The next #JoziMeetup on 13 May is about Building Relationships with Brands

#JoziMeetupIt’s that #JoziMeetup time again! Time to meetup with your blogging buddies and listen to some inspiring speakers assisting us to blog better. We have an awesome lineup of speakers and brands taking part in this event, so you can sit back and enjoy!

The theme of the event is “Building a relationship with brands” and we’ll hear from both the blogger and the PR side about what works and doesn’t work when establishing a productive affiliation with brands.

The speakers are:

 

  1. Mike Said: Daddy Blogger: “Around South Africa on 80 brands”

Mike will be talking about how he utilised brands to sponsor his trip around our country. How he proceeded from idea to implementation, and from blogger to traveller. He will be sharing the power of leveraging social media in the new economy.

Mike blogs at Daddy Blogger.

2. Nicole Sparrow:  Autograph PR: “Please remember to iron your sheets”

You’ll remember Nicole from our last meetup chatting about some make up items from Dischem. Nicole runs a PR agency with quite a few cosmetics that she represents. 

Nicole often giggles at bloggers and vloggers who do stunning makeup tutorials but all she focuses on is the creased sheet they’ve hung as a backdrop!  So she will be dealing with little details like that as well as how PR agencies work, the importance of having a rate card and media kit and what they look for in bloggers they want to work with.

You can find Nicole’s PR website here. 

Two brands will be also be at the meetup to showcase their products:

  1. Prima Baby will be at the event to showcase some of their products to keep your little ones captivated and having fun. You can find them on Facebook here.

 

2. Prima Toys will be showcasing the latest toys and educational products for preschoolers. They will also talk about the latest trends in toys and games.  Find them on Facebook.

3. MatsiMela will be there to show off their body care and skin care products, as well as give some pampering to the bloggers.  You can find them on Facebook. 

Details of the event:

Date: 13 May 2017

Time: 10am

Venue:  Cafe Zing, The Regent Hotel, 21 West Rd South, Morningside, Sandton

Cost: R250 plus R5 for Quicket = R255 

Bookings: through Quicket: Click here.

 

(If you are in PE you can join in the #ECMeetup on the same day. Read Luchae and Eleanor’s post for further information.) 

Any more brands who would like to get involved please email heather@samomblogs.co.za

Link for tickets again: Click here.

Feeling the Love at the #JoziMeetUp 2016

#jozimeetup 2016Something special was happening on Saturday at blogger meetups both Jozi (the #JoziMeetUp) and Cape Town (#CTMeetUp).  It wasn’t only about learning about blogging or enjoying the overflowing goody bags (although that was nice too).

I think I just felt an overflow of good vibes. People who cared for each other and made the effort to make the event a success. Bloggers contributing to the goody bag (thanks Wenchy and Gail!). Bloggers pitching up early to help (thanks Wenchy and Gail again! And Shaney!). Jolene did not know what she was in for hitching a ride with me. It was many trips up to the venue from the car! Bloggers speaking about their experiences in a way that was useful and applicable to us (thanks Sharon! And Shaney!) Laura and I even got a gift, not that we asked for it, or anything (thanks Wenchy!) Salome was a total star, on her feet the whole time taking awesome pics of our bloggers. I used her pics for the main graphic on this post but go ahead and look at the larger ones here.

carOur goody bags were overflowing, but I can’t just say it was me. Or just Laura. Mandy from Pregnant in Cape Town helped us a lot. Lots of PR people helped us and were very generous. After Anele from Gullan and Gullan gave us two big Snowflake items we made the decision to use another bag.

You want to know how generous people were? Check out the pictures of my car, stuffed with goodies. And this was not all…

blogging and coffeeThe room was all decked out with goodies and our platters were ready. People arrived and had coffee and drinks. So nice to see everyone chatting and catching up.

Our two speakers for the event: Sharon van Wyk and Shaney Vijendranath

Our two speakers for the event: Sharon van Wyk and Shaney Vijendranath

Our first speaker was Sharon from The Blessed Barrenness, and her speech was about Blogging and Ethics, and also about how to handle a post that goes viral. She has very helpfully summarised her speech here. I think what stood out for me is the fine line we have to balance as bloggers: to enjoy writing passionately about a subject you enjoy versus being paid to talk about certain brands. Blogging, as she points out, does cost money (we have just forked out an arm and a leg for our hosting) and does take up your time (and time is money, people) so we do need to make some money to cover those costs. How we go about it though, will show your readers your true self and that is worth more than anything a brand can pay you.

Sharon van Wyk and Heather Step

Sharon van Wyk and Heather Step

Another thing worth learning from Sharon is not to take yourself too seriously, as you see from this fun pic of us!

Shan from You, Baby and I had a lot to say about Blogging and Facebook.  Facebook is about engagement and interaction with your audience. You won’t get that from posting a series of links (yip, I’m super guilty of that for One Step at a Time).  Check your insights and find out the best time to share your posts.

Shan gave us an example of what she shares in a day: a question, a picture, a quote and one or two blog posts (and they don’t have to be yours – apparently if you share Huffington Post and Scary Mommy these get good positions and also you can share the love by linking a fellow blogger). She suggests 5-6 and a maximum of 10 posts in a day. You can schedule them.

Since Facebook will only let people see your posts if there is interaction with it (particularly comments) you need to check out what will get a reaction. Videos do well, as do kid’s pictures and quotes. Test things out and see for yourself.

You have to think: what will people share? Personal posts and competitions do well.

Shan cautions against Facebook ads (although she has used them, particularly for certain brand campaigns) and prefers organic growth. Don’t spend too much if you do go that route, she says. Sometimes the ads attract spammers and the type of readers you don’t want as well.

Something very useful that I learnt from her talk is to share your post from your blog post (using the social sharing buttons) into the Facebook groups: this will increase your reach more than just copying and pasting the links (yip, I have so been doing that).

moira smileOur last speaker was Moira Gerszt from the Smile Foundation. We normally have some sort of charity drive at our events (The Grace Factory is a favourite one) but this time we supported Hamley’s drive to take fluffy toys to children in hospitals. Moira shared how an ordinary mom from PE started the organisation in an effort  to help her child have a normal face. She wrote 9 letters to Nelson Mandela and he responded to that ninth one. Persistence pays!

khanyinAfter all that we dished out some prizes, very happily drawn by Funso’s child. We had hampers from Baby Sense, Kelloggs, Absolutely Awesome books and Bell Jars.

goodies 2You can see by Samantha’s expression in this pic that we were suitably spoilt.

oreo Nicky binocularsI have to mention the Oreo goody bag. This was probably one of the most creative offerings. I did appreciate the speakers which plug into my phone very nicely.  We had fun building the different phone and cookie holders. Nicky took the binoculars out to breakfast the next day -he loved them.

Oreo is offering us bloggers R5000 to write a blog post to promote their competition to win one of three family trips to New York City.  In order to stand a chance to win the trip you need to buy a box of Oreos (the 176g or 429g one) and sms the last 5 digits of the barcode to 40185 or enter online at the address above. The site is  http://www.letwonderout.co.za/. Email your links to laura@samomblogs.co.za and she will make sure that the relevant person gets it! Closing date is 16 April.

bloggerssam and marciaThank you to all the bloggers who attended and supported us, you are stars! Go over and discover their blogs: Natalie (On Sabbatical in Sandton), Jolene (Monsters Ed), Funso (Raindrops of Hope), Sindiso and her sister Lehlogonolo (Sindiso’s Diary), Jenna (Faith Plus Mom), Ursula (Skimming Stones), Amanda (Baby Yum Yum), Susann (Goddess), MeeA (Mama MeeA), Sam (Communique), Lindi (A Well Heeled Woman), Mariette (Little Interiors), Olerato (Mommy and Baby Approved), Lebo (For His Love), Marcia (Organising Queen), Wenchy (The Nocturnal Wenchy), Gail (The Art of Learning to Live), Janice (Working Mothers Expo), Trisha Cornelius, Kirsten (Ramblings of a Nutt), Belinda (Being Belle), Lyndsay (Average Old Insanity).

I also want to give a shout out to all the brands that filled our goody bags and thanks to Sharon for her beautiful photographs of the goodies which I have reproduced here. I am putting social media links on these names. Go and show them some love by liking their Facebook pages or following them on Twitter.

(pictures courtesy of Sharon van Wyk)

oreo

Stationery (Gumtree), Coffee (Jacob’s Coffee), Sample (Glamore Cosmetics), Coconut Water (Vita Coco) Colour and Dirt Collector (Dr Beckmann), Dry Shampoo (Batiste), Hand wash (Dettol), Wipes and nappy sacks (Cherubs), Vouchers (Always On Wifi), Cupcake kit and muffin mix (Snowflake), Vouchers (Uber), Jewelry (Oh Voila), Goody bag (Oreo), Lotion and cream (Enjoy), Wine (Tangled Tree), Crown cut out (Little Interiors) Voucher (Aramex Global Shopper).

 

We look forward to our next meetup! Stay tuned!

Read other posts about the meetups:

Cindy Alfino The #CTMeetup 2016

Natalie wrote about our #JoziMeetup venue area Maboneng

Celeste Saturday at the #CTMeetup

Jolene SA Mom Blogs #JoziMeetUp

Lyndsay / Love Made Me: #CTMeetup 2016

 

Meetup Time! #JoziMeetup

Yes, it’s that time again! Time to get together with your fellow bloggers and have some fun at the #JoziMeetup! We can’t wait to see all of you again and we have some fantastic people lined up!

  1. salomeSalomé Nourse: from Yellow Lab: Get dressed up because Salomé, a professional photographer, will be taking pictures for our event that you can use for your profile or social media pages. She is going to set up a backdrop with two lights and take headshots of everyone who attends. She will email everyone afterwards with the pictures.

BBsidebar2. Sharon van Wyk: from The Blessed Baronness: We all have a lot to learn from this successful blogger and her take on various issues. Sharon was last year’s winner of the African Blogger Awards for Parenting. For this meetup she will be talking about Blogging and Ethics.

Shanye_Family_39-660x4003. Shanêy Vijendranath: from You, Baby and I has also been a runner up in the SA Blog Awards for parenting. Facebook is a popular spot for moms, our target market to hang out these days. Shanêy’s Facebook page has close on 20 000 likes. How did she do it? Come and listen to Shanêy’s tips on How to Grow Your Blog With Facebook.

And that’s not all! We will also have some brands in attendance. It will also be an excellent chance to mingle and catch up – it feels like ages since I’ve seen some of you!

jozimeetupThere are only 30 spots available and we have several people who have booked and paid already.

There is also a Facebook page for the event.

Contact heather@samomblogs.co.za or laura@samomblogs.co.za for more details.

 

DATE: 9 April 2016

TIME: 10:30 am

VENUE: OPEN
4th Floor, The Main Change
20 Kruger Street
Maboneng, Johannesburg

Cost: R250

 

There are also other meetups happening around the country.

On the same date there will be the #CTMeetup run by Cindy – read more about it in her post here. 

In the Eastern Cape Luchae has a post about a meetup here.

Let’s get together!

 

Tom and Jerry Get Wild on Boomerang’s So Funny Safari at the Joburg Zoo!

Get wild on Boomerang’s So Funny Safari!

If you ever dreamed about how cartoon characters would match up with zoo animals then you’ll be pleased to know that Boomerang, the home of evergreen, internationally famous cartoon franchises from Turner on DStv channel 302, in partnership with the Johannesburg Zoo will be joining forces over the 2015 summer holidays to take all the kids in Johannesburg on their very own So Funny Safari!

so funny safari with boomerang

Boomerang-TvBoomerang has many of your favourite characters to watch. In fact, back in 2013, it was voted the number one channel for kids in South Africa. Tom & Jerry Tales has been Boomerang’s top show reaching a total of 1.6 million kids in that year. I guess the cat and mouse chasing each other around continues to be very amusing.

Another fave show is Looney Tunes featuring Bugs Bunny,  Daffy Duck, Tweety Bird, the Tasmanian Devil, Sylvester Cat and Porky Pig. Who can forget the immortal words of that Tweety bird saying “I tawt i taw a puddy tat” as Sylvester slinks around somewhere in the vicinity.

Don’t we all love the lazy Garfield, Pink Panther and Scooby Doo? These are other cartoons you will find on the channel.

In any case, these characters will be introducing animals to kids between 18 December till 17 January every day on the So Funny Safari every day at 10h00, 12h00 and 14h00.

Lots of exhilarating fun will be had as visitors visit 6 different enclosures where a few of the zoo’s most favourite animals  will be paired up with a Boomerang furry friend. They will also be able to learn some pretty interesting facts about these very special wildlife creatures in a fun and relaxing family environment.

 

IF YOU GO:

zoo-map-to-safari-tractor

 

so funny safari tractorBe aware that the main parking lot is not open (it is being renovated) so you will have to park elsewhere. I think we probably should have parked in Jan Smuts (which is where the tractor leaves from) but we parked in the Erlswold Way parking lot, which is also fairly close. My advice is to get there early in order to negotiate these changes. Our tractor actually left a bit later when enough people had been assembled but when it returned at ten to twelve it left immediately as many people got on. Also, don’t believe people who tell you that it doesn’t run on  a Sunday. We were there on a Sunday and it runs on a Saturday too.

Leading the tour was Precious, who gave us the connection between each character and animal. The six stops were:

  1. tom-and-jerry-meerkatmeerkatTom and Jerry: Meerkats: In much the same way that the cat and mouse chase each other, so the meerkats chase after their food.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Tweety Bird and the Saddleback Stork

tweetysaddlebill-storkThe Saddleback Stork has a bill with some yellow detail which reminds us of Tweety’s colour. Predators are no match for either of them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

taz-devil-bearmonkeybear3. Tasmanian Devil and the Brown Bear. Both appear cuddly but are actually dangerous. The brown bear was sleeping somewhere and we couldn’t see him. We went to see the monkeys next door instead. Nicky told us that out of all the animals at the zoo that he wanted to see, monkeys were the ones that stood out for him, so he was happy.

 

 

scooby-doo-wild-dogsleopard4. Scooby Doo and the Wild Dogs: Both are keen on food and companionship. The wild dogs are nocturnal and were sleeping out of sight so we didn’t see them.  I have to hand it to Precious who thinks on her feet and suggested we look at the leopards in the next enclosure instead.

 

 

 

 

 

 

garfield-siberian-tigersiberian-tiger5. Garfield and the Siberian Tiger: Both of them like to sleep alot. The tiger was a huge animal locked securely in an enclosure. Precious explained that there are four tigers kept separately from each other.

 

 

 

 

 

 

pink-panther-lionlion6. Pink Panther and Lions: These are both smart and fearless animals. This was the last stop of the tour. We found the lions sitting under a tree.

Don’t forget to get down to the Johannesburg Zoo from the 18th of December 2015 to jump on the ‘So Funny Safari’ tractor daily at 10h00, 12h00 and 14h00 and spend some time with all your furry friends this summer!

Photography courtesy of Brett Step.

This post is sponsored by Boomerang.

What’s on for families this weekend (19-20 December)

what's on for familiesThis week our What’s On post features Bloemfontein, Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban.

 

 

Bloemfontein:

Kersvader Kom Kuier

kersvaderAt the Tiny Tots Animal farm each kid gets a fun pack on arrival. Cooldrink for sale.  Make sure you hand in your clearly marked presents before Santa hands them out at 6pm. At 8pm there will be a movie. Bring your own picnic and blankets. R20 for adults and R45 for kids. Date 19 December. For more info email helenehusselmann@gmail.com.

Johannesburg:

Get the full story with Cassie’s post here (what’s on this weekend and week)

Hamley’s have a few events still going at their stores to enjoy:

  1. the-littlest-pet-shopLittlest Pet Shop

Hamleys invites you to a join Littlest Pet Shop for some face painting fun. Choose your favourite pet and your face will be transformed into a matching masterpiece. Zoe Trent will be there for a Meet & Greet, so remember to take your selfie and tag us #HamleysSA  Plus, if you purchase any Littlest Pet Shop toy you will get a FREE limited edition Panda pet!

Times:  10am – 3pm

Date: 19 December 2015

Venue: Hamleys Nelson Mandela Square

Date: 21 December 2015

Venue: Hamleys Greenstone Shopping Centre

nerf2. Nerf

Gear up and get ready for intense action with Nerf Blasters at Hamleys! Aim and fire! Hit a certain number on the big Nerf Target and you WIN a spot prize from Nerf! It’s Nerf or Nothin!

Times:  10am – 3pm

Date: 19 December 2015

Venue: Hamleys Greenstone Shopping Centre

3. Christmas Photo

Lights, Camera, Action! Get ready for some serious holiday fun! Hamleys wants you to strike a pose and have your Christmas photo taken with the Hamleys elves or Hamley and Hattie bear. You will get a FREE photo to take home and remember the 2015 holidays when you visited Hamleys!

Times:  1pm – 4pm

Date: 20 December 2015

Venue: Hamleys Nelson Mandela Square

sylvanian-bunny4. Sylvanian Bunny Appearance

Come and meet the chocolate bunny from the Sylvanian Family.

Take your picture and upload it to Facebook and #HamleysSA

Times:  10:30 – 11:00am & 2:00 – 2:30pm

Date: 20 December 2015

Venue: Hamleys Greenstone Shopping Centre

 

Cape Town:

  1. Children’s Christmas Fun

marketLots of fun for the family here in with markets, crafts, face painting, jumping castles and more!

Date and time – Saturday 19th, 9-12.

Venue – Jubilee Square, 7975 Cape Town Simonstown.

2. Winnie the Pooh

winnie-the-poohThis show is on at the Artscape Theatre from 10 to 23 December 2015, daily at 10:30am.

transformers3. Transformers at Hamley’s

The all new Transformers are here and now it’s faster than ever to flip into action.

Hamleys are bringing the Transformers time challenge to life!

The challenge is on and you need to convert your favourite transformer hero from autobot to vehicle mode as fast as you can!

Time scores are kept and the quickest time of the day wins a Transformer prize!

PLUS, meet Transformer Bumblebee himself! Remember to post your pic and use the #HamleysSA

Time: 10am – 3pm

Date: 20 December 2015

Venue: Only at Hamleys in V&A Waterfront

Durban:

McDonald’s Happy Camp is at Galleria Mall from 17 December to 20 December 2015.

The Happy Camp seeks to entertain in a fun way, at the same time educating, informing and advancing kids through learning.
The Happy Camp consists of different zones of entertainment:
 Zone 1 is a technology play that will stimulate and entertain
 Zone 2 holds activities that include movement and coordination that develops motor skills
 Zone 3 will have activities such as skipping, ball pit dives, wall-climbing and dance choreography. The kids will be taught Happy’s Boom Shakalaka and even get a moment in the spotlight to perform the dance on stage for their parents.
While the kids run around with joy and excitement, parents can also learn something and enjoy a special area called the Nutrition Zone for informative tips towards creating a healthier environment through key speakers, videos and samples.
The speakers are:

 

1)  Reader / Story Teller from 9am – 7pm

Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday

Sanelisiswe

 

2)  Fitness from 10am – 2pm

Friday, 18th December 2015

Steve Smith

 

3)  OT from 1pm-2pm

Saturday, 19th December 2015

Niki Singh

What’s On for Families this Weekend and Public Holiday (11- 17 December)

whats-on-for-families-this-weekend

I’m super excited this week to add another blogger to our post! Not only do we have Cassie, representing Gauteng, but we now have Kathleen, writing What’s On posts for Durban. Thanks also to Cassey Toi and Sarah Huddy who forward me things for Cape Town!! And Shaney who gave a nice list for Gauteng this holidays!

I’m starting off this week sharing about a toy store that has events both in Joburg and Cape Town. Kids love toys, don’t they, so these events are sure to be a hit:

Hamley’s Events in Both Joburg and Cape Town:

Cape Town = Hamleys V&A Waterfront, Joburg =  Hamleys Greenstone and Hamleys Nelson Mandela Square

  1. Post a letter to Santa:You can now post your letter in the Hamleys post box and the Hamleys Elves will deliver it straight to Santa in the North Pole.  The Hamleys Elves will be collecting the letters daily so don’t miss out!  Remember, they love getting their pictures taken so make sure you get an “Elfie” with them and #HamleysSA on Facebook or Tweet us @HamleysSA!Time: 12pm & 3pm & 5pmDate: 4 – 24 December

Venue: All three Hanley’s Stores.

star-wars2. Star Wars Green Screen:

To celebrate the release of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” Hamleys are bringing you a day of Star Wars fun! Come along and have your photograph taken in front of the Star Wars green screen!

Pose with your favourite characters and take home a FREE photograph to show all your friends! Make sure you come along in fancy dress so you look the part for your starring role!

Times:  11am – 3pm

Dates: 13 December: V& A Waterfront, 16 December Nelson Mandela Square & 17 December Greenstone Mall.

transformers3. Transformers

The all new Transformers are here and now it’s faster than ever to flip into action. Hamleys are bringing the Transformers time challenge to life! The challenge is on and you need to convert your favourite transformer hero from autobot to vehicle mode as fast as you can! Time scores are kept and the quickest time of the day wins a Transformer prize! PLUS, meet Transformer Bumblebee himself! Remember to post your pic and use the #HamleysSA

Times:  11am – 3pm

Dates: 16 December Nelson Mandela Square, 17 December: Greenstone Mall, 20 December: V & A Waterfont.

4. JOBURG ONLY: Christmas Photo

Lights, Camera, Action! Get ready for some serious holiday fun! Hamleys wants you to strike a pose and have your Christmas photo taken with the Hamleys elves or Hamley and Hattie bear. You will get a FREE photo to take home and remember the 2015 holidays when you visited Hamleys!

Times:  1pm – 4pm

Dates: 13 December Greenstone Mall, 20 December Nelson Mandela Square

frozen5. JOBURG GREENSTONE ONLY: Frozen Singing Booth

The greatest animated movie of all time is back! Experience Frozen, the hit musical from Walt Disney animation studios, like never before in an all new, sing along edition. It’s pure enchantment, full of fun for the whole family…and it’s free. Visit Hamleys this December to have a go at “Let it Go” in the Frozen singing booth!

Times: All day

Date: 4 December – 31 December 2015

Venue: Hamleys Greenstone Shopping Centre

 

hello-kitty6. CAPE TOWN ONLY: Hello Kitty (this is for you, Tanya, just hop on a plane then!)

Hello Kitty is calling on fans – young and old – to do “one kind thing” for someone, no matter how big or small, and make a difference to someone’s day, and possibly even their life. Hello Kitty herself will be visiting Hamleys V&A and fans can meet her and have the opportunity to take photos with her and get a FREE button badge (while stocks last).

Time: 3pm – 5pm

Date: 11 December 2015

Venue: Only at Hamleys in V&A Waterfront

 

And while we’re on Cape Town and Joburg, don’t forget about Adventure Clubs which have activities all year round where you can do things with your kids. Just sign up and you can pick and choose from the adventures they send you.

 

And now off to our regular locations:

Gauteng:

Cassie has a a comprehensive post to keep little ones busy these holidays. including holiday clubs.

Shaney has some great ideas: 10 Events to attend with kids in Gauteng many of which are happening in the next few days.

  1. barniJoin Barni on a journey of discovery at Barni’s Great Big Learning Adventure

 

If you go down to The Zone at Rosebank in December, you are in for a big surprise… because Barni’s Learning Adventure activation is set to arrive!

 

Barni the Bear’s Great Big Learning Adventure will be held at The Zone in Rosebank from Saturday 12th until Friday 18th December 2015 and will be open daily from 10am – 4pm. Entrance is free, all you need to do is arrive with your family and enjoy the journey of fun and adventure.

 

Step into a “giant pop-up book” themed play area, and explore a world of adventure and learning with Barni the Bear. Let your children, aged 3 – 7 years, explore Barni’s art, music and play areas, assisted by a team of friendly helpers.

 

Catch the Barni show on the hour every hour – a fun musical adventure with a life-sized Barni Bear. Finally, treat yourself and your little ones to a delicious Barni bear shaped sponge cake with a yummy hidden chocolate centre. The spongy bear cake is a mouth-watering treat that invites kids’ imaginations to explore, while it feeds their body with the familiar ingredients moms use in their kitchens – flour, eggs, milk and chocolate. Barni contains no colourants, preservatives or trans fats, making it the perfect treat for little explorers.

 

If you can’t attend Barni’s Learning Adventure activation, be sure to visit select retail outlets to try Barni out for yourself. Barni is available as single units or in a box of five, with a recommended retail price (RRP) of R5.99 and R27.99, respectively.

 

Join in the conversation and share your  #BarniBear journey of discovery on social media.

2. Paw Patrol Heroes at Sandton City

Puppy power hits Sandton City this week as Nick Jr.’s doggy-themed festive extravaganza gets under way (4-24 December, Sandton City).

Bring your little ones to the Fountain Court, Sandton City from the 4-24 December to learn about staying safe with the Paw Patrol team, and join in some fun sing-a-longs with Marshall (an excitable 6-year old Dalmatian pup who’s the team’s fire dog) and Chase (an athletic 7-year old German Shepherd police dog who’s definitely leader of the pack). Plus there’s meet and greets with the characters and other fun activities such as building block pits and craft stations.

IMG_3359
Paw Patrol interactive singalong shows are at 10:00 am, 13:00 pm, 16:00 pm and 18:00 pm daily, with meet and greets at 11:00 am, 14:00 pm and 17:00 pm.

Happy - Competition Southgate3. McDonalds Happy Camp

This weekend is at Southgate mall, but this adventure will be happening across different malls in future.

The Happy Camp consists of different zones of entertainment:
 Zone 1 is a technology play that will stimulate and entertain
 Zone 2 holds activities that include movement and coordination that develops motor skills
 Zone 3 will have activities such as skipping, ball pit dives, wall-climbing and dance choreography. The kids will be taught Happy’s Boom Shakalaka and even get a moment in the spotlight to perform the dance on stage for their parents.
While the kids run around with joy and excitement, parents can also learn something and enjoy a special area called the Nutrition Zone for informative tips towards creating a healthier environment through key speakers, videos and samples.

Southgate Mall

Thursday 10th December 09h00 – 19h00

Friday 11th December 09h00 – 19h00

Saturday 12th December 09h00 – 19h00

Sunday 13th December 09h00 – 19h00

Foschini Court

These 3 speakers will have live appearances over the weekend:

Occupational Therapist: Nicole Kayton

Friday 13h00 – 14h00

Fitness Expert: Dominique Mann

Saturday 10h00 – 14h00

Parenting Expert: Nikki Bush

Saturday 11h30 – 12h30

 

Bloemfontein

  1. boeresportBoeresport Gesins Pret Dag

At Tiny Tots Animal Farm in Bloemfontein there’ll be lots happening. Bring money for the stalls and enjoy handling the animals while learning more about them.  There will also be cooldrink and hotdogs for sale. For more info email helenehusselmann@gmail.com

Cape Town:

  1. Kids-Golf-Summer-Holiday-Clinics-2015-300x426Kids Holiday Golf Clinics

Bring your kids for a fun filled 2 hours a day of golf, games, fun and play. They will learn the easiest and quickest way to play golf, games, improve their movement, skills, co-ordination and golf play. Ages 5-12 years. R750 per week. Prizes and medals to be won.

15-17 December

5-7 January

Email: keagan@ctgolfacademy.com

2. pinelands-craft-and-gift-fairPinelands Craft and Gift Fair

Get your Christmas shopping done with loads of handmade goods. Your crochet goodies from Yarn Over Heels will also be available here

twilight-market3. Twilight Christmas Market at Blaauwklippen

Date: from the 15th – 19th

Time: 17:00 – 22:00.

The Blaauwklippen Family Market is child and pet friendly. They cater for children of all ages, with various rides and activities. They offer a safe environment well away from roads or water. So bring your well behaved pooch… and child for a Sunday off the beaten track.

4.Lourensford Harvest Market

Every Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 – 15:00.

5. Family Fun at the Third Annual Grand Parade Cape Guineas

There’s something for everyone at the third annual Grand Parade Cape Guineas. Hosted at Kenilworth Racecourse on Saturday, 19 December 2015, this year’s theme, Grand Paradiso, lends itself to mystery, magic and surprises you won’t want to miss.   

Little ones can play at their hearts content at the BURGER KING® SA Family Day. For only R20 per person, children can jump, slide and play in the giant Play Kingdom inflatable park.  They can get their photo taken with Santa, and be entertained by face painters, balloon shapers, puppets shows and magicians.

Give the gift of time and volunteer at the Stop Hunger Now tent as they aim to pack 25 920 meals to feed hungry children.

Kenilworth Racecourse is located on Rosemead Avenue, Kenilworth, Cape Town. Public Parking will be available at the Wetton Road entrance.

Cape Guineas spectators can enjoy nine spectacular races, including a R1 million Grand Parade Cape Guineas GR1 Race from 12pm and entry is free. For a front row view in a comfortable lounge area, R50 gets you access to the Grand West Paradiso Lounge, mystical décor, performances by SA’s top performances and more.

Family Day tickets are available at the venue on the day. For more information call 021 418 2404.

 

 

Durban

Everything you want to know about what’s happening in Durban and Balito you can read about in Kathleen’s post on East Coast Life. This week she has markets, exhibitions and shows.

 

 

 

What’s on for Families this Weekend: 5-6 December

what's on for familiesThis weekend there are three areas covered: PE, Joburg and Cape Town.

 

In Port Elizabeth:

st-albansAl Arabians Family Day

Interact with horses, relax at a tea garden, indulge in a meal, get a massage. Let your kids run free & have family photos taken or just shop 😉 Many stalls available for your pleasure.

In Gauteng:

For loads of events please click over to Cassie’s post at Life with a Ladybug. This week she has lots of shows, markets, holiday activities and loads more!

  1. carols-by-glowstickCarols by Glowstick: Join New Creation Family Church (corner of Gemsbok/ Winston) (entrance on Gemsbok) for the Carols by Glowsticks, at 6pm. Bring picnic/ picnic blankets. They would also appreciate it if you could donate non-perishable food items and new or good second hand toys for the needy. This is my church and last year Nicky was a shepherd at this event last year (read all about that here). This year all kids can dress up as their fave nativity character.

Nats-market2. Christmas Market – hosted by Natalie Hayes -she is in my mom’s group. Her aunt owns The Kidz Boutique, an online store for baby and kiddies goodies. She stocks Melissa and nats-market2Doug, Cleva Mama and more! Perfect Christmas presents at great prices. Please rsvp for this one! (Numbers on the poster below). Even if you can’t make it, have a look at their site.

 

fun-house3. Funhouse Carnival and Market Day:

Lots of fun here: 25 stalls, magic show, jumping castles, waterslide and loads more!

Venue is the Funhouse and entrance is R100 for kiddies. Email funhouse4every1@gmail.com for more information.

Cape Town:

Thanks to Cassey Toi for sending me links for this section!

  1. Arno Castens: is playing at the Kirstenbosch gardens. 6 December 5:30 – 7pm

During his career as the lead singer of Springbok Nude Girls and subsequently as a solo artist, Arno Carstens has released 11 studio albums, 5 as the lead singer of Springbok Nude Girls, 1 as half of the Electronica project, Bell Tower, and 5 as a solo artist. He has had over 20 top ten singles, won 5 South African Music Awards and shared the stage with legends of the music world including U2, The Rolling Stones and REM.

Kirstenbosch Info Desk: 021 799 8783
Entrance charge:

Adults: 150, Youth (6-21 yrs with ID): R110, Children under 6 years: free

How to book:

www.webtickets.co.za

2. There are LOTS of Christmas markets happening in Cape Town so I think I will just share the links:

Lourensford Harvest Market in Somerset West: Where:  Lourensford Estate, Somerset West
When: 4-6 December 2015. Friday 4pm-10pm | Saturday 12noon-10pm | Sunday 10am-3pm
Who to contact: hello@lfhm.co.za

Edgemead Christmas Market  4-20 December 2015, 10am-8pm every day (Open on Sundays) Location: Community Hall in Edgemead Drive, off Bosmansdam Road, Edgemead

Kloovenburg Christmas Market Kloovenburg Estate in Riebeek Kasteel. Date:
5 December 2015. 9.30am-3pm Contact: +27 (0)22 4481 635

Camphill Country Market (West Coast) 6 December 2015. 10am-2pm. www.camphill.org.za/market  Camphill Village, West Coast. Klein Dassenberg Rd
Cape Town.

3. Beers and Gears Festival

Beers-gears-610x864Along with the 15 local craft brewers, and wineries, there will be food trucks offering mouth-watering meals to pair expertly with the beer or wine. Live bands, a kiddies corner for the wee ones, and of course plenty of space to relax are all additions that make this the summer festival in the Northern Suburbs a must to attend! With your ticket you will receive a glass along with two tasters.

Times: Sat: 10am – 9pm, Sunday: 10am-5pm (Car display from 12pm – 4pm daily).

Tickets R80 online or R100 at the door.

 

 

 

 

 

What’s on for families this weekend (28-29 November)

what's on for families

Lots of Christmas markets this weekend and other fun!

IN CAPE TOWN:

A big thank you to Cassey Toi of Bits and Pieces for providing me with a lot of events for Cape Town!

  1. CAPE TOWN FESTIVAL OF BEER (27 – 29 NOV) 
    Get to grips with the best hops and malt that the Western Cape has to offer at this annual beery shindig at the Hamilton Rugby Club from Friday, 27 to Sunday, 29 November 2015. Now it’s its sixth year, the Cape Town Festival of Beer has cemented itself as one of Mother City’s must-dos, and as always, visitors are invited to explore the world of lekker lagers with food and beer tastings, guided beer tours and samplings of some of the best brews the city has seen. Bring your little ones along as there will be fun play areas, or bring your gees (spirit) and watch the rugby with friends. And even if you don’t enjoy the molten golden drink – there’ll be plenty of live entertainment and hearty nosh to keep you occupied.

pram-walk2. Pram Walk and Market Day

A 3km walk will be held at Sandown Retail Crossing. Entrance are baby items which will go to Nazareth House.

3. Kirstenbosch Summer concerts: They have a different one each weekend. This weekend on the 29th we have Zonke Dikana. Gates open at 4pm. Adults: R150, Youth (6-21 yrs with ID): R110, Children under 6 years: free

4. La Paris Festival in the Valley

This breath-taking Estate with its luscious gardens and manicured lawns is situated only 8km outside the picturesque town of Franschhoek.

  • You can expect a daily market with high end gifts, fashion, accessories and beauty products. There will also be food trucks, local wines, craft beer and cocktails to mention a few.
  • There will be jumping castles, water slides and an outdoor evening movie to keep the children entertained.
  • Your visit will be accompanied by some of the biggest artists from South Africa and you can expect daily performances by Gareth James, Jacques Terre’Blanche, Caitlin DeVille and a special performance by Wild Lettuce on Friday evening.
  • Fire dancers will add to the magical atmosphere and wow the guests with their mystical movements and dazzling displays.
  • Don’t forget to visit the pop up day spa by Eternal Child which will offer guests an array of pampering treatment.

For more information on this event follow the link above.

5. Stellenbosch Christmas Market

The Stellenbosch Christmas Market (aka Stellenbosch Kersmark) is an annual event, held this year from 25 November to 5 December 2015.

11 Glorious days of top Quality Art & Handwork from 180 stalls of sought after artists and craftsmen, as well as a cosy restaurant and a wide variety of excellent baked foods and confections.Bring the family, and expect to be delighted by the variety and high standard of craft, art, and delicious homemade foods.  Entrance is free. Martinsonstreet, Uniepark. For times see the link above.

6. Christmas Day/Night Market/ Slowmarket

27-29 November: Friday 5-10pm, Sat 9-2, Sun 4-9pm with Kurt Darren at Oude Libertas Amph Theatre and lawns. The market is free but Kurt Darren is R170. For more information follow the link. The market has a copper theme and you can get all your Christmas shopping done.

7. Blaauwklippen Family Market

Every Sunday 10h00 to 15h00. The market has a range of stalls from fresh produce and homemade products to crafts and plants. There is also live music, delicious food stalls and of course Blaauwklippen wines to enjoy, so bring a blanket and relax under the trees. They also have children activities (goats, jungle gym) and pony rides (R10 per ride).

 

IN JOBURG:

  1. Sunday 29 November at The Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens in Joburg. Huggy Nappy Pants Family Picnic Fun Day. For more info see Tanya’s post here.

2.kersmark-2015-300x212 Kerk Sonder Mure Kersmark / Christmas Market

3. Riversands Christmas Market

riversandsSituated on William Nicol along the R511; a stone’s throw from Fourways, Riversands Farm Village Market is the new weekend attraction promising an activity for each member of the family; even your four legged companion. It is more than just a market, but a unique destination spanning 10 Hectares. With Tree Top zip-lining, a dedicated kiddies play section, dog walking area and a farm style market the venue ensures no one walks away without a smile. On Sunday 29 November, unlike every other Sunday, this rustic setting will be hosting a Christmas themed market with handmade crafts and delicious fare.

vegStalls are carefully selected to ensure they suit the Riversands ambience. The vendors include handmade leather goods and clothing, fresh juice and homemade ice cream, organic peanut butter, organic / free range farm butcher with biltong, game, fresh butter, milk and cream and vintage signs etc. A craft beer pub serving up ice cold brew as well as food from all over the world including German, Italian, American, Japanese and Greek.

The farm gained popularity in recent years for hosting the gruelling 94.7 Cycle Challenge and the annual music festival, Joburg Day in conjunction with local radio station 94.7. Some film connoisseurs might even recognise the original farm house from the Leon Schuster film, Mad Buddies and the international blockbuster, Long Walk to Freedom.

Escape the stress and flurry of the city and enjoy a day next to the dam with your loved ones.

 

4. Miniature Christmas Showcase at Parkhurst Recreation Centre – 28 November. Corner of 13th Street and 5th Ave, 9am-1pm. No entrance fee but donations for Cerebral Palsy are welcome. Contact Sue 0117872340.

What’s on for families this weekend (21-22 November) PLUS during the week!

what's on for familiesThis What’s  On series has expanded to three provinces today! 🙂

In Gauteng: 

Remember to check out Cassie’s post at Life with a Ladybug. This week she has walks, carols, shows, expos, markets and even a race where you can get down in the dirt.

Some markets to buy those Christmas goodies.

  1. A Crafter’s market will be held in Cherry Park, Cherry Drive, off Republic Rd, at 9am-3pm 21 November. Details: Sheelagh, 0721744167, 0117935030.

christmas-mkt2. Reddam House Christmas Market:

With live entertainment, kids activities area, divine food trucks, just to mention a few. Entrance is free and all welcome. : Reddam House Bedfordview. 10am-3pm.

3. Wine Tasting. The Old Parktonian Sports Club will hold its annual wine tasting at 4pm on 21 November.  Bring the children and let them enjoy the activities while you enjoy a glass of wine. Entrance R30. Old Parktonians Sports Club. 0117893274/5.

 

In Cape Town:

Noordhoek Garage Sale:

Moms of the Deep South, please come and take a look at the pre-loved children’s toys, clothing etc. on sale.
Sat 21 Nov, 9am-1pm at 73 Beach Road in Noordhoek.

Garden Route:

Nappy Party!

For those interested in cloth nappies, enjoy this meetup and find out more about this method!

And then, just to add something else on, although it doesn’t only happen on weekends…

Adventure Clubs:

These are activities that happen on a daily basis which you can sign up for here. They will send you emails/ whatsapp about what’s happening and you can pick and choose what you would like to do. Some are free, some cost. This is available in Cape Town and Joburg. It was started by Jonelle, who I know from church, now in Cape Town, an American behind an organisation that assists in job creation and training. Two friends of mine took their girls to a baking activity on Monday, you can check out the Facebook page for the fun they had.

What’s On for Families This Weekend (14-15 November)

Here are a few things to keep you busy this weekend!

Cassie has a jam packed post for those in Gauteng: go and check it out here.

what'sonff

IN CAPE TOWN:

BOSMAN RELEASE CELEBRATION WEEKEND (14 – 15 NOV)
The Bosman Family Vineyards presents its finest offerings and latest vintages at the annual Bosman Release Celebration Weekend. Known for its meticulous attention to detail and quality vinos, this centuries-old farm and vine nursery swings open its gates and invites connoisseurs, wine lovers and just about anyone looking for a great day out in the Wellington winelands to experience this exclusive wine farm in a laid-back fashion. There will be loads of entertainment for the kiddies while moms and pops enjoy tutored tastings with lauded winemaker Corlea Fourie, and attendees can also tuck into delicious gourmet grub available at the food market stalls beneath the ancient oak trees.

COST: Tickets cost R150p/p and are available via Webtickets.co.za. Wine Club members will receive complimentary tickets to the do.

IN JOBURG:

Pedal cars in Kyalami:

Mapatiza Underground Gemstone Mine, 52 Mercury Ave, Crowthorne Kyalami. 9am-4pm, R20 for 10 minutes, from three years old and up.

 

Eco walk at Thaba Eco Hotel

Educational Eco Walk where the whole family can learn more about the fauna and flora of the beautiful Klipriviersberg Nature Reserve. Venue is Thaba Eco Hotesl, Thaba Ya Batswana Eco Hotel and Spa, Impala Rd, Jhb. Time 7:30-9am (alternative times can be arranged). Cost: R100-150.