The summer holidays are upon us and while many parents may be tempted to use the time to catch up on some much needed sleep, this may leave the children rather bored and grumpy.
But not to fear as we have found a host of activities – for both indoors and out – to keep the entire family entertained.
Activities available around East London this festive season include:
lSwimming instructor Yona Balindlela is holding a water safety programme at Eastern Beach. Hosted in collaboration with Buffalo City Aquatics and Ocean Splash by Swimming South Africa, the lessons cover the basics such as the importance of swimming between the flags that lifesavers place on the beach, how to wade into the ocean and boogie board.
The free lessons, which start from 8am, are hosted by 12 swimming instructors and the times differ based on the tides. Follow up dates include December 23, 26 and 30.
l Jonginenge Beach Adventure Programme is at Nahoon Beach. Owner Dean Knox continues to provide his weekday holiday programme for children aged between seven to 16 years old. Here children are treated to a day of sandboarding, surf lessons, canoe trails, snorkelling, fishing, coastal hikes, beach games, environment appreciation and beach safety.
Knox offers surfing lessons and canoe trails which are available any day of the week by appointment only. The holiday club begins at 8am until 2pm at a cost of R150 per child per day.
Surfing lessons and canoe trails cost R300 per person for two people or less, R250 per person for groups of four to eight and R200 per person for groups of nine to 12. The holiday club will close on December 23 and reopen on January 2. For more information, contact Knox on 083 305-2590.
l Drifters Raceway and Theme Park in Cambridge offers a fun adventure for the family. The facility offers go-karting, quad bikes and paintball. It also has braai facilities.
A round of go-karting costs R50 for six minutes while quad biking is R80 for 15 minutes for children under 12 and R100 for the same time for those 12 years and older. A paintball match for those under 12 costs R70 for 20 balls, with over 12s paying R50 for 50 balls and R100 for 100 balls.
l Indoor fun around King William’s Town includes a visit to the Amathole Museum, which offers displays such as an anthropology on great Xhosa warrior Maqoma, the origins of the composer of Nkosi Sikelel’ Africa Enoch Mankayi Sontonga and the history of the world famous wondering hippo, Huberta. This museum is open from 8am to 4pm Monday to Friday and, unlike the East London museum, is also open on Saturday, from 9am to 1pm. Entry is free for children 0 to 15 and R5 from 16 years and up.
l The East London Museum continues to provide a host of educational information to children in a fun way, with its permanent displays, which range from the Coelacanth, various animals, depictions of the Xhosa nation and shipwrecks. The museum is open from Monday to Friday from 9am to 4pm. Entry is R20 for adults, R10 for children and R15 for pensioners.
l The Calgary Transport Museum, 13km outside East London along the N6 to Stutterheim, offers visitors a look at transport methods of old such as ox-drawn carriages, saddles, gypsy caravans and a blacksmith shop.
The museum is open from Monday to Sunday at 9am to 4pm. Entry costs R3 for children and R6 for adults.
l The East London Aquarium offers fish tank displays and new ragged tooth shark pups. Fish feeding, open to the public, is at 10am daily with the penguins fed at 11.30am every day.
Entry is reduced to R21 for adults and R13 for children. The aquarium is open from 9am to 4.30pm daily.
l Movies@Hemingways continues to offer a variety of movies this summer suitable for the entire family. All 2D movies cost R40 for adults, R35 for kids and R35 for pensioners. For 3D movies the cost is R50 for adults, R45 for kids and R45 for pensioners.
l Hone your mini-golf skills with a round of putt-putt at Xtreme Valley in Beacon Bay. The venue also offers laser games and there is an eatery on site. Putt-putt costs R20 per round per person with laser tag going for R25 per 10 minutes. Laser tag is only open to those six years and older. Xtreme Valley is open from Monday to Sunday from 10am to 10pm.
l Gravity is open from 9am to 9pm on Mondays to Thursday, 9am to 10pm on Friday and Saturday and 9am to 7pm on Sunday. Children seven years and under R80 an hour, with children eight years up paying R100 per hour.