A Kids Guide to the Midlands Meander

The Midlands Meander is full of wonderful activities for the whole family. What could be better than a day out on the countryside where kiddies and parents are entertained in the fresh, clean country air. Views for days and fun for all, old and young. We thought we would put together a list of the awesome kids activities that are available in the area. There are many other things to do but here are some of our favourites…

1. Chocolate Heaven – dipping fun for the family

Chocolate Heaven is a chocolate shop and dippingz adventure that truly lives up to it’s name. This warm and cosy shop offers a wide variety of delicious chocolate wonders using only the finest chocolate imported from Belgium. Not only do they have a stunning chocolate deli where you can pick and choose from their wonderful chocolate combinations but they offer a Chocolate Dippingz experience that will leave you covered in chocolate and lasting family memories.

Chocolate Dippingz is a fun experience for the whole family. As soon as our children (aged 2 & 5) walked into Chocolate Heaven their faces lit up with delight and excitement. Fun and messy play are encouraged by the warm and friendly hosts with parchment paper brought to cover the tables before the chocolate dipping fun begins. The adventure unfolds as the chocolate pots are brought out. You can choose from white, milk or dark chocolate to fill up your bubbling chocolate pot. Your host brings out loads of dipping utensils from skewers, to ladles and spatulas so you can really get stuck into the melted chocolate and pour it onto everything you have. Platters are brought out with a huge selection of snacks to dip – from strawberries to cheese, chillies, biltong, coffee beans, to sour worms and nuts and the list goes on..

2. Zulu-Lulu Art Bar

The Zulu-Lulu Art Bar at Piggly Wiggly is the perfect place to release your inner creativity while spending quality time together as a family. They have loads of shelves of blank pottery pieces just waiting to be painted to life. Pick a ceramic from the shelf, paint it, and have it glazed.The Art Bar is a really fun place and they have a wonderful relaxed environment. No booking necessary for individuals or smaller groups. If you don’t have time to wait for your art piece to be glazed Zulu-Lulu will happily post it to you.

Cost for the experience is R55 – R250 depending on pottery size (includes brushes and 4 colours).

3. Swissland Cheese

Swissland Cheese is a beautiful goat’s cheese farm set in the rolling hills of Lidgetton. As you drive along their country road it continues to wind up and up through a forest until you eventually arrive at the top of the hill to an idyllic farm full of happy goats and farm fresh smells. They have a stunning flat lawn with country views for miles, it is such a beautiful spot that will have you there for a lingering visit.

Part of the experience at Swissland is that you get to feed the goats and to watch the goats being milked, which happens at 3:30pm daily. The kiddies absolutely love getting their packet of goat pellets (only R2) from the shop and feeding the goats time and time again, it provides a lot of fun and giggles all round. You can also watch the cheese making process through a large viewing window which is always interesting to see. If you happen to be there at the right time of year (September) you will have the awesome opportunity of seeing the new goat kids being born, a great event in the Swissland calendar year.

Swissland have wondering flat lawns that are perfect for picnicing and a lovely play area for the kiddies complete with an exciting zip line, for the older kiddies. With the delicious cheese, goat feeding and awesome play area you are sure to settle in a good few hours.

4. Candle Dipping

The Candle dipping shop is located at the Piggly Wiggly Center in Lions River and is fantastic, creative fun for the whole family. You can design and personalise your own candles with loads of different candle shapes to choose from. Dip them, paint them and style them using all sorts of colourful wax, paint and glitter. If you are not so keen on getting your hands dirty the hosts will gladly dip the candles for you. They also have sand art available for kids which is always loads of fun, especially for the girls, and you can even have your child’s hands moulded out of wax as a souvenir. Costs for the various activities are: Sand Art R35 (large card) and Candle Dipping starts at R45.

5. Ant Archery – Release your inner Robin Hood

If you are ready to release your inner Robin Hood in Nottingham Forest (Road), then head down to Ant Archery for an awesome indoor archery range located at the Junction Center in Nottingham Road. We went there as a family not too long ago and it was such awesome fun for the whole family. Our five year old son was in his absolute element and he could have been kept busy there for hours on end. My husband was also in his element with the inner Robin Hood coming out to play. The owner, Ant, has run the archery range for about 5 years now and him and his staff are very helpful and great with kids.

They have four individual ranges with exciting targets and activities designed to keep big kids and little kids happy. The kids get crossbows which are very safe (no sharp ends) and they can shoot and aim at the indoor targets or at a wildlife picture target where they can get their aiming skills fine-tuned. The experience is really reasonable with children it costs R25 for 30 shots and for adults it costs R45 for 20 arrows.

6. Karkloof Farmer’s Market

The Karkloof Farmer’s Market runs every Saturday out of an old rustic warehouse along the Karkloof Road in Howick. This is a wonderfully authentic market, with a small-town flair that you won’t find at new urban markets. There is an old school community vibe which fills this market and energizes you with a feel good feeling that lasts all day. They have a beautiful selection of farm fresh products and homemade goods to fill up your basket and fridge at home along with so many breakfast options that you are spoilt for choice.

For parents with small children (myself included), markets can be quite a chaotic experience but this market has been designed with young families in mind. They have a kids corner with all sorts of great crafts for the kiddies, fun pony rides on offer as well as an outdoor play/seating area so you can sit and enjoy your delicious breaky while the kidlets are happy and entertained. All in all this is a great spot to gather with your whole family on a Saturday morning.

7. Checkpoint 103 Activity Hub

Checkpoint 103 Activity Hub is a kids adventure haven situated on the R103 near Michaelhouse. They have a huge range of fun activities for kids and adults alike, a place to unleash all that pent up holiday energy. They have an indoor play area, which is great for smaller kids, with jumping castles, trampolines and bike track and loads of adventurous outdoor fun.  The main outdoor area has a cool jungle gym and obstacle course and this is also where they do the Zorb Ball and Bubble Soccer. All the activities are are overseen by a group of guys who assist the kids so you don’t need to lift a finger, just get stuck into your coffee and enjoy the laughs. After defeating the obstacle course and tumbling around in many overly sized balls, it’s on to the next adventure, the awesome outdoor bike track.

Checkpoint 103 also have a whole lot of activities suitable for older kids and adults. There is an amazing go-karting warehouse where they have Epic Karting, an awesome go-karting track with epic ramps. They also have a paintball range in the their woody forest as well as a target shooting area for the trigger happy among us. Checkpoint 103 Activity Hub is definitely an awesome spot for an exciting outing for the whole family, be sure to check it out this holiday.

About the Author
I grew up on the Midlands Meander in Rosetta and I absolute love the beauty of the area and all it has to offer. I am a Mom, a blogger, a marketer and a Non-Profit founder. I am passionate about food, cooking, wine, music, loving people and finding new adventures. I now live in the big smoke (Jhb) and visit the Midlands every couple of months. Email me on shellsobey@gmail.com if you would like a review done on your business. Shelley Sobey.