Barry Bateman Family Portraits Dec 2012By Sholain Govender-Bateman – Pretoria-based New Media journalism lecturer, former The Star and Pretoria News journalist & editor of magazines. She is mum to two gorgeous girls, Isobel and Aishwari, and wife to Barry Bateman. Twitter @sholain

In the past I have written pieces on things to do in Pretoria without breaking the bank plus a list of 5 kids places to visit for free.   As my two gorgeous little girls grow older, I have to seek out new, more age appropriate entertainment and activities for them. Of course, I’m still money conscious since a family outing for four ends up costing loads once entry fees(where applicable), food and other little expenses crop up. So here is my current list of activities that I find suit my energetic 4.5-year-old and my currently tantrumic 2-year-old:

A game drive!  Rietvlei Nature Reserve
On a public holiday not so long ago, not wanting to do anything that involved crowds rietvlei1_large_9052and loads of money, my hubby and I decided to take the girls for an adventure to Rietvlei Nature Reserve.  The girls were contained in the car and since we were driving very slowly through the designated roads in the nature reserve, we felt safe enough to unbuckle them from their car seats so that they were free to look around. We spotted zebra, hippos, wildebeest and springboks and all kinds of other creatures and stopped off at a picnic area when the girls needed to stretch their legs and use the bathroom. Overall it was very enjoyable for the girls and Isobel (4.5 year old) is very keen on going back. Entry fee may be a bit pricey if you’re a family larger than 4 or have older kids but you can take your own snacks or picnic basket if you are budget-conscious.
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  19th Hole Putt-puttputt putt
We haven’t been here yet but I’m certain that it will work well as an outing because the entry isn’t expensive and the girls will have a chance to run around without us grown-ups worrying that they are disturbing anyone as it’s a venue geared towards children. They also have a mini-town, jungle gym and waffles!
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Games arcade – Menlyn Park Galaxy World
Isobel is always drawn to the lights and sounds of the games arcade at Menlyn Park shopping centre. We don’t let either of our girls wander around on their own but the occasional ride or little arcade game is a big treat for them.
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Food Lover’s Market
Sounds a bit silly but it’s really a great little outing for our family and kills two birds with one stone as we get to entertain the kids a bit whilst doing a bit of shopping. Each parent grabs a trolley and takes charge of one child. My children are big helpers in the kitchen and me or hubby often end up playing sous chef to Isobel’s cooking/baking efforts so they love to see the fish and breads and sushi-making and we almost always end the little shopping expedition with some yummy freshly baked pizza! (p.s. I do not have shares in the company lol)
Click here to find out more about Food  Lover’s in Pretoria

We still have our firm favourites which I’ve mentioned in older posts but let me list them again for those who would like to know:

Safari Garden Centresafari garden
Always fun walking around and looking at the water features, plants, animals and having a quick meal there. My girls also love herbs so it’s nice to show them what fresh herbs look like and how they grow.
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Hazel Food Market
We love tasting new things and exposing the kids to different people and foods. This is a regular Saturday morning outing when the weather is good.
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Zita Park – Swimming, ice cream, slides and swings.
Need I say more?
Click here to find out about Zita Cafe situated in the park.

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