Fun Places To Take Kids This Holiday Season

Fun Places To Take Kids This Holiday Season

Schools have closed and the kids will be home for a good two months. Apart from cartoons, movies, and video games, most parents have no clue on how to keep their kids busy over the holiday. There are plenty of places to visit and activities to do for the youngins. Here are a few that you as a parent could also take part in.

20 Best Things To Do With Kids In Nairobi, Kenya

Nairobi is, no doubt, one of Africa’s most popular cities, and with good reason. If you’ve heard of Kenya’s capital, then you probably know that it’s the only capital city in the world that boasts a national park. However, this shouldn’t be what defines Nairobi; it should be its buoyant people and their welcoming nature. When you do visit, whether you’re alone or with the family, there are certainly lots of places for you to explore and things to do. Different types of accommodations like hotels and Airbnb rentals are pretty easy to get by as well. From going on a safari at Nairobi National Park to trying out the local cuisines, an enchanting experience is on the cards for you. So if your family vacation is in Kenya, read this article to find out about the best things to do with kids in Nairobi.

1. Spend a day at Giraffe Center (from KES 9,961)

No surprises here: this spot is all giraffes all the time, but it never gets old no matter how many times you visit. If your kids have always wondered exactly how tall giraffes are, then they can finally put that issue to rest. Visitors get to feed these friendly creatures and take advantage of the rare opportunity to take photos with the world’s tallest animal. However, it’s not all fun and games as the center’s main mission is to educate visitors on the country’s wildlife conservation efforts, so make sure you peel your kids away from the giraffes and drag them to the demonstration projects on-site. By the end of your visit, you’ll understand why Rothschild giraffes are endangered and why this center is playing a huge role in keeping the species alive.

2. Hang out at Mamba Village

Nairobi is animals galore—from giraffes to crocodiles. The word “mamba” is Swahili for crocodile, an apt name for this little village in Nairobi’s Karen suburb. Though their real estate is by no means large, they have made good use of their space to offer activities that should keep the kids occupied throughout the day. Sure, the crocodiles are what bring visitors, but it’s the restaurant’s good food, the artificial lake and the kids’ rides that keep them. You can actually take a short boat ride on the lake or even ride a camel or a horse, because why not!

3. Have fun at Nairobi Lunar Park

Lunar Park is where Nairobians converge on weekends, to blow off steam with their family. You can also join in the fun at one of the city’s biggest theme parks. It’s found on the fringes of the CBD, so you can’t miss it if you’re in the city center. Several rides define Lunar Park: a Ferris wheel, a merry-go-round, bumper cars and boat rides. There’s no doubt that kids get to have lots of fun, but the downside is that it’s likely to get really crowded on weekends or holidays. If you’re averse to the multitudes, then maybe come on a weekday.

4. Experience the thrill of GP Karting

If adrenaline is something you can’t get enough of, then you can have your daily dose at Nairobi’s GP Karting. This sport that’s a common pastime in Western countries is still relatively new in Kenya, so this center found just outside Nairobi’s CBD is one of a handful in the country. Don’t get me wrong though. The people at GP Karting know what they’re doing and are slowly but surely gaining popularity in the city. Come and experience their take on this thrilling activity. You can even sign yourself up for a racing event if you feel up to it.

5. Cool off at Splash Waterworld

A day out with the kids might feel a bit bland without some fun in the water. So head to Splash Waterworld, one of Nairobi’s oldest waterparks. Since they’ve been around for a while, their facilities can seem outdated. However, what they lack in towering waterslides, they more than make up for with great food at their on-site restaurant. So don’t expect a mind-blowing water experience, but come here for the food alongside a bit of a swim and an overall fun family outing. If you’re hell-bent on an unforgettable water experience, check out Maji Magic Aquapark in number 10 below.

6. Go ice skating at Panari Sky Centre

It turns out a predominantly hot country like Kenya can also have its very own ice-skating rink. The one at Panari Sky Centre just so happens to be the only one, not just in the country, not just in East Africa, but also in Central Africa. For those who enjoy ice skating or those who would like to experience this one-of-a-kind rink, then clear your schedule for a whole afternoon. The rink is spacious enough for up to 200 skaters, a good thing because this has become a very popular spot. However, if you’re not a fan of crowded places, come on a weekday.

7. Try out bowling at The Village Bowl

Gather your family and drive to The Village Market, found in Gigiri, a leafy suburb located a few minutes outside Nairobi’s city center (unless there’s traffic, which there normally is). The Village Bowl just so happens to be the only bowling alley in Kenya, understandably because this is still a growing trend. The alley is spacious and modern, the decor is beautiful and the atmosphere is electric. Incidentally, since this is a very popular joint, you might have to wait for one or two hours before getting a chance to play, more so if you visit on a weekend.

8. Tour Brown's Cheese Factory and Farm (from KES 19,156)

Ever wondered how cheese is made? Let your Nairobi trip be a learning experience for yourself and, of course, your children, by visiting Brown’s Cheese Factory. They’ve been in the cheese-making business for over three decades now and so decided to open up their doors to visitors by offering a tour of their facility. They certainly know how to take care of their guests. A drink and snacks await you upon arrival before you’re taken around the facility, where you’ll learn the process of cheese making. Then, and this is my favorite part, you’ll get to taste different cheese varieties before lunch is served at the tail end of your visit. They have a small farm where the kids can run around and, perhaps, learn how to milk a cow!

9. Have a fun day at Maji Magic Aqua Park

Maji Magic is not your typical waterpark since their facilities are entirely inflatable. However, they don’t offer mere balloons—they have huge slides and trampolines, all floating on an artificial lake. They also offer stand-up paddleboarding, and you can take this chance to learn the sport if you’ve always wanted to. They have bumper boats to grant a day of pure fun for the whole family. So if you’re looking to have fun on the water, Maji Magic should be up to the task.

10. Experience the fun at Magic Planet - Two Rivers Mall

Drive outside the city center to Two Rivers Mall, a monumental shopping complex with many things to buy that, in itself, is a fascinating place to visit. However, for this piece, we’ll focus on Magic Planet, a vibrant gaming arcade that is heaven on earth for kids, found within the mall. If you’re a gamer yourself, you’ll definitely have fun alongside your children, but if you don’t care for these pleasures, let your children loose in the arcade and go sit at one of the restaurants next door. There are dozens of video games and rides, and peeling your kids away from this spot at the end of the day might be a bit of a challenge.

11. Enjoy a day at Paintball Fury

Form a team and head over to Paintball Fury for an action-packed day of fun for the whole family. This lively spot is found in Nairobi’s Karen neighborhood, about a half-hour drive from the city center. Besides joining in team activities, you can also opt to simply go target shooting to work on your aim and blow off some steam at the same time.

12. Chill out at Uhuru Park

If you’re looking for an unassuming place to visit, then head over to Uhuru Park, a popular public park within the city center. This is in no way a touristy spot, and you get an authentic feel of Nairobi’s culture. The park boasts a couple of activities that the kids might enjoy, which includes a boat ride on an artificial lake. During weekends, Nairobians flock to this park, partly because it’s so accessible and largely because it’s free. Give your children the opportunity to enjoy true Nairobi vibes by spending an afternoon at Uhuru Park.

13. Visit Maasai Ostrich Farm

Drive about an hour from the city center to the vibrant town of Kitengela. From here, you’ll get to Maasai Ostrich Farm, named so because it’s within Maasai land. If you’re familiar with this iconic Kenyan community, then that’s reason enough to drive down to this location. However, it’s the promise of spending a day among ostriches that’s appealing to most visitors, feeding and petting them. The Maasai Ostrich Farm also has a restaurant and a swimming pool, so you can make a day of it and enjoy the tranquility outside the buoyant Nairobi city center. Ever wanted to ride an ostrich? You can also experience this here.

14. Watch a 3D movie at an IMAX Cinema

Catch the latest Hollywood flick or a local production while in Nairobi—and there’s no better place to do that than at an IMAX Cinema. Found in several places in Nairobi, this global brand is synonymous with an immersive movie-watching experience, and this reputation extends to Kenya’s capital. So whether you’re a movie fan or you just want a break from all the touring, find an IMAX in Nairobi (perhaps the one in the CBD) and enjoy a memorable 3D experience.

15. Tour Nairobi Snake Park (from KES 11,800)

This park is found within the same compound as Nairobi National Museum, one of Nairobi’s top historical sites, where you’d get to learn more about the country’s culture and history, so a visit to both sites wouldn’t be a bad idea. As the name implies, it’s all about snakes at Nairobi Snake Park, although there are a few crocodiles as well. You’ll be able to learn a lot about the different snake species in the country and, if you’re up for it, get a photo with a snake over your shoulder. If this makes you squeamish (as it would), then just settle for viewing these creatures from behind the glass.

16. Visit the elephants at David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage (from KES 14,559)

When poachers have their way with the elephants in Kenya’s national parks, oftentimes they orphan some helpless elephant calves. David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage was founded to offer sanctuary to these orphaned calves and is at the forefront in the fight against poaching. The calves are cared for around the clock, nurtured to strength and, when they’re old enough, reintroduced to the wild. The orphanage opens its doors to the public for an hour each day, from 11am to 12pm, and you can come and watch them being bathed.

17. Attempt indoor rock climbing at Climb BlueSky

How about some physical activity? This is your chance to experience rock climbing in a controlled space. Climb BlueSky is an indoor rock-climbing gym with walls that are up to 6.5 meters (21.3 feet) high. If you’re not an expert, you need not worry as there are routes for varying skill levels, including ones for children. They also offer climbing classes and family programs, and with their affordable daily rates, you can easily spend a whole day here.

18. Ride The Eye of Kenya

Ever ridden the London Eye? Well, this one is a similar concept—a Ferris wheel offering a panoramic view of the city. The Eye of Kenya is the tallest of its kind in Africa, with a diameter of 55 meters (180 feet), and it’s found at Two Rivers Mall (mentioned in number 11 above). There are 40 glass cabins on the Eye, and for close to 20 minutes, you’ll get to slowly rotate as the city’s view gradually takes shape.

19. Visit Nairobi Animal Orphanage (from KES 6,896)

The setting is reminiscent of the zoos in the West, and the inmates are young animals rescued from the wild and brought here to be nurtured to full health. Most often than not, the animals at Nairobi Animal Orphanage have been through a traumatic experience; many of them have seen their parents felled by the bullets of poachers. Now, their home just outside Nairobi CBD is a wondrous tourist attraction, a place where your children (and you, of course) will enjoy spending a morning or afternoon, or perhaps a whole day. You can decide to adopt a cheetah cub or pet a fully grown one. However, the most fascinating animal is the love child of a zebra and a donkey—a zedonk.

20. Stroll through Nairobi Safari Walk (from KES 25,746)

Nairobi Safari Walk spans a section of the Nairobi National Park, consisting of a raised boardwalk that offers an elevated view of the park. This is basically a tour of the park for those in a hurry, and it’s a good place to visit with kids. The view from this boardwalk is phenomenal, allowing you to catch a glimpse of big cats as well as several cheeky monkeys.

Experience Nairobi’s allure

Nairobi has lots to offer its visitors and locals, allowing you to experience this bustling city’s allure. If you’re visiting with your kids, the comprehensive list above has enough to keep the young ones excited for the duration of your stay. So go ahead and start planning your trip to the capital and find out why it’s one of the top things Kenya is famous for.

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