Holidaying with the kids is fun! But if you have young kids or ravenous tweens, it can be tricky trying to find child-friendly places to stop for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. I mean, you don’t want to be those parents who turn up at a restaurant, cranky and hungry kids in tow, only to discover it’s not child friendly. Oh, the outrage and evil stares you’ll get. No one wants to be banished from a café, so I’ve compiled a list of 18 awesome kid friendly cafes in Palmerston North to save you all from the shame of going public with cranky and hungry kiddos.
About Palmerston North
And seriously, if you’re travelling through New Zealand you must stop for a visit in Palmerston North. It’s a gorgeous little city on New Zealand’s North Island and is home to the New Zealand Rugby museum, the Te Manawa museum, the Manawatu River and the Manawatu Gorge is just a short drive from town. There is much to see in Palmerston North, it won’t take long to work up an appetite. So, check out my favourite child-friendly cafes below.
Because you don’t want the kids to get hangry now, do you?
This gorgeous café offers fantastic food, great coffee, and beautiful areas outside to sit and enjoy your lunch while soaking up the sunshine. And there’s plenty of room for the kids to run around, burn off some energy, stretch their legs or explore the garden.
The Herb Farm’s menu features organic, free range, and local produce, including their very own, homegrown herbs from the garden.
They also offer a range of vegetarian and gluten free menu options and pride themselves on their amazing customer service and family values.
But best of all, The Herb Farm makes its very own range of organic skin products. Which, incidentally, are amazing! Their farm-to-face skin range uses locally sourced products or products straight from their garden.
The Herb Garden is definitely worth visiting while you’re travelling through Palmerston North.
Okay, so this little café is going to be a huge hit for the kiddos. The café has a petting zoo! Yep, the kids will love hanging out and feeding the animals (bags of feed are available for 50 cents) while Mum and Dad enjoy a fabulous lunch.
And after the animals, the kids can have an educational experience at the Murrayfield Settlers Educational Museum where there’s a range of weird and wonderful artefacts.
The café is nestled on the picturesque, 11-acre property and offers a variety of delicious freshly made food.
You’ll be positively drooling over delicious goodies such as their famous plum and raspberry shortcake and barista made coffee.
Murrayfield Café offers something for kids and the parents so be sure to check them out in your travels.
Barista is a café by day and a bistro by night. Located at 59 George Street in Palmerston North, Barista offers European cuisine, espresso, and fine wines. Barista offers a varied dining experience of day and evening menus, 27 fragrant teas, BYO wine as well as fully licensed, sweet desserts and snack. Barista is open 7 days a week until late.
It’s a great place to visit with the kiddies by day and at night, ditch the kids for a night out with your spouse. Barista offers high teas and on weekends you can relax to the tunes of soft jazz.
Design and Desire Boutique and Café is a quirky and eclectic venue owned by interior designers Caroline Van Der Haas and Eddie Fischer.
Opening the Design and Desire Boutique was a natural progression for the couple who spent years creating beautiful drapes and transforming ordinary homes into visual masterpieces.
Their personal touches are evident throughout the venue. It has a lovely spacious veranda, and the interior features a fabulous collection of furnishings, eclectic furniture, design pieces and funky homewares. And they’re all for sale at great prices!
As for the café, its open every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 10am until 3.00pm and it’s run by the extremely talented Mark Harman and his team from Artisan Kitchen.
The café is famous for the BEST EVER iced coffee and its mouth-watering Eggs Benedict. The corn fritters are also scrumptious, and the kids will love their freshly made pancakes. Of course, breakfast isn’t complete without coffee and the café offers locally roasted Ebony coffee.
5. Café 116
This cute little café will be a ginormous hit with the kiddies! With their mouth-watering range of baked goods like custard squares, butterfly cakes, eccles cakes, and other delectable, sweet treats, the kids might leave with a sugar high.
But this café isn’t just for those with a sweet tooth. They’re famous for their tasty, almighty Angus Beef Burger and Moroccan Chicken Sliders.
So, are you drooling yet?
Be sure to check out Café 116 when you’re passing through Palmerston North.
The Verdict Café is a family-owned café that prides itself on providing exceptional service and fantastic food. The café makes delicious, mouth-watering breakfast and their coffee is just what you need to after the morning rush of kids, school runs, and all the chaos of kids and family life.
And they’ve been in business for 27 years so the food at Verdict Café must be amazing.
So, pay them a visit and try the delicious food for yourself.
Viv’s kitchen is famous for their cream horn! Don’t know what a cream horn is? Head on over to the website and check them out. Amazing!
And they must be good because they’ve sold over 100,000 of the cream-filled pastry delicacies. But that’s not all Viv’s Kitchen offers. They have a range of wholesome, homemade goodies that are sure to keep the kids happy.
Café Esplanade is located in the biggest park in Palmerston North. So, it’s the perfect place to relax after you and the kids have explored the park.
Its location and amazing menu make Café Esplanade one of the most popular cafes in the area.
With delicious meals like Thai chicken curry served with fragrant coconut rice, parents will love it too!
Or if you’re craving something a little sweeter, why not try their homemade waffles with decadent ice cream or delectable goodies from the cabinet? They have mouth-watering food options for every member of the family and suit all tastes and budgets.
9. Café Brie
Located on Broadway Avenue, Café Brie is open 7 days a week. The café specialises in breakfast, lunch and as the name suggests, a French-inspired menu sourced from local New Zealand produce. Café Brie offers high teas, catering and a full menu prepared daily.
So, make sure you drop in to one of Palmerston North’s favourite cafes for a touch of Europe and tasty French feast.
10. Moxies Café
You can find Moxies Café at 81 George Street, Palmerston North. Moxies is a lively café offering an all-day breakfast menu, lunch menu, gluten free menu and for all the lactose intolerant food lovers, a dairy free menu.
And best of all, they’re fully licensed so Mums and Dads can enjoy a cheeky wine with lunch while the kids enjoy their food.
11. Café Royale
Café Royale is inside the ground floor galleries of the Square Edge Arts Centre. A cute cafe in the heart of town, they offer a full menu, vegan delights, and ethically sourced coffee. Which is also delicious!
Café Royale is licensed and uses organic and locally sourced produce in its menu and is available for catering and functions.
12. Joe’s Garage
Joe’s Garage is part of a chain of cafes throughout New Zealand. But the friendly team at Joe’s in Palmerston North are pretty darn awesome.
They take pride in offering only the best of everything. The best food, the best service and the atmosphere is fabulous.
Joe’s offers an amazing breakfast menu and a delicious kid’s menu.
The kiddies will love it.
And be sure to check out their gourmet burger menu.
But be warned, it’s a drooling hazard.
Okay, so this one is just for the kiddies. I mean, it’s an indoor playground!
But thankfully the parents can grab a coffee and a bite to eat and relax, while the kids wear themselves out in the playground.
Lollipop’s Playland and Cafe is Palmerston North’s favourite indoor play centre.
There are oodles of fun things for the kids with a three-level playground, maze, ball pit, jumping castle, slide, merry-go-round and even a special area for the littlies.
And it’s airconditioned for those super-hot days when it’s too hot to play outside.
This place is WIN-WIN for everyone.
14. Cafe Cuba
Cafe Cuba is famous for offering delicious cuisine to the visitors of Palmerston North. It’s a great little place to stop for morning tea or catch-up with friends over a coffee.
They have a large cuisine menu which is sure to tempt even the fussiest of eaters. And best of all, they offer an all-day breakfast menu.
Cafe Cuba is child-friendly and a great place to take the family for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
15. The Bees Knees Cafe
A delightful little cafe with delicious food made daily and wonderful friendly service, you’ll find this café in the heart of Hokowhitu. The Bees Knees offer an array of homemade soups, chutneys and jams and sweet treats the kids with go crazy for.
They also make a darn good coffee too.
Be sure to stop in and say hi.
16. Courtyard Café
Lunch at the Courtyard Cafe is always an enjoyable occasion. The cute little cafe is hidden away at the back of Hokowhitu Village, in Palmerston North. The staff are friendly, the food is made fresh daily, and the café is famous for its mouth-watering sones and excellent coffee.
It’s a great little place to refresh after exploring the local area with the kids.
17. Hungry Horse Cafe
The Hungry Horse Café is an equestrian themed eatery in Palmerston North. The staff are friendly and the food delicious. The café offers an all-day lunch and breakfast menu and have a range of healthy options for the diet conscious diners.
And if you’ve had a rough day with the kids, the café offers a nice range of local wines.
This place is AMAZING! But be warned, you may regret taking your kids if they go troppo on sweets.
But you must check out their amazing range of desserts, cakes, designer thick shakes (yes, designer), and pies.
There is something for everyone at B2B Bakery and Café. Why not take the kids and sample some of their salted caramel profiteroles, coconut and pineapple profiteroles, or their decorated red velvet or chocolate cupcakes?
Or perhaps you’d like to tackle one of their enormous, designer thick shakes?
Seriously, you need to take a look at these thick shakes. They are incredible.
Whatever you fancy, this place is worth a visit.
But be warned, wear your baggy pants with an elastic waist.
18 AWESOME Kid Friendly Cafes in Palmerston North
So, there you go. A whole bunch of fabulous, child-friendly cafes for you to visit while travelling through Palmerston North. How do I know about these cafes? Well, as a local family photographer, I hear all about child-friendly cafes in the Palmerston North area. I’ve also heard about the ‘not-so-child-friendly’ places but that’s for another blog. Until then, may your travels be safe, your tummies be full, and your children content.
Cate Thomas is a well-known family and pet photographer in Palmerston North. You can check out Cate’s amazing photography on her website, Avedon Photography.