My top 15 list of Child Friendly activities around Cape Town

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So yet another hiatus taken after yet another baby, I became a proud member of the two under two club (2 boys now) but I’m determined to get my blog back on track. There’s so much I want to say and share and so much that has happened.

In addition to adding another little boisterous boy to our family we also relocated to the beautiful Western Cape, and what a year it’s been! I actually can’t even fathom why anyone with children would want to live anywhere else in the world. This place literally has it all!

I thought I’d summarize the top places to take kids too, and bear with me as this list is quite long. Jozi you have A LOT to learn when it comes to making things kid friendly. There is an abundance of places to take the kids and almost every farm is child friendly. After living in Johannesburg for so long I really am left in awe.

I will  write longer reviews on each place, but for now, here’s my top 15 list (in no specific order).

  1. World of Birds – Constantia – This is the largest bird park in Africa and its home to something like 3000 birds and quite a number of reptiles! All of the owls and predator birds are adopted and none of them have been bred in captivity. My toddler was in awe of all the colours and the monkey interaction is entertaining for everyone!1741
  2. Butterfly World – Stellenbosch – Best to go on a sunny day when all the glorious butterfly’s fly about in their element! There are also a number of other animals on display including reptiles (some colourful iguanas), tarantula’s, birds, small monkeys and LOTS of guinea pigs. BEST part is kids under 3 are free!

     

  3. Monkey Town – Somerset West – This place kinda has it all! Yes the park is a little “run down” BUT these places do rely on visitors for funding so go and visit! Not only do they have like 200 different primates, they also have Chimpanzees ! (Don’t worry they have been rehabilitated after various horrible stories). Monkey Town also has a small Petting animal section a huge garden with numerous Jungle Gyms AND you can picnic and braai there.988
  4. The Giraffe House – Stellenbosch – Despite its name the Giraffe house is home to Zebra, Ostrich, crocodile, Jackals and a number of other animals too. We made the mistake of going on a “slight breezy” winters day with a 6 week old baby. Safe to say, dad did the tour with the toddler who was in his element and mum sat in the car for most of the time because the wind was reminiscint of Artic Gail force winds !
  5. Vergelegen Wine Farm (They have the most amazing playground) – Have a lunch at Stables restaurant while your kids play in the most artistic Play area. A little stream for them to splash in , a giants bird nest, and a maze – what more do you need? Oh and they offer picnics in the forest as well.
  6. Vergenoegd Wine Farm (Famous for its Runner ducks and kids activities). Vergenoegd keeps about 1100 Indian “Runner Ducks”. These ducks head out each day into the vineyards and they eat all the snails and harmful pests that destroy the grapes, on their journey the give a little “Parade” which the kids adore! Vergenoegd also has dedicated child minders so you can enjoy your picnic in the most beautiful surroundings while your kids play a number of games and activities.956
  7. Visit the penguins – dependent on which side of Cape Town you are there is the Stony Point Colony at Bettys Bay and of course the famous Boulders Beach in Simons Town. Its not often that you get to swim with Penguins, Ive taken my toddler back 3 times J Did you know that there are only 3 land based breeding grounds for African penguins? Well here are two of them! I find Betty’s Bay a little more quiet as opposed to the ever popular Boulders Beach.
  8. Two oceans aquarium – Aquarium – enough said!Sharks, Penguins, Turtles and Sting rays, what more does a kid want? Right in the heart of the V+A Waterfront its pays tribute to both the Atlantic and the Indian oceans. Visit at about 3pm daily and the kids will get a chance to see the raggies being fed !1465
  9. Cheetah Outreach Program – 2 minutes from my doorstep, and you can take your toddlers in to stroke the Cheetahs ! I was super apprehensive, you can even tell from my picture 🙂 The Cheetah Outreach is an organization that is working to preserve Cheetah in the wild.  Many farmers use traps, poison and hunting techniques to keep the cheetahs away from their farm and livestock, as a result, the cheetah population is dwindling. Here you learn about Cheetah conservation and the Famous Anatolian Shepherd Dogs, These are  very very, VERY large dogs that are used as Shepard dogs and protect livestock.By doing so you can save Cheetahs !IMG_20160229_152516
  10. Spier Wine farm and the Eagle encounters – Another famously Child friendly wine farm. Spier wine farm offers literally the FULL experience. For non wine drinkers like us they offer grape juice tasting, 2 awesome restaurants and a range of activities for the kids. Best part is the Eagle encounters where you can learn more about these glorious predators and get to see them up close.
  11. Green point Park –Seriously, This is where Joburg Parks needs to catch a wake up! Green Points playground is insane ! You can visit green pint for a picnic, walk or run, theres an outdoor gym, s play park and an adventure park for the kids (with about 7 different slides). Evening and Morning Yoga and a whole zen garden section. Did I mention its free?IMG_20160329_130156
  12. The Blue Train and Mouille point park – Probably one of Mouille Point’s oldest attractions, a ticket on the blue train costs just R15 and takes you on two trips around the park. The Blue Train Park borders The Mouille Point park which has a lovely jungle gym and play area for the kids. The blue train park offers yet more play areas as well as a mini ice rink! My toddler loved the choo choo with the sea side views! Afterwards you can ride your bikes and have an ice cream and walk along the famous Green Point Promenade !
  13. Table Mountain Cable Way – Its not Cape Town without Table Mountain. My husband was the most apprehensive about going up Table Mountain with 2 small kids. We prebooked out tickets online (MUST DO) so the line wasn’t that tedious (I think about 45 minutes?) By the time we got to the front my 2 year old was so impatient to go on the “Plane” (the cablecar) that the kind lady in front scanned us through to the next leaving cart. (If you read this THANK YOU!). Much to my husbands delight there were no sheer drops for the pram to roll off at the top 🙂  There was entertainment in the form of a live bank which the toddler loved and we even got to appreciate the views! Once again I am forever grateful as we managed to get a concierge service off the cable car on the way down to the lift and skipped the exit line 🙂758
  14. Root 44 Market – Great Food, Live bands, artisian food and craft and to a huge world of adventure for kids! No less than 5 play areas for kids, a massive indoor soft play area, wate activities and putt putt. SERIOUSLY – Root 44 offers a BUSY day! OPEN EVERY SATURDAY AND SUNDAY FROM 10:00 – 16:00 Tel: 021 881 3052 Email: info@root44.co.za Audacia Wines, Corner of R44 & Annandale Road, Stellenbosch, 7600
  15. The Beaches ! All of them ! There is no explanation needed! Water + Sand is a great combination for any child and it offers free entertainment for hours! The Western Cape offers some of the most beautiful beaches in the world.

 

I must also make honorary mentions to the following places: Tokara Estate (unique little playground and they have heaps of toys around the restaurant for kids to play with), Polkadraai Strawberry Farm for strawberry picking, Helderberg plaas (one of the oldest farms in the region and it has a cute petting farm for the kids to feed the animals).

Western Cape – I am not finished with my explorations and I cannot wait to uncover all that you have to offer (though I don’t think ill ever get through it all!) Are there any places you would mention?

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My Mummy blog – essential items for a newborn baby

Ok, so I have taken a very long hiatus from my blogging. In fact I was actually ashamed to write this blog in a way, I’m very sheepish because of how long it’s been. But this is my blog and my rules right?
I started blogging for my company on articles specifically pertaining to recruitment and career development so a lot of my time was taken by that. And of course this……………….

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My beautiful, cheeky baby boy. I’ve felt the urge to write this blog for a while now, specifically as a new mum. I found while I was pregnant, everyone gives you advice (of course) BUT they forget all the yucky, important stuff!

Like how incredibly sore breastfeeding is in the first few weeks. Or how long you actually take to recover from a c-section and the fact that your scar still hurts 5 months down the line. Various feminine issues going on and how it feels to first actually have a proper bathroom session (I hope no men are reading this 🙂 ) Then there’s the fact, we all know, that newborns sleep all the time yaaaay but what about when they get to 5/ 6 weeks ? Then its like HEELLLLOOOO World! “I’m not sleeping now …”

There is so much advice I would love to give to new mums out there, fact is a lot of it you just learn for yourself. BEST TIP EVER? Certainly the main one I WISH I had taken! Yes, while its so nice to have your baby falling asleep in your arms DO NOT start rocking or swaying him to sleep. While they are still newborn get into the habit of baby falling asleep independently. Its no fun having to walk/rock/sway a 9kg 6 month old who fights every inch of sleep for hours on end…

Onto the lighter stuff. Here are some products that changed my world and I believe are a MUST for new baba’s. Not your standard 6 babygrow, changing mat type of list, rather products that made my life a whole lots easier:
1) Telament-T colic drops – WOW how this saved my life in the early weeks. When baby is crying on end and nothing calms him down? Pop a little drop into a dummy/ pacifier and its like INSTANT calm ! Amazing! Either that or it just gives baby’s a huge sugar rush.
2) Telament- T Gripe water – No other brands worked as well as this did and my Baby B LOVES the taste! Great for when hiccups occur, take about 2ml in a dropper and voila ! Hiccups be gone!
3) A reclining seat/rocker – (For baby not you) I didn’t have a sway chair. Mine was a standard reclining chair with a soothing vibrate function and detachable “friends” to entertain baby. Best place to put baba for a change of scenery and a great place for him to fall asleep when you are busy ironing 
4)Physiogel Lotion/ Cream – Newborns have the most sensitive skins so you cant go lathering on lavender scented aqueous cream straight away. I learnt this the hard way and baba broke out in eczema! These creams were so gentle on baba’s skin. Lotion for body and cream for face.
5) Lasinoh nipple cream – enough said. I found it to be better then the Medela brand (which was too sticky) this was non scented non sticky and super calming.
6) Medela breast pump – If you are a breastfeeding mum this is a MUST have! I bring it down to expressing in those first few weeks that helped my establish a proper milk supply. Its also allowed me in the first few weeks to get extra shut eye. Grannies would do “night duty” and I got a full 8 hours ! Of course when returning to work it also made sure my baby didn’t starve ! They are super industrial quality, easy to use, pretty quiet and compact! I’m lucky enough to have the normal single electric pump and the double swing maxi and both have been brilliant. One word though if you invest in the swing maxi its essential you get the support bra/holder. Otherwise you sit there like a muppet with both hands occupied holding the bottles and you cant even adjust the speed!

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7) Phillips Avent disposable breast pads (in the beginning) were the softest by far of all products on the market. After a while I swapped to the Phillips re-usable (washable) kind.
8) Schlehen blackthorn berry elixir. A MUST again for all breastfeeding mummies. A tonic/ vitamin/ magic juice to increase your milk supply. A God-Send. Mix it up with some rehydrate and juice to make a yummy “jungle juice” that works miracles.
9) Cotton Wool – This simple/ humble item proves its weight in gold with babies. People forget to tell you about the explosive poops 🙂 Funniest and messiest thing ever! I find plain old cotton wool more effective then any “wetwipe” and generally reserve the wipes for when we are out.
10) A Muslin Cloth – I bought a whole lot from “Baby Sense” to keep baby cooler when we went to Botswana for summer. I quickly found it has a multitude of uses and baba loves it! Almost like a security blankie. It’s a changing cloth, a blankie, a shield over the pram, a wiper-uper… the list is endless.

Those are my top 10 things that made my life a great deal easier. I’m sure I’m missing out on a few but the old wives tale around porridge brain and memory is NOT an old wives tale. I’ve lost my mind…but the reward is so much greater 🙂

If you have any more suggestions feel free to comment! Wishing you all happy baby days……………….

Ps x the stilettos? not so high anymore………..