Kid-Friendly Coffee Shops

8 local spots to get out and fuel up
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Parenting calls for early mornings, late nights, and an endless amount of energy. These 8 local java stops offer zip in a cup and perks to keep kids happy.

The Hobbyist

Located in Villa Heights, this NoDa hot spot is a true neighborhood coffee and spirits gathering place. General Manager Alice Pilch says their tiniest customers rave about the hot chocolate, bagels, kronuts (croissant dough pastry), banana bread, muffins, and mini doughnuts (served Saturday and Sunday only). Enjoy fresh air and social distancing on the patio and catch live music every Friday starting at 7 p.m. For the grown-ups, The Hobbyist offers an extensive coffee, espresso, tea, wine, and beer list. 2100 N Davidson St.

If you’re looking for a winter afternoon outing, head to Queen City Grounds flagship location at 644 N. Church Street in Fourth Ward. Start with a hot chocolate or fruit smoothie, nosh on fresh baked goods, then visit Discovery Place Science Museum, which is less than half a mile away. Find comfy couches in the mezzanine, where staff hopes to put books and games back out for patrons to enjoy pending loosening of COVID restrictions. 644 N Church St.

CupLux Coffee Drive-Thru

For those days when you NEED coffee and the baby is finally asleep and the idea of getting all three kids out of the car just seems like too much, hit the CupLux Coffee Drive-Thru. Treat yourself to an espresso (with two shots), cold brew slushee, breakfast, baked goods, tea, coffee (hot or iced), or a delicious cold brew recently added to the drink line up. 3115 Freedom Dr.

Caribou Coffee (Park Road Shopping Center)

An afternoon of errands calls for a tall cup of something warm and wonderful. Reward (read: bribe) your littlest helpers with something from Caribou’s kid offerings like frozen cookies & cream, a reindeer drink, hot chocolate (warm or frozen), strawberry banana yogurt smoothie, or silly soda. If your four-legged friend is joining you, treat them to a Caribou Pup Cup with 4 ounces of whipped cream. On the opposite side of the counter is a Brugger’s Bagels, where you can grab a quick breakfast or lunch. Go ahead and make it the best day ever with a visit to the toy store a few doors down. 4327 Park Rd.

Mac Tabby Cat Café

The café menu includes espressos, smoothies, coffee, snacks, and sweets, all served with a side of adorable CATS! Make online reservations to hang with the adoptable felines during normal business hours for children over 7. For those under 7, register for Kitty Time sessions the second and third Saturdays of the month from 10 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Plan an epic playdate and book a private room for an hour with up to four children under 7 (one adult per 2 children) for $95 on weekdays and $150 on weekends. The Concord location charges $75 for weekdays and $150 for weekends. Age restrictions apply only to the cat lounge; all are welcome to pull up a beanbag or comfortable chair and enjoy a hot chocolate or gluten-free or vegan friendly treat in the café space. NoDa and downtown Concord

Enderly Coffee

Looking for motivation to head out of the house? How about a s’more hot chocolate from Enderly Coffee? The special winter menu features hot chocolate served with a spoon of marshmallow fluff rolled in graham cracker crumbs. While you’re there, fill up on coffee, espresso, tea, smoothies, snacks, and free wifi. Don’t leave without a free lollipop and stickers!  2620 Tuckaseegee Rd.

Bitty & Beau’s Coffee

Amy and Ben Wright opened Bitty & Beau’s Coffee in Wilmington in 2016. The parents of four children (one with autism and two with Down syndrome) staffed the coffee shop with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in hopes of creating a path where they can be seen as valued, accepted, and included. Families are invited to sit and stay awhile and enjoy a hot or cold beverage, frappe, smoothie or snack. Be ready for an impromptu conga line or pop-up dance party. 1930 Camden Rd., Ste 236

Not Just Coffee

Since Miracle and James Yoder opened Not Just Coffee in 2011, this popular coffee shop has expanded to include six stores across the city, including the popular 7th Street spot in uptown. Order ahead with their Odeko app, grab a specialty drink, then head across the street to First Ward Park and let the kids play.

(Ed. Note: In 2021, Not Just Coffee and Undercurrent Coffee teamed up to form Night Swim Coffee. Their flagship location opened in the Oakhurst neighborhood in October; look for additional locations to open in 2022.)