101 Fun things to do with the kids

Published Dec 23, 2009


1 Croc City Crocodile Farm An opportunity to view crocodiles and hatchlings at close range. The curio shop sells a variety of souvenirs as well as vacuum-packed crocodile meat. 9am-4.30pm daily. Old Pretoria Rd, Nietgedacht. For more information visit www.croccity.co.za

2  Experience the rich culture of vibrant Soweto, with its warm heart and fascinating history. Tours include all the historical sites. 

3 The Ann van Dyk Cheetah Centre at the De Wildt Cheetah and Wildlife Centre. This world-renowned breeding and conservation centre offers various tours conducted by knowledgeable tour guides. Subject to booking. R513, De Wildt. For more information visit www.dewildt.org.za

4 The Apartheid Museum The first museum of its kind in the world offers a unique opportunity to experience what apartheid South Africa was like. Tuesday-Sunday, 10am-5pm. Ormonde, Joburg. For more information visit www.apartheidmuseum.org

5 Aquadome and Kidzone at Emerald Casino Resort

On the banks of the Vaal River, there are several restaurants; an indoor, climate-controlled aquadome; bowling alley; climbing walls; adventure golf and animal world. Aquadome: Sunday-Thursday, 10am-6pm; Friday and Saturday, 10am-8pm. Kidzone: 9am-11pm daily in Vanderbijlpark. Go to www.emeraldsafari.co.za

6 Christmas bazaar Get to the Cartwheel Christmas Bazaar at Upstairs at Bamboo in Melville, until Thursday, December 17. Look out for Drum magazine posters, ceramics, hand-picked original crafts, linen, the African Toyshop, clothes, and more. The market is open from 10am to 5pm.

7 Bill Harrop's "Original" Balloon Safaris

Champagne balloon flights over the Magalies River Valley near Hartbeespoort Dam. Daily, subject to booking. Magaliesberg. For more info visit www.balloon.co.za

8 Bushbabies Monkey Sanctuary

The sanctuary caters for orphaned and abused wild animals and is home to nearly 70 rescued primates, offering structured and guided tours for all ages. Subject to booking. Hartbeespoort Dam area. For more info visit www.monkeysanctuary.co.za

9 Chameleon Village Lifestyle Junxion

More than 10 hectares of curios, crafts and eateries as well as a fun park with motorised rides, petting zoo, pony rides and reptile park. 8.30am-5pm daily. Hartbeespoort. Go to www.chameleonvillage.co.za

10 Adventure Golf Popular outdoor family entertainment. Courses are in tranquil gardens with bridges and water features. 9am-10pm daily. Venues around Joburg. Go to www.adventuregolf.co.za

11 Cullinan Village The site of the discovery of the world's largest diamond, this village is rich in historical and cultural heritage and has a varied arts, crafts and lifestyle community. North-east of Pretoria. For more info visit www.cullinanmeander.co.za

12 Daytona Adventure Park Quad biking family fun for adults and children aged four and up. Subject to booking. Farm JR 388, 3km north of Fourways Mall, William Nicol Dr. For more info, call 083 625 1537 or e-mail [email protected]

13 Angelo's Kitchen The original children's pizza-making and family fun. Noon to 10pm daily. Coachman's Crossing shopping centre, Bryanston. 011 463 5800

14 Elephant Sanctuary An opportunity to get close to gentle giants in indigenous African bush. Educational tours are offered throughout the day as well as elephant rides. Booking essential. Hartbeespoort Dam area. For more information visit www.elephantsancturay.co.za

15 Avalanche Bum boarding fun down a 25m indoor snow slope. Monday-Saturday, 8am-5pm; Sunday, 9am-4pm at Cedar Square shopping centre, Cedar Rd, Fourways. For more information visit www.avalanche.co.za

16 Footloose Trout Farm Offering 13 well-stocked dams for fly- and conventional fishing. There is a swimming pool, playground area, tuck shop and braai or picnic facilities, as well as the Anglers' Arms country restaurant. Tuesday-Sunday, 7.30am-5pm. Just past the Indaba Hotel on the R511, Fourways. For more information visit www.footloosetroutfarm.co.za

17 Gillooly's Farm Offering braai facilities around the lake as well as a restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating. A steep koppie walk offers views along the Linksfield Ridge. 8am-5pm daily. Off the M3 highway, Senderwood. For more information visit www.edenvale.za.net

18 The Goblin's Cove Restaurant Step into a magical world of fairies and goblins. Set in a natural forest on the banks of a small lake on the Magaliesberg River. Subject to booking. R24 Magaliesburg/ Hekpoort. For more information visit www.goblins.co.za

19 Gold Reef City Created around an authentic 19th-century goldmine, the theme park has an abundance of adventure rides, restaurants and historical sightseeing tours. Tuesday-Sunday, 9.30am-5pm. Northern Parkway, Ormonde, Joburg. For more information visit www.goldreefcity.co.za

20 Granny's Garden Set in secluded gardens with a bicycle track, craft room, computer room and outdoor play areas as well as an intimate tea garden. Monday-Friday, 10am-6pm; Saturday and Sunday, 8am-6pm. 138 Barkston Dr, Blairgowrie. 011 326 4265

21 Hedgehog Lane In these tranquil gardens you'll find a wonderland of activities, including a mini-fun fair and a train ride as well as a farmyard with reptiles. Holiday programme, 9.30am-4.30pm daily. 278 Main Rd, Bryanston. For more information visit www.hedgehoglane.co.za

22 Irene Village DairyTake a visit to the English countryside. Children can feed the calves, watch cows being milked or play on a real tractor. Restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating. 8am-6pm daily. 100 Nellmapius Dr, Irene. For more info visit www.farmstore.co.za

23 Jozi X - Extreme Adventures

From jungle swings, trapeze and tightrope walking to skateboarding, sandboarding and Zorbing for kids aged five and older. Tuesday-Sunday, 10am-5pm. Cnr Main Rd and Sloane Str, Bryanston. Go to www.jozix.co.za

24 Klipriversberg Nature Reserve

Stone River Mountain is a 680 hectare nature reserve and home to many bird species as well as blesbok, zebra and duiker. Walking trails and horse trails (on request). Daily from sunrise to sunset. Peggy Vera Rd, Kibler Park. For more information visit www.knra.co.za

25 Laserquest - Battle Zone

Play cops and robbers in an abandoned movie warehouse-type environment. Similar to paintball but players use lasers and wear interactive packs. 9.30am-11pm daily at Brightwater Commons, Republic Rd, Randburg. Call 011 789 5052

26 Lesedi Cultural Village

View various cultural homesteads, browse through an Ndebele Village and craft market, enjoy traditional dancing and delicious African food. Daily, booking essential. R512, Broederstroom. For more information visit www.lesedi.com

27 Lory Park and Zoo and Owl Sanctuary

The home of South Africa's biggest owl collection as well as a variety of big cats. Tuesday-Sunday, 10am-4pm. Midrand. For more information visit www.lorypark.co.za

28 Ludwig's Rose Farm The largest rose farm in South Africa and home to the only free-flying butterfly exhibit in Gauteng. 8.30am-5pm daily. Off the N1 highway and Wallmannsthal offramp, Pretoria. For more information visit www.ludwigsroses.co.za

29 Magaliesberg Canopy Tours

Slide above the Ysterhout Kloof from 11 platforms built against the cliffs and rock faces. Suitable for ages seven and up. Subject to booking. Sparkling Waters Hotel & Spa, Magaliesburg. Go to www.magaliescanopytour.co.za

30 Magalies Barbus Haven

Spend time with the family learning the art of fly-fishing. Cost includes experienced guide, equipment, snack pack for children and access to trout/bass dam. Booking essential. Magaliesberg area. Go to www.sundowner.co.za

31 Maropeng Visitor Centre

Tour 2 500m2 of exhibits on an underground boat ride. Children can dig for fossils, "phone" a dodo or "meet" a hairy mammoth. 9am-5pm daily, just off R563 Hekpoort Rd, Hekpoort. For more info visit www.maropeng.co.za

32 MG Raceway Africa's largest indoor go-kart track. Suitable for children aged four and up. Subject to booking. Cedar Square shopping centre, Fourways. 079 840 9966 or 082 940 0107.

33 Montecasino Bird Gardens

Daily Flights of Fantasy bird shows, a walkthrough aviary, frog room, several reptiles and even meerkats, sloths and lemurs. Flamingo Café serves light meals. 8.30am-5pm daily. Montecasino Boulevard, Fourways. For more info call: 011 510 7000, 011 510 7809,

011 510 1864 or visit www.montecasino.co.za

34 National Zoo, Aquarium & Reptile Park The proud new home of South Africa's only two Komodo dragons. The zoo has picnic spots, braai facilities and a cableway. 8.30am-4.30pm daily. 232 Boom St, Pretoria. For more info visit www.nzg.ac.za

35 Ngwenya Glass Village

Watch the ancient art of glass-blowing and buy handmade recycled glassware. Enjoy a lunch at Gilroy's brewery or Zest - World of Food. Also a children's playground. Monday-Friday, 8am-4.30pm; Saturday and Sunday, 9am-4.30pm, off Beyers Naudé Drive, Muldersdrift. Go to www.shadesofngwenya.co.za

36 Northgate Ice Arena Skating fun for the whole family. 10am-10.30pm daily at Northgate Shopping Centre, Witkoppen Rd, Northriding. For more information visit www.triice.co.za

37 The Oriental Plaza The gateway to Mary Fitzgerald Square, Nelson Mandela Bridge, Constitution Hill and the Newtown Cultural Precinct. The plaza will surprise you with exotic spices, fabrics, flavours and scents. Monday-Friday, 8.30am-5pm; Saturday, 8.30am-1pm. Fordsburg, Joburg. For more information visit www.orientalplazafordsburg.co.za

38 Polka Dot Art Studio

Children can interact with their peers and develop social skills while being creative and expressing themselves artistically. 11.30am-4pm daily. 4th Ave and 11th St, Parkhurst. For more information visit www.polkadotartstudio.co.za

39 Potting Around A contemporary art studio where you can get creative with ceramics, mosaics or découpage. From 9am-5pm. Northfield Centre, 17 Northfield Ave, Glenhazel. For more information visit www.pottingaround.co.za

40 Predator World Specialising in predators of all shapes and sizes, including white lions, hyena, jackal and vultures. The restaurant area has a jungle gym and farmyard. 9am-5pm daily. R556, 5km from Sun City. For more information visit www.predatorworld.co.za

41 Real Trees Adventure Farm

Children can climb trees, play in mud, do an obstacle course with foefie slides and rope swings and ride ponies. Braai and picnic facilities available. Tuesday-Sunday, 9am-5.30pm. 1 Huntsman Close, Kyalami. 083 675 7979

42 Rhino and Lion Nature Reserve

Situated in the Cradle of Humankind, a world heritage site, the reserve is home to indigenous and exotic animals. Play park and restaurant on site. 8am-5pm daily. Kromdraai Rd, Cradle of Humankind. For more information visit www.rhinolion.co.za

43 SA National Museum of Military History

The only museum of its kind in South Africa. Showcasing military memorabilia from as far back as World War I. 9am-4.30pm daily. Erlswold Way, Saxonwold. Go to www.militarymuseum.co.za

44 Sci-Bono Discovery Centre

The centre will intrigue and entertain budding scientists with several interactive exhibits. 8am-5pm daily. Cnr Miriam Makeba St and President St, Newtown.

For more information visit www.sci-bono.co.za

45 Smudge Children's art and creative centre focusing on art, music, dress up and reading. There is a baby play area for toddlers under two and a coffee shop. Tuesday-Friday, 10am-5pm at Valley Centre, Jan Smuts Ave, Craighall. For more information visit www.smudgeart.co.za

46 Sterkfontein Caves A declared world heritage site with an interactive exhibition showcasing the finds of hominid fossils Mrs Ples and Little Foot. 9am-5pm daily. Cradle of Humankind. Go to www.maropeng.co.za

47 Sun City Plenty of entertainment for the whole family, including golf, game viewing, cinemas, Valley of the Waves, several restaurants and shops. 9am-6pm daily. 1 Sun Village Rd, Pilanesberg. Go to www.suncity.co.za

48 SAA Museum Visit the SAA Museum at Rand Airport, Germiston. 011 822 1814

49 Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden

Landscaped indigenous gardens, open veld areas and the Witpoortjie Waterfall. Also home to a pair of breeding eagles. Bring your own picnic lunch or enjoy lunch at the Eagle's Fare Restaurant. 8am-5pm daily. Malcolm Rd, Poortview, Roodepoort. For more info visit www.sanbi.org

50 Malls Check with your local mall for what it has planned

to keep the kids entertained while moms do Christmas shopping.

51 Wild Waters A world of water fun with nine exciting rides. There are picnic spots and braai facilities as well as a tuck shop. 10am-5pm daily. Jan Smuts Ave, Boksburg. Go to www.wildwatersborksburg.co.za

52 Wonderwall Put on your climbing shoes, get strapped into a harness and climb up any one of several indoor graded climbing walls. Monday-Friday, 10am-10pm; Saturday and Sunday, 9am-6pm. Kya Sands Village, Randburg. For more info visit www.wonderwall.co.za

53 Yeesh! Indoor play venue with a separate toddler soft play area, coffee shop and The Paint Pot, where children can paint T-shirts and ceramics. Tuesday-Sunday, 9am-5pm at Woodmead Commercial Park, Waterfall Crescent, Woodmead. For more info visit www.yeesh.co.za

54 Zoo Lake A popular spot for picnicking, walking your dog or taking a leisurely boat ride. Also home to popular African-themed restaurant Moyo. Sunrise to sunset, cnr Jan Smuts Ave and Westwold Rd, Parkview. For more info visit www.footprint.co.za/zoolake

55 The Joburg Zoo A favourite place for kids is the Joburg Zoo in Parkview. This animal paradise is open daily from 8.30am to 5.30pm. Also open for Wild Lights Nights - call ahead for details. See The Star's Tree of Light in aid of Hospice during night visits. Secure parking. 011 646 2000

56 Snowscape Indoor Ski Slope

Learn to ski or snowboard at the Snowscape Indoor Ski Slope in Fourways. It isn't real snow, but it's Christmas, get with the vibe. R70 per person for an hour. 086 178 7909.

57 Let's go Bowling Ten-pin bowling at Brightwater Commons and Cresta shopping centre. Fun for the family. 011 886 2116

58 Amazing Maze Maze Paths to keep you guessing. From 10am to 5pm (last entry 3pm). 82 Boland Street, Honeydew. Adults R50, children R45. Call 073 795 2174 or visit www.honeydewmazes.co.za

59 The Planetarium Take the kids stargazing at the Joburg Planetarium at Wits University in Braamfontein. Every Saturday at 10am there is a space-travel show for four- to eight-year-olds. Also shows on Fridays (8pm), Saturdays (3pm) and Sundays (4pm). Bookings 30 minutes before all shows. 011 717 1392

60 De Wildt Cheetah and Wildlife Centre

Learn about these hunters at the centre near Hartbeespoort. R200 per person, open daily. Tours around the farm and a coffee shop for lunch. To book a tour, call 012 504 1921.

61 Hadeda Creek There's plenty to do at Hadeda Creek, near Parys in the Free State: rafting, abseiling, hiking and camping. 011 803 9775

62 Michael Mount Organic Market

Situated in Bryanston, it has home-made cakes, toys and clothing. There are also kids' craft workshops. Tuesdays and Saturdays, 9am to 3pm. 011 706 3671

63 Hollybrooke This farm, in the Skeerpoort Valley on the banks of the Magalies River, is a scenic treasure where city kids can see how a working farm operates. Horse trails and other activities. R600 per person, including refreshments. 011 793 3872 or 082 552 1285

64 Credo Mutwa Cultural Village

In Soweto, it includes large painted clay sculptures depicting African culture and folklore. 011 930 1813

65 Swimming If you don't have a pool, Joburg municipal pools are well maintained and have lifeguards on duty. Check out the Joburg website for a pool near you: www.joburg.org.za

66 Stonehaven on Vaal Take the 45-minute trip down to Stonehaven on Vaal. Beautiful gardens, with lovely features for kids and the option having a leisurely riverboat cruise in the afternoon. Outdoor restaurant. 016 932 4982

67 Van Gaalen's Cheese Farm

A working farm still producing cheese according to old Dutch traditions. Offers a garden restaurant, mountain biking trail, horse riding, playground and animal farm. 8am-5pm except Tuesday. Skeerpoort. For more information visit www.vangaalen.co.za

68 Horse riding Trails in Fourways. No experience needed - full training provided. R275 per person for two-and-a-half hours. 082 533 4545

69 Ndebele Cultural Village

Take your kids to visit one of our country's most cherished cultural sites and journey through four periods of settlement of indigenous people at the Ndebele Cultural Village at the Zebra Country Lodge, 30km from Pretoria. 012 470 5300

70 Santarama Mini-land and Kidz Kazoo

Young ones will love the indoor climbing frame, mini-land, mini-tram, ferry boat and mini-golf. Wednesdays to Sundays. Wemmer Pan. In a group of more than 20, R20 per person.

Adults R25 and kids R20.

011 435 0543

71 Melville Koppies Explore the rocky outcrops, spruit and archaeological sites at Melville Koppies. Visit www.mk.org.za or call 011 482 4797 for info on open days.

72 Soweto Visit the Hector Pieterson Memorial on a Soweto tour, see where Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu lived and check out the massive Maponya Mall. 011 331 6109 or 082 416 4979

73 Colour Cafe On rainy days, try some arts and crafts fun. At the Colour Cafe in Hyde Park Square, kids can paint fairies, money boxes, mugs and vases. Tea and coffee available, plus cakes and muffins. 011 341 0734

74 Constitution Hill This venue stirs the emotions; tour guides explain how people were thrown in jail for apartheid offences and in what conditions they were incarcerated. 011 381 3100

75 The James Hall Museum of Transport This is the largest and most comprehensive museum of land transport in South Africa. Look out for the "100 years of the Model T Ford" exhibit. 011 435 9485/6/7

76 Velskoen Velskoen, on Malibongwe Drive, is the only remaining drive-in in Joburg. 011 793 2812

77 Lipizzaners Entertainment for the entire family at the Lipizzaner Centre, Kyalami. Tickets at Computicket. 011 702 2103, 072 542 5628 or 082 457 9725

78 The Secret Garden A treat for parents and kids. 16b Penguin Drive, Norscot Manor Recreation Centre, Fourways. Call ahead for picnics on the lawn and dates of operation. 011 467 1191

79 Barney Visit the purple dinosaur at Sandton City Fountain Court until December 24.

80 Hartbeespoort Aquarium

There are freshwater fish, birds and animals. Sea lion shows and crocodile demonstrations. Call 012 259 0080 or 082 469 2979 for open and show times.

81 Krugersdorp Game Reserve

The reserve is bursting with game and has a large aviary. Self-catering picnic facilities. 082 928 3234 or 082 907 4363

82 Library There are few things in life that are fun and cheap - but joining the library and reading out loud is both.

Visit the Joburg website for details of a library near you: www.joburg.org.za

83 Papachinos Kids can make their own pizza. Play areas with child minders. Closed on Mondays. 011 702 1234

84 Delta Park Your children will enjoy this nature information centre, you can take a walk or have a picnic. Get the kids to collect things for a nature scrapbook. 011 888 4831

85 Jabulani Butterfly Garden

Beautiful butterflies in all stages of their life. 45-minute drive from Joburg at 1332 The Avenue, Henley-on-Klip. Closed on Mondays. 087 805 8898, 073 203 9074 or 073 973 4342

86 Drake's Party Farmyard

There's supervised play - book

in advance. The kids can pat cows, bunnies and sheep, and have rides on ponies while you enjoy tea in the shade. Linbro Park. Open Monday and Wednesday, 9am-5pm. Other days are reserved for birthday parties. R20 a head. 011 608 2703.

87 Lesedi Cultural Village

Situated near Broerderstroom. Book for a tour and then take a break for a sumptuous feast. The show, about the cultural habits of some South African tribes, is fascinating. 012 205 1394

88 The Origins Centre At Wits University, the centre offers a look at the origins of humans in Africa and has a fine collection of San rock art. Adults R55, pensioners, students and kids older than 12 R40, kids 6-12 R35. 011 717 4700

89 Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve

Near Heidelberg, the Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve has fantastic hiking trails. Get some fresh air and appreciate the natural beauty. Great for picnics, too.

071 602 7581 or 071 602 7579

90 The Johannesburg Art Gallery

It is in a beautiful building in Joubert Park with safe parking. Inside is a treasure chest of paintings and exhibits. There are art workshops, and the kids can drop in at the children's art section to do exercises while looking at masterpieces.

91 Meteor Museum The Tswaing Crater Museum near Pretoria is fascinating. At this meteor crater you can learn about

geography. For more information call 083 207 7198 or 083 505 2271 or visit www.hartrao.ac.za

92 Blaauwbank historic mine

Situated near the Magaliesburg, it is a wonderful outing for the whole family. Go down a mine shaft and pan for gold. It's a great place to camp. 082 465 2639

93 The Voortrekker Monument

In Pretoria, it is one of those "places of history" you can't miss. And it is one of the most imposing landmarks on our horizon. 012 326 6770

94 Galaxy World Situated at the Zone @ Rosebank. The flashing lights and noisy games will keep your kids busy for hours. 011 447 9141/51

95 Flora Farm Situated in Boksburg, this nursery does a charming Christmas display. 011 894 2377

96 The Peoples Theatre Until December 24, the theatre will be staging the production The Little Mermaid. Show times are Monday to Friday at 9am. Tickets are available at Computicket at R89.

97 Joburg Theatre The new Janice Honeyman pantomime adaptation of the classic adventures of Pinocchio is on at the theatre. Tickets are R176, available through Computicket.

98 The Teatro at MONTECASINO

Cinderella on Ice at Montecasino's Teatro until January 10. Tickets from R100 to R380, available through Computicket.

99 Montecasino From listening to angelic voices singing your favourite Christmas carols to meeting Santa, Montecasino is the place to be this December. For more information visit www.montecasino.co.za

100 Wild Cave Adventures

Offering adventure caving, rockface abseiling, hiking, climbing and specialised children's Bats Cave adventure. Subject to booking. Cradle of Humankind. For more information visit www.wildcaves.co.za

101 The National Children's Theatre

Catch Seussical Jr and explore the witty, wild musical world of Dr Seuss as you've never seen it before! An interactive musical for the whole family, until December 24. Performances Monday to Saturday at 10.30am and 2.30pm. Booking is essential on 011 484 1584

Information sourced from various websites and from parent magazine Joburg's Child

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