The Field and Study Centre, Parkmore
Many decades ago I would join friends with a bottle of wine, some bread and cheese, and a blanket for a chilled Sunday late-afternoon/early-evening picnic on the banks of the spruit at the Field and Study Centre in Parkmore. I hadn’t been back since then, so was delighted when a friend of mine suggested we take our grandchildren there for a winter afternoon picnic.
Wonderful open park area
In the huge open park area there at least 3 huge wooden jungle gyms with ladders, wobbley bridges, platforms, ramps … you name it! Plus endless space for ball games and bike riding. Then of course the northern edge of the park area is bounded by the Braamfontein Spruit. There is a weir which provides endless entertainment: you can throw sticks into the water and watch them float down the river. Although with littlies this can be very nerve-racking as the level of some older people’s agility is in inverse proportion to small people’s excitement levels and scampering abilities! Pony rides passed by us and many were walking dogs (on leashes) particularly towards late afternoon.
And best of all there is a really safe enclosed area around the River Café. There are jungle gyms to climb, trees to explore, swings and slides, a jumping castle, a water slide (in summer). And a giant sandpit with umbrellas brings a beach-feel to the Sandton. While there are 2 plastic scooter bikes provided by River Café, if children have their own you are encouraged to bring them. There is the most wonderful climbing tree which evoked nostalgic childhood memories of the Faraway Tree.
River Café is open for breakfast and lunch Tuesday to Sunday. For pensioners all meals are half price (excludes beverages), from Tuesday to Thursday.
Field Market every 2nd Saturday of the month
Every 2nd Saturday of the month there is a market with traditional market crafts and food stalls. Plus lots of entertainment for children. A parking fee of R10 per car is charged at the main parking field and the net proceeds are donated to the Friends of the Field & Study to assist them with the maintenance and improvement of the park. Upcoming market dates are 9 September; 14 October; 11 November and a Christmas market on 9 December.
For more on what to do with children in Joburg
And various blog posts: