From premium event space to a working field hospital
Graceland Venues Play Park and Waterslide in Paarl
A fun splash-and-frolic playground for kiddies of all ages
Conny Bester, the owner of kiddies’ recreation centre Graceland Venues in Paarl, knows what wee ones really want. As a mother of young’uns herself, she understands that while climbing frames, swings and sandpits are entertaining, there’s not much more satisfying for a small fry than slipping, splashing and swimming around. And so, she proudly runs a family-friendly haven that boasts not just the usual accessories and activities, but four fabulously fun water slides too.
“There’s nothing like this in the whole of the Western Cape,” claims Conny, whose passion is working with those a half pint and a penny high. “And kids need a really great place to play, so that they don’t just hang around in malls.”
Although the recreation centre specialises mainly in children’s parties, it is also open to day visitors when slots are available (Sundays in summer are the best time to swing by), and it promises a whole lot of good, clean aqua entertainment in a tranquil setting – it sits in the bosom of wine country – only a 45-minute drive from the buzz of Cape Town.
Not only are there the four 32m-long water chutes that end in a crystal-clear splash pool, but the outdoor park also claims a large jungle gym with swings and structures to clamber over, a multi-hued play park complete with tubes and tunnels galore for the tiny ones, metres of lawn to frolic around on and a farm animals enclosure.
The latter is home to pot-bellied pigs, uber social goats, ducks, geese, chicken, tortoises and miniature ponies. These encounters are a great way for kiddies to learn about the different creatures they might have seen in story books, and of course, it’s just plain exhilarating to be able to touch a goat’s horn and run a hand over the back of a tortoise’s bumpy shell.
Inquisitive adults might get some enjoyment from this experience too, and in fact, the whole venue is bound to appeal to older types too, particularly thanks to slides and swimming pool (grown-ups love paddling around too, especially when it’s sweltering outside).
“Graceland isn’t just for kids; it’s a family venue, for anyone from 2 years up to 82,” exclaims the bubbly Conny. “In fact, often the adults go crazier than the children.”
Once parents and bambinos have exhausted themselves with the various open-air activities, all members of the clan can sit down to a snack-y meal together on the lush greens or at one of several long alfresco tables. Although visitors aren’t permitted to bring food and drinks onto the property, it’s possible to order finger fare – think hamburgers, boerewors rolls, calamari and more – or platters with a smorgasbord of treats from the centre a day or two in advance.
Of course, this sort of dining downtime won’t last long though. Because Conny is so in tune with what youngsters want, she’s created a spot that’ll have them buzzing and bouncing around from morning to mid-afternoon. So, mom and pop, you can rest assured your tots will sleep soundly after a day spent at Paarl’s Graceland.
Note: The water slides are only open from September until the end of April, and the whole venue is outdoors and open to the elements, so this is the kind of place you want to visit on sunny days in summer.
Tip: Book Graceland Venues for your little one’s next birthday bash and every kid will get access to all the activities for two hours and a party pack filled with a lollie, fizzer, Nik Naks and a juice. All adults get in for free too, should they wish to swim or slide then there is an additional charge
The Bill: Rates for day visitors are R75 for kids (access to all activities), R50 for adults (entrance only) or R100 for adults (entrance and access to water slides).Please contact Conny or Lucia at + 27 (0) 218634109/ + 27 (0)722644009 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org. Booking in advance is preferred.
Opening Hours: Saturday: 9am – 4pm; Sunday: 10am – 4pm. Please contact Conny or Lucia to confirm availability for day visitors. As they specialize in kiddie parties and private functions, they accommodate day visitors on availability.
Klein Dennegeur Farm | Lustigan Road | Southern Paarl | +27 (0)72 264 4009
Looking for ways to entertain kiddies inside on poor weather days? Consult out overview of indoor activities for kids in Cape Town.
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