Coffee shops and stops with kid-friendly play areas

By Jessica Myers

Sometimes you just have to have a latte, but that hankering doesn’t necessarily happen on your “me” time; often, the craving consumes you during “we” time. So where can you relax and caffeinate with kids in tow? In the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, there are lots of laid-back spots where you can savor a cup of joe while the kids cavort on a playground, play a retro game, even sip their own kid-friendly drinks. Here, the 14 best local places to take a coffee break with kids.   

Buon Giorno Coffee
The Buzz: Bookshelves filled with coloring books, crayons, train sets and other toys keep little ones entertained. 
Why Parents Love It: Drinks are more like liquid desserts and include offerings such as a Blueberry Cobbler latte and a Tuscany Mocha made with dark chocolate and orange. Kids sip steamers, hot chocolate, smoothies and Italian sodas. 
Best For: Espresso aficionados; this shop specializes in Italian espresso roasts.
Cost: Coffee from $2
The Details: Hours vary by location. 915 Florence St., Fort Worth, 817/698-9888; 2350 Hall Johnson Road, Grapevine, 817/421-7300; 1901 W. Southlake Blvd.

Central Market
The Buzz: Central Market’s cafe features an outdoor patio with tables and a playground for all ages.
Why Parents Love It: Lots of gourmet coffee options, smoothies or gelato for the kids and a place for them to slide, bounce and climb safely (the jungle gym is gated).
Best For: Multitasking parents. Check dinner, groceries and play time off the to-do list in one stop.
Cost: Coffee from $1.79
The Details: Sunday–Thursday 7am–9pm, Friday–Saturday 7am–10pm. Multiple locations.

Cuppa Espresso Bar
The Buzz: Get a hot or cold cappuccino, cafe au lait, white mocha or other specialty coffee drink. For the kids, order a Nutella frappe or a smoothie, then let them burn off the sugar rush in the indoor maze of tubular slides and tunnels for kids 52 inches and smaller or in the area specifically designed for toddlers — all inside Irving Bible Church.
Why Parents Love It: Tables between both play areas let you keep an eye on all your kiddos whether their crawling through glass tubes or waddling in the low-walled toddler zone.
Best For: Parents looking for coffee and indoor fun on hot or rainy summer days.
Cost: Coffee from $1.75
The Details: Monday–Friday 7am–8pm, Saturday 9am–5pm, Sunday 7am–7pm. 2435 Kinwest Parkway, Suite 100, Irving, 972/560-4600

Dallas Farmers Market
The Buzz: Before or after shopping for produce, honey and more, grab a coffee from Palmieri Cafe and set the kids loose in the new Children’s Playscape.
Why Parents Love It: Misters and fans keep you cool in the open-air market while you sip espresso, cappuccino, Americano and more while watching the kids climb a net or graffiti the chalkboards.
Best For: Farm-to-table enthusiasts who travel with extra clothes; there’s a water table in the play space too.
Cost: Coffee from $2.50
The Details: Saturday 9am–5pm, Sunday 10am–5pm. 920 S. Harwood St., Dallas, 214/664-9110

Dream Café
The Buzz: On nice days, sit outside at this favorite brunch spot with a good view of the modest play space (it reaches capacity with 10–15 kids).
Why Parents Love It: Free refills on the Dream blend roast, several gourmet coffee and tea choices, kid-size organic juices and smoothies and a play space with climbing features and chalk to keep kiddos busy.
Best For: Early risers. The play space gets crowded by late morning.
Cost: Coffee and tea from $2.75
The Details: Open daily 7am–3pm. 5100 Belt Line Road, Suite 732, Dallas, 972/503-7326; 2800 Routh St., #170, Dallas, 214/954-0486

Garden Café
The Buzz: Sit with your coffee on the patio overlooking the football field-size garden with plots of herbs, rows of veggies and even a chicken coop.
Why Parents Love It: Kids roam and explore the fenced-in area freely. You enjoy an Oak Cliff Coffee-brewed latte, cortado and more from the espresso bar in peace.
Best For: Parents who dream of drinking coffee with a view.
Cost: Coffee from $2.50
The Details: Open daily 8am–3pm. 5310 Junius St., Dallas, 214/887-8330

Java Me Up
The Buzz: Tackle the summer reading list and your caffeine fix at this cafe housed inside the Valley Ranch Public Library building.
Why Parents Love It: Gourmet coffee options for you; smoothies, interactive kid-friendly activities and plenty of green space out front along the Cimarron Trail satisfy kiddos.
Best For: Multitasking parents looking to check homework, coffee and playtime off their to-do lists.
Cost: Coffee from $1.95
The Details: Monday–Saturday 7am–9pm, Sunday 9am–7pm. 401 Cimarron Trail, Suite 150, Irving, 972/409-6838

Kindred Coffee
The Buzz: This craft coffee shop roasts the beans in house and puts an inventive spin on espresso drinks. Plus, they occupy your littles with coloring books, crayons, toys and puzzles at a kid-size table.
Why Parents Love It: Drinks with flair such as Love Potion, made with white chocolate and strawberry-infused milk and Lavender latte, created with house-made vanilla syrup and lavender. There are also smoothies and gelato for the kiddos.
Best For: Days when you need to get out of the heat or rain.
Cost: Coffee from $1.70
The Details: Monday–Friday 5:30am–10pm, Saturday 6am–10pm, Sunday 6am–9pm. 8700 N. Tarrant Parkway, #109, North Richland Hills, 682/325-1237

Liberation Coffee Co. 
The Buzz: Specialty, seasonal drinks like the Hazelnut-Mocha latte that combines dark chocolate and hazelnut and mainstays such as mango, banana and strawberry-banana vegan smoothies are highlights on this coffee shop’s beverage menu.
Why Parents Love It: This cafe offers free coffee monthly from 7–9am and hosts kid-friendly events throughout the year, including block parties, craft fairs and more. Plus, the dark chocolate macarons have a cult-like following among adults and kiddos alike.
Best For: Parents who don’t sit still well. Grab your coffee to go, and make the 8-minute walk south to the trails at Andrew Brown Park, which also features the Kid Country playground for kids.
Cost: Coffee from $1.75
The Details: Monday–Sunday 6:30am­–9pm. 651 N. Denton Tap Road, Suite 200, Coppell, 972/427-1991

Nerdvana
The Buzz: Keep kids occupied with borrowed (or purchased) games such as Candy Land, Connect Four, Monopoly and more while you enjoy a fancy caffeinated beverage.
Why Parents Love It: An extensive coffee menu, including several kid-friendly chocolate drinks and games you can play with the kids.
Best For: Parents looking to entertain kids while they refuel on hot or rainy days since all the fun here takes place indoors.
Cost: Coffee from $2.25
The Details: Monday–Friday 7am–9pm, Saturday–Sunday 8am–9pm. 5757 Main St. Suite 111, Frisco, 214/618-8130

Press Cafe
The Buzz: Get your espresso, cappuccino, latte, or iced coffee — and a fresh-pressed orange, apple or grapefruit juice — to go, and accompany your littles in the green space out front. Press Cafe is located at the Trailhead at Clearfork.
Why Parents Love It: It's the easiest playdate to plan: With coffee in hand, hit the paved Trinity Trails on foot. They are dotted with restrooms and water fountains for breaks along the way. Or once you’ve finished your cold brew, sign up for a kids’ bike rental with helmet and flat kit from Mellow Johnny’s (free with a $30 adult bike rental).
Best For: Families who can’t sit still and need a dose of fresh air … or good food. The farmers market opens every Saturday from 8am–noon.
Cost: Coffee from $3
The Details: Monday–Sunday 7am–10pm. 4801 Edwards Ranch Road, Suite 105, Fort Worth, 817/570-6002

Seven Mile Cafe
The Buzz: Enjoy every last drop of French-pressed house coffee, a two-shot Nutella mocha or one of the cold brews, and get the littles a vanilla, Oreo or peanut butter-and-chocolate shake. 
Why Parents Love It: The Highland Village location busies kids with shelves of books and toys. 
Best For: Early risers. The cafe closes at 2pm on weekdays and 2:30pm on weekends.
Cost: Coffee from $3.25
The Details: Monday–Friday 7am–2pm, Saturday–Sunday 7am–2:30pm. 2300 Highland Village Road, Suite 1100, 972/317-8600

Summer Moon
The Buzz: A kids’ corner outfitted with toys, card games, books — even pretend coffee-making tools — keep littles entertained.
Why Parents Love It: Two words: moon milk. This top-secret creamy concoction (it’s a combination of seven organic ingredients) gets poured over lattes and cold brews or mixed into coffee-free milkshake-like drinks for the kids.
Best For: Families with dairy sensitivities. The magic moon juice can be added to non-dairy soy, almond and coconut milks too.
Cost: Coffee from $2.50
The Details: Monday–Friday 6am–8pm; Saturday–Sunday 7am–8pm. 6943 W. Main St., Frisco, 469/893-5007

Watermark Church
The Buzz: There’s a huge coffee shop that’s adjacent to a free indoor, two-story play structure complete with bridges, climbing features, slides and more.
Why Parents Love It: The cafe serves coffee, espresso drinks, tea and smoothies, has comfy sofas and free Wi-Fi. The treehouse-themed play fort is toddler-friendly too.
Best For: Parents looking to wear the kids out inside.
Cost: Coffee from $2
The Details: Monday–Tuesday and Thursday–Friday 9am–6pm, Wednesday 1–6pm, Saturday 7am–2pm, Sunday 8–8:45am and 12:30pm–5pm. 7540 Lyndon B. Johnson Freeway, Dallas, 214/361-2275


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