Mums, Dads and Grandparents too, are forever on the lookout for the best coffee spot that they can sit back, enjoy a leisurely coffee, whilst the littlies have their own play area. With this in mind, here are eight top spots (in random order) that I have found on the Sunshine Coast, that offer a laid-back (is that possible?) coffee, plus have the added advantage of a play area.
Okay, Tiny Tots Tuesdays at Aussie World is not the spot for a spur-of-the-moment decision to have a coffee and a play, as unfortunately this fun outing is limited to the first Tuesday of every month and also isn't available during school holidays. But, it sure is the ideal fun event to bookmark for a future calendar date as tiny tots get a full two hours of play on all the kiddy rides, from 10.00am to 12.00noon. And the bonus - each paying adult gets a free cup of coffee.
Toot toot for tiny tots - Image: Aussie World
Tiny Tots Tuesdays at Aussie World is the perfect excuse to get a group of friends together with their littlies for a play date and a coffee.
2. Chipmunks Playland and Cafe 24 Innovation Parkway, Birtinya, QLD Call (07) 5438-8870 Open seven days a week: Monday to Saturday 9.00am to 5.00pm and Sundays 10.00am to 4.00pm
Charlie the Chipmunk - Image: Elaine de Wet
One of my all-time favourites is Chipmunks Playland and Cafe in Birtinya with its multi-level playground, perfect for children aged from birth to eleven years of age. Chipmunks Playland believe that fun is a philosophy and shouldn't be reserved for special occasions.
Action-packed equipment features the coolest playgrounds for big kids, a dedicated toddler playground plus Chipmunks' famous mega inflatable slide, all to enjoy while Mum and Dad (and Grandparents too) sit back and enjoy a coffee or snack from the full-service cafe.
Theme birthday party rooms are also available for both girls and boys, making for a no-fuss, no clean-up but guaranteed fun venue, offering all-inclusive party packages.
Chipmunks is perfect for birthdays - Image: Elaine de Wet
The other reason I love Chipmunks Playland and Cafe so much is that the first Sunday of every month, they host a special two-hour playdate for children with special needs. From 8.00am to 10.00am our special children can enjoy playing, with dimmer lights and more soothing music, ensuring that they and their parents can enjoy a more tranquil outing.
Book an after-school play date, or plan a weekend treat at Chipmunks Birtinya, and with the full-service Cafe on site for mum and dad for that ever-needy coffee, a visit to Chipmunks has all bases covered. Admission is always free for adults and children under one year of age and it's open seven days a week.
3. Emjays Coffee, Birtinya
Shop 5, 10 Capital Place, Birtinya, QLD
Call (07) 5493 8010
Open: Mondays to Thursdays 6.00am to 4.00pm; Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays 7.00am to 3.00pm
Divine coffee at Emjays in Birtinya - Image: Emjays Birtinya FB page
Emjays Coffee in Birtinya is an extremely popular coffee eatery, overlooking the scenic Lake Kawana. Emjays serves amazing quality organic coffee and their breakfasts are pretty awesome too.
Funky ceiling decor - Image: Elaine de Wet
Sporting very funky bicycle-wheeled ceiling decor, a near-perfect location and the all-important 'Children's Corner', enables visitors to enjoy something to eat and drink, knowing that the littlies have an entertaining corner to themselves.
Childrens' Corner - Image: Elaine de Wet
Emjays Coffee in Birtinya is a great spot to meet friends over a coffee or for a stop-off whilst out-and-about shopping at Home Central in Kawana Way. A fun-themed venue with free Wi-Fi on offer and plenty of parking, makes it a great destination to bookmark a playdate and Ö coffee!
4. The Ginger Factory
50 Pioneer Rd, Yandina, QLD
Call (07) 5447-8431
Open every day 9.00am to 5.00pm
Free entry to The Ginger Factory - Image: Elaine de Wet
This is another one of my favourite 'go-to' places for a coffee and a play especially with The Ginger Factory having free admission and plenty of parking.
With so much to keep the little ones entertained, the Ginger Cafe and the Ice Creamery, one can spend the whole day here, enjoying a relaxed coffee and something scrumptiously 'ginger' to eat.
Take a leisurely tour on Moreton the train - Image: Elaine de Wet
The children will love riding Moreton the historical train, who will take you on a leisurely tour of the sub-tropical gardens - children are $7 and adults are $8, with family passes also being available. The very adventurous play area, located right next to the dining section, is totally enclosed and provides a safe environment for play time.
Enclosed play area at The Ginger Factory - Image: Elaine de Wet
Sea Life on the Sunshine Coast is a multi-award winning aquarium in Mooloolaba. With eleven themed zones, visiting Sea Life gives you the unique opportunity to explore the underwater world of marine life.
Tidal Touch Pools - Right at the start of your aquarium excursion you'll find the tidal touch pool, where the littlies can feel what sea stars feel like. My grandson loved this section (I suspect it was getting his hands in the water part more than the sea stars) and unintentionally, nearly squeezed the poor sea star to death.
Feel (don't squeeze) the Sea Stars at the Tidal Touch Pools - Image: Sea Life Sunshine Coast FB page
Jellyfish Kingdom - The Jellyfish Kingdom is Australia's largest and most interactive Jellyfish experience.
Seahorse Sanctuary - The Seahorse Sanctuary has three new species of one of the ocean's most delicate creatures, the Seahorse.
Seal Island - Seal Island has three presentations every day for that up close and personal fishy experience. After each presentation, you can say 'hello' to the seals and even have your photo taken!
Have your photo taken with the seals - Image: Sea Life Sunshine Coast FB page
Freshwater Streams - Get to know the creatures in the Freshwater Streams zone, including a giant Barramundi and a freshwater crocodile called Marge.
Pacific Reef - The Pacific Reef tank is where you'll find 'Nemo's' (clownfish), crayfish, anemones, clams and stunning coral.
Look out for Nemo - Image: Sea Life Sunshine Coast FB page
Coastal Wreck - The Coastal Wreck is a brand new zone and in this section you'll find the marine life that love hanging out at shipwrecks. Look out for the Lionfish, Eels, the Common octopus and other tropical fish.
Billabongs - Do you know what a billabong is? The word billabong is an Australian word meaning 'place of still water' or a 'waterhole'. The billabongs at Sea Life have over twenty species of marine life, ranging from snails, small fish, the freshwater sawfish, Barramundi and even the cousin of the Parana, the Pacu fish.
Shark Shipwreck - Sea Life have a stunning ocean walk, where visitors can amble through, while eight species of shark swim above and around you - an exciting experience.
You'll see Lionfish at the Coastal Wreck - Image: Sea Life Sunshine Coast FB page
Bay of Rays - Rays are always an attraction and at Sea Life they are no exception. Look out for the sleek stingrays, the spotty leopard rays and the cow nose rays as they sleekly glide through the seawater tank.
Sea Life Sunshine Coast is offering a discounted entry on weekdays for Mums and Bubs - Fishy Fun for 2! For only $20, this weekday special voucher includes one adult entry and one child entry (under three years of age). Click here to download your discounted entry voucher.
Once having viewed all the stunning marine life at Sea Life on the Sunshine Coast, there's always time for a snack and a coffee. Visit the Octopus Garden Cafe with it's indoor child play area for that much-needed caffeine hit, while the littlies can play to their heart's content, either indoors or outside. A great spot for a group of friends to spend a morning.
6. Kidsworld Central, Cooroy
113 Marara Street, Cooroy, QLD
Call 0490 779 198
Open seven days a week: Mondays to Fridays 9.30am to 2.30pm; Saturdays 9.30am to 5.00pm and Sundays 1.00pm to 5.00pm
Kidsworld Central is wheelchair friendly and they also have baby-change facilities available. The best news of all is that Kidsworld Central is open seven days a week, so perfect for that impromptu coffee and play.
7. The Big Boing Indoor Trampoline Park
24C Innovation Parkway, Birtinya, QLD
Open: Mondays 9.00am to 5.00pm; Tuesdays to Fridays 9.00am to 6.00pm; Saturdays 9.00am to 5.00pm and Sundays 9.00am to 3.00pm
The Big Boing is a large indoor trampoline park that's all about jumping, flipping, fitness and fun for the whole family from the age of two and a half!
There is dodgeball, free jumping with forty interconnecting trampolines, a huge airbag to land in, slam dunking basketball, soccer, plus a dedicated toddlers area with its own foam pit as well as another area just for under 140cm tall (I'm happy to report, though vertically-challenged, I might have to miss this section).
Big Boing has its own cafe for drinks and food as well as free Wi-Fi, making it another perfect destination to catch up for a coffee, whilst our favourite little people keep themselves energetically entertained. That's, unless of course, you aren't tempted to join in the fun - don't forget to wear grip socks!
The Big Boing is also available for birthday party celebrations - what better way to work off all that excess energy, after eating birthday treats.
8. Top Three Sunshine Coast Face Painters
Image: Spritely Designs FB page
If all else fails and you just can't get yourself sorted and out the house in time for a play date, then how about having it at home and bringing the entertainment in. We have the Top Three Face Painters right here on the Sunshine Coast - there's Suzy the Face Painter, 0466 482 298, Coast Face Painting by Bryony on 0439 724 345 and Fairy Eesh (Ayesha Henderson) at Spritely Designs 0405 766 335, who love nothing more than creating magical transformations with face painting. There might be a minimum number of guests required, but I'm sure if you have a large enough group over for coffee and a playdate, one of these very creative ladies would be happy to keep the littlies busy with some magical face painting.
With winter well and truly setting in on the Sunshine Coast, outdoor activities on the beach are not usually at the top of one's to-do list, so rather check out these great spots and let's hang out for a play date and a coffee!