It is winter; it is cold, it is rainy and a warm blanket with popcorn, a movie and some hot chocolate might seem like the best idea but leave that for the weekend and get out and explore Nelson Mandela Bay this Youth Day!
#1 Visit Holmeleigh Farmyard
Holmeleigh Farmyard, situated in Kragga Kamma and just a short drive from Port Elizabeth’s city centre, is an animal farm where kids can have a real farm-like experience while feeding the goats, sheep, ostriches and more. Not only will your kids learn more about farm animals, but they can also enjoy the playground and a tractor ride while you indulge in the coffee shop’s treats.
#2 Boardwalk Kids Activities
The Boardwalk is a one-stop entertainment centre for young and old. Make a day of it and enjoy all the activities on offer from ten-pin bowling, to go-kart racing and mini-golf.
#3 Waddle with the penguins at SAMREC
Visit the South African Marine Bird Rehabilitation and Education Centre and enjoy a walk through their “Please Touch” learning centre as well as the penguin feeding time around 14h00, daily. SAMREC is a great opportunity for parents to teach their kids valuable lessons about the ocean, ocean conservation and how we can do our part.
With so much natural beauty it is no wonder that there are so many hiking trails in and around Port Elizabeth. Why don’t you tackle the child-friendly 8 km Sacromento trail in the area of Schoenmakerskop and walk past the cannon and through Sardinia Bay Marine and Nature Reserve.
#5 Get back to nature at Addo Elephant National Park
Head to Addo Elephant National Park, pack a picnic basket or plan a picnic braai and enjoy the Big 5 on a self-guided game drive. The Park is only an hour’s drive from game drive and it will keep you busy from dawn till dusk. Pick up a pamphlet and map at either the main gate or Matholweni gate, play a game of who spotted what first and give bonus points to first one to spot the African Dungle Beetle.
#6 Go Ice Skating at Baywest
For a fun-filled winter’s holiday for the whole family, visit Baywest Mall and spend a few hours on the ice. Whether you are a pro ice skater or a beginner, the fun factor is guaranteed.
#7 Go Sandboarding at Sundays
Glide down some of the biggest dunes in the Eastern Cape at Sundays river. Put your balance to test and try the lie down board as well as the stand-up snowboard type.
#8 Go on Africa’s Longest Zipline
If you and your kids are after adrenaline and adventure, visit Adrenalin Addo and enjoy a one-of-a-kind experience, a trip of a lifetime on Africa’s longest double zip line and the only giant swing of its kind in South Africa. They also offer canoes, a cafe and a jungle gym.
#9 Enjoy the views of Algoa Bay from Donkin Reserve
Donkin Reserve is still a favourite for many Port Elizabethans and one visit is never enough. Enjoy the view of the Bay from the lighthouse and take some great family photos on the mosaic floor in front of the pyramid.
Aim, shoot, colour – that’s the way to go at Paintball Heaven. Visit one of their paintball play-fields in Uitenhage or Port Elizabeth and duck, dive and play around with your kids. It promises to be colourful.
#11 Open Sky Entertainment Park
Open Sky Entertainment Park is situated on a farm and offers fun for the whole family. Bring your kids and enjoy putt-putt, paintball, animals, a coffee shop, a trampoline as well as a kids’ carousel.
#12 Take a roadtrip
Where do you want to go? Do you want to visit Jeffreys Bay, a part of the Karoo, the Gamtoos Valley or what about Nanaga Farm Stall and Sundays River? Pick your destination and get in your car, because the choices of things to do, places to go and people to see an hour to two’s drive from the Bay are endless.
#13 Have a real Farm Style Breakfast
If you want to add the farm to your breakfast, visit Crossways Country Kitchen, located next to the N2 in the area of Van Stadens, just 25 minutes from Port Elizabeth. At Crossways Country Kitchen you can enjoy fresh produce while enjoying the peaceful farm-like atmosphere.
#14 Brave the Beach
We know it’s cold but who can resist an ice cream and a stroll on one of Port Elizabeth’s blue flag beaches?
#15 Go on a Game Drive at Kragga Kamma Game Park
Port Elizabeth is one of the few cities in South Africa where you can get in your car and reach a game park within a few minutes. Visit Kragga Kamma Game Park, enjoy the short walk and spot the giraffes, cheetahs and other game.
#16 Watch a Movie
If the cold is too much and if that popcorn is calling, grab a movie with your kids at one of Port Elizabeth’s movie theatres.
Megan Kelly, a beauty-lifestyle-parenting blogger from the Bay, said…
“Our favourite spots are the beach front because the kids can ride their bikes safely away from cars and enjoy the park. I won’t deny it, I have even tried the big silver and wavy slide! Since the upgrades, the beachfront really is an awesome place to take kids for an afternoon out. Of course, as a child, whenever I visited PE, I’d go to Homeleigh Farm, so it really isn’t a surprise that I try to recreate those memories for my own kid. He loves feeding the goats while I enjoy one of their massive scones.”
Visit her blog, www.megankelly.co.za.
Tami Magnin from Tazz Discovers, a family-travel blog, recently visited Nelson Mandela Bay with her family on their big South African Road Trip, she shared…
“We loved the beach (obviously) but the kids also loved the tidal pools at Cape Recife. And Addo! Gosh that was awesome. And Raggy Charters. So many awesome things to do in Port Elizabeth!”
Visit their family-travel blog, www.tazzdiscovers.com.
A photo posted by Tami, Anton and the Zs (@tazzdiscovers) on May 27, 2016 at 1:05am PDT
Eleanor Douglas-Meyers, a craft-obsessed blogger and mother said…
“We love the outdoors so Homeleigh Farmyard and Kings Beach Park are firm favourites for taking pics and running around, it’s also super affordable which is right up my ally …and if the weather is bad there is the game centre or movies and I can watch all the cartoons and play all the childish games I want while saying it was all for him.”
Visit her blog, www.justellabella.co.za.
Luchae Williams, a Port Elizabeth-based blogger shared…
“My kids and I are so excited to visit the Logos Hope ship that will be docked in Nelson Mandela Bay and open to the public until June 19th, 2016. The entrance fee is a meagre R5 per adult (free for kids under 12) but the experience, I’m sure, will be priceless! A floating book shop – need I say more!”
Visit her blog, www.myspreadsheetbrain.co.za
So what are you waiting for? Explore the best of the Bay this Youth Day!