The Ranch – Cnr Epping & Herring Rd, Eastwood NSW 2122

Overall: Basic. Nappy change, toilet. 

Good Points: All on ground level. Wall mounted fold out change table. Outdoor play area. Sink, soap, and hand dryer. Nappy disposal bin. Toilet with assistance rails. Door locks from the inside.

Bad Points: Toilet door too narrow for larger prams. No chairs for feeding. No paper towel. The outdoor play area is not completely protected from the weather.

We’ve driven past The Ranch a squillion times, and have been there for lunch every now and then with work colleagues, but have forgotten to check out how parent and child-friendly it really is. Until now!

It was raining the day we visited, so the semi-protected outdoor play area wasn’t getting much use at all. It was cold and wet, and the shade sail wasn’t providing the protection kids would need in such weather. Only the brave would have ventured out to play that day. Make a note, to BYO kids entertainment on wet days.

The toilets are spread out here, which is a tad confusing when you first rock up. The mens are closest to the bistro counter, the ladies are up in the games room, and the baby change area plus disabled toilet and right by the front entrance of The Ranch – just inside the auto sliding doors. If your tucked down the back of the bistro, close to the playground, make sure you have sussed out the quickest route to the disabled bathroom for when the little ones need nappy changes or the loo. It’s the furthest away from the playground, and you won’t want to be delayed when little ones need a change.

The door to the disabled bathroom isn’t great for larger prams, so it’d be easiest to leave it at your table rather than try and jam it through the doorway. On the plus side, the door does lock from the inside, so you can change your baby in privacy. The change table is the usual wall mounted fold out variety. Nothing special to report. It’s clean and in good condition. The nappy disposal bin is next to the change table (nice and handy!).

For cleaning up after the mess and killing those lovely germs, there’s a sink, with soap dispenser and hand dryer. The hand dryer is pretty quiet, as far as hand dryers go. For anyone whose children have encountered one of those jet-engine dyson hand dryers, you’ll know what a joy it is to find one that is nice and quiet. It’d be nice if there was some paper towel as an alternative (not a fan of hand dryers), but what can ya do. Like most parents of small children, we’re always packing some hand sanitiser anyway (just to get rid of any cooties the hand dryer has circulated).

If you’ve been to The Ranch with your little ones, let us know your thoughts on the facilities for kids.