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When families go for coffee, they discover fun and bonding in an unexpected place. These ten shops that welcome families with more than just an open door:

Alcove Coffeehouse

The outdoor seating area with a view of Lake Lucerne is a big hit with families. Many stop off en route to the Yellow River Game Ranch or after lessons at the nearby Gwinnett School of Music. Parents love the iced caramel macchiato coffee, and kids go for hand-made lemonade, hand-crafted sodas, child-sized cocoa, popcorn and King of Pops treats.

Hodgepodge Coffee House and Gallery

Books, toys, a play kitchen and a rocking horse are part of the kids’ corner, tucked in the back of the shop. In summer, kids love the shop’s frozen hot chocolate or fresh-squeezed lemonade. Adults go for iced coffee. Another popular adult drink is “Bless your Heart,” which is Ghirardelli caramel and espresso melted into Batdorf and Bronson Whirling Dervish espresso and topped with either steamed milk, or cold milk for the iced version.

Independent Grounds Cafe

Currently closed due to COVID-19.

This coffee shop primarily employs adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The Cafe began when the owner wanted her daughter, who is challenged with a traumatic brain injury, to have a place to become independent down the road.

Land of a Thousand Hills Coffee Company

A large patio in back with pavers and grass gives kids a place to be kids, and the family dog is welcome on the patio, too. When families visit, kids order Italian sodas or something from the King of Pops cooler; adults can choose an iced version of any coffee drink on the menu or pick from 12 types of iced tea.

Queen of Cream

Ice cream and specialty coffee – what’s not to like? Kids go for the birthday cake ice cream with rainbow sprinkles on top, and adults love Cold Brew on Draft coffee, a frothy drink with a thicker texture, or coffee ice cream drinks during the summer.

Refuge Coffee Co.

With two locations and a food truck, this shop offers delicious coffees, teas and pastries. Try the Shakerado, a shaken cold coffee with foam, or the  Special events include a weekly chai-making workshop, a spring market and storytelling.

Rev Coffee Roasters

This shop has coffee from around the world for you to try, and kids will love the seasonal offerings, like apple cider, smoothies and holiday-themed bakery treats. They also host music and arts festivals in the spring and fall.

Scream’n Nuts

This shop offers ice cream, donuts and coffee, with flavors changing daily – right now, they have Girl Scouts cookies-inspired donuts! Or try a Scream’n Nut, a hot sealed donut stuffed with ice cream or a Loaded Donut Shake to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Waller’s Coffee Shop

Taste sandwiches, waffles, baked goods and more to enjoy with your coffee. The building has a creek behind it and a wooded area for you to relax with your kids. They also host a variety of events, including Open Mic on Tuesdays, Bluegrass Jam on Wednesdays, family picnics, live music and more.

– Amanda Miller Allen and Emily Webb

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