Kigali’s Best “Free” Places for Kids

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When we first moved to Kigali, I was thrown by the lack of public green spaces and museums/libraries. Where should I take my kids when they don’t have school? Where can I meet up with mama friends if we all need to get our kids out of the house?

I’ve had to cultivate some routines over the years and build a repertoire of quick stops I can make that will both occupy my children and restore my sanity. Thankfully, there’s a lot to do here with children now- but these are my favorite last minute, meet-for-an-hour places that end up staying in my rotation. No entrance fee on any of these- kids play free as long as you grab a coffee or Fanta. YES!

BWOK
BWOK is one of my favorites- they have great food and drinks, and a nice little play area for the kiddos in the back of the resto. They even have chicken nuggets on their brunch menu, and I have it on good authority that they’re the best in Kigali! Fave foods for kids: nuggets, cereal on the salad bar, donuts

INZORA
Inzora was a staple for me when we first moved here. The play area is honestly pretty small, but its a little mock coffee bar and it’s super cute for the kids to play with while you grab a quick cuppa with a friend. Bonus: you can pick up Fresh Basket eggs and greens throughout the week. Fave foods for kids: grilled cheese (okay, also my fave) and Italian sodas

CASA KEZA
Casa Keza is very kid friendly, but the set up is a little interesting. They have a super fun playroom within the house, but it’s typically far from where you might sit- so you may not be able to see your child. But, depending on your comfort level, this can lead to a nice playdate and convo 🙂 The yard is also lovely for the kids and there’s even bunnies that run around! So, great even if you keep the kids with you. Fave foods for kids: avocado toast and smoothies

KISEKI
A great lunch date with kids. Their play structure seems to always be under construction, so check for safety- but my kids have a blast. There’s lots of room for them to run, too. The buffet is 5000 and free for kids under 6 I think? We like this one a lot. Fave food for kids: ramen and banana sushi

CENTURY PARK
Another staple for us throughout the years. Century park has probably the best play structure of any resto thats *not an extra charge* and we often meet a friend for coffee or Fanta’s there during the week. Note: on the weekends, they sometimes put up other structures that cost extra per child, but the playground is always free. Fave foods for kids: fried rice, dumplings

PILI PILI
A fave for a long time, but they recently added a fun little playground! The pool and football pitch aren’t free, but the playground is! Pair this with their weekday pizza deal (pizzas are 4,000 from 12-6, I think) and it’s a great daytime place for kids! Fave foods for kids: hawaiian pizza, chips

THE WOMENS BAKERY
We love TWB for their kid-friendly treats! Pretzels and muffins and honey twists are like 60% of my kids diets- ha! While the space isn’t designed specifically with kids in mind, the flexible seating and swings make for a nice place that both they and you can enjoy. We often bring a small game, or coloring supplies, when we meet friends. Fave food for kids: honey twists, pretzels, smoothies

MOCHA CAFE
To be honest, I haven’t taken my kids here yet- but I popped in last night and it looks great! The menu is simple but looks delicious, and there’s lots of both indoor and outdoor seating, in addition to a kids corner outside. I write this assuming that it’s a free kids corner- but I haven’t confirmed that, so don’t inbox me if I’m wrong. Ha!

What’s your favorite place to take your kiddos for a playdate? I’d love to add to the list! ❤

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