“Mommy, Daddy! I am bored!” Is this not the worst thing a parent can hear? Especially when it is usually followed by a pouty look or a sad or bad mood. We will do anything to avoid disappointing our kids. This usually means getting them out of the house as fast as we can and ending up in McDonald’s because we cannot come up with anything better, especially if we are in a foreign country where everything is…well, foreign. Are you looking for some fun and healthy activities to do with the kids? Here are some kid-friendly places in Georgia.
The National Botanical Garden of Georgia is my favourite outdoor destination to take my kid (she is only 3 months old). I like to go there for several reasons: fresh, clean air for her, pretty landscape for me and also plenty of room for stroller walks. Older children may enjoy looking at the waterfalls and exploring the hills. The Garden is located above the Abanotubani bath district so you may do some sightseeing on your way up there – old Tbilisi streets, a 19th century mosque and the “dark side” of the Narikala Fortress.
The National Botanical Garden of Georgia dates to the 17th century. Destroyed by Persian invasions in the 18th century and it revived in the early 19th century. Not only does it contains all kinds of different plants, it is beautiful simply on its own – it is located on the foothills of the mountain range with a river flowing in the middle and forming several waterfalls. I love going there in the springtime when the air is thick with the perfume of flowers.
If your child is a little scientist – and most of them are – invite him or her for a trip to explore museums such as the State Silk Museum and the Tbilisi Doll Museum. The State Silk Museum (one of the oldest silk museums in the world as its website claims) offers special tours for kids which include the silk dyeing process and making your own colourful souvenirs. The museum also holds an annual Silkworm Workshop in May-June when visitors may feed the silkworms and observe them in their different stages of life and activity. Parents may be interested in seeing the collection of fabrics dating from different periods (late 19th-20th centuries). You must book tours in advance, so make sure to call the museum. Contact them.
The State Silk Museum, located on Tsabadze Street, is within walking distance to Aghmashenebeli Avenue. Stroll or ride down to 103-107 Aghmashenebeli where you will find the Tbilisi Doll Museum. It exhibits more than 2,000 dolls, mechanical toys, puppets and other toys. The old mechanical toys are really cool with some of them dancing, blowing bubbles and aso playing guitars. From time to time, the museum holds puppet shows, doll-making workshops and art studio activities. It also has an art salon which sells hand-made puppets.
Looking for a place where your kid can spend his or her never-ending energy? (Truly, where does it come from? And why do we not have it?) Visit the Gino Paradise Water Park which is open all year round and contains both indoor and outdoor swimming pools, water slides and rides. It also features a “coastal zone” where parents can sit back in a deck chair and enjoy some sun. Other perks for parents include the spa centre – aroma and health procedures also sauna and hydrotherapy. Finally, if you wish to work out while your little one is splashing around in the water, use Gino’s fitness centre with its cardio, strength and aerobic equipment.