My preschooler and I recently spent a string of chilly gray days visiting these Twin Cities coffee shops to give you an idea of where you might bring your little one(s) for both a cozy indoor play space and a decent cup of joe. If you know of a similar place where kids can spread out in an area dedicated to them, please drop us a line.
While we have lost some small shops during the last few years, we have verified that the remaining shops on this list are open as of 1/9/2022. However, we recommend calling ahead to verify play spaces are open. Many of these shops are small and are limiting the number of people in the shop.
Kid-friendly Twin Cities Coffee Shops in Minneapolis & St Paul
Sovereign Grounds | Minneapolis
813 East 48th Street, Minneapolis, MN 55417
Call Ahead: (612) 825-6157
Owned by one of our charter school families, I was especially eager to get to this Twin Cities coffee shop. This is a place that takes children seriously; hence the full name Sovereign Grounds Indoor Playground & Coffeehouse. It tops our list of java joints to bring the kiddos because the space is large (an entire dedicated room), clean (don’t forget to remove your shoes to save the new carpeting), and stocked with quality playthings. Tables are a little squeezed, but their proximity to the toys means you can easily keep an eye on your kid while you sip great coffee and chat with a friend (should you be so lucky to do so). Prepare for a buzz of morning activity that eases up after the lunch hour. A bathroom is conveniently nearby and the coffeehouse menu includes fresh bakery items, interesting salads, and plenty of inexpensive child-pleasing snacks. Don’t miss this one — the biggest thumbs-up from my 3-year-old.
Dunn Brothers Coffee | Linden Hills, Minneapolis
2814 W 43rd St., Minneapolis, MN 55410
Call Ahead: (612) 925-5669
Kids can enjoy a small space with a chalkboard and a shelf of toys while parents might manage to get their daily caffeine intake at a very nearby table. In my experience with Dunn Brothers, I think many of the franchise locations carve out a spot for kids; this particular locale is my favorite because it’s located in lovely Linden Hills. There’s so much within walking distance of this Twin Cities coffee shop for kids to enjoy (see our 5 Spots to Stop in Linden Hills, Minneapolis post) that it’s easy to make an afternoon of it, once properly caffeinated, of course.
Ginkgo Coffeehouse | St Paul
721 N. Snelling Ave, St. Paul, MN 55104
Call Ahead: (651) 645-2647
Ginkgo’s little space for children is tucked away between some shelving and is fairly no-frills. There’s a shaggy patch of carpet to sit on and blackboard along the wall to scribble on with a few stubs of chalk. A few toys, board games and books at this Twin Cities coffee shop will entertain preschoolers for a short while – maybe long enough for mom to nosh on a grilled panini or some of Gingko’s special veggie lasagna? Also look for kid-friendly concerts on select Saturday mornings. A kid-sized scoop of ice cream is an inexpensive treat.
Amy’s Cupcake Shoppe | Hopkins
701 Mainstreet, Hopkins, Minnesota 55343
Call Ahead: (952) 479-7516
FFTC was there — scarfing cupcakes, sipping coffee and with the kids happily occupied — when this sweet shoppe hosted its grand opening summer of 2016. Kids can get busy baking their own cupcake creations while you sit a spell nearby.
Silverwood Park Café | Saint Anthony
2500 County Road E., St. Anthony, MN 55421
Call Ahead: (763) 694-7707
The Visitor Center at Silverwood Park is a great way to sneak in coffee, art and nature all in one. Bonus that they keep a kid-friendly cart of books and activities and, as part of the Three Rivers Park District, there are often family-friendly programs – particularly on Sunday afternoons. The downside, you do need to watch them near the art, but the upside is you can explore the park a little before heading home.
FIKA | American Swedish Institute, Minneapolis
2600 Park Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55407
Call Ahead: (612) 871-4907
While FIKA itself is not particularly kid-friendly, it is a wide open space with lots of light and delicious pastries. Because its located at the entrance to ASI, it can be combined with a visit to the family gallery to become a kid-friendly outing. The best time to visit is on Kids At The Castle days.
Black Sheep Coffee Café | South St. Paul
705 Southview Blvd South, Saint Paul, MN 55075
Phone: (651) 554-0155
“Black Sheep in South St Paul is very VERY kid and family friendly! Lots of toys, comfy armchairs (nursing friendly), As well as larger tables” Thank you to our reader, Allie, for this recommendation.
Minisota Play Café | Maple Grove
12055 Elm Creek Blvd., Maple Grove, MN 55369
Phone: (763) 432-0428
Thanks to Reader, Cassie, for reminding us to add the Minisota Play Café. Note that, unlike the rest of these options, there is a cover charge for children and a one-drink minimum for accompanying adults. However, also unlike the other spaces, this café is more of a “play space with a café” as opposed to a “café with a play space”.
Community Grounds | Columbia Heights
560 40th Ave NE, Columbia Heights, MN 55421
Phone: (763) 762-7968
Thank you to Chris for this suggestion. With its mission to be a welcoming gathering space, Community Grounds has a large play space for children. They are currently only open on Fridays and Saturdays, 9am-12pm.
More Indoor Play Suggestions
Need to get out of the elements for the day? Try one of these activities:
Twin Cities Indoor Playgrounds & Play Areas – use our comprehensive guide to find a new space to wear those littles out.
Twin Cities Indoor Waterparks & Pools – splash, slide and swim away the cold weather blues.
Open Gym for Kids – keep the little ones moving indoors throughout the chilly months.
Kids Storytimes – hosted at highly kid-friendly venues around the Twin Cities. Great free entertainment.
Indoor games for kids – 75+ ideas to beat boredom when you’re stuck inside. And categorized by age!
I hope these suggestions for Twin Cities coffee shops can help make a dent in your winter. My little sidekick and I thoroughly enjoyed our research and would love to hear about where YOU meet up for coffee, conversation and a little playtime.
Note: The featured image shows A Cupcake Social, which permanently closed in 2020.