Families on a "stay-cation". Picture: Supplied
As the school holidays begin across the province, most families are getting ready to enjoy some much-needed quality time together, and for those who aren’t planning to vacation outside of Johannesburg this year, finding ways to keep the kids entertained can become a little stressful.

But who says you need to leave the comfort of your home city to enjoy a truly memorable, fun and relaxing family holiday? Here are a few great ways to spend the holidays on “stay-cation”, without ever having to leave Gauteng.

1. See Jo’burg like a tourist

It’s shocking how little of our beautiful city and its many incredible attractions most of us born and bred Jo’burgers have visited – from our world-famous museums and heritage sites to the resort and entertainment facilities that are right on our doorstep. 

A great way to feel like you’re on holiday without leaving the city is to go out and try to experience local attractions. Make a list of the ones you’d like to visit and aim to tick off at least three during the school holidays.
 
2. Dinner and a show

When mum and dad need a little quality time of their own, all you have to do is call the babysitter, grab a pizza and find something awesome to do with your evening! Try to avoid the same old tired date night spots you’ve been going to for years and opt for something that you’ve never done before. 

For example, a scrumptious dinner, followed by a fun and light-hearted show is the perfect way to spend an evening just the two of you – Emperors Palace is a particular great date night destination that offers a range of options to suit every couple.
 
The ideal date night: reserve a table at Aurelia’s Restaurant for a scrumptious meal prepared by the world-class chefs and two tickets to The Greatest Love of All: The Whitney Houston Show taking place from 22 June to 8 July 2018.

3. Take day drives

With so many incredible day trip options available to Jo’burgers, there’s simply no time for cabin fever to set in! Wake up early, pack a picnic basket and your takkies, and head out to one of the many small towns situated just a stone’s throw from the city. 

There are loads of activities for the whole family in places like Magaliesberg, Hartbeespoort Dam and even Nelspruit, and plenty of sights to appreciate along the way. 

If you’re not up for the drive, however, you can always spend a full day of fun-filled entertainment closer to home, letting the kids go wild at The Magic Company while mum and dad enjoy a few thrilling hours together at the casino at Emperors Palace.

4. Get fit as a family

While it’s tempting to spend most of your stay-cation curled up on the couch, getting the whole family outdoors and into the fresh air is not only a healthier option, but far more fun. 

Pack some snacks, some sports equipment like a cricket bat, soccer ball and frisbee, and head to the local park for a full day of family fun. 

You can also sign up for a fun run event – keep an eye on your local community newspapers and social media feeds for links – or even turn your back yard into a serene outdoor yoga studio for the whole family.

5. Treat your family to a night or two away from home

A fun and cost-effective way to add a touch of excitement to the school holidays is by treating the family to a night or two away from home. You can book into a hotel that’s not too far from home to recreate the fun of checking into a hotel for the holidays without the stress of having to travel too far. 

The Peermont Metcourt Suites is a three-star home away from home located within Emperors Palace, with soft, comfy beds and access to all the hotel amenities, including world-class restaurants, a fully-fledged casino and an exhilarating 4DX Nu Metro movie theatre that will keep the whole family entertained! 

Go on, live a little before the holidays fly by and it’s back to school/work again!

Supplied