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“Mom, I’m bored!” – Where to take the kids in East London

“Mom, I’m bored!” – does this sound familiar? Whether you’re trying to fill up the school holidays with activities for your kids or even just planning the weekend, there are plenty of places to take your children to keep them entertained.

East London’s premier kiddies entertainment area in East London must be Pinecreek, situated in Beacon Bay.  This upmarket party venue offers 3 different party venues as well as an exciting central playground, with its own station and steam train… the things children’s dreams are made of.  There is also a separate place for parents to grab a cuppa while watching the kids – and don’t leave without visiting the lovely farmstall.  Open Tuesdays – Sundays (10h00 – 12h00 & 14h00 – 16h00), this is the perfect getaway for the little ones who will sleep well after so much fun and entertainment.  Contact Morné on 043 732 1101 or email bookings@pinecreek.co.za.

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If you are looking for an indoor option, head to Bubble Jungle, a playground and party venue where your children will have hours of fun. Find them at Beacon Bay Crossing Centre, Bonza Bay Road, Beacon Bay. Telephone 043 706 6800 or email them.

Something slightly different for the kids to enjoy is a miniature train ride, available on the first Sunday of every month at the Gonubie Farmers Hall showgrounds. They also cater for birthday parties and school outings. For further information contact Clive on 082 715 4422.

If the weather is fine and your kids love animals, take them to Amalinda Nursery where there is an outdoors playground, touch farm and pony rides to enjoy. There is also a lovely cafe situated at the nursery where Mums and Dads can take time out to relax. Amalinda Nursery is also available for party bookings. Telephone 043 741 1276 for more details. They are located at 17 Etheridge Road, Morningside, East London.

Another place for your kids to have a fun time with the animals is Burnside Touch Farm. As well as the touch farm, there is 4-wheeler cart rides, fishing, paint ball and a tea area available. Open Tuesday to Saturday, 9am to 4pm and Sunday from 8.30am to 2.30pm, entrance fee is R20 per person. They also specialize in children’s parties and have various packages to choose from. Contact Melody on 082 478 2949 or email her. Getting there: 8km along the N6 turn left at the Nahoon Valley sign.

Lindale Farm

Lindale Farm is an animal and bird edu-fun farm where your kids can learn and have fun at the same time. Also featuring a playground and tearoom, Lindale Farm is open Friday to Sunday, 9.30am to 4pm and the entrance fee is R25 for adults, R15 for children. Telephone 082 415 2791 for further information. Getting there: take the N6 from circle for 8km and then turn left at the Nahoon Valley sign.

One of East London’s favourite venues for the whole family is The Lion Park. Despite its name, lions are not the only animals that you can see there but also tigers, cheetah, giraffe and crocodile among others. The kids will just love to hand feed the bunnies, ducks, chickens and peacocks. They have a very reasonably-priced coffee shop for that well-earned rest and a play area for the kids in the shape of jungle gyms, climbing walls and trampolines. The Lion Park is open from Tuesday to Sunday, 9am to 5pm (last entry at 4.30pm) and entrance fee is R35 for adults, R25 for children and pensioners. Email or telephone them on 043 730 7161. Getting there: take the N6 for 5.6km from East London towards Stutterheim.

On the same route you will find The Venom Pit Snake Park, situated a short way further down the N6 inside Python Park.  This is the largest snake park in Africa and is exceptionally well maintained and houses magnificent animals including snakes, spiders, scorpions, nile crocodiles and rock monitors to name but a few.  The Venom Snake Pit is open Wednesdays to Sundays from 10h00 – 16h00.  It is also a party venue and includes a lovely touch farm where the kids can interact with bunnies, guinea pigs and tortoise.  Click here to find out more.

All kids love to visit the zoo and they will be more than happy with a trip to East London’s popular Queens Park Zoo. A popular attraction with the children are the rabbits and chickens that roam freely in the Zoo and are happy to take food from the visitors. Raw peanuts are sold in the Zoo and can be fed to some of the various animals. There is a large jungle gym and play area for the kids, close to the refreshment kiosk and a more recent ‘tarantula’ jungle gym near the Boma area. Another very popular attraction for the kids (and adults, I’ve been on it too!) is their Train, relocated to the Zoo from Marina Glen. Run at specific times during the week and all day long on weekends and public holidays, the kids will absolutely adore this ride. Entrance fee is R30 for adults, R18 for children and R12 for Scholars. Open 9am to 4.30pm, Monday to Sunday. Telephone 043 742 5386 for further information, email or visit the Zoo’s website. Queens Park Zoo is located in the centre of East London.

Aquarium

The East London Aquarium is also a real treat for the kids, with a variety of animals to see ranging from fish to marine invertebrates, marine birds and seals. Take them to enjoy one of the seal shows that run daily at 11.30am and 3.30pm or catch the penguin feeding times. There is also a lovely Whale Walk where you can sit and watch out for whales in the ocean (the best viewing times are between August and November). The Aquarium is open Monday through till Sunday, 9am -5pm and the entrance fee is R30 for adults, R18 for children and pensioners. Telephone them on 043 705 2637 for more information. Located on the Esplanade in Quigney.

If your kids love outdoor activities and you are looking for something for them to do during the school holidays then perhaps Jonginenge is the answer. Jonginenge offers the most exciting holiday adventure in East London with a safe beach experience for kids, while they learn new skills and make friends. They meet at the Lifesaving Club on Nahoon Beach every day during the holidays and have adventure-packed, fun-filled days. Jonginenge are very flexible and charge a daily rate (R120 per day) so if the weather is bad and you don’t want to send your kids, then you don’t pay. For further information, telephone Dean on 083 305 2590 or Sharon on 083 565 0514 or email them.

Whatever the weather, there are plenty of options when looking for something to keep the kids occupied, so don’t despair, just follow our guide and you will have happy (and, by the end of the day, exhausted) children!

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