Tag Archives: parentrooms

Glitter Kids Cafe – fun, affordable, and good food. Balmain Rd, Lilyfield.

Overall: Lovely. Nappy change, feed, rest, and loads of play.

Good Points: Affordable! $2 entry fee for kids. Good food on the menu, at reasonable prices. Party room upstairs. Bright comfortable seating. Loads of table space. Indoor and outdoor covered activity areas. Ball pit just inside the safety gate of the cafe. Massive chalkboard wall. Dolls house. Painting stations inside and outside. Books and toys. Toilet in the nappy change room, and another separate toilet. Sliding door access to both the toilet and nappy change rooms. Great bathroom fittings. Loads of toilet paper. Soap and paper towel at sinks. Single chair in the nappy change room.

Bad Points: Not open Mondays 🙁 Paper towel dispenser empty in main toilet, so a roll of paper towel was on the sink instead. Hard chair in the nappy change room.

 

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Glitter Cafe is a great place to head with little kids. I’ve been to indoor playcentres with loads of equipment for the kids, and cafes for the adults. But these can get quite crowded and be a bit expensive (entry fees for children and adults!). Finding Glitter is a dream come true for parents and carers of little people. At $2 per child (no fee for adults), it’s incredibly affordable. Most of all, it’s just a comfortable, pleasant place to visit.

It took me a couple of uh-oh trips to Lilyfield to finally remember Glitter is NOT open on Mondays. Go for it any other day of the week, but DON’T go on a Monday. Otherwise you’ll be kicking yourself like I did hehehe.

Parking is on-street, but it’s pretty easy to find. I usually find a spot outside the Antique dealer a few doors further up the road. I just love coming to this area. It’s so different from the north-western suburbs of Sydney where I usually spend my time. I love the north-west, but it’s just nice to check out a different area.

Glitter has loads for kids to do, without being too much. If they want to jump and leap and be really physical, then there is the covered area at the back with the jumping castle, slide, climbing equipment and mini bike ramp. For little ones who want to do some creative work on their own, there’s a couple of painting stations with all equipment provided. Perfect! Also, there’s the giant chalkboard wall inside the cafe. Dolls houses, blocks, trucks, ballpit, books to read…………..a little bit of fun to cater for each little personality.

So what is there to do for us parents? Well do you want to do something or would you rather sit down and relax? I want to relax, and I can easily do this here. There’s loads of comfy seating and tables, so take a book, laptop or craft with you, sit back and relax. Of course this doesn’t mean ignore what your children are up to. But the layout of the cafe means you can have some ‘me-time’ while keeping an eye on your cherub.

The food and drinks here are definitely affordable. Menu items are priced between $2 – $5, with only a couple of items exceeding that range (eg soup & roll for $6). Pricing aside, I love that there’s not just beige food available. There’s yoghurt, fruit salads, sandwiches, banana bread and more. It is so refreshing to come across a kids cafe that isn’t just hot beige food (chips, nuggets, burgers) that costs a wallet-load. The typical response from other cafes is it’s too expensive to focus on fresh healthy food. Well if Glitter can do it and charge such good prices, why can’t other places? I think it comes down to effort. And Lana, the lovely owner, puts in alot of effort.

Now it’s time for the nitty-gritty. What are the baby change facilities like? Well I was happy to find there’s two separate rooms, both with locking sliding doors. The first room has a toilet. The second has the baby change table (including wipes, nappies, paper towel, toilet paper), chair, toilet and sink. While it’s not the most sensational baby change room, it has everything you’d expect plus more. I was very impressed to see wipes and nappies available. I know on rare occasions I’ve forgotten one of these items and have had to come up with some interesting alternatives. So to have these essential items available at no extra charge, it’s just a really beautiful touch.

In terms of being able to fit a pram inside the change and toilet rooms, give it a go. I doubt a double would fit in, but a regular pram should be able to. But even if you can’t get the pram in there, it’s a pretty safe environment.

Before I wrap up this entry, I have to tell you about one more very sweet thing. Just after lunchtime, Lana was busy putting something together at the counter. She soon emerged with a tray in hand, carrying mini juice cups with straws, and marshmallows. With the permission the parents and carers Lana then handed these out to all the children, completely complimentary. Isn’t that just the sweetest thing ever?

Thank you Lana for making Glitter Cafe a beautiful, fun, enjoyable place for both adults and kids. We’ll be back 🙂

McDonald’s George Street – Disgusting!!! – 375 – 377 George Street, Sydney NSW 2000

Overall: Disgusting!! Nappy change only.

Good Points: There’s a change table, nappy bins, a sink and soap dispenser.

Bad Points: No ramp access into the restaurant. Dirty, disgusting nappy change table. Awkward getting into the disabled toilet.

This is the filthiest baby change facility seen to date. And the ‘area consultant’ for the restaurant doesn’t care. After seeing this place, we sent in a complaint to Head Office. Far too long later we received a phone call from the ‘area consultant’. He was more interested in trying to justify why the change table was so disgusting, when his priority should have been to apologise and promise it would be fixed asap. Poor form McDonald’s.

The first problem is getting in here in the first place. If you have a pram, you’re going to need help getting up the stairs. There’s no ramp, or mechanical aide of any kind to help you get into the restaurant with a pram. Now the reason given by McDonald’s for not having a ramp is because of the buildings’ Heritage listing. Apparently, this is something McDonald’s is working on and is hoping to have some solution to ‘soon’. 

Now given there is virtually no way anybody with a pram, or anyone in a wheelchair, can even get into this place, it’d be reasonable to expect the disabled bathroom/baby change table to be pretty clean. Right? WRONG!!!!!!! The disabled bathroom/baby change table in this McDonald’s is the most disgusting, filthiest facility we have seen to date. And that is definitely saying something. The toilet looked like it had not been cleaned properly in some time. The room had a terrible stench. The worst part – the baby change table. It was dirty, stained, marked and just covered in filth. There is no way any parent would want to change their child on this table. It’s absolutely disgusting.

Would you like to know the amusing thing about this? The ‘area’ guy, rather than apologise, tried to justify the excrement by saying ‘it’s a very busy restaurant’. We kindly and firmly pointed out to him that as there’s no ramp for people with prams or wheelchairs to even gain access to the restaurant, the bathroom really should be virtually untouched and, therefore, not be in such a feral state. That shut him up, as he stumbled over his feeble attempts to backtrack, finishing off by saying he would visit the store and chat to the manager. 

You know, we don’t care about having a chat with the manager. We don’t care about why the bathroom is this filthy. We want it fixed PERMANENTLY!!!! And how about the old axiom of the customer is always right? Now we all know this isn’t true anyway, but when a complaint is made about the cleanliness of a ‘family restaurant’ and the facilities therein, surely a little respect, humility and action would be in order. What do you think? Are we reaching for the stars here?

So how many other disgusting, filthy, dangerously dirty baby change areas are there in so-called ‘family restaurants’? Are there any you’ve come across which you’ve vowed to never visit again?

Let us know, and we can all work together to make these organisations accountable.

Westpoint Blacktown (Level 4) – 17 Patrick Street, Blacktown NSW 2148

Overall: Has loads of potential but has been well let down.  Nappy change, feed, rest, play

Good Points: Easy to find. Auto slide push-button door. Separate nappy change bench and food prep bench. Disposable change mat liners. Separate sinks for nappy change bench and food prep bench. Nappy bins underneath change bench.  Microwave and bottle warmer. Soap at sinks. Feeding corner with armchair, side table, Play Panel and bench. Adult and child toilets.

Bad Points: No paper towel for drying hands. No curtains or door to feeding/rest area. Toilet paper is too high for little kids. Play Panel is missing a few pieces. Grubby, marked furniture. Chipped and dirty bench in feeding corner. No soap at nappy change bench

This was the first Parent Room we visited on our trip to Westpoint Blacktown. The centre has had alot of work done in recent years, and the Parent Rooms have definitely been improved. Sadly they’re still not exceptional. The website for Westpoint says its Parent Rooms are ‘five star’. They might look like it from the outside, but once inside where you can take a closer look……..they’re more average than anything else. I’d probably be nicer about this review if the centre hadn’t tried to make the rooms sound a whole lot better than they really are. But the hype just doesn’t match up with the real thing.

The best part of this Parent Room is it’s so easy to find. From the moment you arrive on Level 4, you just look for the signs and follow the arrows. Head down the hall between Max Brenner and Mad Mex, and on the left is the auto slide push-button door to the Parent Room. This is probably the most ‘five star’ the room gets. Inside the door the room looks promising, but within a couple of minutes the flaws just leap out!! Either that or I am just getting really really pedantic having seen so many bad rooms and not enough great ones.

This room has loads of potential and was probably great when first refurbed, but it’s just been neglected and treated badly. There’s a nappy change bench, with 2 change bays, bins under the bench, a sink in the  middle, and disposable change mat liners. This is good, but there isn’t any soap here or paper towel to dry your hands.

Opposite the change bench is the food prep area. This is pretty good, with a microwave and bottle warmer. It’s quite rare for a room to have both appliances. The sink is quite big, and there’s soap here plus a hand dryer.  The bench is marked and stained, and the hand dryer has had some lovely homemade etchings done to it.

The feeding corner is pretty crappy. There’s no curtain or door. Just a dirty filthy carpet with an old armchair, broken Play Panel and chipped furniture. It’s not a nice place to take time out with your little ones, and not even having a basic curtain just makes it a really uncomfortable place to be.

The toilets are alright. Don’t know how you’d go getting a double pram in here (thanks Ali :)). There’s a loo for kids and another for adults, with separate toilet paper rolls. The roll for the little loo is a bit out of reach, so kids may need some help. The sink is a little high for kids too, but at least the soap is at a decent kid-friendly height. Hate the hand dryer though. It’s just the right height for kids to stand under without realising it, and getting the life scared out of them when it starts up. Just save some power, Westpoint, and whack in some paper towels instead.