Category Archives: Kid Activities

A Jump4Joy Emily Birthday Party in Somerset West (2020-02-29) Kid Activities | Photo Gallery 30 APR 2020

As a lot of parents with young kids will know, having a child whose birthday falls within the school holidays inevitably means never throwing the big birthday party on their actual birthday – case in point our dear Emily, who turned six on January 13 but who had to wait all the way to the end of February to enjoy her big birthday bash!

To be fair, our reasoning was rock solid with this one. Seeing as Emily was starting out fresh with Grade R at Gordon’s Bay Primary School this year, Chantelle wanted to give her a little time to first make some friends so that we could invite kids from her class to the party. This approach paid off handsomely, resulting in a very successful llama themed party populated by a host of her new friends!

As for the venue, we picked the Somerset West branch of Jump4Joy, an indoor trampoline park tucked away in Somerset West’s industrial area which, although lacking the polish of Cape Town’s Southern Suburbs’ offerings like Rush and be.UP, had everything we needed in terms of space and entertainment for the young ones.

Chantelle donned her Helderberg Cake Company cap and went all out in making a host of llama themed delights (we’re talking a smorgasbord of delightfully decorated cake, cookies, doughnuts and cake pops here), and the kids had an absolute blast bouncing around and getting rid of all their energy. In other words, total success! :)

Jessica Jamming Art for her Birthday in Somerset West (2019-11-16) Kid Activities | Photo Gallery 20 DEC 2019

Jessica turned 9 this year and we decided to celebrate this birthday by allowing her to invite some of her school friends over for a bit of a tropical themed birthday cake bash, followed by a paint session at the newly opened Artjamming Somerset West.

As always the incredible Helderberg Cake Company (i.e. Chantelle) went all out with the tropical themed biscuit and cake decadence, and after a flurry of excitement from a gaggle of girls in Lei garlands at Country Mews, we piled everyone into our cars and headed off to Bright Street in order to get all the girls jamming some art.

Chantelle had pre-selected the painting for the day (a tropical themed toucan naturally), and with a bubbly young instructor heading things up, Emily and I then left the group (to go do some LEGO shopping) so that the tweenagers could get their paint on (hopefully mostly on the canvas).

Great, colourful fun was had by everyone, with pretty much all particularly proud of their toucan productions. Definitely a great birthday outing idea!

Following that Saturday of fun, we next hosted a big birthday pizza day at Monty and Cheryl’s house for the family, complete with jumping castle and of course even more cake!

Pirate Golf at Benguela Cove in Bot River (2018-11-10) Kid Activities | Photo Gallery 30 AUG 2019

Across the water from the famed golfing Arabella Country Estate, lying on the opposite bank of the Bot River Lagoon, is the luxury Benguela Cove Lagoon Wine Estate. Established in 2003, this lush Walker Bay farm has been developed to house a state of the art winery, luxury lifestyle estate, numerous restaurants, productive olive groves, and a vineyard that can boast about being one of the closest vineyards to the sea!

Which is probably then why you might just be surprised to learn that nowadays you can even play a fun round of putt putt there.

Because adults can’t have all the fun, last year saw Benguela Cove lift the wraps off of Benguela Cove Pirate Adventure Golf, a pirate-themed mini golf (or adventure golf) course aimed squarely at families with kids. A great strategy move on the part of the wine estate of course, but as a parent with two young kids who is always on the lookout for fun family activities, definitely one that is very much appreciated!

The eighteen hole course is standard putt putt fun, suitable for all ages and with pleasingly very few frustrating holes – you know, the ones that often leave kids in tears. Everything from entrance to score card is pirate themed and the course is dotted with pirate mannequins (even a Jack Sparrow when copyright lawyers aren’t looking) and other fun pirate props.

There is a small pirate-themed restaurant aimed at kids onsite (Blackbeard’s Diner), and as an added bonus, a colourful splash pad dubbed Benguela Splash next door, which boasts a variety of fun water spraying, squirting and dumping amusements. (They were still busy installing this when we visited late last year).

Pirate themed putt putt? Of course it’s great silly fun!

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The Western Province Live Steamers and their Miniature Trains in Parow (2018-09-01) Kid Activities | Photo Gallery 25 AUG 2019

The first Saturday of every month, from 13:00 to 16:00, shrill whistles, puffs of steam and the occasional whiff of diesel fill the air from a small field in Parow, right next to the soccer fields of Vasco and Ajax Football Clubs. If you turn sharply and follow the unassuming little road, you will end up in front of a small little club house emblazoned with the words “Western Province Live Steamers”. Welcome to their running day.

Founded in 1980 by the late Jack Love, a school teacher with a love of building and running miniature steam locomotives, the first 13 years of the Western Province Live Steam Society’s existence were lived out on a piece of the famous Cape Show Grounds in Goodwood (better known as the Goodwood Showgrounds, now of course the site of the GrandWest casino complex).

However, with the subsequent sale of that particular property in 1993, the club found itself undertaking a long hunt for a new home, eventually finding their current space with the help of the Parow Municipality at the end of 1997.

A small, but passionate group, the Live Steamers built their own club house, laid the track of their main loop, and then slowly began the process of (successfully) building out their little rail empire.

As with most hobbies, constructing and running these little trains are the most rewarding when you can share you passion with other people, and as such, every first Saturday of the month the club’s gates are thrown open and the general public are invited (free of charge) to come along to watch and ride the trains with the model builders, to take advantage of the fresh air and green open space, and perhaps even throw a few pieces of meat on some coals.

Naturally this is something that I just HAD to show the girls, and given that it’s reasonably close to where my brother and folks are based (Bellville), I got Ryan and Dad to tag along on what turned out to be a particularly pleasant way to spend Spring Day.

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Slides and Life Jackets at Water World Strand (2019-02-23) Kid Activities | Photo Gallery 05 AUG 2019

In February we took Emily to a friend’s birthday party held at Water World Strand. Although we kind of had an idea what the place was about, truth be told, we had never actually visited it before (shameful, I know), and so were in for quite the peasant surprise when we finally did!

Water World Strand (as the name might suggest) is a kid focused water play paradise, filled with all manner of small water slides and pools, an outdoor play area, picnic spots, and birthday party tents. The park is fully manned with lifeguards, meaning that your kids are always under a watchful eye, and the action is very smoothly controlled with the lifeguards ensuring that everyone sticks to the rules.

The coolest feature however is the abundant availability of life jackets – perfect for if your kid is small, a bit nervous, or you as the parent are terrified of the thought of them hurtling down a water slide under all that water! As it stands, neither of my kids are particularly comfortable with water, so they each immediately donned a bright orange life jacket and quickly managed to find eager ‘big people’ to go down the slides with them.

In addition to all the splashing happening around you, there is also a small beach bar restaurant type setup, serving pizza, snacks, ice cream, and cooldrinks to all the starving young ones (and parents who didn’t bring their swimming costumes).

It’s noisy, it’s vibrant, it’s just oodles of fun in the sun.

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Fluttering about at Butterfly World in Klapmuts (2018-07-28) Kid Activities | Photo Gallery 10 JUL 2019

Klapmuts’ very own Butterfly World has long since expanded since its early days of just breeding butterflies. Up until recently they had suffixed the word “Zoo” to their title, but that wasn’t really all that accurate, seeing as their expansion is based almost entirely on the public leaving unwanted, injured, or abandoned exotic pets with them. In other words, the recently adopted Butterfly World Animal Sanctuary is a much better suited moniker to rally around!

The girls and I drove out for a visit last year and as usual it was a fun, lengthy visit. There had been a number of changes to the premises since we had last visited, and so it was fun to discover the creepy skeleton park (courtesy of young taxidermist(?) Francois Malherbe), the new outdoor animal enclosures, the newly located tea garden, and even the addition of a hopelessly out of its environment Arctic Fox.

(The spider escapees were pretty funny too!)

Butterflies, guinea pigs, exotic birds, snakes, lizards, spiders, monkeys, meerkats and tortoises, Butterfly World continues to exist as a proper menagerie, with all of it beautifully and playfully presented in its iconic tropical styled garden setup.

As per usual, the girls were entertained, informed and occasionally weirded out, making for a properly memorable family outing then.

And then we popped over to next door’s Villa Visaggio for lunch.

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Jessica Birthday Fun at Wild Wild West Kids Play Park in Strand (2018-11-11) Kid Activities | Photo Gallery 16 JUN 2019

Last year Jessica took the option of enjoying a nice big birthday party with her friends and as such, we ended up taking her and a couple of her school pals to the awesome Wild Wild West Kids Play Park out in Strand industria to celebrate her eighth birthday.

Situated in a nice big warehouse with no residential houses nearby to complain about noise, kids can properly run wild as they tackle Wild Wild West’s Cowboys and Indians themed six level high climbing grid maze, climbing wall, 5m high slides, highline balance course, and Ninja Warrior course!

As you might then imagine, the girls had an absolute blast running themselves ragged on the exceptionally high quality wooden structures and at the end of the day, loads of fun was had by all (even if it does tend to run a little hot in the not that well ventilated industrial space).

Unfortunately for us on the day though, Wild Wild West’s little catering kitchen wasn’t particularly well stocked (not sure why, we had made the necessary inquiries beforehand), but luckily that was something easily solved by a jaunt down to nearby McDonalds (at Waterstone Village – they’ve got the nicest space) in order to feed and thus appease the pack of now ravenous young ladies.

And as if that fun day out with her friends wasn’t enough, Jess also got treated to Belgian Waffle House waffles, finally got her hands on a scooter (which at first ruthlessly extracted a lot of skin off her knees!) and, as a cherry on top, a lot more Lego.

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Visiting the new BASH at Louisenhof Estate in Stellenbosch (2018-09-02) Kid Activities | Photo Gallery 21 FEB 2019

While the original Rosendal (Durbanville) BASH branch continues to fire on all cylinders, the delightful Paarl BASH kids venue unfortunately didn’t quite work out. No worries though – nothing that a quick relocate to the lush Louisenhof Wines estate in Stellenbosch can’t solve!

So all the cool wooden play structures have been brought across, the fun kids play areas have been set up, the kitchen/restaurant area fired up, and the scenic Paarl view swapped out for a scenic Stellenbosch view.

The kids are happy to run about and play, the parents are happy that BASH can finally serve alcohol, and that of course then means that there is now little reason not to stretch out play dates for just that little bit longer.

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All Aboard The Blue Train Park in Mouille Point (2017-11-18) Kid Activities | Photo Gallery 08 FEB 2019

December 1956 saw the opening of the Blue Train in Mouille Point, and 60+ years later, the old girl is still running strong, now the last surviving South African beachfront miniature railway attraction still in action.

With the gorgeous Cape Town backdrop of Lion’s Head, Signal Hill and Table Mountain to the one side, and the splashing ocean waves of the promenade on the other, The Blue Train Park is home to the famous “Old Lady” mini blue train, a mini-skate park, cement push bike track, zip line, climbing rock, multiple jungle gyms, obstacle courses and even a small astro turf soccer pitch – basically more than enough to keep any visiting kids super entertained for quite a while!

To be honest, I don’t know if we ourselves visited this spot as kids, but I do know that my girls had an absolute blast being introduced to this iconic Cape Town kiddies attraction. Even more so after the train conductor let them sit up front and ‘drive’ the train around its track!

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Oh, and we were rather chuffed to bump into Jack Parow of all people during our visit. Turns out the Blue Train Park is super popular to host children’s birthday parties at!

Related Link: The Blue Train Park | Mouille Point | Cape Town