Category: Travel

Champagne Castle Hotel Review

Champagne Castle Hotel Review

It has it all.

Visual impact, luxury of years gone by, activities to entertain everyone, and enough food to feed the pre-slimmed down Royal Family 🙂 We were even blessed with the beautiful Drakensberg “mist” that added to the charm of our stay, giving it an ethereal feel.

Champagne Castle Hotel is pretty close to being an ultimate experience. There is no better hotel positioned with more dramatic and immediate views of the Drakensberg than this one, you are literally in the heart and center. We arrived when it was misty which actually made it even more magical. As the mist lifted you just saw more and more incredible mountains and peaks around you.

Self Catering Chalets


As this is a family blog I’m going to focus from a family point of view first, though if you are looking for a hotel that boasts it all for the more discerning guests, then you have certainly found it here as well. If you are looking to book for a family, you have two options. The deluxe family rooms which are 6 double-storey family rooms, with each having a patio and balcony.

Deluxe Family Rooms at the Hotelh

You can also choose the self catering house, which we did, as we went with a bunch of friends and it allowed us more space to “take over”. The family rooms have a upstairs and downstairs bedrooms each with an en-suite bathroom off the room. Whilst the self catering houses have up to 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, kitchen, dining room and a lounge with a fireplace. I’m pretty sure they were bigger then my own house and had a fully equipped kitchen, complete with high chairs for the little ones. They were heavenly and from what I understand, a bit more “modern” then some of the hotel rooms. The hotel itself is old but the self catering chalets were added on afterwards, so they have newer finishes to them.

 The Food

If you stay in the hotel then breakfast, lunch, and dinner, plus morning and afternoon tea are all included in your stay, except of course, for the self-catering chalets. So if eating and drinking is your thing, then you have scored big time. There is always something on offer, so best to make use of those walking trails to burn all the excess calories off.

Breakfasts include cereals, fruits, and yoghurts to cooked options and continental ones, without forgetting the ever popular pastries, waffles, and pancakes.

The hotel also has two lounges, one casual and one a bit more formal which is an adults only lounge. No shorts are allowed in the dining room after 6 pm. I have to say, this may annoy some people, but for me personally, with 3 young kids I can fully appreciate this. “Old school” rules are actually sometimes nice and people appreciate them. It adds a bit of elegance.

There is no shortage of selection in terms of food, with options from soups and breads, cooked meats, vegetarian, pasta, fish, roasted veggies, accompanied by a whole host of divine desserts and cheeses. We stayed self catering so didn’t personally dine there but from what I have heard the staff in the dining room are exceptional.

The Activities

This is what I rank a “family” resort on. The availability of activities to do, not only for the kids, but for mum and dad too. It doesn’t have to be purely within the hotel boundaries, but near enough to enjoy. Champagne castle has an incredible animal farm for children to explore. Chickens, rabbits, ducks, goats and ducks; petting farms are always a winner with younger kids. They also have stables on site and you can choose from a walk around the paddock for your kids to more advanced rides through the mountain trails. This applies for residents and day visitors to the hotel as well.

They also have an aviary towards the back of reception. I’ll be honest though, this needed a bit of work and seems to have been a bit neglected. Though we did spot a tortoise and some colourful birds, but it didn’t overwhelm us at all.

Growing up I remember always running to check out a resorts “playroom” and I still get excited when I see hotels that advertise them. I think it’s a charm of years gone by and I love that the boys are at the age now where they really enjoy a game of pool or table tennis. The hotel has a playroom, although again, its in desperate need of a bit of an update. There’s table tennis, a pool table and a lounge area for board games to keep up the entertainment if the weather outside is miserable. There is no shortage of outdoor activities either, the pool, tennis and badminton courts, volleyball, lawn bowls, giant chess, a jungle gym and well as a dam to fish. It really does cater to everyone’s needs. Let’s not forget that the majority of guests do come to do a little hiking in the pristine countryside.

The entertainment room is in need of a little update
Beautiful outdoor chess set

The hotel offers guided walks at 09.15 every morning, with a return promised before lunch. Maps and routes are also available from reception should you wish to do a self guided walk, though I’m not sure if I trust my sense of direction.

Swimming Pool with a view

Sadly I didn’t get a chance to check out the spa facilities, but fully intend on maximizing on this for our next stay. (Yes, I would return in a heartbeat).

The surrounding area has no shortage of activities either;

  • The Drakensberg Canopy Tour is a fun adventure for the whole family.
  • Falcon Ridge Bird of Prey Center is right next door to the hotel.
  • There is no shortage of golf courses in the area, both a 9 hole as well as an 18.
  • Champagne castle Adventure Centre is within about 5 minutes of the hotel and offers team activities such as archery, abseiling, paintball, river rafting, zip-lining and quad-biking as well as a younger kids area (3-7).
  • Explore some of the beautiful home industry bakeries

My focus for the last 2 years has been on finding local places for our family to travel, finding locations across South Africa that are affordable, and family friendly with activities and amenities for the whole family to enjoy in comfort. If you are looking for a great weekend away, then Champagne Castle Hotel ticks all of these boxes and then some.

If you are looking for a truly magical weekend away, less than 4 hours from Johannesburg, Champagne Castle Hotel is magical. There are other hotels nearby that may cater more for children, but for us, and our children, Champagne Castle Hotel was perfect. It was particularly misty when we were there, which just added to the magical charm. With the horses grazing in the paddocks, overlooked by the giant mountain peaks,  I felt like I was walking through a storybook.

Finding Romance In Rome

Finding Romance In Rome

With its beautiful cobbled streets, historical fountains, picturesque piazza’s and grand monuments, Rome is without a doubt one of the most romantic destinations in the world. That’s not a word that gets used often on this page, “romantic”. It gets put on the back burner with 3 kids and 2 careers. Everyone had their own unique “love language” and mine are actions and travel. Travel… ahhhh… something else that has been put on the back burner since the arrival of our little munchkins.

Italy is an absolute must-visit country and undoubtedly, one of the most travelled to destinations in Europe, with so many unique highlights in one country, you certainly need more then one trip. I still haven’t touched the beautiful Tuscan Countryside, or the most romantic canals of Venice, but I have done the picturesque, cobblestones streets of Rome and the breathtaking Amalfi Coast.

Positano is the absolute gem of the Amalfi Coast and is undoubtedly one of the most charming, romantic towns in Italy. The views are what storybooks are made of (literally), and it is well worth taking 3 days to visit if you go to Italy, but lets leave that for its own blog. Here I want to focus on Rome, and my top romantic must see’s in this historical city. (I’ll take you there one day soon baby, I promise).

If you are going to visit Rome, I would recommend at least 3 full days. You could do it in two but allow for three to fully appreciate every single inch of history this cultural haven has to offer.

Where to stay:

Rome has no shortage of accommodation. My one piece of advice would be to choose something central, where it is easy to walk between the historical sites. Be careful though, the further “in” you go, the more pricey they become. Every time I have gone to stay in Rome, I stay in the same hotel, its right up the street from the Colosseum and a fairly easy walk to most landmark sites as well as the train station. The Grande Hotel Palatino, on Via Cavour. It’s not the fanciest, but its 4 star, is in an awesome location and has a certain “Ritz” feel. It’s also right across the street from a beautiful Basicilia that has the most incredible statue, Mosè di Michelangelo.

As you stroll through the postcard streets, these are some of my “must visit” landmarks:

Visit to the Colosseum

Seemingly obvious, but I had to include it. If you really are interested in seeing inside and learning the history it is absolute worth joining a tour. You can wait a little longer but I don’t regret this for one minute. Standing tall and proud next to the Colosseum is the Arch of Constantine, you can’t miss it. It is one of the largest of Rome’s ancient triumphal arches. It celebrates Emperor Constantine the Great’s victory and the battle that made Christianity the religion of Rome.

Stroll through the Roman Forum

Visit the Roman Forum – The “excavated heart” of the City. You can literally feel the history in every corner. The Trajan markets were the first “multi level shopping ‘Mall’” in the world. The views in the Roman Forum are absolutely breathtaking and you can imagine what the city looked like in all its glory.

Palatine Hill

Palatine Hill houses the ruins of the Imperial palaces. It is one of the most ancient parts of the city and still has the beautiful gardens and fragments of all the ancient wealth.

Trevi Fountain

You didn’t think I would miss out on one of my favourite landmarks do you? No trip to Rome is complete without tossing a coin into this majestical beauty. You should prioritise this for first thing in the morning, or later in the evening to get a good view and avoid the crowds. It’s far too busy midday so plan your day around it. After making your wish, stop by one of the local gelato stores to indulge in some authentic Italian ice cream.

The Vatican and St. Peter’s Basilica

Starting to see why I say three days now? Plan an entire morning for the Vatican and once again, GET THERE EARLY! We went first thing and didn’t regret it for a second. St Peter’s Basilica opens at 7am so you can start there and move onto the breathtaking Sistine chapel which houses Michelangelo’s masterpieces. Once again, I would recommend joining a tour group for this one. The knowledge that you gain is worth every cent, you can always peel off if it doesn’t suit your fancy, but we found it very valuable.

Watch the Sunset from Capitoline Hill

At the end of your day visit the historic Piazza del Campidoglio, which is considered to be one of Romes most beautiful squares. If you go around the back of the central building you can get the most beautiful city top panorama, with all the domes and Colosseum in the background. It is truly breathtaking.

Sign the Register at the Pantheon

The only ancient Roman temple to survive almost completely intact, this is one absolute must see! Take in the incredible stature of the building from the piazza before heading inside and staring in awe at the height and architecture of the building.

Piazza del Popolo

No trip to Rome is complete without a bit of “people watching”, and Piazza del Popolo or “the peoples square” is perfect for this. Grab a cappuccino and take in the sights. Always be careful of pickpockets!

Have a seat on the Spanish Steps

Would it be a romantic list without the “lovers steps”? Set in the beautiful Piazza Della Spagna, the fountains, buildings and ambience make it such a buzzing place to be with your loved one. In summer beautiful bougainvillea cascade down the steps, it’s the perfect spot to sit and have some gelato after indulging in a little shopping on Via dei Condotti.

The Tiber River

This river defines the city of Rome. Take a stroll along its banks along the beautiful St. Angelo Bridge as you literally walk through history. There are some fabulous cafes along it where you can enjoy a sundowner or coffee with your lover while watching the sun set across the ancient city.


Get Lost!

I had to add this one in there, because this is how I first “stumbled” across the Trevi Fountain, by “getting lost” along the tiny cobbled streets. It’s the best way to find the most authentic restaurants and traditional Italian shops minus the touristy stuff. With your map in hand you can be certain you will find your way again at some point.

If you need a quick escape from the hustle of the city, hop on the train to check out Sperlonga Beach. It is about an hour train ride from Rome and makes the perfect day trip. Its sandy beaches and crystal clear shallow waters make the perfect refresher after 3 days exploring the city.

If you are looking for the perfect romantic trip for you and your partner, or in my opinion, the perfect babymoon then Italy is one of your safest bets. I wouldn’t rush to take young kids to Rome, but I long to roam the streets hand in hand with my hubby. Travelstart has some incredible deals on trips to Rome, check out

Whats good to know:

Credit Cards and ATMs: Keep small cash handy for things like street souveniurs, on the go cafe lattes or gelato, but most of the tour operators and cafes accept foreign credit cards.

Electricity: European standards, so I would definitely recommend taking a travel adaptor.

Safety: Italy is generally a safe destination. However be on the look out for pickpockets and “gypsy” beggars. Mainly around the busier Piazza’s.

Getting Around: Rome is incredibly easy to walk around and there are loads of scooters to hire if you are brave enough to as well. If you venture a bit further, I loved travelling by train and it also makes you feel a little more “local” 🙂 It also gives you the opportunity to sit back and relax as you cross the beautiful countryside.

*This blog post was written in collaboration with TravelStart

** All photographs are my own, unless stated otherwise, and are subject to copyright.

***PPS: Cobbled streets? Not so great for the stilettos 🙂

Festive Guide To Gauteng 2019

Festive Guide To Gauteng 2019

Its that time of year !!! I cannot actually comprehend how quickly this year has passed, and it is literally one year to the day since I last wrote my festive guide. This time next week, my eldest will officially be on school holidays, which means, i’ll be left thinking of ways to entertain the family, trying to think of places to go. We have another “staycation” upon us this year, so I’m trying to get creative and explore new areas. If you have any suggestions, lay them all on me as we road trip around as a family of 5.

If you are looking for activities to do at home with the kids, have a look at my “Activities for Kids” tab on the website. I have endless activities and ideas to entertain your kids.

For a full list of my favourite places to take kids (of all ages), have a look at my Keeping Kids Entertained in Joburg Article.

Now onto December specific events and places:

Festive themed events

The Lion King live in concert

I’m plugging this into “festive themed” because there is no better way to kick of the holiday season then by taking in this epic production. The advert literally gives me goosebumps! Accompanied by the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra, this will be a movie experience unlike any other you have had before. This is the perfect family-fun filled activity to get your holiday spirit going! It will be on at the Sun Arena – Times square from Tuesday, 10 December 2019 – Thursday, 12 December 2019. Tickets available through Computicket and start from R150.

Destination Christmas with Melrose Arch

The lights are officially up so I can declare festive open in Gauteng 🙂 Melrose Arch always has the prettiest light display. Go early to avoid the crowds and book a table somewhere after for dinner.

Garden of Lights – Emperors Palace

The return of the Garden of Lights – one of my favourite festive season events – and this year, it promises to offer even more fun for the whole family. Featuring a winter wonderland, light extravaganza and yuletide adventure, all rolled into one. The event will set Gauteng skies alight in the picturesque gardens the five-star Peermont D’oreale Grande hotel at Emperors Palace. It runs from 29 November 2019 to 05 January 2020 and opens from 19h00 – 22h00.

Joburg Zoo Festival Of Lights

1 December 2019 to 5 January 2020

Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, lets face it, everyone loves fairy lights. They hold so much magic and beauty. The festival of lights at the Zoo is expected to be their biggest yet and features a collection of illuminated life-size animal characters with classical, harmonious performances, food and craft markets for visitors. Take a stroll through the zoo on a designated illuminated route away from the enclosures and under the captivating, lit up trees.Get there early in December to catch a classical performance of the Nutcracker by Joburg Ballet who will perform in the bandstand from 1 – 8 December. It opens from 7pm until 10pm each night and tickets are R60 for kids and R120 for adults.

The Nutcracker’s Winter Circus

11th of December 2019 – 5th of January 2020.

The Nutcracker’s Winter Circus returns exclusively to Sandton City and its bigger, better and back for another spectacular season. Without a doubt, this was one of my highlights last year and it was watched by nearly 22 000 people! This year’s adventure includes creative master puppetry, set to bring a host of fun and fantastical characters to life, with the Parade of the Animals, adding a captivating new dimension to the show.

There are four performances daily at 10h30, 12h30, 15h30 and 17h30, seven days a week, (excl. Christmas Day, Day of Goodwill and New Year’s Day). Tickets are available from at a cost R20 online (with no charge for children under three years) or by visiting selected Edgars, CNA, Jet, POSTNET stores. Tickets are also available at the door for a R30 fee. This is a a fairy tale fit for the whole family.

Peter Pan on Ice

6 December 2019 – 11 January 2020

Oooohhhhh but my boys are excited for this one! They watched the original movie the other day at home and we drive past the billboards every morning. There is no getting away from watching it!

Take a journey to Neverland in this classic tale of magic and make-believe, spectacularly staged on real ice. The show included a whopping 23 former World, European and National Championship-level skaters. Collectively, the entire cast holds more than 250 competition medals and will bring their athletic and artistic talents to retell J M Barrie’s well-loved story of Peter Pan. It will be held in the Teatro, every Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday for the duration. Tickets range from R150-R475 pp and are available through Computicket.

Christmas Festival With The Lipizzaners

Every weekend from the 9th December through to the 22nd.

Held at the Lipizzaner Centre in Kyalami, these beautiful “dancing” horses are historic in Joburg. A wonderful outing for the whole family, this is a magical morning.

Walter Sisulu Wonderland of Lights

1 December 2019- 4 January 2020

There was a bit of a hiccup earlier in the year with their winter light set up, but lessons learnt and this promises to be one for the whole family to enjoy. There are a number of Carol nights lined up, so keep an eye on their facebook page for more detail.



I actually don’t know where to start, there are some incredible shows on. If your in the mood for something a little more cultural, why not take in one of Joburg’s holiday shows?

I’ve already mentioned Peter Pan on Ice that will be showing at Monte Casino until 11 January – that’s top of our list, but here are a few more, locally produced shows that you should try to check out.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Jr.

2 November 2019 to 22 December 2019

The People’s theatre brings this childhood favourite to life. Based on the beloved film version of Ian Fleming’s children’s book, with a score by the Sherman Brothers (Mary Poppins), Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Junior. is a family-friendly blockbuster filled with stage spectacles and Academy Award-nominated songs. Fun for the whole family. Tickets from R149.

Jack and the Beanstalk

It wouldn’t be Christmas without something from Janice Honeyman. It is a tale about a poor country boy, Jack, the family cow, magic beans, an unfriendly giant, an enchanted goose and an enormous beanstalk. It is showing at Joburg Theatre and tickets start at R115.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Runs until 22 December

My boys adore the Johnny Depp movie (as well as the book), so its a no brainer we are going to try and watch this classic. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is a theatre adaption by Richard George based on the original classic by Roald Dahl. The entire production is smoothly tied together by an energetic and personable Narrator. It’s on at the National Children’s Theatre in Parktown and tickets start at R70.

Mall Entertainment 

I know everyone always makes fun of Jo-burgers and their love of malls, but seriously, there are some epic line ups this festive season.

I’ve already mentioned Sandton City, with their Nutcracker circus, but they aren’t the only ones with a great December line up.

Mall of Africa – Dino Adventure Park

7 December – 5 January 2020.

Mall of Africa is always on the forefront of great kiddies entertainment. This year they have chosen to go with a Dinosaur theme! Waterfall Park will be transformed into an adventure dinosaur playground to be enjoyed by the whole family

Cresta Shopping Centre

Cresta has been going all out with entertainment for the family over the past few years, and this year proves no different. There is a huge selection of things to do and activities to keep the little ones busy, including:

FESTIVE CRAFT STATION 14-24 December 2019 – Situated at the Castle Play Area in the Banking Court. There will be a variety of festive crafts for kids to choose from including making their own decorations such as Christmas baubles. Entrance is absolutely free with the option to pay for some of the more bespoke crafts if desired. Don’t forget to take a pic with Santa at R30 a photo.

They also have several workshops being hosted through the Jata Holiday Club and Young Engineers throughout the December holidays. Visit Cresta’s website for more information and individual pricing options.

Silverstar Casino – Beach festival

5 December 2019 to 11 January 2012.

  • Sand castle building competitions
  • Tug of war competitions
  • Hoola hoop competitions
  • Ice-cream eating competitions
  • Inflatable waterslide
  • Face painting
  • Beach volleyball

Cradlestone Mall

5 December – 5 January 2020

The kids had an absolute blast at the activation at Cradlestone last year, and I’m sure this year will be no different. If you are out that side of town on a day trip (there is a bunch of stuff to do in the area), it’s worth stopping by to let the kids play. The theme this year is “Santa’s World Of Wonder”.

Family days out

National Military Museum

OK, it may not take a whole day out but when paired with the Joburg next door it can be! This is one of our favourite places to take the boys and it doesn’t cost a fortune. The history is incredible and the kids will love playing on the old plane and jeep in the play area.

Gold Reef City

Still one of Joburg’s top family attractions. 16 thrill rides, 14 dedicated rides for the kiddies, Jump City Trampoline Park, there’s fun for all ages here!

Hartbeespoort Dam

Click here for a full blog post on all the things to do in Haarties. It’s WELL worth a day trip!

Sun City

Always a life saver when it comes to holidays and close enough to go for the day. Spend the day at the Valley of the waves or book in overnight. There are a whole range of kids activities from mini golf to a bird park and steam train rides.

Animal interactions

Lets face it, these are particularly popular with little kids and toddlers. They’ll be delighted to be given a chance to touch and feed the rabbits, goats, chickens, ducks and more. Be sure to take some animal feed with or you may purchase at the venue as well. For a full comprehensive list check out our favourite activities to do in Joburg.

Bird Garden – Monte Casino 

We have been going here since the boys were small. The only bird park of its kind in Africa and perfect for all ages! Take a stroll through the gardens and aviary and see a wide variety of bird life, reptiles, and other exotic animals. It also has a café and a cute kids play area.

Crazy Kids Farmyard

A diamond in the middle of a bustling city. Crazy Kids has also recently had a bit of a refresh with some new animals (including another pony and a friendly pig). It is literally smack bang in the middle of a residential area in Randburg. It has a huge variety of play equipment for kids, a ton of bikes to ride around and an epic sandpit. This is a winner, everyday of the week.

Old MacDonald’s Farm Yard (The Fat Olive Restaurant)

This is a true hidden gem. Home to the Fat Olive restaurant and a Beach bar, Old MacDonald’s has free roaming Zebras, geese, duck and a whole mini farmyard for kids to feed/interact with. Hop on a Canoe and row around the lake with the kids.

Lori Park Zoo

Holds a nice variety of crocodiles, predator birds and of course lions/ leopards – though I do feel for the bigger cats as their enclosures are very, very small.

Crocodile City

Crocodile & Reptile Park where the visitors interact with a variety of reptiles. The boys got an educational talk on crocs, on how thick their skin is and got to hold and observe their eggs. They also house a number of reptiles and much to my horror my boys lined up to hold the snakes. When you are done, why not zipline over the crocs?

Willow Feather Farm (Pretoria)

Originally started off as an Indigenous tree farm, Willow Feather now hosts a nursery, tea garden and awesome Farmyard for kids. They have a number of interactive activities for kids and the number of animals in the Farmyard is exceptional. Alpacas, pigs, bunnies, cows. Kids can get up close and personal to the animals and of course participate in feeding. There’s also a wonderful kiddies play area to keep little ones busy while mums’ can enjoy hot tea and scones.

Rhino and Lion Park

Joburgs’ nearest”far away” place. The Rhino and Lion Park is a fantastic family day out. Take a “safari” through the nature reserve (Its actually a proper reserve unlike some other lion parks in the area), try and spot their newest baby Rhino or visit the baby cubs at the breeding center. Enjoy a leisurely lunch at the Thatch Cafe while the kids ride up a storm on their incredible bike track. End your day with the ever popular feeding of giraffes for some special family memories.

Have I given you enough ideas? I dont want to hear anyone is “bored” over the holidays in Gauteng :).

There are a whole lot more places featured in my keeping kids entertained article such as Roll Egoli, Adventure Golf, Acrobranch and Bounce, so be sure to check that too.

Happy Holidays!

A Weekend In Hartbeespoort

A Weekend In Hartbeespoort

We love exploring and adventuring and over the past two years we made it our mission to explore local surroundings as much as we can. With young children, anything within 3 or 4 hours as a maximum is considered. Thankfully “haarties” is only an hour away! There is so much to do in this area, we have stayed over weekends, and done day trips as well but I would really love to to go back and just have a solid 3 days there.

Here are some of the places we have explored as a family, that I would recommend, and a few that we haven’t had the chance to get to yet.

French Toast Koffie Kafee

If you cant afford the real deal (or just don’t have the time), a quick trip to “Paris” is always a good idea. This place is always packed on the weekends, so make sure to get there early for a good table and photo opportunities. The service may not be the quickest, but it’s worth the experience.

Haarties Aerial Cableway

The boys loved going up and down in the cable cars, the view is glorious and we were plesantly suprised by the quality of pizza at the top, a welcome reward, should you choose to hike the trail 🙂 Kids will delight at the awesome play area at the top and the views are truly spectacular.
This is such a great family excursion.

Elephant Sanctuary

It’s been on our bucket list for a while, but with the steep price, it’s got to be a special birthday experience or anniversary of some kind to justify it.
The Elephant Sanctuary offers an interactive elephant experience, including hands on educational interactions; elephant back riding; and even overnight accommodation.

Bushbabies Monkey Sanctuary

The Monkey Sanctuary sanctuary is one of several sanctuaries in a group, including the elephant sanctuary; that provides for orphaned and abused animals. It is right alongside the Elephant sanctuary and it provides an environment where monkeys (primates) can be given their freedom in a natural environment It’s one of only eight free-release primate sanctuaries found globally. These are animals that have sadly been raised as household pets, or bred for the pet trade. They are given the chance to reside in as natural and environment as possible with thick, rich vegetation.

Jasmyn Farm Stall/ The Windmill Restaurant

It’s unlikely that you would have passed through Haarties without catching a glimpse of this iconic landmark, the Dutch-style windmill and thatch-roofed farm stall are hard to miss. Established in 2004 this market offers a treasure trove of treats, from organic goods, farm produce, cheeses (from Jasmyn’s own factory), fresh breads, dairy products, baked goods, meats, imported treats, flowers, curios and gifts too..

Van Gaalens Cheese Farm

Van Gaalen is open six days a week. A tour around the farm is a must (offered on a Wednesday and Saturday). Watch a demonstration of cheese making and tasting as well as a slice of cake and tea/juice. They have an in house restaurant and a farm shop that stocks a wide range of their cheeses, as well as preserves, souvenirs, Dutch favourites, sweets and other goodies. Picnics must be booked a day in advance but there is no better way to spend a day then by relaxing along the river banks. You can also get permits for the Skeepoort trails to go hiking, birding, mountain biking.

The Strawberry Farm

Pack a picnic blanket and spend a glorious morning picking organic strawberries straight from the ground. It’s a fully working farm which offers strawberry picking during spring. The small restaurant serves breakfast on weekends and public holidays, while I haven’t eaten there, I have had the decadent strawberry milkshakes and they are to die for! Seriously THE best I have ever had. It’s a family run, working farm, so don’t expect top class amenities. But, if you are looking for a day out picking fresh berries in season, I would highly recommend a visit.

Seasons Resort and Spa

A golf course, a fabulous water play area, accommodation and a superb spa. What more do you need? We would rate the accommodation as a 3 star, however the spa, is 5 star! The golf course is beautiful and whether you play or not, it’s wonderfully therapeutic with buck walking along the greens. The water play area is perfect for younger children with a shallow pool and small slides.

Ann van Dyk Cheetah Centre

There is a no interaction/touching policy as the centre focused strictly on conservation and their animal well-being is of highest importance. However, you can still book a tour and go and see some of the animals they rehabilitate such as vultures, cheetahs, wild dogs and caracals.

Sunset Cruise

Whether you choose a sunset cruise or a slow Sunday brunch on board there is something magical about being on the water, surrounded by the hills. There are a number of different operators to choose from so take your pick and enjoy the view!

Harties Horse Trail Safaris

You don’t need riding experience to take a ride through the African bush surrounded by wildlife. Rides are typically between 1 and 2 hours and
children from the age of 6 can join. Ride between Giraffe, Wildebeest, Zebra, Kudu and Nyala to name a few. Romantic picnics can be arranged as well.

Segwati Quad Bike Safari Trails

If horse riding is not for you, why not take in nature on a quad? I was pregnant when we went with a group of friends to do this and was so sad I didnt take part, I definitely need to go back and do this trail. 650 hectares of beautiful, unspoilt views of the mountains and open plains. An experience that is totally different from your luxury lodge or resort.

GOG Kids Harties

One of the newest lifestyle and adventure destinations, GOG Kids opened up last year in December is is located inside Chameleon Village. The venue plays host to party venues, a play area a pool and a great “Spray Pad” with no less than eight spray features and a safe, non-slip and porous rubber flooring. This is a welcome relief, especially if you are visiting during the summer months. Haarties gets hot!

Lion and Safari Park

While this isn’t technically “in” Haarties, its 10 minutes outside, so I am including it (and it used to be before they refurbished). Kids under 12 are free on all guided and self drive game drives. They offer Giraffe and Ostrich feeding, a crocodile enclosure, cheetah/cub interactions and guided tours. They also offer river rafting down the Crocodile River!

The Upside Down House

Possibly the weirdest thing you will encounter in Haarties, but one that will leave you laughing (and possibly quite dizzy). The upside down house is literally – a ‘world’ turned upside down…. You need to go and experience the magnificence and spectacular engineering of a ‘house’ turned on its roof, and of course take a picture in every room!

Image taken from website

These are just a few of the area’s that we have been to when we have visited. There are a number of lodges in the area and some fantastic self catering houses as well. If you are planning a “staycation” these summer holidays, why not book a few days in Haarties to explore the area?

Have you visited anywhere else? I would love to hear your recommendations for our next trip!

Kids Entertainment around Johannesburg 2019 – An Updated List

Kids Entertainment around Johannesburg 2019 – An Updated List

Looking for places and spaces to take your children around Johannesburg? I have consolidated and updated my lists and I have a feeling that this is one of those posts I’ll have to “redo” annually, or at least every 2 years. At least once a week I get messages asking about the best places to take kids to in Johannesburg, and I know I’m always looking for new places as well!

I’ve updated our ultimate list from 2017, taken out some which have closed down and added in some new hot spots as well. Are there any other places you would recommend that I may have missed? I’ve tried to “categorize” them into applicable activities. Animal related, park related, cafes etc and links to all original articles with full lists of places are attached as well.

I don’t want to ever hear “but there is nothing to do in Joburg with kids” again 🙂 Theres a ton!

Happy reading and exploring 🙂

Animal Interactions:

Lion and Safari Park (Lanseria) – New and improved, the recently re-opened Lion and Safari park is bigger, better and has a lot more interaction for kids.

Rhino and Lion Nature Reserve (Kromdraai, Krugersdorp) – Our most favourite “Nearest Faraway Place”, the Rhino and Lion Nature Reserve really does cater for the whole family. With a lovely restaurant (thatch cafe), an incredible BMX bike and all the animal enclosures are super spacious. Theres a “nursery” for cub interaction and you can even feed Sonny the Giraffe!

Crocodile City (Just before Lanseria) – We had such a good time at our outing to Croc City. They boys got an educational talk on crocs, on how thick their skin is and got to hold and observe their eggs. They also house a number of reptiles and much to my horror my boys lined up to hold the snakes. After a tour of the croc park the kids ran around counting and feeding as many tortoises as they could. The play area of course provided hours of entertainment. For the braver kids, why not try zip-lining across the croc enclosure?

Old MacDonald’s Farm Yard (The Fat Olive Restaurant/ Beach Bar) (Lanseria) – This is a true hidden gem. Home to the Fat Olive restaurant and a Beach bar, Old MacDonald’s has free roaming Zebras, geese, duck and a whole mini farmyard for kids to feed/interact with. It doubles up as a party venue as well as a restaurant. Theres even canoes to take out on a paddle on the small lake.

Crazy Kids Farmyard (Randburg) – A diamond in the middle of a bustling city. Crazy Kids has also recently had a bit of a refresh with some new animals (including another pony and a friendly pig). It is literally smack bang in the middle of a residential area in Randburg. It has a huge variety of play equipment for kids, a ton of bikes to ride around and an epic sandpit. This is a winner, everyday of the week.

Bird Garden – Monte Casino (Fourways) – We have been going here since the boys were small. The only bird park of its kind in Africa and perfect for all ages! Take a stroll through the gardens and aviary and see a wide variety of bird life, reptiles, and other exotic animals. It also has a café and a cute kids play area.

The Johannesburg Zoo – A timeless classic and always good for a family day out.

The Irene Dairy Farm – Every child’s dream, right on our doorstep! A working dairy farm situated right in the heart of Gauteng. Kids can enjoy seeing the cows being milked, ride on one of the numerous tractors and enjoy an ice cream underneath the beautiful shady trees. We were lucky enough to go when the construction was still occurring, it was every little boys dream, with tractors, trucks and diggers to watch!


Lori Park Zoo (Midrand) – Holds a nice variety of crocodiles, predator birds and of course lions/ leopards – though I do feel for the bigger cats as their enclosures are very, very small.

Cafes and Play Area’s:

For a full list see my previous article here.

Pappachinos – No Johannesburg list would be complete without one – Broadacres seems like the biggest, Clearwater mall also has a bike track)

Clay Café (Irene) – About twenty minutes out of Johannesburg Clay Café is opposite the iconic Red Barn in Irene. Kids can choose from a large variety of ceramics to paint with lots of accessories to add patterns/ shapes to their masterpieces.

Kiddilicious (Bedfordview) – You will never regret paying this child friendly cafe a visit. The staff are always friendly, there is endless play equipment for the kids and they even offer various classes and workshops from ante-natal to baby massage. One of my favourite places discovered in 2018.

256 on Smit (Fairlands) – Friendly staff with a super little hairdresser and masseuse right next door this is also set in an unassuming suburb in Fairlands. The play area is cleverly designed in the middle so you can watch your little ones from pretty much anywhere. They also have an aviary and some bunnies.

The Momentum World of Golf – Yes yes, its “Golf”, but it’s so much more. The World of Golf has an incredible kiddies play area, they offer free “masterclass” coaching sessions for kids and Kids can hit at the driving range, bunker pits and the chip and putt to their heart’s content. They also offer sand art on the weekends for kids and they can make their own pizzas. What more do you need? Oh i forgot to mention, there is a Camelot Spa there too for mums 🙂

Glitter Factory Craft Shop (Fourways)– Just off Witkoppen, next to the fabulous State 5 coffee shop and restaurant, the glitter factory craft shop offers a ton of messy fun! From painting ceramics and wood to creating mosaic’s, it’s a fabulous outing for both parents and kids. The State 5 coffee shop next door offers such a huge selection of treats for the kids as well as a fun play area.

Hyto Tyto(Olifantsfontein)- Fairly new on the scene it offers a brilliant kids play area and eatery with an epic bike track. It’s a bit of a drive if you are in central Joburg but worth it I think. They have really put a lot of thought into the design of the kiddies play area.

Art Jamming (Across Gauteng)I love how they have pegged the term “The art of paintertainment”. Paintertainment is exactly what it is! Whether you are young or old, time spent at art jamming feeds your soul. Our favourites are in Cresta and Melrose Arch. For younger kids they have also introduced “messy play”. Contact stores for more detail.

27 Boxes (Melville) – Not the most conventional place to take your kids but its right across the road from Bambanani (kiddies restaurant and play area). They have recently redone their outdoor play area and its pretty impressive! You can also find “Kitchen Concepts” there for your little ones to try their hand at baking and cooking!

Bounce – Take your pick from venues across the city, our favourite is at Fourways Mall. You pay per hour (it flys by), and you and the kids can bounce, run, jump, play basketball, soccer or run the obstacle course to your heart’s content. Download the Entertainer app and receive 2 for 1 specials if you have a larger family! Well worth the deal!

Adventure Golf – An afternoon of fun for everyone! Theres 3 to choose from across Gauteng, but again our favourite is at Fourways Mall (you could really spend the entire day there with the kids). Its open daily until 10pm and they offer various packages and birthday parties. What kid doesn’t love putt-putt? Especially when you have to navigate through streams and waterfalls.

Happy Island Waterworld (Muldersdrift) – It opened its gates in December 2018, and although it still actually had its “official” opening yet, (there are a few slides and rides that have not been complete), its taken Jozi by storm! The Pre launch has been extended so you can enjoy discounted rates if you dont mind not having access to the lockers etc. Its a waterworld filled with slides, pools and a guaranteed day of fun! (I would try to go either mid week or early morning to avoid crowds).

GOG Lifestyle Park (Nooitgedacht) – The original outdoor adventure park for families – Gauteng now boasts 3, one in Lanseria, Haarties and Soweto. Haarties opened up in November and it offers beach area’s, swimming pools, spray pads and slides. The one in Lanseria offers climbing walls, frames, a number of pools and slides and lots of water feature fun!

Sci Bono Center  (Newtown)- A must visit on a rainy day (well actually any day). The Sci-Bono Discovery Centre is situated in the vibrant and safe precinct of Newtown. It offers over 350 exhibits to encourage Math, Science and Technology in kids. Its ideal from ages 3-12 and they host birthday parties!

Ditsong National Military Museum (Forest Town) – The boys love going here! Not only is it aesthetically beautiful (we always eat ice creams underneath the huge war memorial), but its packed to the brim of old history, real aeroplanes and tanks and old artifacts. For a super reasonable price its a jam-packed day for the whole family.

Outdoor parks and Farm spots:

For a full list of our favourite parks and picnic spots click here.

Kids Days at Leafy Greens Cafe (HoneyDew)- Kids days or not, Leafy Greens and Casalinga are legitimately one of our most favourite weekend spots to venture out too. There is nothing better than walking through the glorious gardens, seeing all the incredible vegetables and flowers and having a bite to eat. We take the boys bikes with and they ride across the huge fields to their heart’s content. This is the closest I get to my “bush” Botswana life here in Jozi and I relish every chance I get to visit. Leafy Greens hosts Kids Adventure days from time to time and for a small fee, children can pick their own vegetables and make a little treat fresh from the garden!

The Herb Farm (Midrand) – A botanical gem in the heart of Gauteng. Boasting over 400 herbal plants in a beautiful garden setting and it has a gorgeous play area for kids. It has an outdoor educational facility for kids, where they can get their hands dirty and play in the garden. Now that’s my kind of place!

Delta Park – Probably holds the best play area out of all Joburg parks. It also has glorious walking paths with gigantic trees shading them.

Lonehill Park – Between Lonehill Park and Angelo’s Restaurant you are guaranteed a good time with the kids. Lonehill Park has a beautiful enclosed play area for kids and Angelo’s Kitchen borders onto the park with additional jungle gyms, bike tracks and games for kids.

Mushroom Park – Our go to park for mid-week fun. Mushroom park is a little piece of green forest in amongst Sandton’s high-rise buildings. It has the perfect tracks for kids to ride their bikes on and has over 5 jungle gyms and a large sandpit area. Perfect for soaking up the winter sun, and when it is in operation, also holds the Hyundai Hot Air Balloon.

Raspberry Picking at Fieldberry Farm (When in Season) – A morning spent in the fields at Fieldberry farm is a morning well spent. A beautiful day out for the entire family, kids will have an amazing time selecting and picking the juiciest berries to pick. After all their hard work mum and dad can relax on hay bales around the play area while sipping on a handmade smoothie. My boys had sooo much fun. Raspberry season typically ends around April.

Alliepad Alpakkas – A bit of a drive out of Johannesburg, Alliepad Alpakkas is just before Magaliesburg and has the most adorable fluffy Alpacas to go crazy over. Make it a weekend drive or wait for one of their festival days when you can get a tour around the farm, learn more about how they get wool and feed the Alpacas.


Willow Feather Farm(Pretoria) – Originally started off as an Indigenous tree farm, Willow Feather now hosts a nursery, tea garden and awesome Farmyard for kids. They have a number of interactive activities for kids and the number of animals in the Farmyard is exceptional. Alpacas, pigs, bunnies, cows. Kids can get up close and personal to the animals and of course participate in feeding. There’s also a wonderful kiddies play area to keep little ones busy while moms can enjoy hot tea and scones.

Two Trees Bakery (Mulbarton) – Under the shade of blue gum trees, this gem is in the South of Joburg. It possibly has the biggest selection of climbing equipment, monkey swings and zip lines that I’ve seen in a restaurant. They specialise in pizza’s, burgers, and yummy baked goods. Super friendly staff and a mass to do with the kids, my boys cried when they left!

TreeTop Adventures – Across Gauteng. We love Riversands, situated in amongst an old pine forest, Treetops have constructed different obstacles at varying heights catering from about 2 years of age right through to an adult course! Kids can climb through the trees, complete an obstacle course, and if brave enough (my 4-year-old was), zipline across the river!

Tres Jolie(Ruimsig) – Traditionally thought of as more of a wedding venue, Tres Jolie actually is a littler wonder world for kids. They offer a touch and feel farmyard, giant sand pit, pony and camel rides, and a big jungle gym. You can bring your own food to feed the animals or buy packets at the Kiosk.

These are just some of the places I’ve explored with my boys and I know there are probably hundreds of more hidden gems waiting to be discovered. The list is on going, and ever-expanding. Where are some of your favourite places to go?

Family Friendly Accomodation – Planning A “Staycation” around Gauteng

Family Friendly Accomodation – Planning A “Staycation” around Gauteng

First and foremost, let me start by saying this post is in no way sponsored, or paid for. These are my own thoughts and views and genuine recommendations based on places I love.

These past December holidays we decided, like many other South African families who just can’t comprehend the cost involved in oversea’s vacations, to take a “staycation” around Gauteng. It was also the last time we would be able to properly “adventure” as a family of four (and a normal sized car :)). I ticked off places on my bucket list that I have been meaning to visit for more than 10 years (there are still quite a few more to go).

We chose to explore the Cradle of Mankind area a little more and wanted to stay in places that offered activities for the whole family to enjoy.

First up on the agenda was the serene Kloofzicht Lodge. We had been there before previously, in fact I booked in there for a night for our wedding anniversary (and boy did they pull out the stops), so I knew it offered great service coupled with family fun.

Hubby had been dying to just spend quality time with the boys, teaching them how to fish and taking them on nature walks. Aadam is the perfect age to fish but Yusuf still gets a little bored and his mind wanders, so we needed something to cater to us all. I loved the fact that at Kloofzicht the swimming pools are all pretty centrally located to the lakes. So Daddy and Aadam went of fishing and the moment little one got bored, Mummy and Yusuf could go off and jump into the pool! They also have perfect “shallow sections” for kids to splash about in.

When we arrived we were greeted by 3 healthy looking Giraffe slowly cruising their way through the bush. The sign of a beautiful weekend to come! At Kloofzicht you can go on hikes and the grounds are home to Giraffe, Zebra, Eland, Wildebeest and Warthog to name a few. To walk amongst them in the mornings was an absolute treat! All the rooms overlook the mountains and six exquisite fly fishing dams (one of which you can fish for carp). If you are keen on the fishing side you don’t need to be “resident” at the hotel to fish, visitors can pay a daily rate for a permit and use the facilities for the day as well. We had such a huge milestone moment with Aadam bringing in his first catch and learning how to cast all by himself.

For those that don’t know the lodge also offers a fabulous spa which offers a variety of treatments, massages, facials, manicures, pedicures and tailor-made spa packages. They also stock my favourite Matsimela range. Hubby and I took it in turns to have a treat at the spa allowing us each to get some quality time in.

For me personally, one of the things I appreciated most about the lodge is the layout. You never ever feel that it’s too “busy” nor does it have a “resort” feeling. I felt comfortable spending my days lying by the pool without feeling conscious of my body or too many people around. The pools are always warm and inviting. My only “stumbling block” if that the poolside bar in front of the family rooms wasn’t operational. It would have been great to have been able to order some mocktails or snacks without having to trek up to the “Overmeer Bistro.”

Whilst we were in the area we stopped by our favourite Rhino and Lion Nature Reserve. It’s literally around the corner and due to it being under construction is quite quiet. They have the most fabulous BMX bike park that they boys spend hours riding around and we helped give Solly the giraffe a bit of lunch too. The Nature Reserve is an actual “Nature Reserve”, the predator enclosure is nice and big and you don’t have that horrible “I’m in a zoo” feeling.

Our next stop after was another member in the Guvon Hotel Group,  Askari Lodge. The one thing you should know about my husband is that is expectations are extremely high. He will not stay in a hotel or place that is not “better than his house”, because otherwise, “whats the point of leaving home” 🙂 We have different views of travel… but I digress, I was a little nervous about Askari as I hadn’t been before and we had heard mixed reviews. I booked the “garden suites” and had no idea what to expect!

We were very very pleasantly surprised! The garden suites are newly built (I cannot comment on the older thatched rooms as I didn’t see them). Our “room” however was brilliant! It had two bedrooms and two bathrooms, SUCH a treat for mum and dad to have two separate rooms, woooo hoooo! The rooms were joined in the middle with a little kitchenette, complete with a sink and a microwave. Such a bonus when travelling with small kids. We often battle when travelling as most hotels don’t “cater” for halaal without bringing in external vendors, so we usually opt for fish/vegetarian options. After 4 days of pizza/pasta or fish we usually crave meat. At Askari, we had our own braai area on the outside patio which was fantastic! Definitely something to keep in mind for future trips.

The garden suites overlook the central swimming pool and are just a short walk away from some of the watering holes where you can spot the resident hippos. The old restaurant is fantastically quaint, it stems off the Bodenstein family farmhouse, and some of the original pieces like the family bible, telephone and staircase are still in tact. We spent an afternoon playing chess upstairs with the kids.

Of all the places we ate at, we actually enjoyed Askari’s food the most. It was mainly buffet style, again a bit limiting if you can’t eat the meat, but the food was tasty and well spiced. One area they could definitely improve on is “afternoon tea”. We went through to the restaurant at about 4pm wanting to get some tea and cake to keep the boys going till 7pm dinner time. They were very accommodating but stated they would have to check with the “top” kitchen if there was any cake (all food is prepared in the bigger kitchens at the main reception and brought down). Our waiter brought us down some scones they had left from breakfast I presume but didn’t supply any jams, honey or cream. I would recommend that they should always be prepared for “tea time”.

Breakfast was a bit of an odd set up as well. The buffet is situated precariously around the stairs of the main reception room and hot water for tea in the morning had to come from the “coffee station” machine. I had to go to the manager to ask him for a pot of hot water for tea as the waiters told me to utilise the self-service station. That being said, the views from the deck are fantastic and we could have sat there for hours but our game drive was waiting.

Being the only “family” there with small kids we were treated to our own safari vehicle in case the kids got bored quickly. (I loved the consideration they took not only of us but of other guests as well). I was disappointed at the “lion enclosure” – we weren’t allowed to drive inside and there were only 3 lions (There are better options around Joburg for a better lion experience). Though I was hugely impressed with our guide. He was friendly, informative and very clued up on the history of the area, the weather and the animals. We got to see Giraffe, Hippo, Springbok, Eland, Waterbuck, Impala, wildebeest, rhino, zebra, jackal to name a few., we even got to “walk” with the giraffes for a bit. It was definitely worth the price and I hope the kids appreciated the beauty.

Askari is also home to the Plumari Heritage Museum. Our transport obsessed kids were enthralled by all the old Ox Wagons and carts, and it was such a treat to show them how transport has developed. The famous “Mrs Ples” is also at this museum and we had a mini history lesson for the kids. The museum is also home to a much sadder story, but a very important one for our kids. It contains the fetus of a baby rhino, a mere 2 months away from being born. Sadly his mother was a victim of poachers and by the time they found the mama the baby rhino had already passed on inside her womb. The boys took it in and understood more than I thought they would. But to see such a perfectly formed baby rhino, so close to being born, is just heartbreaking.

On Sunday we got the biggest treat when the two resident elephants walked down to the watering holes at lunch time.  One of my absolute favourite animals, it was magical to get to watch these beauties up close. The boys even got to give them a few treats! These are memories we will never ever forget!

We will absolutely go back to both Askari and Kloofzicht. At 45 minutes out-of-town it’s really such a treat to escape from the city. Im so glad we chose to explore our province in more depth, these are really memories we will always cherish as a family. I encourage you all this year to explore whats around you and take time to adventure.

Part 2 is coming up soon where I’ll feature a few more of our stops, so keep an eye out for that!

Top Tips For Travelling With Kids {Giveaway with Trunki South Africa”}

Top Tips For Travelling With Kids {Giveaway with Trunki South Africa”}

As families across South Africa start gearing up for their annual summer holiday, a load of parents may be faced with anxiety about flying with their kids. My boys have been fortunate enough to fly a few times and I’ve put together some of our “flight saver” tips. I’ve spoken about general travelling tips with children before, but today I want to focus on packing the perfect in flight bag.

Before you fly

Thinking about the time of your flight. If it’s a long haul night time flights are often the best so you can prepare your child for a night time sleep. Try not to book at peak hours as hopefully there should be a little extra space.

Get them excited – an airport is probably one of the most exciting places in the world for kids. Prepare them on what’s to come, read stories about flying in the sky, get them their own little suitcase and let them choose their own comfort items. Trunki South Africa plays a huge part in creating this excitement. They believe that “travel is about creating new experiences, creating memories and making every journey just as exciting as the destination.” Every little traveler needs a Trunki, and trust me mama’s it will make your life a whole lot easier. It’s great for keeping the kids entertained during long waits in the departure lounge and it can also be a handy way to pull them along when little feet get tired. The design options are incredible and it was a tough choice between mummy’s favourite “Pedro the Pirate” or the boys choices which were “Rocco Racer” and “Tipu Tiger

Preparation of your in-flight bag

It all comes down to careful planning.  I map out essentials needed for the flight so we are never left in an awkward situation. Separate packets that contain snacks, medicine, entertainment, so its easy to quickly whip out.

Activities to keep to them entertained.

You want to pack non bulky items that are easy to grab and don’t have a thousand and one pieces involved (no lego please).

Melissa and Doug make the cutest “On the go” range which are always included in our travels. One or two small toys – for us that’s super hero figurines and cars of some sort. Activity books – these range from colouring books to sticker albums and our favourite Tower Kids activity packs for easy and convenient entertainment. Of course we bring along a tablet with our favourite Netflix series downloaded when we need quick saves.

Emergency Medicine

My kids are typically quiet healthy the whole year around, bar birthdays and travel. Isn’t life funny? All of a sudden my healthy 5 year old will come down with a fever or tummy bug the day of travel.

As they are a little older now so thankfully our medicine pack is a little smaller but I never travel without Panado/Nurofen, celestamine for pesky post nasal drips, and a saline spray. Alongside that I pack in Tissues, some Dettol Wipes and the water-less hand sanitiser.

Comfort Toy/ Warm Jacket

We never travel anywhere without our favourite travel pillow and the boys best teddy or toy. It’s no secret that aeroplanes are freezing, I always pack a warm hoodie and extra socks to change into.


You can never have too many snacks on hand when travelling with kids. Our favourites include the Kiddylicious snack range with its yummy wafers, coconut rolls and cheesy straws. Yoghurt covered rice cakes are a staple in our house as are good old apples. Crackers, raisins and of course you need a few bribery items for meltdowns. Mini Marshmallows are our trick!

The right luggage

A durable suitcase is a must for flying, you don’t want to be dealing with sore shoulders or broken zips. Our Trunki came just a few days after ordering and I can safely say these things are darn durable. They have been through the wars already with the boys racing around the house, so that 5 year guarantee is pretty handy! It has convenient lockable latches and a and handy key keeping all your secrets safe and sounds, with the key cleverly added into the tow strap, so you will never have to dig in the endless pit of your handbag. The 18 litre storage capacity carries all you need and then come and when comes to the actual flight itself, preparation is key.

All of this fits into their very own Trunki Suitcase which they pull along. Once we are on the plane I pull out the essential items and away we go! PS the Trunki can also double up as a foot rest on the plane for the kids. Slide it between the seats and the kids can sleep with their feet up!

You can find out more about Trunki here:





I’ve been giving you sneak peaks into our favourite Trunki’s on my insta-stories, and now its your turn to share yours! Together with Trunki, I’ll be giving away one lucky reader their very own Trunki worth R1000, just in time for Christmas!

  1. Comment below on what your favourite Trunki Character is.
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Winner will be randomly selected on December 13th to allow for delivery time.

*We received a Trunki suitcase to review, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Top tips for flying with Kids

Top tips for flying with Kids

The one thing I love to do in the first week of the New Year is plan my holidays for the year ahead. It gives me hope, something to look forward to as i push through the days ahead. I spoke about travelling with children a little while ago on the blog and how its changed our outlook Continue reading “Top tips for flying with Kids”