Battery Park. Picture: Brendan Magaar, African News Agency (ANA)

It's hard to believe you sent your little one off into a new grade a few short months ago. Somehow, these school holidays jumped right in front of you with no prior warning and no spare change.

Lucky for the kids, there’s a host of activities available to do in various cities. The best part is that they’re free.

Cape Town

Battery Park is a 12 000m2 park that was opened in November, and links the city centre and Table Bay Harbour with a series of pedestrian routes. 

There are a variety of activities for visitors, including stand-up-paddling along the canal and fitness tracks, shopping and live entertainment. Key attractions include the Amsterdam Battery, the Piazza, and a family-friendly area, complete with a jungle gym, scooter path, swings and rocking horses. 

Because the area is shielded from the wind, it’s a great place to have a family picnic on a Sunday afternoon. All facilities, including parking, is free.

Contact 021 408 7639 for more info

Start them off young by fostering a love for reading. Every Saturday at 11am is story time at the Book Lounge. An independent bookshop in Cape Town, a relaxing atmosphere will provide enquiring minds with answers to their most pressing questions. 


And with a highly curated range of children’s books, the bookshop prides itself in stocking reading material you wouldn’t ordinarily find at a bigger retailer. Story time is free for all with a recommended age guideline between 3-8 years old - but all are welcome.

Visit: www.booklounge.co.za

Durban

Designed with the little ones in mind, People’s Park at Moses Mabhida Stadium is the answer to getting the blood pumping. The park has rolling lawns, an abundance of trees to climb, and fountains. There’s lots of room for exploring as children can bring their bikes and test out the field and track area.

The playground is anything but boring, and features a sloping track that runs the length of the park - perfect for skateboarding and roller-skating. On warmer days, the fountains offer respite from the heat.


Don’t forget to take with hats, sunscreen and a picnic basket for longer stays.

Contact: 031 303 5719

The Durban Natural Science Museum (DNSM) is one of the oldest and most popular museums in SA. And there’s good reason for it - it’s the only natural science museum falling under local government, paying special attention to biodiversity conservation and ecology. 

With an unrivalled collection of small and large mammals, including a fossilised egg of an Elephant Bird - the largest bird ever on the planet, the “Kwanunu Insect Arcade” is still the big attraction. The museum is also home to the close-to-life-size Tyrannosaurus rex model and the 100-year-old near-complete Dodo skeleton.


Contact: 031 311 2256

Johannesburg

Zoo Lake is a fab picnic spot for outdoor enthusiasts. Enjoy a paddle across the man-made lake or a relaxing snooze under the shady grove of a tree. 

With no shortage of space, the kids are free to run around and go off exploring the various activities, including the basketball court, five-a-side soccer area and the historic Zoo Lake swimming pool (adults R12, children R9). 


Visit: www.gauteng.net/attractions/zoo_lake

Young gamers will definitely be into the Gamebox. Hosted at the Goethe-Institut, it offers an immersive experience and a platform to try out new digital games.


Children will be enthralled by the PlayStation 4 with virtual reality glasses, the Xbox One and Nintendo Switch. With special emphasis placed on the presentation of games by independent game developers, there’s also a library providing a large collection of board games. 

Contact: 011 4423232