Park to stimulate children’s growth

Ashtrid Bowker with Raeka-Lee ONeill after she painted her face.

PlayDate SuperPark, situated at the Watershed, V&A Waterfront, is an indoor park of games and activities for children, and also the famous escape game called HintHunt.

On the ground floor is PlayDate, a space for children and adults to enjoy.

Some of the highlights include the Freestyle Zone, which includes an obstacle course, Flying Fox zip line, escape games, extreme structures, and a 3D maze.

There is also a Mini Maze, which helps improve coordination and gross motor skills; the Game Zone, which offers target practice and other fun; Nerf Wars; Mini Putt-Putt and F1 Simulators.

The co-owner of PlayDate, Chanette Goosen, said she and husband and business partner, Jonathan Goosen, have been in the family industry for years, and they found it lacked a space for children to stimulate their minds – a space for them to play and feel.

“We have facilitators that can help and keep an eye on your children, but what we really want is for them to play hard, climb the trees, build the blocks and learn while doing it.

“We want the children to go back to a time when we were growing up and we could play outside, but in a safe environment.”

She said children from the age of 5 years old can be left at the park to play under the watchful eye of the facilitators. “There’s lots to do for both young and old. When we start having PlayDate at multiple locations, there will be something unique at each one so that there is something to draw you back.”

On the upper level, older children and adults can play HintHunt, where a team is locked in a room and need to figure out an escape route in an hour, while solving mysteries.

Stephen Schutte, the co-founder of HintHunt, said escape games is the fastest-growing in the industry. “It is the newest form of entertainment. With escape games, you get to interact with people, you don’t use Google, and you solve clues.”

He said while HintHunt is not the only escape game, they are the first in Africa, with a branch in Johannesburg as well. He described the game “like Big Brother meets CSI.” “It’s about bringing people together and creating a completely abstract and unique experience.”

Mr Schutte said the next step for them is to become more interactive.

“We want to take it to the next level and mix escape games with virtual reality. We want to incorporate feel, and smell.”

He said the Waterfront was an ideal location because of its diversity and because “this is where everyone wants to be – it’s hip and happening here.”

HintHunt offers four themed rooms, each with a nautical feel. Each room hosts up to six people a room for each game. There is also a control room, where staff direct games. Many of the games are designed for children of 7 years and above if supervised by adults, and 15 years and up if unsupervised. Also for older kids is the virtual reality room. In this version of the HintHunt game, four participants play the same game in the same room but as avatars instead of themselves. The addition of a one-way mirror in the room means that people can watch the game from the outside without interfering in the game.

SuperPark is open Monday to Sunday between 10am and 7pm. For more information and ticket prices, visit