My parents just flew home to the UK, after a month staying with us in Sydney. It was great to see them again of course, and they were very excited to meet their first grandchild, Max! They have been to Sydney twice before, so have already seen and done a lot of its main attractions. And this time, we needed to find places they would enjoy, but were also baby friendly (Max was 7-12 weeks old during their stay). Below is a summary of where we went, as well as a few notes on how baby friendly they were.
Drinks and snacks at Cronulla RSL. It was really busy and tables with water views were obviously taken, but we managed to get a table with plenty of room for the pram. There was live acoustic music on, but luckily Max loves loud sounds and slept through it all. Max is a bit young, but they have lots of activities on these school holidays for 5-year olds, such as Harry Potter Potion Workshops and Kids Bingo.
My parents went to Taronga Zoo, whilst I took Max to Bring Your Baby at Event Cinemas in Hurstville. Anyone can attend these movie sessions, as long as they don’t mind babies crying occasionally. Unfortunately, the lift at the cinema was not working, so I had to get the pram up a few stairs. Luckily a lady passing by helped. In the evening, we enjoyed Vivid at Taronga, which was incredibly pram and baby friendly, but we decided to leave Max at home due to the cold and rain.
After Mother’s Group, a group of us mums went to Tidz in Oatley for lunch and coffee. We always end up here, as there is lots of room outside (under cover) for the prams, and the service is great. Not to mention the cakes!
The weather had improved, so we all did a daytrip to the Blue Mountains. It was a bit chilly, but we still enjoyed a picnic at Govett’s Leap in their picnic shelters, walked down to Evan’s Lookout (there are a few steps, but it’s okay with a pram), and enjoyed a cream tea at Bygone Beautys. There wasn’t a huge amount of room for the pram, but luckily the cafe wasn’t busy and the staff were very accommodating.
Shopping day at Westfield in Hurstville. They have the best parents room with a microwave, a section with privacy curtains and big comfy chairs for breastfeeding, padded change mats and adjoining sinks to wash your hands (very useful after a poonami!), a gated play area for toddlers and a huge cubicle with toilets and sinks for adults and children.
Another sunny day, so we walked over the bridge to Como and enjoyed brunch overlooking George’s River at Blackfish Cafe as well as a few purchases from Riverside Markets. The coffee van gave us some hot water to heat up Max’s milk.
A trip to the Eastern Suburbs started with coffee and cake (from the take-away van) in Centennial Park. There was a bit of a queue for the coffee and there were no toilets nearby, so we just changed Max in the back of the car. The heavens opened as soon as we got to Coogee, so we sheltered at Coogee Pavillion. Due to the rain, it was extremely busy, but luckily we managed to grab the last table in the unreserved area for lunch (there was an hour or so wait for a table in the reserved area). And it even had a bit of space for the pram.
Shopping day today at Southpoint Shopping Centre, specifically for TK Maxx. The parent’s room was huge, but the cafe gave us a measly amount of water to heat the milk up.
Who would have thought that Opera Bar would have the second best parent’s room I had yet to experience (after Westfield in Hurstville – see above). They even have a padded change mat (which doesn’t sound like much, but comfort is important). The bar also provided us with 2 large ice buckets full of hot water for the milk. My parents did the Opera House tour & saw the Book of Mormon, but Max & I went home early.
We got the train to Cronulla, for a delicious cheese plate right next to the beach at Zimzala (the parents room was great) and a stroll along the beach.
The weather was awful, so we decided to go to the historic Old Government House in Parramatta. Normally, they don’t allow prams into the house, but as there were only a couple of other visitors, they said we could take ours in (we carried Max up the stairs to see those rooms). The parents’ room was surprisingly good and the cafe bought us some hot water for the milk (albeit a bit slow).
A leisurely day in Oatley, including dinner and trivia at Oatley RSL. Max wasn’t much help with our team, as he slept the whole time!
Another day trip; this time to Cape Solander to do some whale watching (we saw 2!), Kurnell Visitor Centre (including Captain Cook’s Landing Place) and a seafood platter at Headland Hotel in Austinmer. This pub is extremely large and is very family friendly, with a ramp, lots of room for prams and not to mention, the stunning coastal views.
Busby’s Bar must be Sydney’s best kept secret bar! After enjoying the harbour views and a drink there, Max & I joined my parents at The Calyx for high tea. Very generously, The Calyx said that I could join my parents for high tea for free, as the tea was unlimited and my parents couldn’t eat all the cakes themselves. Neither the Calyx nor Busby’s have a parents room, but there is one next to the Botanic Garden’s shop (it doubles as a disabled toilet).
After grabbing a take-away coffee in Balmain and enjoying it with harbour views, we drove to Watson’s Bay for more harbourside views and a seafood lunch at Watson’s Bay Boutique Hotel. We used our own water to heat up the milk, and the used the parent’s room in the foyer of the accommodation section (as the one in the pub part was locked).
After a girl’s day shopping at Westfield Miranda without Max (grandad babysat), the 4 adults went to Cafe Opera (at Sydney Intercontinental) for their sumptuous seafood buffet. If you book through the link on this page, you can also enjoy the buffet for 2 people from less than $45 each. And if you go for lunch on a Saturday or Sunday, it costs just $74.50 for the buffet and bottomless sparkling wine and cocktails!
Max met his first koala, and kangaroos, echidnas, penguins etc today, at Featherdale Wildlife Park. Despite being a place so popular with families, there was no parents room. Instead, they have a basic change table in the cramped female toilets which blocks one of the cubicles when folded down.
Chris & I celebrated our 5-year anniversary with a stunning meal at Rockpool Bar & Grill. Their steaks are surely the best in Sydney, and their passionfruit pavlova never fails to disappoint.
We decided to stay local today and walked to Mortdale, for some shopping, as well as cake and coffee at one of my favourite cafes, Patisserie New York. If you try any of their cakes, you will find out why its one of my favourites.
Mum & I went to Vaucluse Tearooms, for a lovely baby shower, whilst Dad & Chris had a boys day with Max. Afterwards, we met my aunt, uncle & 2 family friends (who all live in Melbourne) at the restaurant in their hotel for dinner. It had been almost 5 years since my mum had seen her sister and the first time the Melburnians had met Max! The hotel said we could enjoy Eve’s Bar menu in their restaurant (as we weren’t that hungry), which was generous of them. Surprisingly, the hotel reception and Four Elements Restaurant did not have a parents room (or even a bathroom with a change table), so we just changed Max in his pram in the disabled toilet. I guess most of the residents simply change their babies in their hotel room.
After catching the ferry to Manly, we all enjoyed lunch at Manly Wine. The food and service was excellent – my mum actually said it was her favourite meal of her trip. The bar didn’t have a parents room, so we changed Max in the adjoining Sebel Hotel.
We enjoyed Cronulla RSL so much on 3rd June, that we decided to celebrate my aunt’s birthday here today. In fact, Chris & I became members which allowed us to take advantage of the 2-4-1 meals (valid Monday to Thursday lunch and dinner, until 31st August).
It was my parents’ last full day. Having done all of the things on their wishlist, I suggested we have a drink at Barangaroo, then get the ferry to Cockatoo Island. Barangaroo House Rooftop Bar doesn’t open until 3pm midweek, so before the ferry, we enjoyed a quick coffee at Banksii instead. The majority of Cockatoo Island is pram friendly (luckily there is a ramp to the top section of the island, though it is pretty steep), but the section at the top front of the island (near the tennis courts and holiday cottages) has a few steps (so we skipped this bit). By the time we got back to Barangaroo, Smoke Rooftop Bar was open – unfortunately, we discovered that they don’t allow under 18s, but their bar on the ground floor does, so we shared a refreshing cocktail jug and antipasto plate there. For my parents’ last night, we enjoyed dinner at Postcards from Napoli. The restaurant was as buzzing and noisy as normal. The service was a little slow at the start, but they soon more than made up for it, with delicious, authentic Italian food and a free round of limoncello shots. They also asked another group to move tables shortly after we arrived, so that there would be more room for Max’s pram.