We were invited to a day out at Bugz Playpark. It has been on our to-do list for over a year, but we were eagerly awaiting for Olly to be the right age to go. Little did we know, we could have taken him ages ago and he would’ve already have had such a great time! Below, you can read about our experience at Bugz Playpark with my little Bugsie and Elijah.
Bugz Playpark is open 364 days of the year; however, token rides are only open on weekends & public holidays. You can read more here to find out which rides are the Token Rides: http://www.bugzplaypark.co.za/park-info
The playpark is in Tarentaal Street, Joostenbergvlakte in Kraaifontein. It is tricky to see their signs from the road, but there is a sign for the Cape Gardens Centre Nursery, so make sure that you turn RIGHT down that road to assist you with getting there.
WHAT IS IT?
Bugz Playpark is the Western Cape’s largest playpark for kids! Not only is it a playpark, but it is also a fantastic party venue. With 8 indoor party venues, there are also 4 outdoor ones – and with 28 themes to choose from, you actually can’t go wrong!
There is a huge indoor play area which is perfect for a rainy day.
The outdoor play areas are complete with Free Play Fun as well as the Token Areas. The ‘Free Play Fun’ activities include the sandpit, slides, monkey bars, dolls houses, treehouse, mud kitchens, jungle gym, and splash pool. If your child is below the age of 3, this is what I would recommend.
Check out this link for more information on the ticket costs, and how it all works: http://www.bugzplaypark.co.za/park-info
I love their rule that an adult can’t come in unsupervised! 😉 If an adult isn’t coming in accompanied by a child, they aren’t allowed in. This means that the playpark is safe from any ‘lurkers’. They also haven’t made it easy for the kids to roam out of the playpark on their own. There is only one way out, which is also the way in, and there are always people from the park around watching. This certainly does put my mind at ease!
Close your eyes tightly, and imagine Disneyland – but instead of a huge, overwhelming theme park that all ages are invited to, it is a little fantasy world for kids ONLY. A stimulation station where they can get lost in play, safely! And, instead of rides and activities being created for no reason other than fun, each and everything that they have built has a purpose of its own. It means that even though your kids are having fun, without even knowing it, they are learning and growing through play!
We arrived at Bugz Playpark just after 10:00. Our boys had already seen the video on the website of all that happens at the playpark, and were so hyped up before they even knew what was about to hit them. We were greeted with upbeat music, which left their little toes tapping while waiting to enter. We got to the front of the quick moving queue, and it was time to get our wristbands. Oh, what happy smiles we were met with! The boys were very proud of their special bands, and sped off without a second thought. So many options, so little time – or so they thought! But, the time was on their side, and there was enough time for our little people to see and do everything, multiple times!
We were then introduced to Melissa, the park’s Marketing and Event Major, such a wonderful woman who clearly loves what she does. I loved how she crouched down on her haunches, and made eye contact with our boys while chatting to them about all of the fun that was instore for them. They were practically squealing. We got a quick tour of the playpark, and then were left to go wild!
First stop, the jungle gyms! Funny, right? It just shows how well thought out these magical jungle gyms were for two and a half year old boys to choose them over other rides they had never seen before! And BOY, did these kids climb and climb AND CLIMB! Next stop, the little ‘Worm Train’ ride – the smile that lit up my sons face was priceless. He was truly in his own little world, imagining all sorts of things. As he ‘steered’ the train frantically from his very own little carriage, I knew instantly that the long, hot drive out there was totally worth every second.
We then, excitedly made our way over to the little self-ride tractors. These are great for kids that have little tricycles at home! The sweet sound of giggles that came floating from that enclosure was divine!
Our kids were a little too young for the horse rides, but that didn’t prevent them from enjoying watching the older kids gallop around the paddock. They were so excited to hear that they could have a turn when we go back again another time.
We rushed off to the Splash Pool, as both of our boys are obsessed with water since starting swimming lessons last year! Due to their age, they weren’t yet allowed to go on the wave slide, water slide, speed waterslide and rowing boats, but they were totally content with the open shallow pools with water that sprayed out of the ground! We loved that the water is reused, and not wasted! Kids HAVE to wear proper swimming costumes, and aren’t allowed in with underwear, I always think that this is important! It also keeps the water clean and hygienic! The boys must have spent at least an hour at this stop!
At this point, we were so grateful for an entire playpark to be shaded. There are uncountable trees, which mean that we are always protected from the sun! Kids often don’t notice the heat, but as parents, we do! And, it often is the deciding factor on how long one stays. It was a hot day, and not once did we notice how hot it was, because we were kept cool and out of the direct sun, thanks to the trees!
The park, in fact isn’t huge! It is spacious, and as a parent, I think we can appreciate that if our kids run off, we will always find them, as the playpark goes in a loop. All of the water rides, and age restricted rides are fenced off with a ride controller, so your child cannot just hop onto a ride on their own. Also, if your child is too young, their band will be the incorrect colour for that particular ride ensuring they are kept safe at all times!
12:30 arrived, and we decided that it was time for some lunch. We headed inside and what a wonderful menu with a large variety! A well-stocked ‘Bugz Big Bite Restaurant’ with very friendly, and patient (when your kids change their mind of what they want to eat 10 times) waitresses. I love that there were healthier options and different portion sizes depending on what you chose to eat. There is also a Snack Shack in the outside play area for a quick snack or refreshment while your kids continue to play. I love that they give you a little buzzer which works right around the playpark. This means that your kids can continue playing until the food is ready. The boys had a burger which was huge! I had a wrap and Angela had the chicken salad. Everyone was very quiet while eating, which is always a good sign. We all agreed that the food was delicious!! The kids played in the indoor play area while we ate. I really appreciated that there was this play area as they could play and entertain themselves for a bit while we finished eating.
We headed back outside, excitedly and bee-lined straight to the face painting station. They got to choose from a list of characters. Olly decided he wanted to be a Ninja Turtle, and Sam, the artist did a phenomenal job. Honestly, Olly is normally quite nervous and hesitant when sitting down in front of a stranger – but Sam was so gentle and friendly, that Olly sat there quietly, and still for him to paint his face for him. Sam held up the mirror, and Olly showed off a huge, toothy grin with his freshly painted face! Elijah decided to be Micky Mouse, and again, he had a wonderful experience. They both climbed onto Sam’s lap at the end, and gave him a big high-five to say ‘Thank you’.
We then went next door to ‘Megan’s Petting Farm’. Here, the boys got to hold, pet and feed the animals. So neatly kept, we weren’t holding our noses the entire time, but instead had fun ourselves feeding the little lamb and goat as well as holding the bunnies and guinea pigs. Olly was even brave enough to hold a goose, and he fed the Turkey. Pets and animals are so vital for kids – and watching our boys fall so in love with each of these animals was just the sweetest thing! The soft looks in their eyes, and watching them stroke the animals so gently was truly special.
The Swing Horses were next in line, and due to their age, we had to go with them. I must say, even I had fun, and Olly was singing away as the horses ‘galloped’ around and around. It is a 3 minute ride, which means it’s long enough to really enjoy it.
It was already almost 14:30, and the boys were starting to get tired and stroppy after a full day of playing! We decided that we would end the trip ‘sweetly’ by letting them have an ice cream before getting them into the car. With such a lovely variety of flavours (sauces that go over plain vanilla ice-cream’, it was tough to choose one – but they settled on the ‘Candy Floss’ flavour and were very content with their decision. By this stage, they were practically licking their ice creams while falling asleep sitting up, and we knew that it was home time!
They had the best day at Bugz Playpark. Our little characters were content and ready to sleep all the way home, and sleep they did! We all had a wonderful day, and I have no doubt they will be talking about their experience for weeks to come. We will definitely be back! And, once Olly is old enough for more of the rides, we will most certainly be back frequently, despite the long drive. It is such a wonderful meeting place, parents can watch their kids and chat while the kids play, play and play some more.
I can honestly say that our day out there was worth every single cent! And your kids will thank you for it!
For the parents that don’t live in Cape Town, make sure this is on your itinerary for when you do come down to visit on holiday!
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