Where can parents go to have a nice cup of coffee while keeping their tots entertained for hours on end? For moms, dads, babies, and even caretakers, who are looking for an oasis away from home, Walnut Creek’s newly opened Small Talk Family Café delivers a space for grown-ups and their kids. Finally catch up with your friends while your kiddos happily entertain themselves (within sight, of course).


Photo by Christal Yuen

Why Go
Flexible, convenient and comfortable: Small Talk Family Café caters to every parent’s unpredictable and always changing schedule needs. Drop in with tot in one arm and purchase a cup of coffee, which gives your kiddo 20 minutes of free play while you relax.

Small Talk is also a clean and safe space for your kids to romp around while you connect with your friends (online or off, they have free wifi). Kids can play with trains, a rocking giraffe or inside the miniature house! Or take weekly music, yoga or mom and infant classes before indulging in some free play. There are so many toys and activities, your kids may never want to leave.

Small Talk is not a babysitting space, so parents must self-supervise their kids. Thankfully, the café is so cozy that your little runaway won’t be able to leave your sight. The furniture is strategically placed to minimize kids from racing about without making them feel trapped.


For the Community, by the Community
With roots sown right here in Walnut Creek, Small Talk Family Cafe began when founder and mom of two Carolyn couldn’t find a space where chatty parents, hot coffee, breakable ceramic cups and energetic kids could mingle. So she decided to take matters into her own hand and carve out a much needed spot for Bay Area parents. And you can bet that everything at Small Talk — from the kind of toys your kid plays with to the scrumptious food choices — are mom and dad certified suggestions.


Just for Babies
The baby play space is a no-shoe zone that’s completely padded and fenced off from the big kids. Lounge on comfy couches as your little crawler moves about to their heart’s content. And the changing room is not too far off — while there’s table in the bathroom, there’s also a open back room dedicated for nappy changes so that your crying babe doesn’t have to wait.

Delicious Food and Drinks
All the food here has gone through a rigorous mom-approval process before making the menu. As a nut-free and fair trade zone, Small Talk keeps their food fresh. Sandwiches and salads are made on the spot, while the small selection of baked goods come from City Baking Company. We recommend the real tummy satisfying prosciutto, brie and fig spread with arugula sandwich. Kids especially love the cocoa drink!


Amazing Down To the Last Detail
It’s the littlest, parent-minded details that will truly make your experience at Small Talk Family Café amazing. While you’re ordering coffee, your kid can play with a chalk and magnet board to pass the “what-seems-like-forever” time. Toys are also sanitized daily, and bathrooms are kid-friendly, with stools, diaper trash cans, potty training seats and even a detachable faucet to make sure those little sticky hands are cleaned. But the best part of Small Talk is that moms and dads can rest their hot, hot coffee on a kid-inaccessible shelves, away from curious hands.


The 411
Small Talk Family Café is located in the Newell Promenade shopping center, which is just off of the 680. Park in the promenade’s spacious parking lot.

Admission is $5 for 20-40 minutes of free play with café purchase, or $10 admission (sans café purchase) for over 40 minutes of play. Children attending a paid class or activity also get to play for free. Frequent visitors can get a membership admission of $40 for 5 regular admission; $30 for five sibling admissions, and enjoy 20% discount for siblings and patrons after 1pm.

Sat.-Tues. 9a.m.-2p.m.
Wednes.-Fri. 9a.m.-5p.m.

Some Fridays or special days Small Talk will be open until 7p.m., and on certain Sundays they may be closed for events or classes. These opening hours are still in beta, so please check the website for updates.

1536 Newell Ave.
Walnut Creek, Ca
Online: smalltalkfamilycafe.com/

Pst — there’s a grand opening special of $99 for a three-month membership! You heard it first here at Red Tricycle.

— Christal Yuen

All photos taken by Shelby Oliver Photography unless otherwise indicated