A GUIDE TO FINDING GREAT PLAYGROUNDS FOR THE KIDS AND FANTASTIC COFFEE FOR YOU
If your kids are now the age of independent play, chances are, you spend lots of time at the playground.
And unless you are a mutant or a saint, this can be pretty boring.
This is my guide to seeking out fun playgrounds (because even though I don’t find monkey bars and slides exciting, I sure get excited for my kids when I stumble upon a playground full of opportunities) that are both fun for your kids AND for you.
What makes them fun for you? Food and coffee of course!
Thus begins my exploration of Toronto and beyond to source out the best playgrounds and the best cafés!
Lots of fun exploration for kids
Good coffee and food nearby
Uber Eats must be able to deliver to the playground
69 Cassels Avenue
How to Get Here:
Located in Toronto’s Upper Beaches – I think (I get confused on the borders of neighbourhoods in this city!) between Kingston & Gerrard.
Streetcar & bus will take you here.
If you are driving, there is plenty of parking in the residential streets surrounding the park.
Why We Like it:
I hemmed and hawed with adding this because it lacks one of my criteria: delicious coffee nearby. However, it is such a fantastic playground and splash pad that I just discovered (even though I live down the road) that it is worth the café desert.
The play structure seems quite new and has many levels for toddlers and preschoolers. I think perhaps too young for bigger kids.
There is a really great splash pad surrounded by lots of shady trees.
The sand pit area is quite large with lots of coverage from the sun – perfect for the summer months!
The greenspace around the park is really lovely. Lots of green grass for kids to play soccer or simply run. Tons of old shady trees. Plus a covered picnic area. SHADE PEOPLE! I need some shade if I am going to sit iced-coffeeless!
A stinky outhouse. BUT, as I have pointed out, lots of trees surround the park. So, you know, your kid can be one with nature.
When it comes to food and coffee choices nearby, it will take some planning (or an UberEats account). However, this is a perfect picnic playground so with some organization (ha!) you can easily spend hours here munching on a basket of goodies you’ve packed yourself.
Or you can call delivery.
452 Kingston Road
Yes, this is a random name for a restaurant. A nice young guy and his dad just took over the old space, which was called Kingston Gourmet, and have had a hard time changing the name. They officially have called it ‘Where the River Narrows’ (which is what Quebec means in Algonquin) but locals were still looking up the old name. Therefore they are currently going by both.
Anyways, it’s a sweet sit-down café with a Quebec inspired menu.
I don’t think take out is their thing (quite yet), but a couple of moms and I have told them take-out food near the playground would be heaven. We were able to grab two chicken wraps and a specialty iced coffee and then make our way to the playground.
The only problem was that the food and coffee took a while and it was hard to wait with our four antsy kids who wanted to scoot to the swings. Well, there was another problem: the iced coffee was very small and not super icy. I feel if we had ordered hot coffee it would have been more delicious.
Hopefully they will offer larger cold brew or similar in future. As well as get something like Ritual or Maegen so that you can order ahead and quickly swing in.
1950 Gerrard Street East
I can’t verify the quality or what they offer but they are on the north end of the playground and came up when I searched what UberEats or Skip the Dishes would deliver.
Clearly I need to go do some more delicious research. That would involve Greek food. And these yummy looking fries . . . .
1959 Gerrard Street East
I have only had take-out here and it was delicious. They are on UberEats and will deliver to the playground or you can bring your kids to them. They are very kid friendly – in fact if you look at their photos on Facebook it appears they adore kids coming in.
While eating goulash at the playground might be a tad difficult, they offer schnitzel sandwiches. As for the coffee choices, I promise to go investigate.
126 Main Street
I drive from the east down Kingston or Gerrard which makes stopping at the café on Main Street pretty easy. Good coffee and a few baked items you can grab for a quick snack.
We had a fantastic morning at this playground. The kids loved being able to run through the splash pad and then scramble up (and then down) the slide plus play with a myriad of random city-owned toys. George scooted up and down the paths. I enjoyed chatting with my friend in the shade.
That’s right – I’m back to the shade.
It’s summer in Toronto folks! I need my shade!
If you have suggestions of playgrounds I should check out or coffee shops that are amazing that are possibly near a playground – let me know in the comments below.
As always, happy adventures!