HOT: Playshed Cafe, Thomastown

Playshed Cafe in Thomastown has a unique selling proposition – it’s an indoor play centre especially designed for children aged 0-7. I don’t know of any other indoor play space in Melbourne where the whole area is for little kids, rather than just a portion of the floorspace.

We visit mid-morning on a cold winter’s weekday and the place is pretty full as the play cafe is not large. This means that Baby 2.0, a boisterous 3 year old, keeps running to people and I have to keep reminding him to watch for younger children.

Playshed Cafe, 6 Abruzzo Crescent, Thomastown

I actually think the equipment in this Thomastown indoor play cafe is more suited to 5 and under. It’s perfect for really young kids because everything is soft and padded. The rides and equipment are gently exciting – short slides, slow merry-go-rounds, miniature kitchen setups. Under 3s have a separate area of their own which is enclosed by low foam blocks with foam toys and blocks.

Playshed Cafe, 6 Abruzzo Crescent, Thomastown

At play shed cafe, the bank of slides into the ball pit is the most popular attraction for Baby 2.0, as well as the ride-on cars and the padded pendulum swings.

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Playshed Cafe, 6 Abruzzo Crescent, Thomastown

I don’t think there’s enough equipment there to keep a 5+ child amused for too long. I certainly wouldn’t trust an older child to be careful of the babies, so I would hesitate to take an older kid along. There is a bench signed ‘Ipad lab’ but the device mounts remain empty on our visit and I don’t see anyone using the space.

Playshed Cafe, 6 Abruzzo Crescent, Thomastown

As the centre is a single room with a cafe area at the front, there are good sight lines on all of the equipment. Most parents are inside the play space with their young children anyway.

There’s only one gated entry/exit and the space is clean and well-lit. There doesn’t appear to be any heating (or it’s not very effective) but the kids all seem fine and I just keep my coat and scarf on.

You’re not allowed to BYO food (baby food and formula excepted) and we decide to give the cafe a miss. At a glance it looks to have a fairly standard offering.  There are change facilities and high chairs.

Playshed Cafe Thomastown is a cheap local option if you have really young children when the weather’s wet or cold. However, I don’t think it’s large enough to entertain or excite active kids older than five for very long.

Read more tips on places to go with babies and toddlers.

HOT Tips:

  • Pram-friendly;
  • Free unlimited off-street parking parking;
  • Entry fee includes unlimited play. No need to book;
  • Children and adults must wear socks. No socks no play;
  • You cannot BYO food and drinks, baby food and formula excepted;
  • High chairs, kids menu;
  • Change facilities; and
  • Party rooms and packages available.

About Joyce Watts

Joyce Watts is a former intellectual property, IT and media lawyer turned serial entrepreneur.

As well as being the founder of TOT: HOT OR NOT she helps businesses with their SEO, email marketing & social media as BrightSmart.com.au; she owns an online bike store CycleStyle.com.au and develops and produces creative experiences for families via WheelieGoodFun.com. She used to publish another popular lifestyle and food blog called MEL: HOT OR NOT The decisive guide to Melbourne.

She lives in inner-city Melbourne with her husband, two children and seven bikes.

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