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  • Sydney’s Best Playgrounds with Cafes Because Parks Are Better With a Hit of Caffeine

Sydney’s Best Playgrounds with Cafes Because Parks Are Better With a Hit of Caffeine

So you're at the park again? Make the expedition all the more enjoyable by checking out our round-up of Sydney's best playgrounds with cafes.

Inglis Park

When you're a parent or a caregiver, it can often feel like your life unfolds in a series of local parks. "Ahh, here I am again", you think. And while there's nothing better than seeing your child's face light up with an intricate new slippery dip to whiz down, sometimes mama just needs a nice big cup of coffee and a slice of warm, butter-laden banana bread to make her 28th trip to the park that week a bit more enjoyable, too. 

Whether you're a park lover, keen to change up the scenery from your usual haunt, or you'd rather poke forks in your eyes than hit the playground with your kiddo, going to the park is just a necessary part of the child-raising gig.

So to help you, we've rounded up Sydney's best playgrounds with cafes (or that are just a stone's throw from one). Bookmark this list for when you are next out and about with your kids and in need of a caffeine hit or sweet treat.

Playgrounds with Cafes on the North Shore

Balmoral Beach Playground (photo credit: Mosman Council)

Balmoral Beach Playground

At the southern end of Balmoral’s picturesque promenade, in the shade of Moreton Bay Fig trees, is a nautically-themed playground. Children dig tunnels on the adjoining beach, clamber all over the play equipment and scale the heights of the trees. Steps away you have your choice of two cafés, the rustic-chic Boathouse Cafe and The Balmoral Beach Kiosk.   

The Esplanade, Balmoral

Wahroonga Park

Wahroonga Park

This fenced-in park (always a winner if you have a kid who is a bolter!) is just a stone's throw from Cafe Patina. You can grab a coconut chia bircher muesli to go if you're there early in the morning or a roasted pumpkin and spinach arancini if it's lunchtime as you watch your toddler explore the surroundings. 

Coonanbarra Rd, Wahroonga 

Hallstrom Park

Hallstrom Park

The ever-popular The Incinerator is nestled right next to Hallstrom Park – a playground that is well-equipped with climbing structures, kids’ cycling paths and picnic facilities. The cafe has breathed new life into, you guessed it, a former incinerator. Dishing up amazing food every day of the week this kid-friendly cafe, not only has great coffee, but it also has a kids’ menu that has gluten and dairy-free options.

Small Street, Willoughby

Playgrounds with Cafes in the Inner City and Inner West

Sydney Park

This large inner-city green space is an award-winning regional park that attracts families and the owners of four-legged companions – there is literally space for everyone. You can make yourself comfortable at The Kiosk, which has outdoor seating and rugs to sit on while the kids use the nearby playground with its rope climbing structures and modular equipment. Or wander over to the interactive bike track. 

Sydney Park Road, St Peters

Pirrama Park

Pirrama Park Playground

Pyrmont boasts a 1.8-hectare award-winning harbourside park with plentiful greenspace and an interactive playground that incorporates rope, sand and water play - all with views across Johnstons Bay. You can choose between a coffee-brewing kiosk or the Zebra Lounge, which is perfect for a relaxed brunch before high-energy play.

Pirrama Road, Pyrmont

Centennial Homestead (Image Credit: @thecentennialhomestead/Instagram)

Centennial Park

We all know this park has a lot to offer, and although the list is long, parents and their little adventurers find it hard to look past Centennial Homestead. The eatery is in a stylish, laid-back setting with expansive views of the park and has a large green area where kids can play and a more formal playground only a short stroll down the hill. If your kiddo is keen to hit the many parks on offer, you can order takeaway from Cenntenial Pantry. 

1 Grand Drive, Centennial Park

Livvi's Cafe (photo credit: Livi's Cafe/Facebook)

Timbrell Park

After losing their 18-month-old daughter to a rare disease, John and Justine Perkins channeled their grief into creating a beautiful play space. Livvi’s Place was designed as an inclusive playground for children of all abilities, and Livvi’s Cafe is only a few steps away. This playground was the first built by the foundation, Touched by Olivia, which continues to build Livvi’s Place play areas around Sydney and beyond.

Henley Marine Drive, Five Dock

Playgrounds With Cafes in the Eastern Suburbs

Rushcutters Bay Park

The expansive, greenspace of Rushcutters Bay Park is a long-time favourite for local families. A nautically-themed playground reflects the picturesque setting of moored yachts on Sydney Harbour, and beautiful old trees provide ample shade. The alfresco cafe, Rushcutters Bay Kiosk, has delicious toasted sambos and coffee at the ready. 

New Beach Road, Darling Point

Lyne Park Playground

A local institution, Lyne Park Playground has incredible views over Shark Island and Manly, and much to the delight of the younger crowd, seaplanes take off overhead. When they’re not looking skywards, children are captivated by an interactive wooden playground that is fenced in and has plenty of shade – and it’s only steps away from the Sugar and Spoon cafe.

New South Head Road, Rose Bay

Inglis Park

Inglis Park

This is an awesome park for older children with loads of climbing challenges. But the best part (apart from the fact that Cafe Mckenzie is literally a one-minute walk away!) is that the swings are in the shade. If your little one is a swing lover and clocks up some serious mileage back and forth, you can push them as you sip your extra strong latte, knowing they're not going to get scorched! 

Should you fancy a potter, there's ample seating and two gorgeous wisteria-lined walkways. Situated in the Newmarket Randwick precinct, there's a slew of cafés and restaurants close by. 

164 Barker Street, Randwick

Playgrounds with Cafes on the Northern Beaches

Manly Lagoon Reserve Playground

Manly Lagoon Reserve Playground

Fenced-in playgrounds are always a go-to for parents. And the Manly Lagoon Reserve is not only fenced in and packed with awesome play equipment for kids of all ages, but it's also perched on the stunning Manly Lagoon (dusk here is especially spectacular) and it's right next to the Corner at Queensie cafe should you require a coffee or an ice block for your little one. 

77 Collingwood Street, Manly

The Tramshed

Berry Reserve

For the transport-obsessed child, look no further than The Tramshed. Positioned on Narrabeen lake, this charming venue has a fully renovated 1930's tram and an adjoining playground. Not only is the park fenced in but you can also enjoy a dip on the lake too. Truly memorable! 

1395a Pittwater Road, Narrabeen


Little Manly Point Park

After undergoing an extensive new upgrade, Little Manly Point Park is nothing short of epic. Think an in-ground trampoline, a twisty tubed slippery dip, a huge boat and more baby-friendly equipment too. Plus the newly opened Ripples is just down the stairs and right by the beach, should you and your little mate fancy a dip after all that playing/coffee sipping. 

Stuart Street, Manly

Flying Fox Cafe (photo credit: @hunky_dory_foods/Instagram)

Winnererremy Reserve

On beautiful Pittwater, Winnererremy Bay Reserve is where kids of all ages come to play. The focus of all activity is The Flying Fox Cafe, which has views of Pittwater and the reserve, and indoor and outdoor seating with sail-style sunshades. The cafe is bordered by a shaded playground, a cycle path that hugs the perimeter of the reserve, wildlife sculptures and manicured gardens. Winning!

2 Mona Street, Mona Vale

Playgrounds with Cafes in the Hills District

Cafe Els

Caroline Chisholm Park

Another fenced-in park that's moments away from a cafe, tick-tick! Caroline Chisholm Park in Winston Hills is a hit with kids, featuring modern play equipment that promises hours of fun. There's also an open playground that's great for older kids. But of course, the ultimate drawcard is that it's close to local hotspot Cafe Els. We love their coffee, cute fit-out and the fact they have an all-day breakfast menu. 

193 Caroline Chisholm Drive, Winston Hills

Douglas Avenue Reserve 

A seriously fun and interactive park complete with a scooter track, a pretend refuel station, two climbing areas, balance pads, slippery dips and a large swing. It also has a communal street library and is across the road from the Woodstock Collective, an adorable hole-in-the-wall cafe that sells coffee and jaffles. Praise be! 

24 Woodstock Road, Carlingford 

The Tuckshop

Glenhaven Oval

Glenhaven Oval underwent a refurbishment in 2021 and has fast become a popular hangout for local families. It features a large picnic area and tables, a playground, a cricket pitch and it's mere metres from The Tuckshop  — an all-day breakfast spot that also serves up burgers, coffee and smoothies. 

74Z-76Z Glenhaven Road, Glenhaven 

Enjoyed our edit of the best playgrounds with cafes in Sydney? Why not have a read of our round-up of the most family-friendly neighbourhoods in regional NSW? Then check out our family-friendly guide to the Hunter Valley.

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