Children love playgrounds… but as most mums probably agree, it’s that little bit more enjoyable when you’ve got a cappuccino in one hand as you push them on the swings. Unfortunately, the logistics of getting in and out of the car with kids in tow to buy a hot beverage verges on the impossible, so it’s handy to know what playgrounds have a cafe within a two-minute walk. We’ll start on the Lower North Shore and head north. Here is our top list of north shore parks and playgrounds near a cafe.
Take a look at the links below to check out some of our cafes with coffee nearby.
- Balmoral Beach Playground
- Memory Park Playground, Mosman
- Naremburn Park
- St Leonards Park. North Sydney
- Hallstrom Park, Willoughby
- Willoughby Park
- Grasmere Children’s Park, Cremorne
- Merrett Park, Waverton
- Gore Hill Park, Artarmon
- Cullen Park, Lane Cove West
- Mindarie Park, Lane Cove North
- Roseville Park
- Eden Gardens Playground, Macquarie Park
- Dukes Green, Lindfield
- Queen Elizabeth Reserve, West Lindfield
- Philip Mall Playground, West Pymble
- Balmaringa Reserve, South Turramurra
- Cameron Park, Turramurra
- Wahroonga Park
- Waitara Park
- Bobbin Head, Mount Colah
- Fagan Park, Galston
- Blenheim Park, North Ryde
- The Tasting Deck, Terrey Hills
- Clontarf Beach Playground
- Little Manly Point Playground
- Walter Gors Park, Dee Why
- Berry Reserve Playground, Narrabeen
- Bruce Bartlett Memorial Playground, Collaroy
- Winnererremy Bay Playground, Mona Vale
Playgrounds on the Lower North Shore
1. Balmoral Beach Playground
The Esplanade, Balmoral Beach
This playground is right by the netted swimming at Balmoral, and just a few steps from take-away coffee and toilets. You can easily get free side-street parking during the week, but it’s definitely a lot busier at the weekend. It is located at the South End of the Esplanade and has lots of great features you can enjoy: there is plenty of shade, it’s fenced (so no runaways), gorgeous view and soft ground to fall on.
Kids will love climbing the giant net, the awesome swing set where kids can face each other, the cubby house with a slide and pole, the see-saw and the wooden ship with a spinning steering wheel.
2. Memory Park
Corner Cowles & Wogler Road, Mosman
Memory Park playground was upgraded in 2018 to include a range of modern equipment to cater for children aged up to 12 years old.
The upgrade includes a seven-metre high activity centre with four slides, jungle gym ropes course, bridges, monkey bars and a multi-level fort. Youngsters are also catered for, with new swings and a crawler play area on rubber softfall which includes a small activity centre, spring rockers, tunnel and two slides.
Counting Sheep Corner Cafe does coffee, and is a one-minute walk from Memory Park.
3. Naremburn Park
Park Road, Naremburn
This is a very popular family spot. The facilities are excellent – a sandpit, swings, slippery dips and a water play pump for young ones. And basketball/netball courts and a bocce area for the older kids. A short stroll down Herbert Street will find you coffee and treats, so you can grab your coffee and bite to eat before wandering down for a play.
4. St Leonards Park
Miller Street, North Sydney
Grab a hot beverage from Jagos On Miller, then head across the road to the park. There is lots of grass for the kids to run wild and a lovely playground. One of North Sydney’s largest and best-loved parks, St Leonards Park has a distinctive Victorian landscape character and is rich in history and heritage. The park is a great place to play, relax and socialise, and it is next to North Sydney Oval.
You will find swings, three sets of different climbing equipment for all levels, a corner of musical instruments (including drums they can bang away on), the all important sand pit. There is plenty of seating so you relax back with your coffee, and lots of shade provided by the trees.
5. Hallstrom Park
13 Small Street, Willoughby
Hallstrom Park is just one minute’s walk from the super child-friendly Incinerator Cafe – so you can easily dine in or take away. The playground is almost 20 years old (built in 1998) and the design is based on the layout of Taronga Park Zoo. Artistic features of the playground include sandstone animals, sense activated sound elements and an interactive ‘musicosaurus’. A stone crocodile lies in the drainage channel, camouflaged by rocks lining the channel. A continuous accessible path (flat to gently undulating) links the playground elements, including a mound slide (no steps), sandpit and water pump. Read our Hallstrom Park review.
6. Willoughby Park
McLelland Street, Willoughby
Grab a coffee from High Street, and walk a few blocks to Willoughby Park. There’s something for children of all ages, such as swings, double slide, mound slide, tunnel, balance beam, musical type, spinners, roundabout, speaking tubes, sandpit, 6m high climbing net and loop trike track. There’s also nearby toilets, picnic tables, bubbler, BBQ facilities and parking.
7. Grasmere Children’s Park
Young Street , Cremorne
This park is great for younger kids, using the surrounding trees to add to the creative play space. Kids will enjoy the separate play spaces all connected by colourful stepping stone pathways, low level bridges, quiet sitting areas dotted with giant rubber toadstools, and a whole range of activities. In the main play area there is a deck where you can sit with your coffee, and a cubby area for the kids. There are small sculptures throughout the park for little ones to explore.
You can grab your coffee a seven-minute walk away from the famous Bourke Street Bakery. Park visits don’t get much better than this!
8. Merrett Park, Waverton
Woolcott Street, Waverton
This playground is located at the top of Waverton Park. It is a fenced in playground and is great for young kids and old. Merrett Park is located close to the ‘old BP Site’ and has a motor theme as a result. Kids can play in the gas station playhouse or on the rocking car. There’s also a set of swings, spinning cup and slide.
Older kids will have fun in the oval next to the park and can run around with a soccer ball. Waterview at Waverton is just a five-minute walk away, so you can stock up on coffee beforehand.
9. Gore Hill Park, Artarmon
The Avenue, Artarmon
Located on the corner of Reserve Road and Pacific Highway in St Leonards, Gore Hill Park is right next to the oval that hosts lots of sporting games. It is an inclusive playground, including water play troughs, a quad swing, plastic slides, play towers with rope bridges, climbing nets and metal slides, a spinning carousel, a basket swing, sensory stepping stones, musical instrument corner and a breaching whale log sculpture.
North Shore Hospital is right next door, so you can grab a coffee from one of their onsite cafes before heading over. There are also plenty of coffee choices on Pacific Highway.
10. Cullen Street Playground
Lane Cove West
This gorgeous suburban playground is fully fenced and great for kids of all ages. The Figtree Plaza is just a three-minute walk. Here, you’ll find two cafes to grab a coffee, drink or lunch.
Kids will enjoy the fully fenced playground that is set up with climbing, slides, picnic tables and plenty of space to explore.
11. Mindarie Park
Mindarie Rd, Lane Cove North
This all-inclusive playground was opened in 2019 and is well worth a visit. The playground caters to kids of all-abilities and there is plenty to see and do. Kids will enjoy the amazing selection of swings, the see-saw shaped like a boat and the great music play area. There is a big slide that looks like the trunk of a tree, along with ladders, a climbing wall and a sandpit.
Even better, Pick Me Up Cafe is less than one minute away.
Playgrounds on the Upper North Shore
12. Roseville Park
60 Clanville Road, Roseville
Roseville Park features a great fenced toddler playground, and it is right next to a fabulous French cafe called Sous Le Soleil. If you’re feeling peckish, they bake their own croissants which are delicious! Plenty of free parking.
Kids can enjoy the slide, see-saw, swings and wooden car.
13. Eden Gardens Playground
307 Lane Cove Road, Macquarie Park
Eden Gardens may be a garden centre, but it is certainly no ordinary one. To one side of the nursery is a gorgeous garden accented with an interesting kids’ playground. There is even a tunnel slide from the pathway at the top level down to the playground itself. It might be small, and there isn’t a swing in sight, but there is a great cafe onsite that will satisfy all. Plus, kids have free run of the sandpit and you can even bring your own toys!
14. Dukes Green
11 Wellington Road, East Lindfield
Grab your coffee from Deli In The Park, and then walk 10 seconds across the grass to the fenced playground, ideal for toddlers and pre-schoolers. Otherwise, relax at one of the outdoor tables and watch your children run around on the grass nearby. This place space is perfect for long brunches, or meeting a friend for a coffee to watch on at the playground.
There’s a giant netted swing, a four-person see-saw, a climbing frame and a slide.
15. Queen Elizabeth Reserve
Bradfield Road, West Lindfield
A fabulous playground for kids of all ages, next to a sports ground. There’s lots of shade from the trees, along with a BBQ area and toilets. Older kids can play at the tennis courts, and there is a great path for scooters, bikes and other wheels. There is plenty of climb on at the park, with a big slide in the middle. You can also get coffee just a block away at 153 Moore Avenue Coffee.
16. Philip Mall Playground
Philip Mall, Kendall Street, West Pymble
Philip Mall Playground is a small playground at the end of this small suburban Philip Mall, but it’s fenced on the two sides that face the back road and it’s mere steps from two cafes, making it very convenient. There’s everything kids need for a bit of fun, with swings, slide and see-saws.
17. Balmaringa Reserve
Corner Balmaringa Avenue and Aulubla Road, South Turramurra
This fabulous playground is just behind the South Turramurra shops, so you can head to the bakery to grab a coffee or a bite to eat. There’s a great hill of sandstone steps for the kids to climb and explore. There’s a double slide so they can have races with their sibling or friend (or parent!). There is lots of natural shade, and a bike path around the perimeter for children to practice on their bikes, scooters and trikes!
You can check out our playground review here.
18. Cameron Park
Eastern Rd, Turramurra
This great, fenced in playground is the perfect place to pack up a picnic and head for a play. There is a bike track that runs around it that is perfect for kids learning to ride. Kids can enjoy the slide, climbing frames, swings and more. Even better, Kiplings Garage Bar is right across the road and you can grab a coffee there.
19. Wahroonga Park
Coonanbarra Road, Wahroonga
Cafe Patina is right across the road from the playground at Wahroonga Park, which was redone in 2015 and is quite possibly one of the best playgrounds on the Upper North Shore. There’s lots for toddlers (swings, train, experiential musical games, tiny slide) and some more exciting equipment for older children, like a round-a-bout and flying fox. Wahroonga Park is right next to the train station (warning: no lift), and has three free hours parking around the perimeter too. Read our playground review.
20. Waitara Park
Off Edgeworth David in Waitara
The recently finished fenced playground has a range of play equipment for toddlers through to primary school kids, and for kids of different abilities. There are shade sails over parts of the playground, along with picnic tables, toilets and tennis courts nearby. Kids will love the giant, enclosed metal slide, with plenty of climbing equipment surrounding it. There is a great toddler play area, built-in trampolines and so much more. Plus, the PCYC is a two-minute walk and you can grab your coffee.
21. Bobbin Head
Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park
The playground at Bobbin Head is huge! There are so many things for the kids to play with. Bring the buckets and spades too, as it is all within a fenced area with sand on the ground. The Bobbin Inn Cafe is only a one-minute walk away (but closed on Tuesdays). Access is via Bobbin Head Road through North Turramurra, or Ku-ring-gai Chase Road, Mount Colah.
22. Fagan Park
Arcadia Road, Galston
It’s worth the trip! Take a drive through the stunning countryside around Galston, and explore the beautiful Fagan Park. There’s a huge playground and a large bike track around the perimeter, and lots of beautiful gardens to explore. Next to the kids’ playground is a coffee cart, which is open on weekends and every day over the school holidays. It sells coffee, soft drinks, light snacks and ice-creams. Pack a picnic, it’s a lovely spot to spend a few hours! Read our Fagan Park review.
23. Blenheim Park
Blenheim Road, North Ryde
This is a beautiful park for the whole family, and as an added bonus we have seen mobile coffee and ice-cream trucks come and go throughout the day on weekends, so if you really need that coffee or extra treat for the kids, it’s the place to be. There is a huge sand area where kids will have plenty of fun, with a great path kids can bike or scooter or ride along. It’s a big space with plenty of different play areas.
Playgrounds on the Northern Beaches
24. The Tasting Deck
2 Myoora Rd, Terrey Hills
This is a haven for any foodies. The Tasting Deck is a premium fresh food store attached to a cafe with a playground! You can sit on their outdoor deck and watch the kids playing while enjoying a bite to eat and a coffee. Kids will love the climbing frame, swings and slide, and you will love sitting back and relaxing.
25. Clontarf Beach Playground
Clontarf Reserve, Sandy Bay Road
This is a fun, shaded playground with a kiosk onsite (that sells coffee!) and lots of places to sit and enjoy a picnic. It’s just a stone’s throw from the beach, with a great netted swimming area that is perfect for kids. Plus, there you can enjoy the Sandy Bear Cafe, which is just a two minute walk away.
26. Little Manly Point Playground
Stuart Street, Manly
This is a lovely shaded playground perfect for summer play dates. It’s close to Little Manly Beach, which has a netted swimming area and a cafe that serves good coffee, ice-creams and sandwiches. There’s plenty for kids to play on with the slide, flying fox. swings, bridges and more. There is also plenty of shade to escape the sun on those hot days by the beach as well.
27. Walter Gors Park
Dee Why Parade, Dee Why
This park was revamped in 2017 and includes a fabulous playground with plenty to climb and a big, long enclosed slide for kids to enjoy. There are smaller cubbies on the side for the younger kids to enjoy. There are some water gardens nearby, so you can bring the swimmers on a hot day and cool off. This area is completely shaded. Twist Espresso & Wine is nearby to grab a coffee (or wine depending on the time of day!).
28. Berry Reserve Playground
1054 Pittwater Rd, Narrabeen
This playground is the an amazing play space for preschoolers and toddlers, with plenty of equipment to keep them busy. The playground is right next to the amazing Tramshed Cafe for that all-important coffee, and Narrabeen Lake offers walking and cycling tracks the whole family can enjoy.
The playground is the perfect space for creative play, and you literally cross a drawbridge to enter. Inside there is a great climbing fort (adding on to the imaginary play) with plenty of natural materials used to add to the play space.
29. Bruce Bartlett Memorial Playground (Collaroy Beach Playground)
Birdwood Avenue, Collaroy Beach
This gorgeous playground has just undergone a fabulous revamp and there is lots of fort fun to be had for younger kids. It’s just a quick walk along the beach to the cafes on Pittwater Road. With gorgeous views, plenty of cafes in walking distance and so much for the kids to do, this makes for a great outing.
30. Winnererremy Bay Playground
2-4 Mona St, Mona Vale
This is a great park for kids of all ages. There is plenty of space to sit down and enjoy a picnic and lots of shaded area as well. Inside the park there’s a huge climbing frame, a flying fox, swings and slides for kids to enjoy. There are a few barbecues, a bike track outside and inside play area. The Flying Fox cafe is just next door, and is the perfect place to pick up a coffee.
Have we missed any? Please add them to the list by commenting below. And if you have any nice photos of playgrounds without a pic, please email them to us!