As a mother of two kids, I often find myself guilty of popping the kids in front of the television on colder days when lazing under the covers and reading a book seems much more appealing. Admittedly, this is unfair on the kids as their attention span can only handle a limited amount of time in front of the TV and they end up bored and restless. I’ve done some research and discovered many safe, indoor venues which offer a variety of activities and entertainment for kids, whether you’re travelling during the school holidays or at home and unsure of where to take them.
First on my list is Art Jamming, also known as ‘paintertainment’. The kids are provided with canvases, acrylic paints and tools to express themselves and use their imagination, with the guidance of experienced art teachers. They get to take their colourful canvases home, which could be hung on a wall as a great decoration in your home. Art jamming also offers art classes and party bookings at their studios in Cape Town and Johannesburg. For more information, visit www.artjamming.co.za.
In Pretoria, Butterflies for Africa is a walk-through butterfly house where you are able to come into close contact with butterflies, which fly freely amongst the flowers, trees and water features. You can also interact with friendly monkeys or visit the nursery to purchase butterfly host plants. There is also a craft shop and an art centre on the premises where the kids can purchase memorabilia. For the parents, you can enjoy a warm cuppa at the coffee shop, while your youngsters explore and learn more about these fascinating insects.
For more information, visit www.butterflies.co.za or call 033-387-1356
If you’re passing through the Garden Route, Birds of Eden in Plettenberg Bay is a must stopover for the family. Also known as Birds of Paradise, this sanctuary is the largest free-flight bird aviary in the world and is home to both exotic and African birds. It’s a great, safe place for kids to get close to birds and enjoy nature. Your family can also relax at Thanda Café and enjoy a variety of gourmet burgers or toasted sandwiches before you hit the road again. Visit www.birdsofeden.co.za
In Durban, The Mister Funtubbles Fabulous Fun Fair at the Gateway Theatre of Shopping has loads of entertainment and fun for all ages. The majority of the rides cater for both adults and children so parents can join in the fun too. The fair has rides such as the family swing, bumper cars and there are more than enough games to test your skills, have fun and win prizes. Mister Funtubbles has a typical fun-fair refreshment kiosk, which serves slushy drinks, juice, popcorn and ice cream. For more info, visit www.gatewayworld.co.za or www.mrfuntubbles.co.za
The Scratch Patch at the Cape Town V&A Waterfront is an inexpensive and fun place for all ages. You get to search through a wide variety of beautiful gemstones such as the well-known tiger’s eye, amethyst or jasper, which cover the entire floor. You can purchase a plastic bag or container where you get to keep your stones to take home with you. Visit www.scratchpatch.co.za
For more ideas and information on local indoor venues, safe environments and fun activities for your family, you can visit the following websites: