If you've had too much of the city and want to get away closer to nature where the kids would also have some fun, Mohamed Allam (an Egyptian artist) has created just the spot for you.
Fagnoon Art School, located on the road to Saqqarra, is an oasis in the city dessert offering creative activities and a physical outlet for a child's energy.
I have been told that the word “Fagnoon” itself is a combination of two interesting words Fonoon (art) and Gonoon (wild). In fact, the helpers / oweners at Fagnoon are called by whimsical names like Fagnoon, Tut, Yalla etc.. names which are inteded to add to the unstructured, free feel of the place...
It is a place for families to play, run, dance, paint, draw, as well as as well as try out a bouquet of crafts including pottery, word carpentry, agriculture, baking, jewelry making, iron smithy etc.. Plus there are goats to feed, bread to bake, rope ladders and graplers to climb!
The charge is reasonable with two activities costing LE 40 and another LE 15 for every additional activity that your child wants to do. There are tables and chairs laid out under thatched roofs where you can have your packed picnic lunch. The school just provides some tea and coffee.
The all time favourite with my kid awethe pottery and the painting. While painting, you can paint anything in sight including the table and chairs!. The pottery is the one that almost all kids enjoy. Who would not? Loads of mud, loads of water and permission to mess yourself up completely!! Even I love to sit at the pottery wheel (manual) with my son and get my hands all muddy!!
Its advisable to carry a change of clothes, a hand towel and some wet wipes for the children. They do end up getting very messy with the pottery and sometime you may need to change them if they got too much clay splattered on them.
I would recommend going with 3-4 families with kids and taking along a picnic basket. You can spend an idillyic morning chatting while the kids play around, and then enjoy a lazy picnic lunch.
A word of caution though. If going on a Saturday, it is recommended that you reach early by around 10 o'clock. Many of the local schools get the children there on Saturdays making the place quite crowded..