This post outlines what a typical weekend looks like for us in the +225. Scroll on a bit further to find our magic list of kid friendly ideas and outings
We are an active family of 4. Two boys, ages 6 and 8, and a husband who has
gotten back to plane travel since the pandemic. Weekdays are busy, with lots of comings and goings, so we maximise the family time we have on the weekends.
For a weekend to go logistically well, a bit of food planning and preparation is involved. Starting on a Thursday, I decide what we are going to eat and what kinds of things food wise I will need on hand.
Typically, I will ask my housekeeper to prepare a gratin pomme de terre (potato bake), crepes (pancakes) and a big fruit salad to keep in the fridge. This helps with unexpected guests and saves time in the kitchen and dishes. She also cooks Sunday dinner in advance, which is often a soup, but could also be a casserole-type chicken dish or a hachis parmantier (cottage pie). Most of the shopping and food prep is done by Friday.
It’s the weekend baby!
The kids absolutely love starting the weekend with an ‘apero’ at home. This cocktail-hour French style includes olives, peanuts, popcorn and crisps arranged in little bowls served with drinks. If we are going out ourselves and need a baby sitter, we ask Anne our nanny to stay the night. We have an arrangement with her where she sleeps over and leaves round 6am the next morning when the transport starts operating again and is safe. We pay her a fee which falls outside her normal salary.
Hubby normally takes the kids out. This could either be to Cap Sud to get the meat for the weekend BBQ, or to parc Ouattara, or to run errands. This gives me a chance to have 5 minutes to myself, and to prepare the salad or whatever sides we will be eating. After a quick rest in front of the TV to digest lunch, we move onto the next activity - be it a birthday party, golf, tennis, playing at home with the kids, or spending the afternoon with friends.
Saturday evening is normally pizza night. Simple and easy. We order Doudou pizza for delivery.
We try to get out of the house on a Sunday. Bassam is an easy option, especially with friends. There is a wide choice of restaurants to eat at, ranging from a nice hotel-style lunch at Assoyam to something more simple. We try and leave Bassam no later than 15h00 to beat the traffic. As nice as Bassam is, we prefer going to Banco Forest or Jardin de Botanique. We bring along our bikes and dog, and makes for a great outing. We also enjoy the sailing club, and regularly spend time there too. We also enjoy taking a boat across to Boulay island, and eat at Chez Valdez. Coconut Grove is also a nice beach and brunch spot, but on the pricier side.
If the weather is playing up, we go to the cinema at the Prima shopping centre. We also have an array of puzzles and board games to play with at home, or cosy up with a movie. We love gardening and have all sorts of seeds sprouting in different containers. We are propagating hibiscus and bougainvillea in jars and vases. My eldest is into recycling, and enjoys using the glue gun to stick cardboard pieces together. We struggle to find acrylic paint, but I sometimes see at the China Mall in Zone 4 and Librarie de France in the Abidjan Mall. There are also nice craft supplies at Chic Shop
The trick to having a good weekend in the +225 is to plan in advance.
Here is our Magic list:
· Des Gateaux et du Pin for the best pastries in town
· ABJ Mall upstairs gaming area
· Roller blading
· horse-riding (Golf Pony Club)
· swimming lessons at Hotel du Golf
· Squash also at Hotel du Golf
· Tennis or soccer at Sol Beni
· Arts and crafts at home
· Table tennis
· Walks in our complex or the neighbourhood
· Contes and other events at P’tits Futés
· Play dates with school buddies
· Fnac in Cap Nord also has a wide range of stickers and books. The stickers are 100% over-priced but you can find here
· Pony ride at Pony Club Golf (and a sleeve of carrots to feed them)
· Lunch at Chez Francois in Bingerville or Débarcadère in Treichville on the lagoon. I have heard good things about La maison de la crepe in Zone 4 as it has a kids area keeping busy hands and feet occupied whilst mom and dad enjoy a conversation... we are yet to try it.