My preschooler and I spent a string of chilly gray days visiting Twin Cities coffee shops and soaking in the ambiance of coffee drinks and espresso aromas. To give you an idea of the best coffee shops where you might bring your little one(s) for both a cozy indoor play space and a decent cup of joe, we’ve rounded up some of our favorites. 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 winter 2023. However, we recommend calling ahead to verify play spaces are open. Many of these coffee roasters are small and are limiting the number of people in the shop.
Our Favorite Kid-friendly Coffee Shops in Minneapolis & St Paul
Carma Coffee | Minneapolis
520 NE Lowry Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55418
Call Ahead: (612) 208-1253
Not as play-friendly as some of these other shops, it is still a relaxed atmosphere with a cool car theme where parents can get a good cup of coffee and kids can have cocoa with whipped topping.
Kid-Friendly Menu Options: Pastries, cookies, smoothies.
Corner Coffee Camden | Minneapolis
4155 N Thomas Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55412
Phone: (612) 404-4348
Thank you to our reader, Joy, for this suggestion. She tells us the café has a back room for families with seats for parents to sit and work while kids play. Corner Coffee also has an Uptown, Northeast Minneapolis and Downtown location.
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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.
Kid-Friendly Menu Options: Kids can get steamers or hot chocolate, milk and chocolate milk as well as a variety of teas and soft drink options. The bakery offers bagels, muffins, biscuits, pastries and cookies.
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, puzzles 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? In the summer, take advantage of the shop’s two outdoor patios. Also look for kid-friendly concerts on select Saturday mornings.
Kid-Friendly Menu Options: A kid-sized scoop of ice cream is an inexpensive treat.
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.
Kid-Friendly Menu Options: Kids will LOVE the cinnamon rolls and other sweet pastries.
Milkweed | Minneapolis
3822 E. Lake Street Minneapolis, MN 55406
Call Ahead: (612) 353-4752
A cozy shop for adults with a small supply of blocks and toys to keep younger kids entertained.
Mocha Momma’s Coffee | Minneapolis
300 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, MN 55401
Call Ahead: (612) 474-5400
Located inside Minneapolis Central Library in downtown Minneapolis, Mocha Momma’s is a perfect stop to cozy up and read together when you are done checking out your books. Need some play time, the children’s section of the library is right across the hall.
Ninth Street Soccer & Coffee | Minneapolis
801 SE 9th St, Minneapolis, MN 55414
Call Ahead: (612) 547-9799
Got a really active kid? Look for Kids Open Play from 10am-Noon on Tuesdays & Fridays. Sign up for Free here.
Rebe’s Play Café | Saint Paul
2054 St Clair Ave, St Paul, MN 55105
Call Ahead: (651) 440-9462
Open in August 2023 – Weekends 8-4pm and weeknights 5-7pm. Beginning September 2, 2023, hours will be daily 7am-7pm.
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.
Kid-Friendly Menu Options: Bakery items, snacks and kids’ juice and milk options.
South Metro Kid-Friendly Coffee Shops
Amy’s Cupcake Shoppe | Hopkins
701 Mainstreet, Hopkins, Minnesota 55343
Call Ahead: (952) 479-7516
As a small shop, Amy’s Cupcake is encouraging curbside pick up and requiring in-store masking. It is still a great place to grab a treat together. If you love Amy’s coffee, you can get a 32oz bottle of the cold brew to take home. Pair that with a dozen macarons and you can cozy up at home!
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.
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.
The Little Village | Cottage Grove
7750 Harkness Ave. S., Suite 101, Cottage Grove, MN 55016
Phone: (651) 203-7993
Another reader recommendation, the Little Village offers drop-in play, play passes and memberships. Children 9 and under pay a fee to play (includes play space, art supplies and rotating activities) while parents and teens are free. The café offers Dogwood Coffee, Sweet Science Ice Cream, as well as bakery items, fruits & veggies and charcuterie boards.
Mugshots Coffee Co.| Bloomington
3822 E. Lake Street Minneapolis, MN 55406
Call Ahead: (612) 353-4752
Plenty of seating, including couches and chairs arranged in quiet conversation areas with a small selection of books and games.
Kid-Friendly Menu Options: Pastries, sandwiches (available in halves) and cocoa.
North Metro Kid-Friendly Coffee Shops
The Battle Ground Café | White Bear Lake
2008 County Road E East, White Bear Lake, MN 55110
Phone: (651) 756-1401
This Game Store/Coffee shop serves Peace Coffee and vintage sodas. They have a supply of board games, card games and miniatures. Open from noon to 11pm, daytime hours are quiet.
Kid-Friendly Menu Options: Heggies Pizzas and Pastries.
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.
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”.
Peekabooboo’s Play Café | Albertville
5985 Large Ave NE, Albertville, MN 55301
Phone: (320) 260-2697
Offers a sensory room and indoor playground for small children and a small arcade for older kids. Snacks and coffee bar available for purchase. $11.50/child ages 6 months+; one free baby and one free adult with paid child.
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, crayons 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.
Kid-Friendly Menu Options: Kids and parents can enjoy soups, sandwiches and a variety of beverages, including espresso and lattes.
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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.
What We Are Watching
Peak Café | Edina
Edinborough Park, 7700 York Ave. S., Edina, MN 55424
Peak Café is currently closed, but if it reopens, it is a great place to grab a coffee and let the kids play. Adventure Peak is an indoor PlayPark within Edinborough Park. It is currently $9/child. We recommend checking prices before heading out.