Hamleys South Africa is finally here – Hamleys just opened their doors at the V&A Waterfront and Greenstone Mall. Can I hear a whoop whoop? I have THE best childhood memory of spending (almost) an entire day at Hamleys in Regent Street on a family holiday adventure in Std 3. We were full of wonder and a little starstruck at the multi-level toy shop with row upon row of magical toys. We were each given one pound to spend at Hamleys and after much deliberation I bought a hair styling kit that kept us entertained for the rest of our holiday – the smell of the hair spray still makes me so sentimental.
So, now that you know where my love for this toy store began, you can only imagine my child-like excitement when I heard that Hamleys was due to open at the Waterfront! Ilan and I were lucky to attend the official store opening last week and my little guy was on the receiving end of lots of spoils – he had his photo taken with the Hamley Bears and met a ‘real-life Spiderman’. On our way to the event Ilan said, ‘I’m not going to be scared of the pretend bears’ and he really wasn’t. So proud of this little chap.
If you’d like in on the Hamley’s action, pop down to the V & A Waterfront in Cape Town (it’s in the King’s Warehouse, next to Cinema Nouveau where the Red Shed used to be). The store is open from 9am to 9pm every day and if you’re there on the weekend between 10-12pm or 4-5pm your kid can get a Hamleys balloon and flag. There is also the chance to meet Hamley and Hattie Bear at the store between 12.15 and 1pm and 3:15 and 4pm on Saturdays or Sundays. There are toy experts on standby at all times to facilitate play with some of the brand new toys in store and basically there is something on the go all the time. I was expecting the toys to be really pricey, but you will be pleased to know that Hamleys is actually pretty affordable – go check it out for yourself.
You can round off your Hamleys experience by hopping on the Hamleys Express train for a 15 minute trip around the Waterfront – tickets are R20 and you can buy them opposite the Cape Wheel, the starting point of the train trip. The train leaves every 15 minutes or so in good weather between 11am – 5pm. (Moms & Dads can hop on too, under 5s must have an adult on board). If you swing past the store after your train trip, you can exchange your ticket for a Hamleys badge and be entered into the monthly hamper draw.
Fun fact: Did you know that Hamleys sells a teddy bear every two minutes and since its opening in 1760, has sold over 15 million, which if lined up from head to paw, would stretch all the way from London to New York. That’s a lot of teddy bears!
Have fun at Hamleys, Mamas (I know you’re really only planning to visit for the kids…)!