Our Sunday Fundays have changed slightly and gone are the days of a quiet coffee with the girls while baby peacefully sleeps in his carrier! Having a busy toddler on your hands is a real game changer and while Oliver might not be walking just yet, he can move alarmingly quickly and isn’t overly keen to sit quietly and enjoy a Babychino 😉 Oliver is now down to one nap a day so having an outing planned to get him through the morning is essential. I find the afternoons easier to keep busy at home as once he’s woken up and had his lunch, there isn’t too much of the day left to keep him entertained – whereas the mornings can be a challenge, especially if he’s woken up really early.
I’m not sure who has more fun on our outings, him or me! Seeing the world through his eyes brings me so much joy. Watching the pure delight and fascination he has with the simplest of things, forces me to slow down and take notice of the things I might otherwise have missed.
Two Ocean Aquarium
This is one of our favourite outings and visit the Aquarium at least once a week. There is so much to see and the exhibits are so beautiful that it’s hard to tire of going there. The I&J Children’s Play Centre is the perfect place to keep the little ones entertained as they have daily puppet shows (10h30, 13h30 and 15h30), arts and crafts, a sand pit and a birds-eye view of the rockhooper penguins swimming past. The I&J Exhibit and Predator Exhibits are spectacular and great spots to sit and let the kiddies roam around a little. We bought an annual membership for R425 per adult for the year (children under 4 years old are free) which gives you unlimited visits as well as a number of discounts – and at R175 for a day ticket, you’ve paid for your annual ticket in two and half visits (you can also upgrade your day ticket for R250).
Nothing quite like an afternoon lazying under the trees on the beautiful Kirstenbosch lawns or cooling off with a little paddle in the river. I often head to Kirstenbosch for relaxing morning or when we need an afternoon change of scenery – although not much relaxing is done fetching and carrying a toddler back to the picnic blanket! My husband and I will often go for an early morning walk with Oliver over a week and grab a coffee at the Vida on our way in. If you are a regular to Kirstenbosch, then an annual membership is a must. A family card covers two specific adults and 2 scholours and is R740 for the year (you can add more children onto a family card and also add up to two accompanying guests).
The Playstation Cafe and Adventure Park
What a brilliant concept and the perfect place for a rainy day! They serve excellent coffee and there is so much for kids to do, from physical to cognitive activities. The facilities are amazing with a high line rope course, climbing wall, custom built maze and giant slides. Parents can also join in and explore with their kids – I am so excited to do this with Oliver when he’s bigger 🙂 For toddlers there is a designated play area with slides, a mini jungle gym and a whole little town complete with grocery store, hardware store and hospital. The space is so cleverly designed and kitted out with whole range of Melissa and Doug toys. The Playstation is designed to be an interactive environment for learning, fun and imagination play and they have really nailed it. Under two’s are free for the first hour and prices vary depending on season.
We love Ferndale Nursery! As this is just down the road from our house, we pop in a few times a week to feed the ducks, ‘drive’ the tractor and play on the slide. There is lots of space for little ones who are walking to run around and there is also a very sweet little maze for them to get lost in. A bag of feed is just R5 (if you want to feed the ducks) which makes this a very cheap and cheerful little outing. Although be warned, the ducks can be quite persistent when on the loose – I have been known to dump the whole packet of corn and run!
The Imhoff Farm Village has so much more on offer than I originally thought. Restaurants and coffee shops, boutique stores, art galleries, the milkwood maze and The Higgeldy Piggledy Farm Yard. It’s R20 per person (free if your child is not walking) and you can buy pellets to feed the animals. The entrance fee goes towards looking after all the animals on the farm. They have rabbits, goats, cows, emus, llamas, pigs and lots of ducks and geese. Just don’t feed the pigs though – they bite! This is a really lovely outing to do as a family as there is something for everyone and afterwards you can sit on the lawns and enjoy a coffee or ice cream.
Buitenverwagting and Groot Constantia
Two lovely lawns to take advantage of while enjoying a delicious coffee! The Coffee Bloc at Buitenverwacting serves take away coffees so we take a picnic blanket and settle ourselves on the lawn while the kiddies run around – and there is wine on offer too! At Groot Constantia you can feed the ducks, relax on the lawns and have coffee or lunch at Jonkerhuis (which also happens to be on the Entertainer App 😉 )
Two places on my list that I still really want to take Oliver to are the Scratch Patch and Giraffe House (although this one we’ll need to plan well as it’s about an hour drive for us) Where are your favourite places to go with your kiddies?