A generation of kids is going to grow up thinking the smell of roasting coffee beans is the smell of childhood. Seriously. At this point, I’m sure Anneka thinks of some the local coffee shops as her extended living room.
Before Anneka was born, Sarah and I spent a lot of time in coffee shops. We like our beverages – we’re as picky about our coffee as we are about our craft beer (though Sarah isn’t as big a stickler on coffee … she sometimes just uses it for the caffeine). We’d hop from place to place, often roosting at our favorite local shops to read and – in my case – to crank out blog content.
Now that we have a little person, we can’t just go anywhere. It has to meet a few needs and have a few features to make it kid-friendly for us.
So what is a kid-friendly coffee shop? Here’s a partial list of what to look for in a kid-friendly coffee shop – feel free to add anything I’ve forgotten.
- Sofas. A sofa is always a good place to plop the car seat, and also to let the little person get comfortable.
- A reasonable noise level. Kids can be loud, I know. But some coffee shops drive the volume up way too much. Add an energetic kid to the mix, and you’re going to have a racket. Plus it can just be sensory overload for them.
- A bit of space. Kids come with baggage – or accessories, rather. I don’t like to infringe on other people, so I’m not likely to take Anneka to a space that’s cool but cramped. I prefer a bit more sprawling and relaxed.
- Reliable Internet. Even in 2015, this isn’t a given. It’s not necessarily a deal-breaker. Sometimes, Anneka will need a bit of attention and I won’t be able to do much writing. But it’s still good to keep the network running smoothly.
- Great coffee. Everything else means jack and squat if you don’t have great coffee. We’re getting pretty lucky right now – we’ve had a few new places open up, and they’re aiming high. That can only create competition that forces everyone else to bump up their efforts.
We spend most of our time at Echo Coffee because it’s close to our house. But we’ve also grown to love the new Maverick Coffee (see my review here) and the even newer HAZELROCK Coffee + Sweets. They are all what I’d consider kid-friendly coffee shops. We tend to avoid Cartel Coffee Lab despite the great coffee – it’s just a bit too loud and uncomfortable for kids, I think.
What are the kid-friendly coffee shops you go to? What makes them good for your small people?