Our childhood often holds a mixed bag of memories and sometimes stirs up different emotions for many people.
If you grew up in Nairobi in the new Millenium, the Green City in the Sun held a small variation of activities for teenagers and young adults to explore and socialize. But Nairobians being an interesting bunch, we made the most of these locations and the activities on offer. Here is a list of the various top spots in Nairobi that would be great to relive your childhood memories.
1. A day in the park.
Uhuru Park was always and continues to be the spot. With a very strong history, the park was at risk of land grabbing in the 1990s as some of the political elite set plans to set the beautiful city haven into a concrete jungle with skyscraper developments on the lush green space. The park that is situated only minutes away from Nairobi’s central business district, offers many a chance to bask in the sun and enjoy the Nairobi crisp air on a busy afternoon. If you are looking to wind down in the bustling city, a boat ride on the man-made lake is great exercise and a chance for one of the most iconic experiences in Kenya’s capital. The elegant cityscape is a view one can hardly forget.
2.Food for thought.
As a teen in Nairobi, most activities were centered around meals. Sharing a pizza, having a drink was custom for those who enjoyed socializing in the city, and Sarit Center was the epitome of mall experiences. With a variety of shops and well-organized food court, Sarit Center was the place to be. Currently undergoing an expansion, Sarit Center will have more retailers stationed at the more, offering more to buy, see and eat. The french fries and bhajias will always trigger memories of Saturday afternoons with friends.
3.A new perspective at the cinema.
Kenya Cinema has been an intergenerational institution, appreciated by many of Nairobi’s dwellers. Located along the tree-lined Aga Khan Walk within the central business district, Kenya Cinema oozes nostalgia for both young and old. Once a hub for creatives to explore new perspectives and celebrate the art of filmmaking, the Nairobi treasure faced closure after the popularisation of DVDs. According to a report on Daily Nation, Mourine Nyanjong’ from Fox Theatres attributed its closure in 2010 to “movie piracy, advancement in home entertainment systems, and improvements in broadband and the Internet have all conspired to kill the movie theatres.”
You may not be able to visit one of Nairobi’s most iconic cinemas Kenya Cinema, but watching a movie at the cinemas might just evoke the same excitement.
4. Cool down in the city.
The Monrovia Street shop is a quint specialty restaurant that first opened in 1952. Serving ice cream to Nairobians in the sweltering heat for decades, this little establishment has been a top spot for many generations of the soft serve creamy delight throughout the years. With the flair of an ol’ time ice cream parlor, Sno Cream offers patrons a classic taste that will take on a stroll down memory lane, years after you last enjoyed it. It offers a variety of flavors, that has helped it stand the test of time, as patrons continue to keep its doors open despite the entrance of various commercial giants within the business district including Planet Yoghurt and Creamy Inn.
5. Keep it rolling.
There are a few indoor activities that have captured the excitement of Kenyans. Bowling is among the very few indoor games that are classed as an experience to be had. A great group activity that was low cost and guaranteed fun, bowling had and continues to be a highly sought after experience within the capital since it was first introduced in the 2000s. The Cosmic Bowling and Pool center in Westlands was a special place, for a memorable experience punctuated with the all-important jukebox, bowling was the ultimate experience. Though it is now closed, bowling is still available at Village Market mall in Gigiri.
6. Get sporty.
Sports were a great social activity for youngins to mingle. No matter where you went to high school, sports was the great equalizer and allowed students from different backgrounds to interact. Attending a sporting event the likes of Blackrock Rugby Tournament is a sure way to relive your youth.
7.Rewatch a classic
Nairobi is full of many hidden gems, however, for those unwilling to leave the comfort of their homes, the nostalgia of a television classic remains unbeaten. Whether you enjoyed a sitcom like ‘Friends’, ‘Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ or even a Kenyan-made show like ‘Vihoja Mahakamani’ or ‘Tausi’, a session of binge-watching your favorite oldies could be a great way to re-awake the good old days.