Its taken some time to compile this list, and many a weekend wanting to go for a lunch somewhere but wanting somewhere the boys can run and play. These are my favourite outdoor restaurants, with a play area for kids, if you are looking for more of a general list of things to do or places to go with kids in Joburg you can see my previous blog here .
Some obvious, a lot are hidden gems. Hopefully this list will make your weekends a little easier.
Top of the list we will get the most obvious out-of-the-way, the spurs and the pappachinos.
For me personally, the best two spurs in terms of play area’s for the kids are: Spur Morning Glen mall (Corner of Bowling and Rivonia) – The outside kiddie area here is lovely, with ships and aeroplanes. Grey Wolf Spur – Broadacres – Sadly both of these are not halaal, so we tend to take out kids there when we have waffles and Ice cream.
Pappachinos – Again my two personal favourites are Broadacres and Clearwater – I love the outdoor play areas for the kids and Broadacres even has a putt putt course and soccer nets.
Now for the hidden gems…
Munch – Bryanston. There are 4 in the northern suburbs but the Bryanston branch is situated inside the Garden Shop it has a beautiful play area for kids and children can also take delight in the curious animals at the Reptile shop.
Buitengeluk – Broadacres. Set in a beautiful Cape Dutch landscape this remains one of my firm favourites in Johannesburg, with the most exquisite gardens with ponds and ducks it can also host weddings and various celebrations. Just around the back they have the most glorious play area for kids, complete with jumping castles and trampolines. You wont find a prettier place to sit admiring the gardens while your children happily play.
Ristretto – Morningside. Offers two play areas, one perfect for toddlers and a bigger kids area as well. The child minders are terrifically friendly and the pizza makes it all worth while.
The Green Garden café -The Purple Tulip . Broadacres – A haven for kids, this café is set inside a nursery and has attentive staff and a donkey cart for kids to ride on. A fun morning out whenever you choose to go.
River Café -Sandton. Closed on Mondays. One of my favourites set next to the Sandton Field and Study Centre. Endless amounts of grass for the kids to ride one of their many plastic motorbikes and the perfect patch of sand for a sand pit. It’s the perfect place to stop for a healthy breakfast after a walk in the park.
Gia’s on Montrose – Morningside. There is a jungle gym on site to keep the little ones occupied, beautiful gardens suited for any member of the family. Gia’s has been around for a while and is a firm favourite with residents in the area.
State 5 – Witkoppen road. The centre offers a wide variety for kids, with a great kids play area and lots of arts and crafts shops around it, I am never disappointed. The kids play area is better suited for younger children though.
The secret tea garden – Norscot Manor – The Secret Garden offers a quiet escape from the malls and roadside coffee shops. Beautiful manicured lawns and an impressive play park for the kids. Perfect for a Saturday or Sunday morning brunch.
The Oak Leaf Restaurant – Sandton. Set amongst large leafy trees the Oak Leaf offers a homely environment with a wonderful kiddies play area. Right in the middle of sSndton it’s a lovely escape with caring and attentive child minders.
Olive and Twist – Northriding. A great little Italian restaurant with a fantastic kids space. Children are looked after by child minders, they have a variety of educational things for the kids to do.
Rustic café – Blairgowrie. Set in a sports ground, rustic café is not your typical sports club restaurant. It makes a mean coffee and has a perfect little jungle gym outside. If your kids are sports fans like mine it’s also the perfect place to sit back and watch a local game.
The Noisy Rooster – Rosebank. Bringing free range food right to our door step. The Noisy Rooster is set in an unassuming suburb in Rosebank. Kids can choose from a number of different jungle gyms and trampolines or choose to pet the rabbits or partake in one of their creative crafts, dress up days, or story time.
Bambanani – Melville. A bit like a pappachinos setting – Bambanani has more of a homely feel. With a fantastic ratio of child minders to child, they have a fantasy play corner, arts and crafts as well as the traditional soft play equipment.
Delta Café –Craighall Park. Closed on Mondays. A hidden gem inside Delta Park it’s a perfect spot to grab a light bit to eat while taking in the beauty of the park around you. Their friendly staff and cute little play area for the kids always bring people back in.
Tres Jolie – Ruimsig. The perfect place for some relaxation and fresh air. Sprawling gardens and pretty water features, this is definitely the place to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Not only do they have a fantastic play area they also have the most perfect little farmyard where Kids can feed the animals or take a Camel ride.
256 on Smit – Fairlands. Friendly staff with a super little hairdresser and masseuse right next door this is also set in an unassuming suburb in Fairlands. The play area is cleverly designed in the middle so you can watch your little ones from pretty much anywhere. They also have an aviary and some bunnies.
iPlay – Randpark Ridge. iPlay Party Venue, Coffee shop, Toy Shop and Kiddies play area. Great child friendly restaurant with kids playground and sandpit.
Johannesburg East/ South
A Churrasqueira Alberton. Fantastic Portuguese restaurant in the south. They can get a little busy which can leave you calling for your waiter but the fantastic kids play area and the fact that kids can make their own pizza, make up for it.
Two Trees Bakery – Klipriversberg. Ive yet to come across a place with as much Jungle Gym equipment for kids as Two trees do. They have zip lines catering to both older and younger kids and brilliant big seat swings for the whole family to swing in. Kids can decorate gingerbread cookies as well.
Kiddilicious – Bedfordview. So much more than just a café. Kiddilicious offers a great little café, country-style play areas, a party venue as well as a mother and baby wellness clinic.
Do you have any other places you would recommend? Id love to hear from you and your suggestions or feedback. For a full list of places to go with activities for kids you can see my previous post here.