Ready, steady, let’s traverse the trails at twilight
Family Fun at Waterworld Strand Water Park & Putt-putt
Waterworld is also water-wise, making it a safe and special family retreat from the soaring summer heat
In an age where kids are usually more into slaying ogres on video games or fishing for retweets from their favourite celebrities than enjoying physical play, Waterworld Strand offers a refreshingly old-fashioned and buzzing birthday party hot spot – away from a screen of any kind.
As soon as I walked onto the premises on this water park on a laughter-filled Friday afternoon, the phrase ‘good, clean fun’ came to mind, which quite un-coincidentally is exactly what Carl and Claire Morris, the passionate husband and wife team who own and run the facility, had in mind when they created the play zone.
The park – in the picturesque town of Strand, a 35-minute drive from Cape Town – borders one of the most attractive beaches in False Bay, but is tucked away in a grassy, forested nook that’s blessedly protected from the prevailing South Easter winds. The intimate venue boasts five slides of varying size and thrill levels, an extensive dry play area with a jungle gym and mini zip line – which is, incidentally, Claire’s favourite feature – and an adjoining putt-putt course. Adults are encouraged to join in the fun – although you will have to wait your turn just like everyone else!
The informal outdoor café serves simple yet delicious food, and really good Italian coffee, at wooden picnic tables. My Hawaiian pizza was great, but I was also tempted by the toasted sandwiches and hot chips at the next table – not to mention the Frutina slushie being slurped up by a sweet-toothed ten-year-old.
Waterworld’s also water-wise, with multiple means of saving South Africa’s precious resource. Open despite the water crisis thanks to a well point, the park has numerous water tanks and aims to recycle water wherever possible, while keeping every drop scrupulously clean.
Safety and Smiles All Round
Both Carl and Claire are infectiously enthusiastic and friendly to a fault – within minutes of my arrival Carl greeted at least 10 different clients and staff members by name – and this results in a caring atmosphere throughout the park. Wide-eyed twelve-year-olds waited their turn for the stomach-churning vertical slide, while mere metres away parents sipped on Lavazza cappuccinos in the shade of a Bedouin tent. Little ones frolicked in the solar-heated water of the under-6s section of the park, (the big slides are solar heated too) while at the other end of the grounds a gaggle of teenage girls tried their hand at the intricate and lengthy obstacle course that provides a dry alternative to all of the water-based fun.
Waterworld Strand was built by Carl in 1995; although, he is keen to point out that it is a far more attractive place now than it was then. In the last four years, he and Claire have ploughed lots of time, energy and money into making it a “safe haven for the whole family”. It may not be the only waterslides in the Cape Peninsula, but it is the only park that doesn’t allow alcohol, braais or glass bottles. This means that everyone who comes here is after one thing and one thing only: wholesome family fun.
Great for Birthday Parties
This all adds up to make Waterworld Strand exceptionally popular for children’s birthday parties, especially on Friday afternoons and Saturdays. Even when the park is full to capacity – like it was when I visited – a sense of calm prevails. Staff members and a lifeguard (who are all trained in first aid) watch over each section of the park, all the while ensuring that there are no potentially dangerous shenanigans.
Each birthday group is allocated tables according to the number of confirmed water sliders booked for in the undercover area, and there’s no obligation to order food from the café. “We know times are tough,” says Claire, “And we have no problem with people bringing their own drinks, cakes, and snacks.” But at the same time, they’re quite happy to do the catering for you – the Waterside Café sells hot dogs, boerie rolls and more, alongside the pizzas and toasted sandwiches. Claire’s customisable party packs have also proven to be a hit, with all manner of sugary delights ready to be stuffed into bright little bags of take-home joy.
The Final Word
Whether you’re planning a birthday party or are just looking for something different to do with the family over the summer holidays, Waterworld Strand will not disappoint. “Just be careful,” Carl says in reference to my two-year-old daughter, “Once you’ve brought her here she’ll be begging you to come back every weekend.”
Don’t say we didn’t warn you. Luckily, a season ticket is an option.
Tip: If you’re booking a birthday party with Waterworld Strand, mention CapeTownMagazine.com and Claire and Carl will throw in a free round of putt-putt for each member of your group.
Opening Times: Tuesday – Friday: 1pm – 6pm | Weekends: 9am – 6pm | School & Public Holidays: Open daily from 9am – 6pm
Note: Waterworld opens from the beginning of September for the summer season and closes on 2 May for winter. It’s also closed on Christmas day, 25 December 2017.
1 Hour water sliding - R80/p
2 Hours water-sliding - R95/p
Full day water sliding - R135/p
Spectator: (with water-sliders only)
1 Hour spectator - R15/p
2 Hours spectator - R20/p
Full day spectator - R85/p
All rates are per person regardless of age and are inclusive of all of the facilities within the Waterworld venue. Children aged 1 and 2 years pay R35/p. Babies under 12 months are not charged. Season tickets are R700/p, with discounted rates when you buy more than one ticket.
PARTY & GROUP RATES
2 Hours water-sliding & play - R80/p (10-29 people water sliding)
2 Hours water-sliding & play - R75/p (30-50 people water sliding)
2 Hours spectator - R15/p
NOTE: No alcohol or glass bottles are allowed on the premises.
By Nick Dall
On the hunt for other affordable kiddie activities? Have a gander at our overview of cheap and free things to do with kids in Cape Town.
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