Five places for play areas and coffee around Ipswich

The play area at the Swallow, in Ipswich

The play area at the Swallow, in Ipswich - Credit: Brewers Fayre

When out and about with the family, sitting down for a coffee or a bite to eat with little ones in tow is not always an easy task.

With many great coffee shops to eat and drink in and around Ipswich, here are five places offering toys, activities, and more to divert tots and young children's attention while enjoying refreshments.

1. Strong Beans

Strong Beans, which is located in Claydon Community Centre has a variety of toys for children to play with

Strong Beans, which is located in Claydon Community Centre has a variety of toys for children to play with - Credit: Graham Reid

Where: Church Lane, Claydon, Ipswich IP6 0EG

Strong Beans, run by Graham Reid is based in Claydon Community Centre. It has a number of toys out every day, including cars, a mini kitchen and a rollercoaster. 

On top of this, when the community centre's hall is not in use, children can use it as a space to run around. 

Strong Beans picnic platter is homemade and delicious 

Strong Beans picnic platter is homemade and delicious - Credit: Graham Reid

As for the menu, Strong Beans' chef has 25 years of experience, and all cakes and scones are homemade. 

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2. Fishface 

The children's basement at Fishface Upholstery 

The children's basement at Fishface Upholstery - Credit: Fishface Upholstery

Where: 11 The Walk, Ipswich IP1 1EA

Fishface is an upholsterer with a difference, offering a calm gentle place for parents to sit down with a coffee, while children are kept safe and secure in a space created just for them. 

The shop has a basement which they have converted into a children's area, with toy trains, rocking horses and lego. 

Penny Williams, owner of Fishface said: "When I had young kids I really wanted to be in an adult environment sometimes. It is nice that people can feel like they're in an adult coffee bar, and that kids can wander around without disturbing anyone."

3. The Swallow

Parents can join their kids and drink their coffee in the play area

Parents can join their kids and drink their coffee in the play area - Credit: Brewers Fayre

Where: 3 Augusta Close, IP3 9SS

A pub in Ipswich, the Swallow offers access to an indoor soft play area.

Activities include 'messy play' such as crafting masks, painting, as well as storytime and nursery rhymes for £4. 

The team also offer the chance for kids to watch DVDs in the den, including Sherlock Gnomes, and Paw Patrol, and have a toddler area with beanbags.  

Unlimited coffee is available for parents, who can eat in the play area if they want to supervise their children.

The Swallow also offers itself as a venue for kids' parties, with capacity for up to 20 children. 

4. Geek Retreat 

Geek Retreat ready for the parent and toddler session

Geek Retreat ready for the parent and toddler session - Credit: Geek Retreat

Where: 41A Upper Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1DU

Offering something slightly different, and more suitable for older children, Geek Retreat has a whole range of activities, including their Parents and Tots sessions, Kids Dungeons and Dragons, and Warhammer 40,000. 

Greek retreat also offers sessions playing the popular trading card games Yugioh, Pokemon and Magic the Gathering, which are suitable for both new players and experienced card nerds.

The weekly calendar for Geek Retreats activities

The weekly calendar for Geek Retreats activities - Credit: Geek Retreat

Finally, they also offer a specialist session every Wednesday for parents and carers with autistic children, which they describe as a "safe space where you and your family won't be judged."

5. Yaya's House

Yaya's House, a new soft play centre has opened in Hintlesham Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Yaya's House is like a tiny town for tots - Credit: Charlotte Boond

Where: Birch Farm Children’s Centre, Silver Hill, Hintlesham IP8 3NJ

While Yaya's House is mostly focused on the kid's side of things, featuring a whole town in miniature, adults can sit, drink coffee and eat light snacks while their kids play. 

The miniature town, which is designed for role play, features a veterinarian, school, theatre, sandpit, supermarket, fire station and beauticians, while the menu includes jacket potatoes, paninis and pasta. 

All the food is made on-site, and the establishment has two full-time chefs. It is very popular, so booking ahead is always recommended. 

Their sessions are 9-11:30 and 12:15 - 2:45 and are all bookable via our website