Playtime in Tbilisi

This trip is meant to be as much of an experience for Nu as it is for Sami and I so we are always looking for fun activities that will excite him. Even though Tbilisi is a very green city, we have found it a bit tough to find nice parks for him to play in. They are either on the side of a very busy street or people have removed all of the wood railings, swings, bars, etc. for scrap metal and wood to burn (we are guessing??). There also seems to be a lot less children than in other places we have been. So much so that we were prompted to search for the demographic growth rate in Georgia – which not surprisingly is negative.

Somehow the fact that there are less parks here has led us to be more creative in finding children’s activities, and there are some really great ones in Tbilisi. So here have been a few of Nu’s favourite adventures so far.

Tbilisi Zoo

We knew that we had to pay a visit to the zoo after reading about the massive freak flood that wreaked havoc on Tbilisi in June 2015. The devastating flood let loose all of the zoo’s animals, including bears, tigers, lions, crocodiles and a giant African hippo, stranding them on top of buildings and wandering through residential streets. Sadly, almost all the animals either drowned or were shot, except Beggi the Hippo, who has now become the poster child for fundraising efforts to rehabilitate the zoo.

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To be quite honest, what we saw was very sad. The zoo is not in great shape and there are very few animals to be seen. On a more positive note though, the animals that were there did seem to be in god health and Nu was very excited to see them. His favourite were these little guys…but we aren’t sure what they are called because everything was written in Georgian.

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Rike Park

This is a beautiful, large park in the Old Town of Tbilisi. It is home to some interesting new architecture, including a new theater/convention center still under construction and the Peace Bridge. There is a giant chess board, a giant piano, dancing fountains and a great soft playscape for kids. Its also packed with lavender so it smells amazing!

Mushthaid Garden

We stumbled upon this little amusement park by accident and I am so glad we did because Nu LOVED it. There are maybe 15 little rides, all meant for kids under the age of ten. Nu liked the train experience so much that we took him on three times and he cried when we finally got off.

Boom Boom

This one was a bit of a trek to get to but was worth the trip. Boom Boom is located in the Tbilisi mall and is a kid’s adventure zone. This was Nu’s first time at a place like this and I think being accustomed to having only a few toys at a time, he was actually overwhelmed by the selection. He spent the first 30 minutes playing with possibly the shittiest toy in the place – a small red cart that was cracked and missing a wheel. It was only when other kids started to arrive that he caught on and began exploring.

Botanical Garden

This place is a great green escape from the city, located in Old Tbilisi. We let Nu explore the kid’s play area here and because it was very dusty all three of us were covered from head to toe in dirt after. We stripped Nu down and bathed him in a fountain, and well, I just looked like a homeless person for the rest of the day.

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