Kids’ Day Out in Kampala

Kids' Day Out in Kampala

As any parent or caretaker knows, no matter how lovely your kids are, a bored child can quickly devolve into a mischievous child. Sure there are toys and puzzles around the house, but eventually even the shiniest of objects lose their appeal and outside stimuli becomes necessary. Luckily, Kampala hosts plenty of areas for your little one to run around, climb, and meet other kids. Activities that leave them so exhausted, they go down for a nap without a fight (leaving you free to do the nap time victory dance – I can’t be the only one who has done this!).

For those on the north side of town (Kololo, Bukoto, Ntinda), there are quite a few good options. An obvious one is the Kabira Country Club. The grounds include a large pool, a child’s pool, a supervised play area with slides and climbing toys, and a large grassy expanse to run around on. This is a great place to go if you want to spend time with your kids and spend some time on yourself as well. Bringing your partner and taking turns at their fantastic gym, grabbing a massage and taking a steam bath. This can be a fantastic idea for a family day out with treats for both child and adult.

Ntinda hosts Pop Up Cafe with a myriad of board games for kids, and, depending on the day, craft fairs, art showings and the all important delicious milkshake. On Acacia, Mish Mash is well known for it’s child-friendly attractions. The large area to the right of the restaurant entrance has park benches, a contained children’s play area, and soft grassy slopes for kids to roll down. There is also a child-friendly menu and a giant chessboard to play on.

Not far away, Prunes is another great go to for a parent that needs some time out while still being on-duty. You can relax in the large, shady yard while your child jumps around on swings and on their toys. On weekends there are often a number of families around, sitting on picnic mats that are provided by the restaurant. You can order anything from decadent treats to healthy fruit snacks for both parent and child.

Let’s also not forget Time2Play in Kiwatule. It is billed as the largest indoor play center and also doubles as a daycare nursery. Their activities cater to newborn babies and into the pre-teens. There are slides, pools, bouncy castles, face painters, and sand pits. There is staff on hand to watch your child if you have a busy day and need to step out. There is also a parental rest area where you can sit and get some work done while still being present for your child.

On the South side of town (Muyenga, Kansanga, Bunga), there are a number of options. The most well known is the Munyonyo Speke Resort. Owned by the same people at Kabira, you’ll find a similar child-friendly set up. Children’s pools, a play area, and a lifeguard are all there. However, Munyonyo is lucky enough to be lakeside. So after you’re done swimming and romping you can head down to the waterfront. It’s a great, safe space for children to learn how to ride a bike or skate thanks to a well-paved track. This same area also enjoys soft, clean grass and a small beach for sandcastles.

Cafe Roma, while being a favorite of many Italian food lovers is also a fantastic place to take your child for lunch or dinner. There are facilities with swings, trampolines and a sand pit, all open until 8pm. Hotel International is also a well known spot with a myriad of activities which include swimming, swinging, sliding, and even donkey rides. There is staff on site to watch the children, so you can go relax and have a meal. However, if the point is spending time with your kiddo, you are more than welcome to enjoy the play area.

There is also the Makindye Country Club where your children can spend the day causing a ruckus. There is a large swimming pool, but also a supervised fenced off wading pool for those with smaller children. There are fields and sports groups for older kids to get involved in and a child’s playground with swings, see-saws and a media and book library. Kid friendly menus are also available at the restaurant.

If you happen to have an entire day free, you can also take your little one outside of Kampala to the Ugandan Wildlife Education Center in Entebbe (also known as the zoo). UWEC is almost always teeming with children running around from the Rhinos to the Zebras to the Leopard. UWEC has a restaurant (with limited options, so a packed lunch isn’t a bad idea) and a huge play area for the kids. There are also donkey rides and a grassy lakeside area to relax on. Exhibits often have large signs or paintings aimed at educating children on the life cycles and natural habitat of the animal. The lions, chimpanzees and giraffes will provide hours of entertainment for kids (and most adults as well).

Community is always an essential part of child rearing and the city provides options to become part of one without sacrificing your sanity. Many families use these places as an opportunity to get to know their fellow parents around the city. Exchange tips on the best foods, healthcare providers and caretakers. Never mind the added bonus of depleting some of your child’s seemingly inexhaustible energy. So next time the day is sunny and the kids are antsy take some time to peruse Kampala’s many child-friendly attractions. Then tuck that baby in and pour yourself a glass of wine. Because you’ve earned it, you star parent you. After all, we grown ups need our own recreational time as well.












About Lizabeth Paulat

Hi, I’m Lizabeth, a freelance writer whose been stomping around Kampala for the better part of two years. I came here while pursuing a story and decided never to leave. I’m originally from Seattle and have found refuge in both the sun and the culture of Kampalans (plus I still get the rain when I’m feeling homesick).I’m always trying to unearth new and interesting stories about Kampala’s culture and development and am so exited to have an amazing platform to explore the city with. I hope to bring a bit of know-how and a bit of fun to Living in Kampala. Feel free to contact me any time at