For some funny reason when I was doing my budget for the month April, the long weekend totally slipped my mind. Yes, it did, I knew there was Easter coming up in a few weeks but I forgot to allocate funds for the holiday. It sounds funny but it is true. All I was thinking about when I was planning for Easter was sleeping, eating, sleeping and couching. Lately, a lot of things have been slipping my mind and I think age is also catching up with me. I forgot that holiday time is family time 🙁 I forgot that I am a mommy, yes it’s called porridge brains.
I started planning for things to do with my family on Thursday, I did not consult them since I did not have a budget. Consulting them would bring a lot of stress to both parties. I would not be able to afford what they want and it would bring a guilty conscience to me. On the other hand, my kids will be disappointed that I did not deliver on what they were expecting. Friday we went to church it was nice.
Saturday came and It dawned on me that damn my son in school now and he needs to have stories to tell when schools open. I went into the #thinkfastmommy mode, my budget was R200 hahaha, but living in a fast paced Johannesburg what can you actually do with that “change”? All I was thinking was “boy fun” that is cars and other rides. The first place that came to my mind was the Eastgate Shopping Centre play area but it is far (45 ks return trip), so I took it off my list. Thought of bowling but nah, thought of Bounce but it was waaaay out of our budget. I then remembered we have Monte Casino Birds Garden, I quickly googled 🙂 the entrance fees and voila, it was within our budget. Boys dressed comfortably, check, sunscreen, check, water bottles, check. Buckled up and we hit the road within 10 mins we were at Monte Casino Birds Garden.
According to my son, we took forever (a 4mins walk from the parking lot) to get the entrance. He could not wait to get into the garden. The entrance fee was R70 for adults and R40 for kids and kids under 2 get in FREE, we also purchased duck food for R6 a pellet. The place is very clean, as you get in on your right there is a jungle gym and a sandpit for kids to play. On the right is Flamingo restaurant, head straight up from the get you get straight to the garden. We saw quite a number of birds and reptiles, and my kids really enjoyed the experience. My kids usually complain quite a lot if we walk for more than 20 mins. To my surprise, we walked for more than 1 hour but I did not hear any single complaint. I cannot really remember every bird and reptile we saw but the everyday ones I still remember. The Birds Garden has very relaxed, benches all around, it’s so serene. The environment is so relaxing the most sounds you hear are the birds and surprised kids screaming out of excitement.
Our Highlights at the Birds Garden
This will not go without saying but I am still in awe so is my son and he cannot stop telling anyone who cares to listen. The Flight of Fantasy Show, this is one of the most amazing things I have seen in a while. Who knew that birds can be trained as well, yes the show has more than 10 or 15 birds that are trained to do breathtaking displays. These birds take instructions very well (than most humans) from their beautiful trainers. The show is about 45mins long and it is worth every minute. A plus is you do not have to pay anything extra to see this show. Not only is it a spectacular display show but also educational because the trainers will tell you everything about every bird that comes on the show. I will not blog much as I will pre-empt your experience at the show.
Another highlight was the talking parrots, two parrots that can say hello, how are you, fine. These were a highlight with the kids. I think we spent about 20 mins that particular cage because the kids could not stop talking and neither did the parrots.
Thanks to the Pick and Pay animal cards I was so amazed by the way he could mention some of these birds by their actual names without looking at the information board. I didn’t know some of the birds, honestly.
We also loved Oliver the Pelican when he walks he seems to be dancing to the music. Can I also mention that Oliver reminds me of my duck step during pregnancy hahaha. Oliver is old and is going to be retiring this year.
What is a garden without the greens, I loved the well-trimmed lawns, very green (when bad pictures happen but that grass is green), the ducks and birds taking walks on the lawns makes it more beautiful. I love photos so much whenever I see beautiful environments I always try and get a picture taken. The Garden is beautiful more than words. Walking through this bridge made me feel like I had gone to Maldives or some exotic place, those palm trees, yeses!
The bird’s garden is a little nature reserve in the middle of the hustle and bustle of Joburg. If you need to relax, take your mind off things this is the place to be. I am really glad I took my kids to the Birds Garden it was entertaining and very educational. For only R150 and under 2 hours we made memories, we had fun, we learnt a lot and we took lots of pictures. At times simple things in life bring the most joy.
I also learnt that they have a holiday programme I am definitely going to get my son into this programme.
Seeing that me and my family had fun on a budget, I will be doing more blogs of how you can have fun with your kids without breaking the bank. Watch out for that #budgetmommy #budgetbreaks . One does not need to break the bank in order to have fun. Fun on a budget is the future during especially now when the economy is heading where no one knows.
What did you get up to with your family this Easter?
Hope you are having an egg-tastic and egg-citing time with your loved ones.
PS forgive my bad picture, I am upgrading my phone soon and saving for a DSLR and uping my editing skills 🙂