“Whenever I interview a Nobel Prize-winning scientist, I ask them when was that, that spark of science began to germinate? And they always say when I was 10, 10 is that magic year. You have that epiphany. You went to the planetarium, you saw your first telescope, you saw the moon for the first time and the rings of Saturn. You saw a microbe in a microscope. That epiphany stays with you for the rest of your life.”
The quote above is Michio Kaku, popular science writer, theoretical physicist, and co-founder of string field theory. For Kaku, this moment happened when he was 8 and Einstein died. It was a photo of the desk where Einstein spent the last 30 years of his life working on a theory of everything, that captured Michio’s imagination.
Dr Kaku determined that in order to give his children the biggest chance to have their own age ten moments, he would grab every opportunity that presented itself to let them experience science. These autumn holidays you have can create the same opportunity for your children because Cape Gate brings you SPACE, their cosmic holiday theme, with awesome activities to keep your little ones entertained, and who knows one of your tikes might just catch the science bug.
When we entered the mall, the first thing we saw was a giant inflated black dome, the planetarium. Inside the planetarium you lie down on your back and stare up at the dome, where a short video about our solar system, and specifically the sun got us in the spirit of all things space. The presentation is short enough that toddlers will stay engaged, and interesting enough that even the parents might learn something new.
Beyond the planetarium, a 16m wormhole and laser zone invites would be astronauts to come and play. My kids simply raced into the mouth of the wormhole, and scampered up the ramp and to slide down the other end. Upon landing, the only thing they shouted was “again again” before racing back to the entrance of the wormhole and repeating the process.
For smaller kids, there is a moon rock pit, where they can float among the soft plastic balls. The ball pond is conveniently stationed right next to the shop where you can sit at a table and keep an eye on all the stations in the SPACE play park, a very smart layout indeed.
The grand finale is the rocket ride. This unique addition to the play is an inflatable, where the children sit in bags suspended from a canvas, once all is secure the door to the rocket is closed, and the roof inflates, lifting the kids higher and higher until the door is opened and they drop back down to earth. The best part is the rocket has many see-through panels from where you can watch all the action.
Letting your kids loose on the SPACE station at Cape Gate Shopping Centre is a welcome addition to the list of things to do with your kids during the school holiday. Grab a cappuccino and take a quiet breath while you watch your young astronauts’ energy blasting into a wormhole. Once they are all done, you can take them off to bed because they are happily nodding off to sleep, and who knows maybe this will be their age 10 moment.
DATE: 15 – 31 March 2019
VENUE: Lower Level Capegate Shopping Centre, under the food court bridge.
TIME(S): 10am – 8pm (Mon – Sat. Last session starts at 7.30pm)
10am – 6pm (Sun. Last session starts at 5.30pm)
COST: R60 (per 30 minute slot) (cash and debit / credit card facilities available)
TICKETS: available at the event entrance only