Judging by the Christmas decor hitting our shelves, something tells me that December school holidays are nearing. In combination with it being the longest school holiday and of course, it falling over the festive season, it can very easily become expensive but if you find yourself in my hometown of Port Elizabeth, there’s a bunch of budget and kid friendly activities for you and your family to enjoy!
Picnic on the beach
No matter whether you are from the concrete jungle or are from Port Elizabeth, you can’t help but keep falling in love with our white sandy beaches. Take a stroll along Shark Rock Pier and maybe catch a glimpse of the dolphins showing off, or grab your cardboard box and make a DIY sandboard for the dunes of Maitland’s and Sardina’s beaches. Beaches are what holiday memories are made of and opting for a home brought picnic instead of restaurants and takeouts aren’t only the healthier option, but of course the more affordable one too! What are you waiting for? Grab your cozzie, your sunscreen and hit the waves!
It wouldn’t be a trip to Port Elizabeth, if you don’t stop by our very own Homeleigh Farm. The kids will adore feeding the goats, horses, ostriches, pigs and donkeys. Not to mention the tractor rides, jumping castles and different jungle gyms to suit all ages, while mom and dad enjoy a cuppa coffee with some homemade koeksisters. Entrance is about R20 / adult and R10/ kid plus the option to buy feed for the animals.
Kiddies Lovers is our one stop shop for an afternoon of parental bliss, where the kids can run around, play in beautifully themed wendy houses and enjoy some kiddy interaction with the other children. Parents only pay R25 per kid, adults are free and have the option to order light food, snacks and drinks from the tuckshop or bring your own picnic to enjoy the afternoon with the kids. They have loads of jungle gyms, play-bikes and of course, themed rooms which encourage dressing up and playing the role of teacher, policeman, chef, mommy or doctor.
The SAAF Museum
If you have a plane-obsessed kiddo like mine, then you HAVE to make a turn at the SAAF museum. Fittingly, located in an old hangar, this place houses, exhibits, and restores material related to the history of the South African Air Force. You will be amazed by the crazy-looking air crafts that people once flew, I mean – how did they think that was ever safe? My kid spent a good few hours oohing and ahhing over the plane models and of course ducking and diving under the wings of some really cool looking planes, jets, and helicopters. Best of all, the entrance is free, but they do have a donation box.
Unlock the Bay with a Nelson Mandela Bay Pass
If you’re visiting Port Elizabeth and are looking to visit a few different attractions then you should definitely check out the Nelson Mandela Bay Pass, which has over 45 attractions and activities worth checking out like the Homeleigh Farm, Bayworld Museum, Addo National Park and Kragga Kamma Game Park.
The smart card gives you free admission to a variety of attractions and activities in Nelson Mandela Bay. Whether you like exploring museums, game reserves, or even trying out scuba diving, there’s definitely something for everybody. It also entitles you to some great discounts in selected stores for shopping, activities, entertainment and more.
Looking for affordable flights to Port Elizabeth?
Why not skip the busy roads, this year, and opt for flying to Port Elizabeth directly? Cheapflights is a useful tool to check out (and bookmark) that gives you affordable flights, car rentals, and hotel options, making it easier than ever to plan your next getaway.
Don’t forget, while you’re snapping away pictures and sharing them online, use the hashtag #ShareTheBay so we can all see the fun that never ends, in the friendly city of Port Elizabeth.