Down at the peaceful end of Sydney Olympic Park, overlooking the Parramatta River, you can hire a bike for $15 per day from the Armory Wharf Café. Explore the Olympic site, the water park play area and Bird Life Discovery Centre before returning to refuel on make-your-own tortillas.
This French café has a kids’ play area with toys out on the back terrace, babyccinos only cost a buck, and milkshakes and juices are $3.50. You can also get ten dollar kids' dinners, and on Wednesdays and Thursdays kids eat free so long as you order an adult main.
Scoot the kids past the first floor where the Avoca crockery and Italian glassware is on display and head upstairs to the kids room dedicated to clothing, books, games and educational toys. Once you're all shopped out find a seat on the verandah of this beautiful sandstone mansion for afternoon tea overlooking the harbour.
This Beecroft café was designed with kids in mind. They do simple, colourful café fare for kids, the staff are welcoming of the preschool crowd and the toys aren’t breakable. Plus they have a kids' clothes and toy store, which opens at 9.30am after the morning coffee rush.
You can't throw a stuffed panda in Annandale without it landing on a young family so it's helpful that Clover Café boasts a kids play area with sturdy toys to keep your pride and joy out from underfoot as you keep your cool with a fresh fruit soda.
When it comes to inclusiveness Copo made their list, and sure as hell checked it twice. This two-storey Drummoyne café is accessible, has easy parking, no queues, free Wi-Fi, high chairs and is kind to our gluten-free friends. Plus their baked eggs with smoked trout is a rockin' two-person protein party and they serve Campos coffee.
By Katy Stankevitz and Emily Lloyd-Tait
You can get icy poles, ice cream cakes, milkshakes, quadruple cones and the mother of choc-fudge sundaes here for a lot less than you'd pay at some of the more fashionable ice creameries around town. Grab a sundae to share and take it to nearby Camperdown Oval where you can eat in the shade of a mighty fig tree.
Take your artistically-inclined tot to this popular brunch spot where a Middle Eastern breakfast degustation is on the menu and your little one's art is all over the table thanks to the butcher's paper tablecloths and pots of crayons provided.
For inner-city kids wanting to cool off on a hot day, there's no need to head east when you can get into the splash at Prince Alfred Park Pool. If it's too chilly for a swim there's play equipment and lots of open space for racing around the park before a fresh juice at Meadow Café.
This café opens onto one of the most beautiful parks and harbour beaches in the city. The calm waters at Nielsen Park beach are child-friendly and shark-netted, there's stacks of shade, and while the kids are occupied you can make short work of a smoked salmon bagel or ricotta hotcakes.
There is more to Marrickville than warehouses and pork rolls, and this little park-side café is the perfect antidote to the industrial chic of the Inner West. Grab takeaway milkshakes, coffees and sausage rolls and set up a mini picnic (with one of the café’s rugs) across the road in Enmore Park.
Mothers groups are welcome and regular fixtures of this open, breezy deli and café. They also do a kid-sized cooked breakfast, milkshakes in kid-friendly portions and they have high chairs and stroller space to spare.
The beautiful Balmoral beach is wide, gentle and clear and if you're steering away from fish and chips, you can pull into the Boathouse wharf for a café lunch, or order one of their picnic hampers to take out.
They're not what you'd call pressed for space at this massive Alexandria café and roastery. In addition to the busy indoor café space there is a kitchen garden where the little ones can chat to resident pig Kevin Bacon and the chooks and run amok in the play area while you order off the takeaway menu and eat under the trellis.
You wouldn’t know it when you’re there but the Grounds Keeper Café is only around the corner from the bustling Top Ryde Shopping centre. Middle Eastern Food is coming out of the kitchen and kids have their own playground that opens onto a football field-sized park.
Inside this Lilyfield café things are cool and calm – white walls, white tiles and blonde wood – but for maximum local dog action grab a seat outside. Poodles, terriers and spaniels are only too happy to exchange pats for the possibility of gravity-gifted snacks and there’s children’s play equipment in the adjoining square so little ones are kept occupied.
Redfern’s cavernous, concrete coffee spot is proudly kid friendly. There's a ramp for easy stroller access, stacks of space to park it and a play area and massive chalkboard up the back to keep little hands busy while they wait for their fish croquettes to arrive.
This popular café is only a block from Enmore Park and the Annette Kellerman Aquatic Centre and it's the perfect spot for watching the parade of local dogs that wander by looking for hugs and snacks. They do kids' cheese on toast for $4.50 and eggs and soldiers for $5.50, plus kid-sized milkshakes, smoothies and juices for $3.90.