I’m a Nelson Mandela Bay girl…my heart is in Uitenhage and Port Elizabeth and I make no secret of it. Yes I’ll fly somewhere else (I get car sick, it’s not pretty) but ultimately here is where I like to hang out. I especially like wallet friendly places
If you are planning on visiting our neck of the woods, you can easily do so on a budget, start by getting your plane ticket with cheap flights and then visit the following budget conscious places.
I’m listing seven kid and wallet friendly places to hang out in Nelson Mandela Bay because one day is not nearly enough to take it all in.
I love this place! My wallet loves it because you can go on a game drive (self drive) for R65 per adult and R30 for children between the ages of 3-18. The Eastern Cape has many game farms but I always find that I see the most game at Kragga Kamma. Aidan loves the map and animal list they give you at the gate. He feels like a real explorer as we drive through the park and he ticks off what we see. I always get amazing pictures when I am there and their restaurant is reasonable, they even have picnic spots if you want to cut costs even more.
2. Pink Fig
This coffee shop is a parent’s best friend. While you hang out under their veranda’s having a wholesome meal your child can play in their extensive play area. They have everything from a trampoline to hi-fly swings, slides, a suspension bridge, jungle gym and soooo much more. They even offer a loyalty card which offers you the chance to “earn” a free meal. Oh and bonus! They have free WiFi
This is a must for a visit if you have young kids! Not only do children get to feed the animals and learn about them they can also go on tractor or horse rides. Entry to Homeleigh farm is R25 and includes feed for the animals. My favourite part is after the animal feeding. They have a little restaurant there and loads of places to sit and eat and watch your kids play. Play ground equipment includes a repurposed boat, a bus and a Thomas The Tank engine replica, they have trampolines, rocking horses and slides, this place can keep kids busy for hours while you drink a coffee and have some adult (non Disney related) conversation
I cant get Aidy to stop talking about the giant blue slide. The Kings Beach playground is the least expensive of the lot. For no fee at all your kids can play to their hearts content. Jungle gyms slides, wooden ride on animals and a whimsical layout. You can also bring your child’s bike and ride down the beach front and on the quaint paths. The boardwalk is not too far from there so why not pop over and get some frozen yogurt at Wakaberry, the R20 cones are always a winner with younger kids.
This is really nice coffee shop a place to chill out and relax. You simply must have their lemon juice it comes “deconstructed” in the form of a tiny bottle of lemon syrup and water, you mix and then wonder where it has been your whole life. The thing I love about this place is the fact that your kids can bake their own bread there. It is such a novel idea and it’s under R20 which makes it such a steal. They bring out dough, egg wash, rollers and cutters and your kid can go to crazy making fun shapes which the restaurant then bakes for them and serves warm with yummy butter and jam.
I would be amiss if I didn’t include Uitenhage. The Autopavilion proudly showcases the evolution of the Volkswagen group South Africa. So for R10 (R5 for kids) you can see the cars and technology of the past and the future. Aidan got the see the oldest kombi in South Africa and “meet Herbie” , he was particularly impressed seeing a car sliced in half by a laser. There is a great video presentation and a bunch of hands on activities ideal for little car enthusiasts buffs.
Another Uitenhage favourite is the Science and Technology Centre. It is really such a hidden treasure. R10 will get you in to a giant warehouse with amazing interactive science experiments where ever you look. Kids can learn about construction by building a house, learn about electricity by powering appliances with a bicycle, learn about air pressure by floating above ground and so much more. The Exhibition area is separated into seven zones: Automotive, electricity, lights and optics, flight, momentum, life sciences, construction, sound and games. A Rock climbing wall and survivor/amazing race type games make this a must for group outings.
If you are visiting Uitenhage why not pop in to my favourite coffee shop.
The Caledon Farm Kitchen has the best coffee, great meal options and a fun play area for kids. If the weather doesn’t allow for playing in the open air playground the super nice waitresses will bring you a basket of toys to keep your kid entertained. The coffee shop even has a beauty spa on premisis now THAT is my kind of place