As any parent knows, it can be hard to get your adventurous child to sit still for an entire meal. Because of this we’ve rounded up some of the best places to keep kiddos entertained while the grown-ups dine in peace. Below are some of the best kid-friendly restaurants to take the family out for a stress-free, and fun, meal.
1. The Pantry
A cosy café in the Dempsey enclave is surrounded by lush foliage and equipped with two playgrounds. One is fashioned after a treehouse. Kids can enjoy slides, swings, rope bridges and netted ladders. For the younger kiddos, the smaller wood-based play area right next to the alfresco seating features an obstacle course, so you can be sure everyone is entertained. While the children play, weekend diners can nibble on comforting brunch items, including pancakes and avocado toast. Kids’ meals are available as well, such as the ever popular mac and cheese and tomato pasta.
Open Farm Community has been a stalwart in the cafe scene, garnering a reputation for its beautiful greenhouse-inspired interior and open-air terrace that faces its own farm. The latter is where you can find a variety of vegetation, from spices and fresh herbs to tomatoes, fruit trees and edible flowers. Most of the fresh produce makes it onto your plate in delicious and creative ways. Enjoy its fresh farm-to-table fare in tranquil surrounds while the kids explore its sand playground and green lawns. Bonus: They also get to learn about the importance of growing one’s own food and using sustainable natural growing methods that can minimise waste.
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3. Café Melba
Café Melba’s pioneer outlet at Goodman Arts Centre is still our café of choice for a casual relaxing brunch with your family. With shady trees and wide open space at the outdoor patio, there’s a welcoming and homely vibe that’s a respite from the hectic city centre. On weekends, the space turns into a vibrant one with a bouncy castle and other activities meant to entertain energetic kids. If you’re there on a Monday, kids eat for free! Food here is mostly fusion fare, with influences from Melbourne and Asia. Standouts include its brioche french toast with homemade maple berry sauce and mozzarella stuffed potato rosti with poached eggs.
4. Plank Pizza and Baker & Cook
Baker & Cook and Plank Pizza share a space under Core Collective Dempsey, a one-stop fitness and wellness space that’s situated at the quiet Loewen cluster. The outdoor area boasts a playground that has an adorable treehouse, a swing, slide, wooden boat and more. While not huge, there is plenty of space for roaming and it offers everything the little ones (and dogs!) need while you tuck into your meal. You can order from both menus regardless of where you’re seated. Choose from items such as attractive baked goods, pizzas, breakfast items (we recommend the Peter Gordon’s Turkish Eggs) and sharing plates which you can pair with cold pressed juices, smoothies, organic beverages like kombucha, and coffee and tea.
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Located right next to Open Farm Community at Minden Road is this safari-themed café by Tiong Bahru Bakery that will transport you to an African safari. Enjoy its usual fare of French delicate pastries and coffee in a unique garden setting, complete with a canvas tent, rugs, old trunks, taxidermy butterflies and wooden furnishings. Don’t forget to try some of the exclusive dishes here, which feature herbs and spices grown from the connecting garden (think Turmeric Ginger Latte and Beetroot Roselle Latte). Kids can enjoy the retro swing at the outdoor unsheltered area, or play with the wooden cow and pig structures at its sand pit.
With seats right at the beach and a spectacular waterfront view, do you really need any more convincing? At this laid-back Insta-worthy joint, the kiddos can indulge in some sand play and water play at Siloso beach, while you enjoy the breeze and tuck into delicious beach bites such as crispy beer battered fish and chips and pulled pork tacos. Tired from the day’s activities? Soak in the evening sun on one of its deck chairs as you cool down with a bevvy. There’s a diaper changing station, high chairs and child-friendly cutlery to make your dining experience easy peasy.
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Designed to complement its two-storey butchery, the highlight of this bistro is its large soft-fall playground that’s gated and shaded, so the kids can run wild safely. After they have exhausted themselves on the slides and climbing fixtures, retire to the bistro for a nourishing meal. Meat dishes served here are as fresh as it can get – there are seven different sausage dishes offered as well as burgers (we recommend the 21-day dry aged beef burger), sandwiches and a delicious braised beef short rib. Wash them down with some refreshing German and Swiss beers. Don’t forget to stock up your pantry with some of its gourmet produce for a feast at home.
Quentin’s serves the best of both worlds if you’re looking for authentic Eurasian food in a comforting, family-friendly setting. Located in Eurasian Community House, the adults can tuck into a communal-style meal with dishes such as curry debal oxtail, pork chilli garam and pineapple prawn curry while the young ones have the option of dining on kids’ meals such as fish and chips and chicken fillet. And if they are feeling antsy, they can adjourn to Quentin’s indoor, air-conditioned playroom that is located next to the indoor dining room. There is a ball pit, a slide, mini cars and plenty of other materials and toys to keep the little tots occupied. End the meal with the restaurant’s signature sugee cake (made with butter, almonds, semolina flour) and putugal (steamed rice cake made of tapioca, shredded coconut, pisang raja, butterfly pea flower and pandan extract).
Please check the establishments’ respective websites for opening hours as well as booking and seating requirements before visiting, and remember to adhere to safe-distancing measures while out and about.