Update: Unfortunately, Eve & Olivia’s is now closed.
I was quite determined to continue frequenting restaurants and cafés when I began life with Kids in TOw.
But in reality with dates under the age of six, we tend to hit restaurants during that 5 pm family-friendly hour and our café visits are much quicker than they used to be kid-free. So I was relieved to find a growing number of cafés in the city where little kids have a place to keep busy and you are certain to find a community of neighbourhood parents needing a cup of coffee and “alone time” as much as you.
Add Eve & Olivia’s Café + Play to that list. Opened last month along Queen St. E in The Beach, this coffee shop has your typical café offerings with a cozy and safe spot for the six-and-unders to play. The natural light-filled space is clean and welcoming. (You’re sure to find owner Evelyn greeting guests and making them feel at home.)
My two-year-old was pretty content to explore the small gated kids area in the centre of the room. It has small slide, kid kitchen and playhouse, plus some books and toys. Parents can keep an eye from the tables outside or hop in and join (or intervene) if needed.
If you’re looking to top up the coffee and tea with some fresh air and get those little legs really moving, head south. It’s only 500m to The Beach Boardwalk.
Getting there: The café is located on the south side of Queen St. E in between Woodbine Ave and Kingston Rd. Free residential parking on side streets. Paid Green P parking lots and street parking along Queen St. is $2.25/hr. Stroller parking in back room.
Low-down: One time drop-in to the play area is $6 for each child (there are pass packs available.) Free entry for parents, guardians, and babies under 12 months with siblings who have a play pass. Socks only.
Potty time: Two family large family washrooms.
Snacks: No outside food, other than baby food. A typical café drink menu with a selection of baked goods, some fruit and pre-made sandwiches. (All served on disposable cups and plates, so bring your own reusables if that’s your thing.)
In the hood: We love Queen St. East and its close proximity to the beach. Due south is Ashbridge’s Bay and the start of the Beach Boardwalk. To the west is Woodbine Park with a playground, splash pad and large pond great for duck watching. There are also a number of paved paths which are perfect for kids biking and scootering. The Beach Cinema is just past Woodbine Park at Kingston Rd. Kids need a haircut? Across the street is Beach Kidz Kutz.