Irene Village Mall review, Irene (Pretoria)

Credit: Luschka van Onselen
Credit once again goes to Luschka van Onselen for this review :)

While it might seem strange to review a whole mall, Irene Village Mall is no ordinary mall. 
Apart from its European 'feel' and the pancake stand at the entrance, there's also so much to do, and it is extremely child friendly.

Date last visited


March 2011

Location and Setting

On the corner of Nellmapius Drive & Van Ryneveld Avenue, Irene, Irene Village Mall is another of Pretoria's shopping malls, but it is a mall with a difference. It is one of the few that is truly child friendly and can actually be a fun day out for everyone.

For the kids...

Upon entering the mall through the main entrance, there's a fountain, behind which is a mini maze (about knee high) complete with scarecrows and an upside down cow statue – or rather the udders and legs of the cow. I'm not sure where the rest of it got to!

Credit: Luschka van Onselen
Behind the cow which always has children clambering all around it, is a square surrounded by restaurants and a few benches. In the centre of the square is a very large (54m²) water feature with arches and spouts.
This is the main attraction of Irene Mall. There are always children running around in and out of the water. Some parents actually come there with their children already in costumes or wet suits and the inexperienced just let their children run around in full dress or nappies.

Around the water feature are four restaurants and coffee shops where you can have breakfast, coffee or lunch while the kids play to their heart's content.

Behind the fountains is a display area – last time I went there were vehicles on display, but the time before that there was a whole children's play area complete with trampolines.
On Saturdays there is a train that drives up and down the strip-mall layout of the rest of the mall.
R15 per person per ride - it's great fun for the children.

There's also a toyshop which sells both Lego and Duplo, and there are three 'scratch-patch' tables where children can play and build and have fun.
If all of that is not enough, there are also ride-on toys dotted around the centre.

For the adults...

Credit: Luschka van Onselen
Well, it is a mall. It has general shopping such as Woolworths and Pick 'n Pay, and it has boutique shops, a baby boutique and so on.
There are plenty restaurants and a Ster Kinekor movie theatre.

What makes Irene Village Mall feel so European is the hand-cut mosaic artwork that decorates the entrances, drinking fountains and water features.
There's a bell tower too, and the statues you'll find on your wanderings definitely add to the ambiance.
Two men staring at each other in the style of “The Thinker”, and large deformed horses (which also have a seat area which little ones can 'ride' on – with supervision though – the tall one is very high!)

Anything else?

Parking is reasonable – your first hour is free, second hour is R5.

If you go on a Saturday, Karoo (first on the left of the fountains) has a fantastic breakfast buffet for R69.00 including such items as biltong and beer bread, more than 10 meat dishes, vetkoek, pumpkin fritters and loads more. It's a highly recommended breakfast, and they serve from 9am.
The toilets are very nicely done up, and clean, but I didn't see a baby change – although there's ample room in the bathroom.

There might not be much for parents to do in the Lego shop, but watching the little ones entertain themselves is good enough for me.

Getting in touch

Detailed directions can be found here.

GPS:
S 25 ° 51 . 683 '
E 28 ° 15 . 044 '

Tel:
(012) 662 4446

Fax:
(012) 662 0719

Email:
Martilize Ochse - martilize@mseed.co.za

Website:
http://www.irenemall.co.za/

Unknown  – (April 13, 2011 at 5:02 PM)  

Thank you for the wonderful review - couldn't have said it better myself! Just to let you know, we do have baby changing facilities in the family bathrooms on either side entrance (Woolworths or Pick n Pay), but unfortunately not in the central loos at present. See you!

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Plebs with Kids visits mainly JHB-based venues, coffee shops, restaurants, play areas and other such establishments.

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