So, it’s Saturday morning and your kids are already fidgety and whining that they’re “so booooored”. They’ve already had breakfast, watched a tv show, played on your tab, played on your phone and locked the sim (AGAIN), drawn all over your magazines and made you play a gazillion pretend games. And it’s only 9:52 AM. What to do????
I’ve been in this predicament with Ella many a time – Not been forward-thinking enough to plan an activity for the weekend and then before I know it BOOM. Saturday is here, we both have cabin fever and need to get out of the house ASAP.
I’m here to save you the work of Googling “fun things to do in Nairobi with children” next Saturday.
Here are some of the fun things to do with kids out and about Nairobi:
1. Animals. Come on people, This Is Africa! Home of Lion King! Timone and Pumba! Hakuna Matata! (I’m sorry). Seriously speaking though, Nairobi is an amazing city because you can experience the beauty of our wildlife without even leaving town. And what’s more, there are so many options to choose from: KWS Safari Walk, The Giraffe Center, Mamba Village, The Elephant Orphanage, Animal Orphanage, Maasai Ostrich Farm, and more! Going to see the animals is lots of fun for kids AND adults.
2. Picnic. There is something very fairytale-ish about picnics. Maybe that’s why children love them so much. Or maybe it’s just that they love eating off the floor and this adds some flair to it. Who knows? Point is, picnics are fun (and inexpensive!) ways to eat out on nice-weather days. At places like Karura Forest, Machakos People’s Park and Oloolua Nature Trail, you can throw in a pleasant, scenic walk on the trails with the little ones before settling down for your picnic. Tip: Remember what I said about the deficient attention span of kids? Yeah. Plan an activity to keep the kids busy after the picnic e.g. ball to kick around, bicycle, kite, etc.
3. Pamper. You know what’s awesome? Killing the proverbial two birds with one stone by turning a necessity into a luxury. Kids will inevitably need to get their hair done at some point, and when you find a kids’ haven like Sprout Kids Salon & Barbershop, you can turn this usually mundane activity into an exciting outing. Sprout is extremely child-friendly. It has a little library and play area full of books and toys; colorful, kid size furniture; hairdressers who are great with kids and pretty much everything that will make your little prince or princess feel pampered from start to finish. Ella’s favorite hair dresser at Sprout, Lydia, sometimes does this thing where she has Ella pick out a storybook and then reads it to her WHILE SHE PLAITS HER HAIR. The woman is a modern day miracle.
4. Splash. If your kid is a fish and loves water parks like mine, Splash Waterworld is the place to go. It has pools and slides for all ages and swimming levels. At this preschool age I’m not comfortable with Ella being in the water without me so this particular activity involves me getting into a swimsuit *gently puts down second cupcake* and joining in the fun myself. When I forget how I look in a swimsuit and avoid every mirror within a 3 mile radius, I actually have a blast at water parks. Self-conscious parents of the world, this is me encouraging you to JUST DO IT. You’ll feel like a kid again, and your kid will love you for it!
5. Time Out. OK. Let’s finish up with some honesty here. Sometimes you’re tired. You’ve been struggling all week with your bitch boss and all you want to do on Saturday is REST. Well, tough. YOU SHOULD HAVE THOUGHT ABOUT THAT BEFORE YOU DECIDED TO HAVE KIDS. Just kidding. I have my fair share of days like these and that’s when I go to places like Java (Valley Arcade), Jolly Roger Theme Park or any of the Spur Restaurants. There you can sit at a table with your glass of
wine juice and relax while your kid runs up and down on the playground. Better yet, you can squeeze in a date at any of these places with that friend who you always say you’ll call but don’t. While the children play, you guys catch up. Everyone wins!