Children have the time of their lives at the Snow Epic exhibition at the Menlyn Park Shopping Centre with a ride on a snow ramp and creatures from the Ice Age.
Pictures: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)
Children have the time of their lives at the Snow Epic exhibition at the Menlyn Park Shopping Centre with a ride on a snow ramp and creatures from the Ice Age.
Pictures: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)
A child rides a tube down the snow slope.
A child rides a tube down the snow slope.
During their fun outing, a child gets on closer terms with a mammoth, while another braves a ride down a snow ramp. Many could not wait to scamper back up to repeat the experience.
During their fun outing, a child gets on closer terms with a mammoth, while another braves a ride down a snow ramp. Many could not wait to scamper back up to repeat the experience.

From the ages of 4 to 15, children from the Abraham Kriel, Jakaranda and Elios children’s homes queued for an experience they said was scary at first, but once they had gone down the ramp, they said they wanted to go up again and feel the adrenalin all over.

Yesterday’s outing followed a blanket drive which saw 700 blankets donated to needy children in May by Harley-Davidson motorcycle owners in Lynnwood. Harley Owners Group member Irene Smit said when they received a call about Menlyn needing a group of children to participate in an epic snow day, the group thought of inviting children who had never experienced snow to have the chance.

The homes that participated provide shelter to children from varying circumstances such as single parent homes, children removed from their homes by social welfare, as well as orphans.

After the epic snow ride, they went to see an Ice Age exhibition. Some could not believe their eyes when they saw a moving woolly mammoth, a “terror bird” and a sabre-toothed cat, and they were afraid to touch them.

Clariza Botha from Elios Home said it was amazing as most of the children did not even know snow, and it was an experience they would never forget.

“This is definitely going to broaden their horizons and make them see that there are some beautiful, exciting things in life, and there are people out there who care for them. We want to thank all the people who had a hand in this, we thank their kind hearts.”

Elios is a charity organisation based in Pretoria West. They work with disadvantaged families and help children with their studies and physical abilities and hand out food parcels.

Smit said: “From the bikers’ side it is not only about riding the bikes, but also about giving back to all the people who cannot take part in that fun. We are very fortunate to have these kids here plus the smiles and fun. It is so nice to know that we can take them out of their different situations where they are at the moment, at least to have fun one day of the school holidays.”

She had a heart warming message for the children, to remember they might be facing challenges now but there was always a bigger and brighter future for them. “Someone will see you and someone will take your hand, don’t think everyone is leaving you behind. Some people do care a lot and we are going to look after you.”

The children ended their experience at a restaurant in the mall, where they had a hearty meal.

The Menlyn Snow Epic is open until July 29 at Cavendish Court (game level) on the lower ground level from 10am until 7pm from June 29 to July 15, and from July 16 until July 29 from noon to 6pm.