We can’t be the only mums in the Hills that MUST have a coffee every day. We don’t insist that it’s as soon as we wake up, because let’s face it, our needs come last behind the needs of everyone in the house that’s shorter than us! But if we go longer than about mid morning, something’s up. And we’ve been known to regularly (ok, weekly) plan our park visits solely on what cafe is nearby that serves a good flat white.

The kids just know now that we get mummy’s coffee on the way to the park – and they know not to protest! And it’s made all the more painless when it’s a one stop situation – park the car, grab the coffee and head to the park. No getting multiple kids out of the car multiple times.

Here are our picks in the Hills where you can park once and have at your disposal both a good coffee and a nice little park.

Note: the below suggestions are for a take away situtation only – these are not places where you can sit, drink your coffee and watch your kids while they play. Those cafes are included in our cafes next to play areas list.

Rotary Park + Hidden Jem Cafe, Kenthurst

Corner of Kenthurst Road and Nelson Street.

Firstly, parking is easy here, with spots bordering the park and across the road from the Hidden Jem Cafe. We duck there first and order a take away – they serve Toby’s Estate coffee. We really like this park. There’s some great and slightly different play equipment. A couple of the structures are quite high so they’re a little more suited to older kids. But there’s certainly lots for small people to play on too, including a sweet little cubby house and multiple sets of swings.

Adding to the pros of this park are the big grassed area next to it, a basketball hoop in sight if you have an older kids, bbqs, shade, the fact that it’s mostly fenced and a flat track around the grass that’s great for scooters.

Glenhaven  Oval playground + The Tuckshop, Glenhaven

78 Glenhaven Road

This is a great cafe park combo as it’s only a few metres between the two. The park is a good one for little kids and you can throw a picnic blanket down on the grassed area where there are a few trees that cast some shade, although the equipment isn’t shaded. You shouldn’t have any trouble finding a park as there are a couple of little parking areas next to the park and the shops.

Cafe Longshot / Espresso Recipe + Beecroft train park, Beecroft

6-8 Hannah St

Beecroft has a lovely village feel to it and there are some great cafes that boast excellent coffee. Our favourites to grab a take away from are Longshot Cafe and Espresso Recipe in the arcade as they serve Campos coffee.

You can then wander down to the park next to the train station. See our detailed review here.

Charlotte’s Little Sister / The Leaf Cafe + Wollundry Park, Pennant Hills

Hillcrest and Yarrara Roads

This is one of our favourite coffee/park combos! The area around the Pennant Hills Market Place is often busy but you can usually find a parking spot easily enough, either in the centre’s car park or on the street. There are a few options for coffee in Pennant Hills. One is Charlotte’s Little Sister which is a hole in the wall cafe next to Harris Farm. Grab your excellent Campos coffee while ogling the sweet treats on display. Read more about the cafe here.  The Leaf Cafe is within the centre and is another option for a take away coffee.

You can then stroll over Ramsey Road past the library (another good place to visit with the kids) to Wollundry Park. We always really enjoy our time at this park – there’s lots to play on, it’s fenced, there are bench seats and the gorgeous tall trees provide lots of shade.

The Bells Road Social – Oatlands

1 Bells Road, Oatlands.

This is the newest venture for Dan and Mel from Longshot Cafe in Beecroft. It’s located in a quiet area of Oatlands, right next door to a kids’ playground. We always get great food and coffee from The Bells Road Social. They also have an in-house pastry chef – a Hills District Mum, who makes the most fabulous desserts and sweet treats! If you have younger kids, you will need to be down at the playground to supervise them but The Bells Road Social has blankets for you to take down for a picnic.

The Baron + Castle Hill station playground, Castle Hill

Old Castle Hill Road

With the construction of Castle Hill station and the landscaping of the surrounding area, a new playground has been added which we weren’t expecting! It’s right outside Castle Towers and opposite The Baron, where you can pick up a coffee. Then it’s straight across the road for a play. The playground is only small and is definitely for younger kids but handy if you need a break and some fresh air and sunshine while shopping! There is no shade but we visited in Autumn and it was lovely in the sun! It’s not technically fenced but is set back from the roads in a landscaped area. You would need to watch kids though, as always.

Coffee Embassy + Willsford Homes Reserve, Northmead

Kleins and Beamish Roads

The Coffee Embassy is very popular with locals, we suspect because they do a great coffee and apparently the egg and bacon rolls are awesome as well. Just across the road is a sweet little corner park containing classic play equipment. There’s some seating and shade from trees. There’s also a patch of grass and a couple of paths for riding a scooter. You should easily find a car spot on Beamish or Kleins Roads.

Cafe El’s + Caroline Chisholm park, Winston Hills

Caroline  Chisholm Drive

Cafe Els is definitely a favourite among locals in Winston Hills for its great coffee and food, warm service and cool fit out. And just across the road is a great little park. In fact there are actually two playgrounds on this corner, so if the kids get tired of one you can stroll across to the other! You can park either on the street or beneath the mall.

Mint Fresh IGA Baker Cres and McBurney Reserve, Baulkham Hills 

Baker Cres, Baulkham Hills

Mint Fresh IGA at Baker Cres shops serve a great Campos coffee! Just behind the shops there is a little playground which is relatively new. You could also pick up a treat from David’s Cakes.

The Leaf Cafe + Pebble Crescent park, The Ponds

Riverbank Drive and Pebble Crescent

This is a great little spot for a lazy morning spent with a coffee and in the playground. You can park in The Ponds Shopping Centre then stroll through to pick up your coffee. It’s also handy if you need to grab a couple of things for dinner at the supermarket. Head back out and across the carpark and this great playground is right there. It has seating, shade sails, lots of space for running or scootering and sculptures to explore.

Further afield

Limestone Cafe and the Livvi’s Playground, Elara Marsden Park

Elara Boulevard, Marsden Park

The brand new playground is not directly next door to the cafe but it’s only a couple of hundred metres away! Well worth a trip.

The Ugly Mug and Richmond Park Oval playground, Richmond

Windsor Street, Richmond

We haven’t actually visited and are going off a tip given to us by another Hills District Mum. The Ugly Mug Richmond always gets a good wrap on HDM and the playground at Richmond Oval has recently been refurbished.

The Picnic Burwood Park – Burwood

Corner of Park Avenue and Burwood Road Burwood.

Nestled in Burwood Park The Picnic is a funky cafe which is constantly buzzing. Just up from the cafe is a fantastic fully fenced and shaded playground. Well worth a trip!

The Grounds Keeper Cafe – Ryde

30 Argyle Avenue Ryde

In the heart of Ryde Park this popular cafe is always busy. The playground is great for babies, toddlers and pre-school aged kids and there are good paths to ride or scoot around as well as a basketball court for a flat wide area.