Picnic Time Cafe

Picnic Time Cafe

Geelong’s Kid-Friendly Eateries

As a mum of 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, instant regret and hangry kidlets.

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 are 15 of my favourite kid-friendly venues in the Geelong region. Let me know what you think.

Lou x

Picnic Time Café
Head to Drysdale and sample this cracking menu (think cupcakes, pressed juices and a killer brekkie list featuring local La Madre bread). There’s also an amazing indoor pirate ship play park (complete with slides and a ball pit) for kids. What I really love though, is their passion for supporting local small businesses. They use local suppliers and also stock handmade wares like delicious candles, cute kids clothes, greeting cards and jewellery, all from Geelong creative peeps.
Address: 34 Murradoc Road, Drysdale
More info: Click here

Hello Birdie
This groovy café in Ocean Grove has an indoor toy and a HUGE grassed outdoor space with a cubby house and basketball ring (among other fun toys and games). Parents can sit outside and enjoy a coffee and a chat while the kids play. 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. 

Address: 52 Grubb Road, Ocean Grove
More info: Click here

 Café Botticelli
This gorgeous pocket rocket (aka Botts) has a BIG heart, an all-day breakfast menu and killer donuts. The outdoor garden is cute and the playground is great for the kids to blow off some steam while you enjoy the finer things in life like coffee, donuts or a sneaky iced chocolate #getinmybelly. PS: Free parking, woo hoo!
Address: 7 Minerva Rd, Herne Hill
More info: Click here  

Mount Duneed Estate 
Two words: Wine and Playtime. As far as information goes that’s probably all I’d need, but I’ll give you guys a little bit more. This place is somewhere I’d never have dreamed of taking my kids. BUT, we discovered they have $5 kids lunch during the week plus a fantastic indoor play area for the wild ones to hang (with the dads, lol, onya fellas) while I sip on wine and chat with my girlfriends.  And to top it off, it’s located in the most beautiful setting.
Address: 65 Pettavel Road, Waurn Ponds
More info: Click here

The Clarendon
This is a dinner venue for us when we feel like eating out and a fix of modern Italian and Aussie cuisine. The indoor playground has cameras hooked up to TVs in the dining area so adults can sit and eat in (relative) harmony. There’s a theatre room rolling out kids flicks (this gets a big tick from the Hammer Tribe), while the dessert bar keeps them quiet once their engines have grown tired of the playground.
Address: 378 La Trobe Terrace, Newtown
More info: Click here

Little Creatures Brewery
A pearler for the whole family. Along with the relaxed and cheery vibe, there’s a sandpit for the littlies, a piano to play on and lots of room to spread out. Great craft beer and cider for the big kids and and yummy food. Did I mention alcohol?!
Where: 221 Swanston Street, Geelong
More information: Click here

Cafe Moby
Moby’s backyard (not the dude who sings) is popular with the poppets. Park yourself on one of the many tables and let the kids run ragged in the large play area with slides, rock walls and a sandpit. Always plenty of friendly faces and the food is top notch, too. *Highly recommend the bubbachino, kritter cookie and freshly baked muffins J
Where: 41 The Esplanade, Torquay
More information: Click here

Great Ocean Road Wellness (GROW)
Tucked away in Angelsea, this gem offers easy parking (hooray) and healthy, nurturing tucker (hello pancakes and breakfast burrito #yum) at an awesome price point. The Mirko coffee is great, too. Perch yourself out front or inside, set the tin lids loose on the toys and play area, then check out the organic bulk wholefoods and an apocathery. The crew’s big on sustainability and are leading the charge to reduce packaging and waste along The Great Ocean Road.
Where: 3/11 Inverlochy St, Anglesea
More information: Click here

Pickers Union
Mind blowing milkshakes and fancy pants pancakes will keep the kids happy while you sip on great coffee and even greater food. I love this little gem, make sure you snag a booth to help keep the kids contained!
Address: 3 Mackey Street, North Geelong
For more info: Click here

Waralily Cockatoo
A cruisy cafe and pizza bar and a favourite with Armstrong Creek-ians. Open for brunch or dinner, the team serve up fresh food, tasty drinks and all-round good vibes. PS: Their pizzas are epic!
Address: Warralily Village, 3-33 Central Boulevard, Armstrong Creek
For more info: Click here

Little Teapot
This divine place is a not-for-profit community cafe (with a team of 40 plus volunteers making the magic happen) is an inclusive home away from home. The team source local ingredients for their fresh, homemade range of cupcakes and scones, and munchkins will love the toasties and kids platters. The outdoor play space is a ripper and there’s even a Little Teapot Club!
Address: 76 Flinders Avenue, Lara
For more info: Click here

Barwon Edge
Hiding away in Newtown along the banks of the mighty Barwon River, this hidden treasure is actually set in the heart of Geelong. The kids have their own menu (hello pasta, skinless hot dogs and dessert!) and prices include a kid’s activity pack. Not that you’ll see much of them because they’ll be tearing down the slide or digging for treasure in the awesome outdoor play space.
Address: Windsor Rd, Newtown
For more info: Click here

Kyosk Cafe
Moreish, fresh food that will make you feel wholesome. They use local suppliers including yummy Zeally Bay bread, and the kids menu features a lovely little Mezze plate and lunch box. And, when you order a Baby Cino, 50 cents goes to a local charity – how sweet is that?
Address: 91 The Parade, Ocean Grove
For more info: Click here

63 Degrees
Colouring books and freckled Bubbacinos – need I say more? The staff are welcoming, friendly and patient and there’s oodles of space to sit. Check out the Kids Ultimate Brekky with fresh fruit, toasted cheese soldiers, bacon and egg.
Address: 140 Pakington Street, Geelong West
For more info: Click here

Basil’s Farm
For $20 every Thursday, budding little farmers can feed the farm animals, including Houdini the llama, Babydoll sheep, chickens and ducks and also visit the Chicken Caravan to see how eggs are collected for the farm’s cafe. Then, it’s time to tuck into a tasty lunch. And, with all this going on you’ll have time to admire the stunning views from Swan Bay to Queenscliff.
Address: 43-53 Nye Rd, Swan Bay
More information: Click here