way that’s perfect for racing push cars on. A train table and a playhouse round out the works. Babies can bop around in a jumperoo. Admission is $6.00 for ages one to six, while babies younger than one get in free. Kids ages seven and up aren't allowed in the play area, but can borrow a play kit, for a small charge. Caregivers can watch their charges from seats that go around the play area. And since this is a café, complete with a separate adult-friendly section at the front, guardians can enjoy fair-trade coffee or tea and use the free WiFi. Everyone can munch on snacks like organic chips, yogurt, fruit smoothies or homemade baked goods, as well as more substantial options like soup and made-to-order paninis.

Go play:  
Kids Play Café Monday to Sunday 9am - 5:30pm #8-14885 60th Ave., Surrey 604-593-5437

big-feast-play-cafe Photo: Big Feast Bistro

2. Big Feast Bistro Delicious locally sourced food and community spirit are the backbones of this restaurant, which was featured on the Food Network’s You Gotta Eat Here. Everyone is welcome at the Big Feast, including families. They have a small play area that’s stocked with books and toys. Plus, a yummy kids’ menu that features grilled peanut butter, banana and organic chocolate sauce sandwiches or lotsa-cheese grilled cheese sandwiches served with an organic juice box, fresh fruit salad and a fresh-baked cookie. Really little ones (those younger than age two) can order the Itty Bitty Feast, which is apple purée, banana rings, grated carrots and whole wheat Cheerios.

Go play:
Big Feast Bistro Monday to Thursday 8am - 8pm, Friday & Saturday 8am - 9pm, Sunday 8am - 3pm * The bistro may close to accommodate off-site catering functions. Check before going. 11920 227th St., Maple Ridge 604-477-4334

Kokopelli-play-cafe Photo: Kokopelli Café

3. Kokopelli Café Want to catch up with a friend over coffee, without having to worry about the kids getting bored? Kokopelli Café is the place to go. While you leisurely sip your coffee, your kids can explore the play area. Maybe they want to be chefs and play in the mini kitchen. Or be a conductor racing the trains down the railroad. There's something for every kid's interest in this play space. The menu is full of delicious meals including macaroni and cheese and sandwiches. But if you're looking for something to snack on, buy the café's homemade granola. Customers say it's the best granola in the world!

Go play:
Kokopelli Café Monday to Friday 7am - 5:30pm, Saturday & Sunday 8pm - 5pm Hours may vary. Call ahead to confirm. 4593 Dunbar Street, Vancouver 604-228-0818


kids-fort-play-cafe Photo: Kids Fort


4. Kids Fort If you and your kids are itching to get out of the house then Kids Fort is the place to go. This 1,000 square foot café has two indoor play spaces—a soft-enclosed one for tots up to age two and a larger area for kids up to age six. The baby-friendly spot has rockers, blocks and other infant-and-toddler-friendly toys, while the preschooler area has a large wooden climber with a slide. There are also ride-on toys, a trampoline, an air hockey table and playhouses. If children prefer to curl up with a book, they can hang out on one of the comfy chairs. Kids Fort has a full menu that features in-house-made goodies like pizza, soup, sandwiches, juices and of course, coffee. Admission is free for little ones up to eight months (with the purchase of a beverage) and $4 per child. Pre-paid passes are available, too. One other special feature is for the price of admission they will mind your child for up to 90 minutes so that you can get a massage at neighbouring BodyTx Massage and Health.

Go play:
Kids Fort Fall/Winter (September-April): Monday to Friday 9am - 5pm, Saturday  9am - 2:30pm Summer (May-August): Monday to friday9am - 1pm, Saturday 9am - 2pm Sundays are closed for private events. Check the calendar to see mid-week closures for private events. 8741 84 St., #105, Fort Saskatchewan 587-285-4422

cafe-o-play-edmonton Photo: Café O' Play

5. Café O' Play Your kids will be begging you to go out for a cup of coffee so they can play at Café O' Play. The cafe features a huge play space filled with ride-on cars, mini houses to play in and an awesome train track. For kids under one there is a baby space complete with a soft slide. For parents, you can watch your kids play while enjoying a locally roasted coffee by the fireplace. And when you or the kids get hungry you should take advantage of the in-house bakery and enjoy a cupcake or banana bread. Best for kids six and younger.

Go play: 
Café O' Play Winter (October-April): Monday to Friday 9am - 8pm, Saturday 9am - 3pm Summer (May-Sept):  Monday to Friday 9am - 4pm 5667 Riverbend Road, Edmonton 780-758-7529



Photo: The Funnery Play Park & Café Photo: The Funnery Play Park & Café

6. The Funnery Play Park & Café The idea behind this delightful café was simple: when kids play in a playground parents have to sit on uncomfortable benches or the ground making playtime fun for kids but not for parents. At The Funnery, parents get to enjoy playtime too. They can enjoy tasty treats such as cookies, biscottis, cappuccinos and frappés, and relax in comfy chairs while kids play nearby in the playground. There’s also a closed off toddler area with soft play structures with a wrap-around bar that surrounds the area allowing parents to be close by and still relax. It’s only $8 to play all day and $5 for each additional sibling. The day pass allows you to leave and come back throughout the day, in case the kiddies need a nap at home. Kids 12 months and under are free.

 Go play:
Funnery Play Park & Café Monday to Sunday 9am – 7pm Hours may vary. Call ahead to confirm. 611 Steven Court, Unit 3, Newmarket 905-252-1619

Oaks-acorns-play-cafe Photo: Oaks ‘n Acorns


7. Oaks ‘n Acorns Oaks ‘n Acorns is a great place to take your baby for classes or just for a little play while you enjoy a cup of tea. Kids registered in classes like baby sign language and Big Top Hip Hop get to play in the café for free before and after their lesson. During Stay ‘N Play hours, caregivers whose kids aren’t signed up are also able to pay to let their babies, toddlers and preschoolers have fun in the facilities, too. There are three areas and each caters to a specific age group. The decor in the baby spot is white so little ones have an easier time seeing clearly and it’s filled with age-appropriate toys and activity centres. The toddler space is right next to the baby play area—handy if you have kids of varying ages to look after—and features a Duplo table and a craft table. The preschoolers have their own room, which is close to the other spaces, and is kitted out with a doll house, books, a play house, a play kitchen and a puppet curtain. And, if they’re not in use, little ones can also hang out in the class studios. An in-house café that serves snacks, coffee and lunch is open for hungry little ones and their parents.

Go play:
Oaks ‘n Acorns Call to verify hours for each location 1856 Danforth Ave., Toronto 416-425-3213 3217 Dundas Street West, Toronto 416-604-3300

childrens-storefront-play-cafe Photo: iStockphoto

8. The Children’s Storefront A Toronto institution, the Children’s Storefront was founded more than 30 years ago as a drop-in place where families could feel supported. It is a free service. The main floor of the Storefront has a cozy nook filled with pillows surrounded by a well-curated library. There’s also tons of baby- and toddler-friendly toys, paint stations and a kitchen with free coffee and tea. On Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays they offer a healthy and delicious lunch dish to caregivers and kids (cost is $5 for adults and $2.50 for little ones). You’re also welcome to bring your own food—there’s a microwave available if you need to heat your meal up. The basement has space for everyone to run around in and is packed with toys, books, soft climbing obstacles, costumes for dress-up and spots for quiet time. Open every weekday except Monday.

Go play: The Children’s Storefront Tuesday to Thursday 9am - 3pm, Friday 9am - 2pm  826 Bloor St. W., Toronto 416-531-8151



Melons-clementines-play-cafe Photo: Melons and Clementines

9. Melons and Clementines Certified lactation consultants Marie-Maude Grenier and Renée Boudreau opened this bright and cheery café and shop in 2010 to help support mamas and normalize breastfeeding. There are comfy chairs and nursing pillows, plus delicious drinks and snacks like sandwiches, chips and salsa and baked goods for hungry moms—in addition to kid faves like yogurt, cheese and fruit. Of course, there’s coffee and tea, as well. Melons and clementines also has a play area with toys and infant loungers designed for babies younger than one. Your older child won’t feel out of place, though, as there is a little play kitchen set up, too. And if you’re having nursing issues, they have lactation consultants who are available for in-house appointments.

Go play:
Melons and Clementines Monday to Friday 10am - 5pm, Saturday 11am to 4pm 5659 Sherbrooke Ouest, Montreal 514-482-5248

This article was originally published on Feb 08, 2016

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