If you have small kids and are looking to get out of the house with them on a rainy day in Mossel Bay, then you might be interested to hear of the existence of Da Playhouse, a small indoor kids play area tucked away under one of the hotels at Diaz Beach.
It has everything a small play area needs, and more importantly, a constant supply of coffee, cake and magazines for those of us who have to sit and wait while the kids have fun.
Sadly for me though, the girls spotted me tucking into my heavy chocolate cake. Sigh, sharing is caring I suppose…
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And yes, obviously they host kids parties too.
Bonus: Just so you know, Mossel Bay is also home to another kids indoor play area, Blasters. Worth keeping in mind for when you find yourself in the area over the winter period.
Kids’ birthday party venues are always an exciting find when you are a parent who a) doesn’t have access to a big house, b) don’t want to spend an entire day cleaning up the mess created by hosting such a party in their own space, or c) don’t feel like the effort of setting one up in the first place!
Based in Rosendal (a suburb of Bellville), and operating since November 2016, BASH had been an exciting addition to the Northern Suburbs’ childrens party scene for a while now, so much so that business boomed and the need for a second venue quickly became a reality – and so in October of last year their new baby BASH Paarl was born.
Situated on the Dvine Events’ grounds and primarily a birthday party venue, BASH hosts all manner of kids birthday parties, with the focus being mainly on activity based parties. Thanks to their signature Master Mini Chef Cooking Kitchen there are the super popular Baking and Cooking party options available, and thanks to the Private Craft Room, Wooden Craft parties, Canvas Painting parties, Flower Arrangement parties, and even Beading Parties are also all on the cards. Oh, and then there are the actual Pamper party sessions – seriously, which little girl is not going to love any one of these ideas!
Plus, BASH has filled their 200m2 hall, with a host of wooden play structures and toys, from a giant jungle gym right through to a pretend party bus. This, combined with the massive lawn and outside play area means that they are just perfectly suited for more action packed activity play parties as well. (Thank goodness, something for the boys!)
In addition to all the birthday party stuff, BASH is also open to the general public (you pay to play), and thanks to their small deli and restaurant option, the adults stay fed and able to enjoy the gorgeous views of the Paarl mountains while the little ones run themselves ragged.
Basically, what’s not to love about that?
Now Chantelle had been following BASH via Facebook for quite some time, eagerly following their setup progress – meaning that by the time they finally launched in October last year, I simply had no other choice but to bundle everyone in the car and make the long drive through to Paarl. Not that I minded though – the girls had an absolute blast and I thought the location was stunning.
In other words, hard not to admit defeat and pat my wife on the back for discovering such a fun venue.
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NOTE: Of course, visiting a venue on their day of opening is almost also never a great idea because the chance to first get processes, procedures and numbers in place (and running smoothly) is obviously not yet there, so naturally our visit did come with a few of those very challenges attached (for example, the restaurant was to busy in order to serve us). That said, it has been a good few months since our visit and quite frankly, both Chantelle and the girls are rather itching for a return trip.
I guess we’re heading back to Paarl sooner than later then! ;)
So now having had to tack on a trip to George thanks to our car trouble, we left Gouritz nice and early, made the stressful drive down to George (every uphill had me nervously chewing my nails), and arrived with some time to kill before we could check in at the guest house which was to be home for the next couple of evenings.
Given that bit of time to kill, I sought out some entertainment for the girls, and thanks to my Google-Fu, found the perfect spot – Happy Valley Kids Play Centre.
Situated right opposite the excellent Robertson Brewing Company, Happy Valley is home to a fantastic kids play area, centered around a massively fun jungle gym area and supplemented by all kinds of extras like a trampoline, climbing wall, as well as a dedicated play area for the smaller toddlers.
Chaos central in other words. That said, the whole setting is bright and breezy, and pleasingly, Happy Valley also has a lovely little kitchen that is perfect for coffee and a light meal while you sit and watch your kid go wild – I mean play to their adorable little hearts’ content.
Also, they host birthday parties, useful to know in case you aren’t particularly keen on having 20 or so kids running around your home the next time your child’s birth anniversary roles around! ;)
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All in all I think Jessica and Emily were rather happy with my ‘on the fly’ discovery.
(I’ll be honest with you though, had I known about Robertson Brewing Company across the road first, that’s most definitely where we would have killed the time! :D)
Continuing the theme I started yesterday of “I completely forgot to take photos of Emily’s 4th birthday party last weekend, so I best upload all the other birthdays before I lose everything to a hard drive failure”, here are some photos I grabbed from Emily’s 3rd birthday party, which we held last year January for all her friends at the Kidz Corner Indoor Playpark in Strand.
Emily was, or rather is, besotted with Peppa Pig, so of course she demanded a Peppa Pig cake for her birthday. Naturally Chantelle obliged (not to mention went to a lot of trouble in terms of the rest of the catering), and from all accounts the party was a nice success – i.e. the kids all seemed to have a lot of fun!
For the family part of the celebrations, we organised a get together around the cake at my folks’ place in Bellville, which ended up being pretty enjoyable too.
There, mission accomplished, these photos are now all nicely safe and sound up in the cloud.
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(Oh, and if you want to know more about Kidz Corner, turns out I’ve written about them before.)
I’ve mentioned Eaglevlei before, but it is worth iterating again – if you have small kids with a lot of energy and the weather isn’t all that fantastic outside (or you just want to treat them for a bit), then a play session in this Stellenbosch wine farm’s massive, tented kids play area will definitely go down well!
Definitely one of the biggest kids play areas here in the Cape, the equipment is well suited for the smaller kids. Also quite nice, they have a separated play area for the toddlers, which comes in quite handy if you feel that the older kids are playing a bit rough at the moment.
The actual play area takes up about a third of the massive tent, with the other two thirds left open for people to sit and celebrate a kids party (as you might imagine, they host a LOT of these), or maybe watch a kiddy movie on the big screen, or just to sit and drink a cup of coffee while your kids run amok on the jungle gyms.
The only downside of the way Eaglevlei is currently set up is that you can’t really enjoy/make use of the great restaurant setting if your kids are too small to play in the play park without supervision, seeing as the two are very separated from one another (basically, you can’t even see the tent from the restaurant!).
(Translation: Chantelle and I sat down and twiddled our thumbs in the tent while the girls had some fun. Still, it was only fair – we had just made them sit with us while we tucked into some delicious pies at the more or less nearby Potbelly coffee shop).
It’s worth noting that entrance is of course not free – it is about R50 for toddlers aged 0-3 and R80 for kids aged 4-12, and unfortunately, other than an open grass lawn outside of the tent, there are no outside play activities like jungle gyms or something else along those line.
A bit of a shame, but makes sense if you consider that they are trying to run a business here.
On this particular day that we visited, I kind of forgot to take a lot of photos – and the photos that I did grab weren’t all that great. Nevertheless, this post couldn’t exactly be listed in the Photo Gallery category if I didn’t list them here:
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So, a good option if you are in the area and completely stumped on how to entertain the kids.
Related Link: Eaglevlei Wine Farm
A nice surprise was the relatively recent opening of Kidz Corner in Strand (near the Gantz Center), an indoor play and party center for children – in other words, a great option for when the weather is perhaps not so great and you need your kids to burn off some of that excess energy!
The small factory space is dominated by a giant, three story, mesh protected jungle gym, fitted out with a variety of obstacles and ended off with some fun slides that deliver the kids into a big ball pit.
There’s also a jumping castle and trampoline, and loads of freestanding toys like hula hoops and balls.
There is always someone keeping an eye on the kids, and all in all, the brightly coloured Kidz Corner is perfect for the little ones.
There are a few tables set out for the parents, and you can order some coffee, cake and snacks for you and the kids – most likely sourced from the nearby Smiling Oven. Kidz Corner also hosts kids birthday parties, but seeing as we only visited them for a play session, I can’t quite comment on that.
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The girls had an absolute blast and were completely knackered that evening, so I’m pretty sure we’ll be paying Kidz Corner plenty of visits this upcoming winter!
Related Link: Kidz Corner
Jessica, Emily and I found ourselves having to kill some time before we were allowed into Jessica’s birthday party venue (Ouma’s house!) last Saturday, so other than the nice nature stroll in Vink’s Arboretum that we took, I also let the girls run wild in the fun Funky Frogs indoor play centre at Tygervalley.
Funky Frogs indoor play centres is actually a pretty decent franchise now, with seven play centres open in places that include Jeffreys Bay, Port Elizabeth, East London, Cape Town, Bloemfontein, Johannesburg and Swaziland!
The Cape Town branch which is actually nowhere near Cape Town – i.e. it’s in Bellville – first opened its doors in December 2012 at Cobble Walk Centre in Durbanville, before moving to its current location in Tygervalley Centre, Bellvile in 2013.
As you might have guessed via the photos, it’s packed with colourful things for the kids to play on – and with – and is a genuinely enjoyable experience for the smaller ones.
Oh, and they also host birthday parties as well.
Needless to say, the kids had a blast, and pleasingly, didn’t completely tire themselves out before the big birthday celebrations officially started! :)
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(P.S. My phone camera seriously struggles to capture decent photos in Funky Frogs. Too much movement, too little light. Sigh.)