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By Hein Kaiser


Kids fun, HytoTyto’s the one

Awesome. That is the word, and it is succinct. If you are looking for something to do with your kids...

Awesome. That is the word, and it is succinct. If you are looking for something to do with your kids that could inject some fund for a few hours or an entire day, HytoTyto is a must visit. It is a giant playground that makes other play places pale in comparison, even if it is just due to sheer size and stuff to do. Situated on the edge of Midstream Estate in Midrand, the venue gives parents a breather while juniors can explore, slide, jump, climb and ride to their heart’s content. It is a venue where kids can make friends in-play, easily. Even better, on a value for money scale it rates top of the charts.

It is a kid’s kingdom, all right. The indoor playground with three giant slides, the longest slides in the country they say, and four levels of maze-play greets visitors. That, and bucket loads of kids running around, up and downing on the playground. At the bottom, an array of soft-play for semi-infants and toddlers adjacent to the coffee shop so that mom and dad can keep a beady eye.

There are child minders at the bottom and the top of the slides making sure that some semblance of order is kept. But everyone seems to get along here, kids queue up, wait their turns and herd together quickly. Wherever you look, there are games and nooks that spur the imagination.

[WATCH] HytoTyto in Midstream is a great day out for the whole family. 

Forget the coffee shop, that is for parents. First, explore outside. There is the usual fare of jungle gyms, sand pits and stuff to climb on. But, just beyond a fountain and bricked stream, is a giant half-moon jumping mountain towering above the place. It is a slippery climb to the top, where a bounce or a million is irresistible.

Mom and dad can also have a jump and check out what to do next. And there is a lot to do. A mini-train choochoo’s around the park from its station and takes kids on a small tour or the playground, showcasing the what’s-next.

Further into the playground there is a pedal-cart track, a cool roundabout, swings and more stuff to mount and swing from. Scattered in between is a tightrope, a small palisaded up and down to balance on and other cool stuff.

What is even better is that there are no screens here for kids. The emphasis is on play, real play, not the kind to keep kids out of sight and earshot. At HytoTyto kids are seen and heard. Sanitizer is available throughout the venue.

kids fun hytotyto train

Mom, dad and the rest of the family can play together at HytoTyto Picture: Hein Kaiser

The venue also offers several semi-private party venues. It comprises of converted, cutely decorated containers, each with a different theme catering from small through to large family and friends’ ensembles. It is an effortless way to host birthday parties and celebrations.

The best part, well for parents, is that someone else tidies up afterwards. Catering is done in-house with a variety of options to choose from, and it looked like dedicated wait-staff to each area were assigned to ensure a relaxed experience for everyone. Pricing starts at around R 1500 for a party but excludes entrance fees and catering. There are 7 areas to choose from including a kid’s spa experience called the Pink Pamper.

kids fun hytotyto milkshake

It’s delicious. Kiddies milkshakes at Hytotyto Picture Hein Kaiser

What really sets HytoTyto apart are the little touches, too. Little landscaped areas where imagination can come out to play. A gnome garden, a butterfly nook and a teeny doll’s house. An old aircraft is parked downhill where aspiring pilots can cruise the skies.

Trucks and toys lie scattered around the property. Of course, my son headed straight to the fountain and before you could say ‘don’t’ he was soaked. Make sure you pack an extra outfit or two. It’s gonna happen. The bathrooms are super cute with a mom and tot’s loo, cascading basins for a rub a dub dub as well as a breastfeeding area and lovely and clean baby changing stations.

The coffee shop spreads out onto a large terrace overlooking the playground. Here, everything from breakfast through to a light supper is on offer along with hot and cold beverages. And yes, HytoTyto is licensed. Meal prices are pretty much in line with what you can expect to pay at any restaurant, averaging out at around R 150 per head for a main course and a drink or two.

The fare includes burgers, wraps, snacks and cute milkshakes served in enamel mugs. While on busy days the service seems a bit slack, our food arrived rather quickly once we eventually got to place an order. The portions are adequate and the food, does the job and hits the spot.

The child minders are not there to entertain the kids like at some other venues. Kids entertain themselves, make friends or play with mom and dad. There is oversight at all the play areas with managers roaming the grounds in addition. However, a smile or two from the minders may go a long way to enhancing an otherwise fun experience, as opposed to one or two looking rather sullen on the day.

Engaging kids beyond directing traffic at a slide, even if just with a warm smile, could really make junior’s day a little better. Then again, dealing with masses of kids may make anyone reach for an aspirin or a hundred after a while. And it did not impact my level of comfort as a parent, so all good.

But the best part is the pricing. Many other playgrounds charge between R 50 and R 80 per hour of play, per child. At HytoTyto kids between 2 and 13 pay R 110 for a whole day’s play. You can arrive when they open and leave when it shuts. That is 9.30am to 7pm weekdays, 9am to 7pm Saturdays and on Sundays it closes earlier, at 4pm. Adults and toddlers enter at no cost.


Venue and facilities:  9/10

Food and Drink: 6.5/10

Kids Fun: 9/10

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