8 Coffee Shops Indianapolis-Area Parents Love | Caffeinate with Babies and Toddlers

Written by Kate Amos with contributions by Sara Keller

You need your coffee fix and baby needs to play. You’ve tried taking your little one to Starbucks, haven’t you? They crawl on the floor, try to touch the burning fireplace, and pull the cord out of someone’s MacBook.

Oh, was that just my baby?

Well, trust me, there are better places in this city to drink your coffee while successfully parenting your babe. Luckily. With all the coffee shops Indianapolis and Central Indiana have to offer, some of the best are also incredibly baby-friendly. Below are my personal favorites.

Baby-Friendly Coffee Shops Indianapolis and Beyond

Criteria: Parent must be able to sit while enjoying their latte, the location must be indoors (because I need coffee in all kinds of weather), tiny babies must be FREE, and coffee must be available onsite or you must be able to drive-through on the way and BYO! Most of these java hot spots have plenty of play opportunities to entertain your toddlers and preschoolers as well, so families can bring the whole crew.

Busy Bee Play Cafe

5635 W 96th St Suite 200, Indianapolis

Did you know there is a place designed for adults to drink coffee while their babies play? If you haven’t been to Busy Bee Cafe yet, it’s time. This beautiful space is designed with intention in every detail. The open-ended toys and materials allow your kids to use their imagination while spending time in a space that feels like your friend’s amazing home play space. There’s even a special soft play area for infants. The coffee is delicious and other beverages are available too.

Admission: $10 per child. Monday – Friday: 9 am – 5 pm, Saturday 8 am – 12 pm. Second Tuesday Family Night 6 pm – 9 pm.

A table is covered with toy trains and tracks at Busy Bee Play Cafe, one of the baby-friendly coffee shops Indianapolis has to offer.

Rose and Lois

7249 E 146th St SUITE 110, Carmel

For parents, this charming coffee shop’s best feature might just be the play area tucked into a corner of the cafe. Grab a tea or a latte, then relax while your baby or toddler explores magnetic tiles and toys from the play kitchen. Rose and Lois’ menu includes several kid-friendly beverage and snack options as well if you happen to be visiting with baby’s older siblings.

Urban Brew

78 East Morgan Street, Martinsville

Pink, cheerful, and so much fun, Urban Brew Play Cafe is located in downtown Martinsville. Stop in for delicious and beautiful coffee beverages and specialty drinks. Pay a small per-child admission fee to gain access to the adorable play area. The pastel-colored climbing structure and slide immediately catch guests’ attention, but there’s also an enclosed, padded area for babies with plenty of toys and sensory activities. Play is limited to 10 children, ages 0-7, at a time, so reserve your spot online before you go! Babies under 6 months old always play free and children under 1 are free with a paid sibling.

Coffee at the Crossing

7745 N 600 W, McCordsville

At this cozy, adorable McCordsville coffee shop, you can sip a warm beverage and enjoy a treat in a real train car. This is not the first time this vehicle has been reimagined for an alternate use — in previous years, it housed a barber shop! “Board” the train from inside the main shop after you make your purchases. While not a play cafe, Coffee at the Crossing offers some toys and games to keep kids entertained. The train-themed decor adds to the charm for kids and adults alike.

Two young girls pretend to make coffee using play cups and coffee maker toys at Urban Brew Cafe.

Castleton Square, Greenwood Park, and Keystone at the Crossing Malls

Remember how you used to go to the mall because you wanted to go shopping? Well, life has changed. Now you can go there because you just want to sit and drink coffee! The play areas at both the Greenwood Park Mall and the Castleton Square Mall are enclosed, offer soft spaces, and have activities for the littlest of visitors. So grab your Starbucks on the way in, and have a seat.

Admission and hand sanitizer are free!
Castleton Square: 6020 E. 82nd Street, Indianapolis
Greenwood Park: 1251 US 31 N, Greenwood
Keystone at the Crossing (Fashion Mall): 8702 Keystone Crossing, Indianapolis

Barnes & Noble

Another place to get your Starbucks fix is Barnes and Noble. They have fantastic areas for kids including train tables, lego tables, and other materials to explore as well as scheduled story times. If baby isn’t into trains and legos, let her check out the amazing toy selection (and get started on your Christmas list).

Admission: Free
Greenwood: Greenwood Park Mall 1251 US 31 N, Greenwood
Indianapolis: 8675 River Crossing Blvd, Indianapolis
Carmel: 14790 Greyhound Plaza, Carmel

The Library

Many of the local libraries offer great free classes specially designed for babies. And you can bring your coffee! Check out my article on Baby Lapsit classes at the libraries. Even if you don’t go during class time, many local libraries have great areas where babies can play on soft mats, investigate beginner puzzles, and check out the ever-popular bead maze toys.

Some favorites are Greenwood Library, Carmel-Clay Public Library (which has a coffee shop on site), Johnson County’s Clark Pleasant Branch, the College and Fort Ben Branches of the Indy Public Library, and Central Library downtown! Central Library also includes a cafe with soups, sandwiches, and of course, coffee. Grab your favorite Joe and head to the local library to read and play with your little one. Or, just enjoy your caffeine buzz while she hits the keys on the computer.

Admission: Free

Lucabe Coffee Co. – Downtown Columbus

310 4th Street, Columbus

A short, one-hour drive from Indianapolis is the city of Columbus, Indiana. Home to the Commons indoor playground and kidscommons children’s museum, this welcoming town also has a coffee shop with the most adorable play area. The space is enclosed and a bar with tall stools allows grown-ups to sip their beverages and even chat or work while watching little ones playing independently inside. You’ll find storybooks, sensory toys, trains and blocks, a pretend cafe with a wooden espresso machine, and more.

Here’s where you can grab a beer at a family-friendly brewery.

Get out and play around Indy with your toddler or preschooler!

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