North-side mums who like a spot of op-shopping, good coffee, and easy parking - listen up!
Remember what it was like before you had kids and you had a nice small car, that smelled like 'car' and didn't have some sort of wheat-based snack scattered all over the back seat? Yes, well those days are gone, and it's highly possible that you now have a large 'mum' car that smells like damp socks and sour dairy, and it's a total 'mofo' to park!
So all the mums with farm vehicles for school pick-up kinda cars, this day-trip starts with three, free hours of parking in a very large parking space. The spots at Alderley's Coles supermarket even have 'door opening' allocations, so when your delightful tot flings the door open, you won't ding the Mercedes parked next to you!
Even with my crappy park there's enough room to open the door and not have to exchange contact details!
You now have a choice - you can do your grocery shopping and then go get coffee and try your luck in the op shop, OR you can do things the easy way and use Coles 'Click and Collect' service (offered at limited locations), and best of all- it's free! You order online, someone will bring your groceries to the car and voila!
Now the fun stuff- coffee and cake! Directly across from Coles on South Pine road is the BrisBean cafe, with heaps of seating and plenty of yummy treats! As well as cakes and snacks, if you're after something a bit more filling, BrisBean also have a breakfast and lunch menu available.
My toddler examining his op-shop loot at BrisBean
Time for a spot of retail therapy, and there are two really great op-shops located within walking distance of where you parked. The first is right next door to the cafe, the Australian Red Cross Shop. They have a great selection of novels all priced at $2 a pop and a good range of ladies clothing. They also have a 'lucky dip' for the little kids and at 50c a turn, it's pretty sweet!
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If you then walk down the the road a little (toward the city), you'll find the Salvos Shop. This op-shop has quite a good selection of kids toys and books as well as some bargain kitchen and home wares.
Australian Red Cross, Alderley
If you have any oomph left and want to kick about in a park or playground, Grinstead Park is located a few minutes drive down the road. Or you can try Sedgely Park in Newmarket (park on Moran or Sedgely St), also only a few minutes drive away.
Both parks have toilets, plenty of shade and play equipment, pine bark soft fall, good parking, and are well away from busy roads.