Starbucks is one of my favourite places to stop for a drink or meet up with friends. Unfortunately it’s not what I would call kid friendly, or very relaxing to hang out at when I’ve got my son in tow.
There are a few cafe options in Toronto that not only promise to be a place where bringing your kids is encouraged, but they also offer good food and drink options for the parents hanging out there as well.
Red Fish Blue Fish Creative Cafe is located on Harbord Street in Toronto. They have a free craft table which kids can use for creative play.
It’s fully stocked with everything from sparkles to pipe cleaners. The main level has the craft area, a section with books, board games, high chairs, and spots to enjoy food or drinks. There is also an outdoor patio, and upstairs there is space for the different programs they run.
Vegan, lactose free and gluten free meals are available at the cafe, and there is plenty to choose from on the menu. They have everything from lattes, to cupcakes, to chipotle lime quinoa.
Their programs include yoga, drama classes, cooking classes, art, and language classes. They also have programs for parents and mothers to be.
They also offer birthday parties on Saturday’s and Sunday’s which could be as simple as using the upstairs space, or using entertainers and class instructors from the cafe.
Smock Cafe in Toronto has a similar craft room to Red Fish Blue Fish, but it also has someone on staff monitoring the room to help provide guidance and encouragement. The cost to use the craft room is $8 per child, but they can use the room for an unlimited amount of play time.
They offer classes for adults including learning how to knit, plus classes for childbirth prep, child Spanish and French classes, and they even run camps for kids.
They run different events as well which include storytelling, sing alongs and special guest performers. Birthday parties at Smock include a theme, a craft, drinks, snacks and balloons.
The food at Smock is local and organic whenever possible, and has choices for both adults and kids.
They are open Monday to Saturday, 9:00am – 6:00pm.
Lil’ Bean N’ Green is located in Leslieville in Toronto, and offers pancakes in the shapes of animal faces and thin crust gourmet pizzas. They have a play area available for use when the cafe is open, and classes/events are held in a separate room.
They offer pop-up shops with relevant products for parents, and classes include yoga, sing alongs, sign language and French classes.
This month they even had a Daddy Day which included beer tastings, and a complementary photo with Santa event.
Lil’ Bean N’ Green is located at 1133 Queen Street East in Toronto.
Photos #1 & 2 courtesy of Redfishbluefishecafe.com, photo #3 courtesy of smockcafe.com, photo #4 courtesy of lilbeanandgreen.com