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Published October 26th 2021
When the kids are happy, everyone's happy
When you want to go out for lunch with children, it is always handy to know which venues have a little playground or play area which will entertain them, while you are waiting for the food to arrive. Of course, you can take your own colouring-in books or the iPad, but you can't beat some creative play to wear off some energy!
My family have checked out many venues in the Port Stephens area which have playgrounds, so that we can all enjoy lunch together as a family. The food is great, the facilities are clean and everyone leaves happy - isn't that what we all want? These are the best ones that we have found - do you know of any more? If so, please leave a comment at the bottom of this article and share your tips. This first one, is a winner every time...
Taylor's Bistro and playground, Soldiers Point Bowling Club
Soldiers Point Bowling Club is located opposite Bannisters Hotel and next to the Big 4, so it is a popular venue for locals and tourists all year around. It has a fun playground for the children, as well as a large grassy area for them to run around on and play. The outdoor playground is under a large sun shade, so kids can play outside in all weather conditions. This family-friendly club costs $10 to become a social member for a year and the bistro has a wide array of family-friendly meals to choose from, with discounted rates for members. See here for a full article on Soldiers Point Bowling Club
Salamander Hotel is located near the shops at Salamander Square, so it is a convenient location to pop in for some lunch, while the kids have a play on the large slide playground. This venue has received a beautiful renovation in the last couple of years and they have spent a lot of money on the playground area, to attract families to their modern and funky tavern. See here for details.
Slip and slide at Salamander Hotel! Image: Salamander Hotel Facebook. Photo credit: Goran Kotevski
Nelson Bay Golf Club is another popular destination for families, with an indoor toddler playground right next to the dining area. This venue is perfect for a rainy or hot day, as it is fully air-conditioned. This club also has a $10 membership fee, which you easily get back with discounts at the bistro and bar. See here for a full article on Nelson Bay Golf Club.
Spirited - A Creative Play Cafe at Taylors Beach (behind Bunnings) is the best place to visit if you have kids with plenty of energy and you want to wear them out! This is a cute indoor play centre, so it costs to get in for a 2-hour session. There is a small toddler area as well as a larger, multi-level play area with a slide, for all ages. I have often visited this cafe during the school holidays to meet up with friends or sat at a table on my own with a coffee and a book, while my daughter has played. She has always made friends with the other children there and it is clean and safe. See here for a full article on Spirited - A Creative Play Cafe.
Toddler playground at Bluewater Grill, Nelson Bay Golf Club
An indoor wonderland for kids at Spirited - A Creative Play Cafe
Medowie Social is a new pub and bistro, which is popular with families due to its large playground and exceptional food offerings. Medowie is an inland rural town that is located in Port Stephens, halfway between Nelson Bay and Newcastle. It is a growing area in the region and Medowie Social is "the" place to be in town! You will often see children's birthday parties at this venue, as it is is relaxed, fun and good for all ages. See here for details.
Medowie Macadamias is another Port Stephens favourite, with a cute cafe and large play area for the kids - right next to the Macadamia trees. This cafe is a great spot for a catch up with other parents and carers, as you can sit and enjoy some delicious scones, while the kids play safely in front of you. On our last visit, there was a chicken wandering around, which the kids were fascinated by! See here for a full article.
Family dining at Medowie Social! Image: Medowie Social Facebook
Scones, tea and fun for kids, at Medowie Macadamias cafe
Of course, if it is a hot day and you are looking for an indoor playground with air conditioning, then you can always grab a cold drink and a sandwich and have a play at Bunnings Port Stephens! When my daughter was younger, our local Bunnings was often a good place to visit on a rainy day, when I was running out of ideas! If you visit on a weekend, they often have free craft classes for the kids.
Port Stephens is a beautiful place to explore. Why don't you get out and about and support a local pub, club or cafe this weekend? The kids are sure to love it!
Also check out Murray's Brewery for a grassy area for the kids. There is no playground, at the time of writing, but it is family-friendly and has plenty of areas to play!
See here for a full article about Murray's Brewery and also see their website for all the new dining options and menus.