Gone are the days where you would have to rush the kids around the garden nursery hoping that they won’t rip out the ferns, steal fruit off the trees or mangle the geraniums as you try find the best plants for your garden.
These days some nursery managers have put some thought into the design and layout of their establishments and they’ve also realised that if they keep the kids entertained and happy the parents will be happy. By getting this balance right, chances are high that they have bagged themselves some repeat customers.
Several Cape Town nurseries now have a variety of child friendly entertainment available, such as: jungle gyms, mazes, play areas and loads of animals for the children to see and feed such as ducks, chickens, geese, budgies and rabbits. So if you need to improve on your garden and have a day out for the kids as well, consider these places in Cape Town:
Ferndale nursery, Constantia
This is one of my favourite places to take the kids. It has a rustic jungle gym where kids can clamber and climb on all kinds of contraptions and for just R2 you can buy yourself a bag of food to let your little one feed the ducks, geese and chickens. There’s lots of other animals to see including budgies, fish and rabbits. There’s also a play area with a sandpit, as well as slides and swings. Pity there’s no place to have a spot of tea. But when we went there last weekend, the nursery had laid a new lawn. So there’ll either be lots more space of your child to run around or perhaps they’ll turn it into a seating area…watch this space.
This is my second favourite nursery but only because it’s not as close as Ferndale to where we live. But if I lived out in the northern suburbs I’d definitely visit this place more often. It has oodles of space for the kids – around 800 square meters according to one report. Within this space there’s lots of jungle gyms, swings, slides and sand to keep the kids entertained. Adults can sit by on tables under a terrace in the shade and watch the kids play. This place is also a great venue to host your child’s birthday party. It’s a pity this venues’ website doesn’t do the play area and restaurant any justice but if you want to get a sense for what it offers facilities wise, check out its Facebook page.
We haven’t been to this venue yet but it’s definitely on our ‘must visit list’. This nursery has an animal farm and playground and according to blog thestellenboschmom, children can view and feed the goats, ponies, llamas, rabbits, marmosets and ducks in the duck pond area. Unlike Ferndale this place has a coffee shop which boasts a kids playground with a train themed jungle gym, monkey bars, swings, slide, see-saws, trampolines, a jumping castle and plenty of sand.
Further afield out in Kommetjie, Harry Goemans Nursery, is a family run business and is often described as ‘rustic and quaint’. It has a restaurant, the Easy Dig Cafe, with a small children’s play area. They’re happy to host kiddies parties and other functions too. Unfortunately, it’s website – while descriptive – doesn’t sport any images of the kid friendly facilities. Looks like you’ll just have to go there and see for yourself.
This little nursery specialises in herbs (for medicinal and culinary purposes), seedlings and indigenous plans like Aloes. If the kids get bored the farm offers a number of child friendly restaurants which has play areas to keep them entertained. Alternatively, let the kids enjoy a camel or pony ride, Maze World, face painting, paintball or the Snake Park.
It doesn’t sport a play area or any other sort of entertainment for the kids, but then who needs that if it’s on the doorstep of the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, which has plenty of space for the kids to run around in, play areas (there’s one outside Moyo Restaurant), the Treetop canopy to explore and some dinosaur statues left over from the exhibition to hunt down.
Builders Warehouse, Tokai
This is not child-friendly per se, but there’s the odd thing here and there to keep the little ones amused. There’s free pop corn on offer and on occasion there’s a jumping castle outside the building which can provide some fun. It’s in the same location as the Earth Friendly Food Market, which takes place on a Saturday which has a kiddies play area with arts and crafts to keep them amused. In the same centre there’s a comprehensive Baby City store and Reader’s Warehouse.