Schools are closing. Parents are already scratching their heads about what will keep the young ones engaged over the coming holidays. In Kenya, we were used to the December Holidays starting from the last week of November, but this time, things are happening a lot earlier than expected.
In a nutshell, schools are closing the last week of October till January. But how did we get here? I take you back to when the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted all aspects of our lives. Schools were closed, and over 17 million learners across the country had to stay away from class for over a year.
Before Covid, Kenya had a well-structured education system. The school calendar ran from January to December, and each academic term would last for three months with in-between breaks. For about three years, the Kenyan education system has strived to catch up with these arrangements, and I am glad to announce that we are highly likely to go back to the “normal” educational calendar in 2024.
And before we get to the normal academic calendar, let’s face the long holidays. One of the best ways to keep children engaged is by taking them to fun places where they can learn, interact with their peers, and enjoy good food. I have curated a list of the top 5 fun places worth visiting during the holidays, so let’s dive in.
If all it takes to keep your child engaged is fun, then GMC Place is worth visiting. Located a few Kilometers from Kitengela Town along Namanga Highway, GMC features an expansive children’s park where kids can enjoy a variety of games. The place is also an excellent spot for swimming, as the pool is half Olympic, accommodating both kids and adults.
Accessing the place is quite easy. If using public means, simply board a Rembo Shuttle at Railways Bus Station ( fare is around Kshs. 50-80) at a maximum, then alight at Kitengela Town. Pick a boda boda or Tuk-tuk, which should cost you between Kshs—40 to 150, depending on the means you use.
The games are also pocket-friendly, but keep in mind that all payments at the facility are cashless. The games range from around Kshs. 300. And the good part is that they have an unlimited package, where children play over seven unlimited games at Kshs.600.
Contact: 0701 560 560 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Price: From 300
Probably, you know Asyana Gardens for events. But I am here to tell you that this is also an excellent place to take your kids for a fun-filled day. Asyana fronts itself as a family-centered entertainment spot that is also alcohol and smoke-free. Located in Rongai along Nosim Road, the facility features a series of recreation facilities, including a swimming pool, kiddies cars, trampoline, archery, bouncing castle, basketball, and bike riding.
Fun game rates are quite friendly, as children aged 12 and below can swim from as low as Ksh. 200. You’ll love the Asyana Gardens ambiance. Its lush garden is nestled in an enclave of greenery, perfect for the little ones to unwind and take their minds off books. It’s been a learning marathon for them. Surely, they deserve a good break.
Like most recreation centers, you can access Asyana Gardens through public transport. From town, pick a matatu plying the Lang’ata- Rongai route, alight at Tuskys in Rongai, and pick another matatu to Asyana Gardens. Transport from town to Rongai should cost you around Kshs. 100, while from Rongai to Asyana should be around Kshs.40.
Contact: 0794587255 or email: email@example.com
Price: From 200
If you live in Utawala, chances are high that you’ve visited or at least spotted the Fun City Gardens. Located along the Eastern Bypass in Utawala, the fun park promises ultimate relaxation to the whole family. Fun City has an extensive fun park where the little ones can engage in fun activities, including swimming, swinging, bouncing castles, and more.
Their children’s playhouse has a variety of toys to keep the young ones who cannot swim or those taking a break from swimming busy. Their prices are also friendly, as with Kshs.500, your little ones can access the rooftop garden to play up to four games. The best part is that most activities are charged per day.
As mentioned earlier, Fun City Gardens is located in Utawala along the Eastern Bypass, just behind Bakri Petrol station. Therefore, it’s easy to access the fun park through public means. So from town, board a matatu heading to Utawala via the Eastern Bypass and alight at Fun City Gardens.
Price: From 500
The Hub Karen is known to be an excellent location for shopping and good food. But did you know that the location also houses one of the most exciting fun places worth exploring this coming holiday? iHub is an indoor entertainment space with exciting, fun games fit for the whole family to enjoy.
iHub Scapes offers an array of games and rides, plus a seating area where families can bond and grab some snacks. As mentioned earlier, iHub games are suitable for both adults and children. iHub also has special birthday packages for kids so that you can consider them for your kids’ special days.
One advantage of fun places within a mall is that you have many options for places to have lunch after a fun-filled day. At the Hub Karen, you can choose to grab a burger from Burger King or order some char-grilled ribs from Eagle Peak Spur. Above all, iHub Scapes is accessible through public transport.
Board a matatu heading to Ngong from Railways or Super Metro along Moi Avenue, and alight at Karen. The Hub Mall is a walking distance from the Karen matatu stage.
Contact: 0797 947 717
5. Luna Park
Luna Park is one of the safest and most secure amusement parks around the city. Luna Park is just a few minutes’ drive from Nairobi CBD along Kiambu Road, after the CID headquarters. Luna Park also fronts itself as a fun center where the whole family is welcome.
The space has ample parking space and mouthwatering meals and drinks to make your day. Like most parks, entry here is absolutely free. Some of the fun activities that the young ones can enjoy include helicopter rides, bouncing castles, bungy trampoline, cup ride, and horse riding, among others.
Single rides at Luna Park will cost you around Kshs. 300. But if you could gather a group of 10 kids, then you can pay a discounted price of Kshs. 2000. Luna Park is quite accessible as it’s located along Kiambu Road. To get here, simply board a matatu to Kiambu ( along Tom Mboya Street) and ask to alight at Luna Park. Your trip should cost you about Kshs. 200.
Contacts: 0723795299 or email: Isavasci72@gmail.com
Price: From 300
Someone once told me that if you’ve never visited the Two Rivers Mall, then you don’t know Nairobi. Luckily, I’ve been here several times, and I can confirm that it is a beautiful place. It doesn’t matter where you reside in Nairobi; visiting Two River’s fun park is worth it. You can take a spin on Two River’s iconic Ferris wheel or try out a selection of carnival games.
Your little ones can also enjoy the classic merry-go-round, bouncing castles, or more fun at Two Rivers’ water park. There is so much to explore, and I am positive that the little ones will have a time of their life. Funscapes at Two Rivers offers competitive prices to ensure that everyone has fun to the fullest.
Two Rivers is accessible with public transport, as it is located along Limuru Road, with a second entry point along the Northern Bypass. Board a matatu plying the Ruaka Banana Road at the Khoja stage and ask to alight at Two Rivers Mall. Alternatively, Board a matatu heading to Ndenderu, which often uses the Northern Bypass, and alight at Two Rivers.
Price: From 500
That’s it for today, fam! I hope you identify a place that will suit your little ones’ needs. The list might not be exhaustive; be sure to come back for more. The best part is that all these places can be accessed by public means. So don’t allow your little queens and kings to get bored at home. Step out and enjoy the fun that Nairobi and its environs have to offer. Happy Holidays!