Should children go to spas?
Spoilt brats or nurtured souls–what do you think of children who attend beauty spas?

Is it a waste of money to send your little princess (or prince) to a spa? Does it create a sense of entitlement? Is it even fair on children to expect them to behave appropriately so as not to disturb other adults who’re paying big bucks to be there?

Age appropriate

Traditionally, spas have been places where adults can retreat from the stresses of our regular lives (including our children!). However, many spas are now beginning to offer kiddies packages like mini facials, mani-pedis and age-appropriate shoulder and foot massages in child-friendly environments.

Mangwanani African Kids Spa in Durban’s Ushaka Kids’ World (opened just last month) includes fun touches like glitter tattoos and hair styling. In Gauteng, Riverview Spa’s Spa for Little Ladies adds kiddies’ bubbly.

The Cape’s Arniston Luxury Spa’s Ginkgo Teen Spa has treatments aimed at older girls (like facials and waxing) but also provides a few options for 6-12-year-olds, if they’re accompanied by an adult. Mint Wellness in Camps Bay caters for tweens with Funky Fingers manicures and Twinkle Toes pedicures, and each includes a milkshake (nice touch).

Like adult spas, the treatments are quite pricey, but just like grown-ups, the idea is that it’s a special treat once in a while, rather than a regular affair.

If you’re happy to spend money on fun fairs, arcades, theme parks, water parks or taking your kids to the cinema, kiddie spas now fit into the same category.

Home sweet home

For those who aren’t ready to take their kids to spas, there’s a growing trend of companies bringing professional kiddies pamper parties to your home. This is a great idea for birthday parties,
where gaggles of giggling girls will make up for (or won’t notice) the lack of professional appointments.

Check out Little Party Planners (which works across the country), Arwen Parties in the Mother City and Pamper Parties in Johannesburg.

The prices of mobile pamper services are a bit lower as there are fewer infrastructural costs, but may require a set minimum number of participants to make the travel worth their while.

Crash test dummy

I figured–in the interest of journalistic integrity, you see–that I should get some first-hand experience, so I took my daughter (who is all of 3 years old) to the spa at uShaka Kids’ World. I enjoyed a delicious foot massage while she got her little nails painted bright pink with nail-art butterflies. The environment is kiddy-friendly, so I didn’t need to stress when she chatted loudly or got up midway through her treatment to explore the venue.

As I caught her eye through the haze of bliss, we had one of those special moments that can only be gained through shared experience. Her manicure lasted about a day, but the smiles are still on both our faces.

Do you think children should be going so spas? Send us your comment to


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