Kenya has a number of great family places you can hang out with your family over the weekends and holidays. Based on quality, proximity, richness of experience and value for money, we believe we have the top 5 places you would never go wrong taking your kids to:

1. The Jolly Roger Theme Park

The 5 acres of enclosed lawns present an array of exciting outdoor activities designed to keep the kids busy. Besides the usual face-painting that dots every outdoor spot for kids, Jolly Roger has a pond where you and your kids can try out fishing.

The restaurant can be a fun place for the adults to while away the day as the energetic balls of energy exhaust every kilo joule they can summon running around the park – of course with a guardian on their tail. Bring out your nannies to have fun as well and supervise the kids. The food at the restaurant is not of course award-winning but it can keep one going.

Location: Next to Mamba Village, on the Langata North Road
Contacts: +254 (0)710 315796, +254 (0)725 854899

2. Paradise Lost, Kiambu

Get truly lost in this place famous for its huge network of caves believed to have housed the Mau Mau during the colonial wars of independence. But that is not all you will get to see at Paradise lost – there is a boating lake where families can hire a boat (comes with life jackets for kids 8 years and above and adults only) and explore the beautiful scenes on water. A boat has the capacity to carry 9 people.

The Ostriches, camels and horses add a punch of variety to the park experience. Camel and horse rides can be organised any time of week. By the way, camel rides are free during weekdays and about KES 50.00 on weekends. Remember to carry your own packed food and water.

The caves are by far the most spectacular experience here. To get to the caves, one needs to go past a waterfall that then ushers into the inside of a large cavern lit by electric lighting where you can be able to see the intricate network of tunnels and more smaller caves linking to the main cavern. Since the lighting is not that reliable, consider a torch to be a vital item in your packing.

Location: Thika, off Kiambu Road
Contacts: +254 (0) 20 315273, +254 (0) 20 315296

3. Bio Ken Snake Farm

Now this may cast us in a bad light. You may even be wondering why on earth we could suggest such a strange place for kids. Bio-Ken is actually a research centre, which deals with reptiles, especially snakes and snake-bite. The centre houses the largest collection of Snakes in East Africa and is open to the public.

So this is an ideal place for kids to learn about these amazing creatures while catching a tip or two on survival from a snake bite. A team of about 16 staff are on standby to ensure your safety at all times is maintained and that Kids and adults only get to hold the non-venomous snakes – so all is safe at the farm.

Location: less than 5 minutes’ drive from the hotels in Watamu
Contacts: +254 423 2303

4. Panari Ice skating Rink

They say it is East Africa’s first ever-skating rink and they may be right but all we know is that it’s a fun place for the family to hang especially for the young ones who seem to get the hang of the slippery, cold rink pretty fast (no offence to the adults). For the new at this sort of thing, there are trainers on standby to offer any help that may be needed.

The Ice Rink is open daily from 11:00 AM to 10:00 PM. Every session lasts for an hour as follows:

  • 11:00 AM – 12 PM
  • 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM
  • 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM
  • 5:00 PM – 6:00 PM
  • 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM
  • 9:00 PM – 10:00 PM

Location: Panari Sky Centre on Mombasa Road overlooking the Nairobi National Park
Contacts: +254 0733 694 600/1/2 or 075 694 600/1/2

5. GP Karting

If you and your kids fancy an occasional rush of adrenalin, then the GP Karting is the hot spot for you. GP Karting provides all equipment for a thrilling 10-20 minute ride or race. At the end of the day you get to carry home a printed sheet with all your lap times, best lap time, fastest kart for each race etc. is all recorded automatically.

The track is floodlit for scintillating night-time races. Free tuition is offered to first-time drivers as you are educated on the best ways to enter and exit corners on the apex, and how to hold your nerve and grit on the race track.

Location: Langata, near the Carnivore at the Splash
Contacts: +254 020 608444/5, 0733 666333

Try these ones out and tell us what your experience was like.