Away from the bustle and hustle of work, Chiemelie Ezeobi and Mary Nnah, chronicle some fun spots where people can hang out with family and friends to relax this Yuletide
All work and no play, they say makes jack a dull boy. This cliche which has stood the test of time, is certainly observed almost religiously by Nigerians who often take out time to unwind and relax either with their family members at home or at in many of the picnic spots that dot the different parts of the country.
This Christmas is no different as many have put plans in place to enjoy their groove. In Lagos alone, the picnic spots which keep cropping up in their hundreds, are a must-visit for the teeming funlovers.
Here alone in Lagos, we have the National Theatre and Museum, the Silverbird Galleria, Casa Illashe, Terra Kulture, Freedom Park, Kamp Ikare, La Campagne Tropicana amongst several others, where fun seekers can go and enjoy themselves this Yuletide.
This is fun spot tilted towards arts aficionados. Over the years, it has filled a niche for art lovers who want to appreciate art, particularly African art. Tucked at the Victoria Island area of Lagos, the privately-owned centre boasts of a library and is fully equipped with Internet facilities with an art shop that displays traditional crafts including batik materials, pottery, tie and dye and mat weaving.
A visit to the centre offers one the rare but pleasurable opportunity to see and appreciate Nigerian arts and crafts. Also an attraction is the food court which serves Nigerian and African dishes in abundance and so for fun and art lovers who wish to pay a visit to the centre to see the exhibitions or do excursions for school children, Terra Kulture promises to be this and more.
La Campagne Tropicana
Coated with white sands and long coconut trees endowed by nature itself, La Campagne Tropicana, is just some hours drive away from Lagos.
Hidden in the belly of Ibeju-Lekki, the unique selling point of this centre is its traditional feel. With cabins made from bamboo to monkeys swinging from one tree to the other, the name tropicana really best suits the recreational centre.
As at three years ago, the forest inhabits over 7000 monkeys, with a mangrove forest. The cabins each have a talking drum which serves as a doorbell and are all en-suite with a clear view of the ocean.
But one of the most attractive spots is a mini restaurant serving locally made dishes such as yam fries and akara amongst others. Also is the ‘Bole Kaja’, a funky spot which promotes relaxed eating spot. Right in front is the Yoru’ Bar. In this a la carte meals are made to the delight of the visitors and freshly made palm wine is served as drinks.
Halemson Beach Resort
One of the top resorts in Lagos, Halemson offers an environment away from the bustle of Nigeria. Located 30 minutes away from Victoria Island, the beach overlooks the Atlantic Ocean and offers pure air for its teeming visitors.
A conference resort centre is the Whispering Palms occupying about eight acres of land located in Iworo, Badagry. Lying on the shoreline of the lagoons, the palms offers the beach experience with uninterrupted sounds of the breeze and the gentle waves on the beach.
Hermitage Garden Resort
With its gleaming beach front, one of the selling point of the Hermitage Garden Resort is its luxurious mini-villas which offer a beautiful view of the ocean. Located at Lekki/Ajah Penninsular area of Lagos, it has become a top site for vacation. It also boasts of a nature trail for nature lovers who want to commune with nature.
Touted as one of the oldest tourists centre in Nigeria and Lagos in particular, the National Museum, located at Onikan, Lagos, which was established as far back as 1957, is one great fun spot that never ceases to appeal with its great collections in archaeology, ethnography and traditional art.
Eko Tourist Beach Resort
The resort is a privately-managed beach located along the Lagos-Epe Expressway. Otherwise called the Akodo Beach, the beach has chalets, amusement parks, swimming beach, as well as good furnished rooms and suites.
Another awesome fun spot is Kamp Ikare, a beach resort, which offers a home away from home services. Located at Ikare Village in Lagos, the attraction is the rustic environment and it’s only accessible by boat.
Surrounded by miles and miles of sea, although the resort has a main communal beach house, it also has a six-duplex cabin for visitors and a fully stocked bar.
Silverbird Galleria in Lagos
Although it does not boast of an ancient pedigree like the National Museum and other older fun spots, the Silverbird Galleria, however is a must spot for fun lovers. Equipped with a modern cinema, shops, boutiques and recreational centres, the galleria, has all the packages of all round entertainment where you can see the latest movies, live concert and shows. Established in 2004, the five screen-cinema in Lagos has continued to provide Nigerians and fun lovers with entertainment in a package.
A 12-bedroom private beach, Casa Ilashe, as exotic as the name sounds, boasts of a perfect place for fun. Located at Ilashe, a village along Badagry Creek, the area is one of the fun spots that visitors throng regularly. From either Ikoyi or Apapa, the ride is a 20 minutes or 10 minutes move with speed boat and boasts of beach bikes, nature walk trail, sandy beach and coconut trees.
La Manga Luxury Beach
From the name, what comes to mind is villas set upon the beachfront. This is not far from the truth as the La Manga Luxury Beach Villas located at Ilashe, boasts of beach villas designed with Spanish architectural in mind.
The villa and its bedrooms are suited with rooftop Jacuzzi, private lounge, swimming pool, massage room, beachfront living room with open lounge, furnished kitchen, bar and poolside barbecue grill area.
Other facilities to thrill fun lovers this Easter include an open-air gazebo for dinning and lounging, beachfront bamboo canopies for relaxation, mini-golf course, beach volleyball court, and quad bikes, with room for jet ski and boat cruises.
The National Arts Theatre
Also one of the old structures that has continue to be a tourist site, the National Arts Theatre which was constructed in 1976 to host the popular Festival of Arts and Culture (FESTAC) in 1977.
The multi-purpose national monument, which has continued to serve as a preservation and promotion of Nigerian arts and culture, is located in Iganmu and is the primary centre for the performing arts in Nigeria. With two cinemas, food court, bars, a 3000-seat capacity auditorium, and a large expanse of green grass, the National Theatre is here to stay.
Although its practically a newcomer, Freedom Park has certainly come to stay. Located on the site of the colonial prison where prominent Nigerians were jailed then during the colonial era, this site has now been turned to a public space where people throng to relax.
Established by Theo Lawson, the park which is located in the Lagos Island, Lagos, he worked out his vision to transform the colonial prison to a symbol of freedom, as the prison had in times past been used by the British colonial masters to torture and hang in the gallows those that opposed colonial rule of Nigeria.
Determined to ensure that the labours of the heroes past are not forgotten, Lawson designed and built the park in such a way that it would preserve the Lagos colonial heritage and history of the Old Board Street prison.
White sands, whispering pines, and crystals clear water comes to mind once the name Takwa Bay is mentioned. It’s the true wonders of nature displayed. Located at the Atlas cove, the island lives up to the ideals of fun and pleasure.
For fun lovers who want privacy, Takwa Bay is the place to be because it is cut off by a huge wave breaker, which shields the people of the beach. Although primitive in nature, the beach’s attraction is that it is still unspoilt and remains one of nature’s best in Lagos with its white shorelines and foamy bubbles.
Jhalobia Recreation Park and Gardens
This recreational centre is located along the Muritala Mohammed International Airport Road, Lagos and is tucked between Hajj Camp and Ajao Estate.
Designed and built in 1998 as a multi-purpose park and a unique events centre by Mrs. Veronica Adepoju and her two daughters, who are landscape designers, the centre boasts of a lush garden, sculptures and fountains, gazebo and also trees and flowers. It also has a room for children with a safe- playground with toys and other recreational objects.
Already, the centre has become known for hosting weddings, events and picnics and this Easter, the recreational centre cannot be discounted in terms of holding its own.
Silverbird Cinemas in Abuja
Apart from the Silverbird Galleria in Lagos, fun seekers in Abuja are not left out as it occupies a large space with a 12-screening and 8 VIP lounges at Silverbird Entertainment Centre (SEC).
Kajuru Castle in Kaduna
Kajuru Castle in Kaduna State has been declared a top spot for fun lovers. The castle is a medieval structure built by a German about 30 years ago, who was said to have settled in the state afterwards.
The cost of booking the castle per night is about N300,000 as it accommodates 10 guests at a time. A tour of the castle costs 20,000 per hour for a group of 10.
Lekki Leisure Lake
Lekki Leisure Lake is a place to relax and enjoy the ambience of the ocean waves in Lagos with some friends, devoid of miscreants and noise, without having to travel too far. The resort overlooks the Atlantic in the Lekki peninsula area. It is the best destination authentic outdoor fun in Lagos. The resort is a safe and tranquil destination suitable for a family outing, a group adventure or even a fun day out with your significant other.
There you can partake in thrilling adventurous activities like quad biking, jet skiing, zip lining, floats, water crafts and much more! The resort is operated and managed by Optima Leisure, a leisure and hospitality company based in Lagos.
Although the resort management doesn’t permit external food on the premises, this isn’t really a problem because all the food and drinks you might want are available for you.
Ndubusi Kanu Park Ikeja
Ndubuisi Kanu Park is a public park, named after a former military with massive space for the kids to run around. You can come with your own scooters and bicycles. Rides and horses for a fee are available. The park has recreational facilities for relaxation and reliable, free public Wi-Fi to access your email and browse. So if you want to have a family quality time, Ndubusi park serves you with so many games and fun activities!
The park is a nice place to visit this Christmas with lots of interesting activities for the children like the ice skating, lawn tennis training for kids, Gusto statue and it has a very beautiful ambience. It is a well-maintained park, quiet enough for one to have a picnic or just relax to clear one’s head.
Located off Lekki – Epe Expressway, Lagos, GET Arena is the top Go-Kart destination in Lagos. It’s ideal for a family outing or a group hang out. GET Arena also boasts of arcade games and a bar/ restaurant that serve delicious meals.
You can create your own racing league; enjoy corporate competitions or tournaments for the adults and the kids. After an exhilarating ride, you can feast on a salivating spread of fine dishes and most sumptuous cocktails. Activities at the arena run from Tuesday to Sunday but most fun seekers prefer weekends.
The Palms Shopping Mall
The Palms Shopping Mall located at various parts of Lagos and other states in Nigeria has so many stores and fun spots that one can have an unforgettable experience this Christmas. The mall is the place to be with the family and friends this season. There is a store for each member of the family – shopping for the adults, food and treat shops for the kids, movies for all and a food court for everyone to grab a bite.
The large display screens will show you what movies are presently showing (or coming soon) at the Genesis Deluxe Cinema. You can pick something from snacks, ice cream, pizza, chicken to full meals. Some household and office shopping can be done at Shoprite or Game. There are a number of shops that cater to your wardrobe, beauty as well as those of the kids amongst the variety of stores that you will find in the mall.
Hard Rock Café
Here is something for everyone! This place is a combination of cafe, hotels and casino among others. If you are looking for where to have a great time, good food and good music, Hard Rock serves up amazing experiences that rocks!
Hard Rock Cafe Lagos showcases a good miscellany of live music and dining. This two-floor; 650-square-meter cafe which includes indoor and outdoor seating for over 250 guests, an inside/outside bar, a spacious outdoor terrace overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and a swimming pool area where adults and kids can enjoy a unique dining experience, is usually a beehive of activities and it offers you a perfect spot for relaxation.
Every meal at the Hard Rock Cafe is an experience. Its classic menu consists of the American cuisine, Barbeque, Burgers, Dessert, Grills, and Steak. These are part of the factors that make this nightclub/bar stand out. It is a great place to relax this Christmas. The poolside area outside is gorgeous. In the event that you want to visit Hard Rock Cafe, it’s best that you make your reservations three days before you go there in order to get a very good place to sit.