Ready, steady, let’s traverse the trails at twilight
Good, old fashioned, problem solving, muscle building, character developing fun.
If you, like me, remember the days when building a blanket fort or spotting the perfect hill to roll down were two of the most exciting things for a child, you will also know the frustration of seeing too many of today’s children glued to TVs and tablets – No, kids, the term ‘sandbox’ isn’t limited to games like Minecraft.
While outdoor play is vital for a child’s emotional, social and physical development it can’t go unsaid that safe spaces are few, planning can be a nightmare and if we’re honest, technology often gets the better of all of us. That is why I was thrilled to discover Bugz Family Playpark.
The park started ten years ago, after the owners grew tired of being a part of the corporate rat-race in Johannesburg. They chose to pursue a life with considerably more fresh air, joining family in the Cape who owned a nursery (now Cape Garden).
Saturday afternoons were spent watching parents attempt to pick out the perfect petunias while their children demolished every plant in their wake. With this, they realised there was a need to keep the kids busy while their parents shopped. Little did they know that what started with rides on Annie the horse for just R5 and a simple hotdog stand would go on to become what is now the largest children’s playpark in the Western Cape.
The playpark is extensive with fully facilitated outdoor and indoor play areas. There is a choo-choo train, jungle gyms, a splash pool (with fountains), monkey bars, paddle boats, a water slide, peddle carts, sand pits, horse rides (sadly Annie has retired) and much, much more.
From the Animal Farm teaching your child the value of caring and social interactions to their gorgeous tree houses encouraging imaginative play and the conquering of fears, the rides and activities at Bugz Playpark tap into and explore the vital skills needed for social, physical and educational development.
The Edu-park hosts up to 25 birthday parties a weekend, as well as school outings and corporate family days, and walking into Bugz Playpark I could immediately see the appeal. I’m twenty-five and even I would kill to have a party there. Along with their eight themed and fully equipped party areas inside, and four outside, they cover everything from setup and food (grown-up food too) to a personal helper and customised party packs – all you need to bring is yourself, the kids and the cake!
The playpark offers 28 different themes with classics like your princess, superhero and pirate parties but it was really the ‘activity’ themes that piqued my interest. There are cooking parties, kitted out with mini work stations, pots, pans, the works, that are a hit with the kids and make-over parties that would make all our Princess Diaries dreams come true. Always dreamed of getting that Renaldi revamp? Now’s the chance to go all-out with your kids!
Another bonus to having a party here is that even once your two hours in the private area are up you still have full access to the entire park until it closes.
The Bugz Playpark Big Bite Restaurant kitchen is open seven days a week with tasty and healthy options for both kids and adults. They’ve got breakfast and lunch covered with your choices of sandwiches, burgers, wraps, salads and much more. Of course, they’ve got the naughtier treats covered too with a dairy bar that makes the yummiest milkshakes, ice-creams and waffles. A side-note; their kitchen is not halaal certified, but on party days they can make provisions for halaal platters.
While their foefie slide appeals to the child in me, it is their emphasis of “fun with your children” that has really made Bugz Playpark stand out. This is not a day-care, parents are not allowed to drop and run. The Bugz team truly believes in the importance of playing with your kids, sharing in their joy and actively joining them as they grow and learn (If you really need more of a drawcard, there’s a waterslide for adults!)
Tip: Look at paying for the Full VIP Experience at R120 rather than the standard entrance. After you’ve bought mountains of tokens because your child wants to do everything (and trust me they will) it works out cheaper.
Cost and Booking Information: Adults: R50 | Grandparents: R35 | Children R60 (Kids under two enter for free) | VIP wristbands: R120 (entrance + unlimited rides, except Facepaint and the Petting farm) | Tokens: R10 | Tip! Rides are 2-6 tokens | Parties: R189 – R230 per child
Opening Times: Monday – Sunday | 9am – 5pm (except on Christmas Day). Rides only open on weekends, school holidays and public holidays – weather permitted.
Bugz Playpark | 56 Tarentaal Street, Joostenbergvlakte, Kraaifontein | www.bugzplaypark.co.za | [email protected]| +27 21 988 8836/9613
By Julia Joubert
Looking for other cool activities to do with your little ones? Check out our overview of 50 Super Cool Things to Do for Kids.
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