Since we went away to Puncak at Christmas and the hotel we were staying at had pony rides, Samudra has become completely horse obsessed! Although he was too frightened at the time to actually get on a pony, we bought him a hand made unicorn from a local seller outside the hotel, and Samudra wouldn’t let it out of his sight. By the time we travelled to Lembang for New Years and there were horses again at our villa, he was ready to go tandem riding with bapak. Two seconds of tears and then pure joy and he was hooked! He ended up going on a pony ride every day we were away and since then has accumulated a collection of toy horses, and was waking up in the morning making horse sounds, which has now thankfully stopped.
We had temporarily converted our broom into a ride-on-pony with me drawing a head and sticking it on with tape, until it finally got replaced with a blue ride on horse pony from Kem Chicks Kemang, so we could clean the house again with the broom. As Putra was going away (yet again!) for filming over the weekend, I decided to google pony riding in Jakarta and discovered that the Shangri-La Hotel has a Kid’s Club which offers pony rides.. woo hoo!
So Treen and I set off early with Samudra on Saturday morning as the Kid’s Club is open from 10.30am-4.00pm on Saturdays and Sundays. Just as we were arriving Samudra fell asleep in the taxi and it had started to rain, so we decided to sit in a cafe at the Hotel and have a tea until the skies cleared and Samudra was awake. The Shangri-La looks really grand as you enter the foyer and seeing the beautiful gardens from the cafe made me want to get outside as soon as possible and enjoy the little oasis in the city. We both had an iced-tea while we were waiting and passed on food as Samudra woke just as we finished, and just as well! Two iced teas cost Rp 163,000 (AUD 16.54)… $8 for a small glass of tea? Really? That tainted our first impressions slightly.
Walking through the garden and around the pool, we came to a little opening to find the Kid’s Club. We paid the Rp 50,000 for entrance which I thought was quite reasonable if you were planning to spend a few hours there and I felt much happier for Samudra to be playing on the grass outside rather than in a temperature controlled mall.
Out on the grass there was a big bouncy castle, a toddler pool for catching plastic fish with rods, some bikes, a little carousel, a tent decked out with tables and chairs for activities, slide and ball pit. To be honest the toys looked a little tired and old but I’m sure the kids wouldn’t notice and it’s a nice change from being inside a mall playground. Once I had pointed out the ‘horsey’ to Samudra he lost interest in everything else pretty much. He went for two rides around the gardens on the pony and when he wasn’t on top of it, he was running up to get as close as possible and then running away again.
I forgot to ask at the time, but I’m thinking if use of the pools is included in the kids club, I would definately go back again, but with more little kids to keep Samudra entertained, and the option of the pool for parents to also unwind and splash around with the kids to cool off after running around.
I’m just happy that we found some pony rides in the city and mixed with a rubbish free lush green setting and grass that Samudra could run around barefoot on.. places like this are such a rarity in the city that it’s always great to discover somewhere new.
Anyone up for a Shangri-La playdate? Or let us know if you have made some other great outdoor discoveries worth sharing.