Not sure what to do with the kids these holidays in Johannesburg? Need some interesting and fun ideas of what to do? Here are our top 20:
Bush Babies Monkey sanctuary
Found alongside the Elephant Sanctuary and located west of Hartbeesport Dam, this sanctuary covers 7 ha in the Magaliesberg mountain range and is home to a diverse range of monkeys from around the world. The many exotic species including squirrel monkeys, capuchin monkeys, blank-handed spider monkeys and ringtail lemur can all be seen.
This is the ideal place for an educational family outing and guided tours are also available. Facilities include a curio shop and plunge pool. Open 7 days a week from 09h00 to 16h00. Rates: Adults R195, Pensioners R175, Children (4-14years) R95. For more info, go to www.monkeysanctuary.co.za or call +27 (0) 12 258 9908.
Consisting of 5 courses and a BigZip line, this is a great way to get the kids active. Bookings are recommended as they can get quite busy. The courses range in difficulty and height in order to cater to all age groups.
For more info, go to www.acrobranch.co.za or call +27 (0) 78 438 7463.
At Carnival City there are tons of great shops and restaurants to enjoy. Kids can catch the latest movie at Ster Kinekor, play games at the Magic Company arcade, enjoy some competition at Lazer Quest or do a few laps on the Grand Prix Circuit.
For more info, www.suninternational.com or call +27 (0) 11 780 7810
Enjoy a relaxing picnic with the family and interact with a wide range of farm animals including cows, donkeys, goats, chickens and of course the cutest rabbits. All animals roam the park freely. Kids can also enjoy camel rides, and there is a kiosk in the park should you need some snacks.
Entry is free. Operating hours: 07h00 to 17h00. For more info, go to www.gauteng.net.
The main attraction here is the giant maze. Teams of up to 4 people will be tested with a quiz while in the maze and will receive an iced lolly at the finish. Thereafter lots of fun and games can be enjoyed in the courtyard such as soccer shooter which is a target shooting game and peep board which makes for great family pictures.
Rates: Adults R100, Kids under 16 R70, Family ticket (2+2) R300. Open on weekends and public holidays from 10h00 to 17h00. For more info, go to www.honeydewmazes.co.za or call + 27 (0) 73 795 2174.
The Woods Paintball
Consisting of 5 adventurous fields, this range is designed to suit all types of players in a safe, fun and relaxing environment. Sessions last for about 3 hours and bookings are essential. Refreshments are available from the kiosk.
Rates: Standard Package R120, Elite Battle Package R200. Session times: 09h00 to 12h00, 12h00 to 15h00, 15h00 to 18h00. The range is open 7 days a week.
There are tons of great shows for the whole family to enjoy at the planetarium. Tickets are available 30 minutes before each show at the door. There is a small shop where you can browse a variety of interesting DVD's as well as Planispheres.
Ticket Prices: Adults R36, Pensioners R23, Children R23. For more info, go to www.planetarium.co.za or call +27 (0) 11 717 1390.
The Lion Park
The focus of the Lion Park is on the regeneration of various species, including wild dog, white lion and cheetah, and the park describes themselves as a breeding sanctuary. There are large grazing areas that are home to zebra, giraffe, gemsbok, springbuck and blesbok. Separate carnivore camps house 4 prides of lion, a clan of cheetah, wild dogs and hyena.
A really interesting attraction is Cub World, here you can interact and play with the lion cubs and also feed the friendly giraffe, Gambit.
The park is open 365 days a year from 09h00 to 21h00.
Critical Mass Bicycle Ride
Founded in 2007, this ride was formed in order to bring people back to the city and raise awareness about the viability of bicycles as a form of transport. Hundreds of people ride through the streets of Johannesburg at a very relaxed pace on the last Friday of every month. The whole family is welcome to join. Start time is 19h00.
For more info, go to www.criticalmass.co.za.
Little Cooks Club
Here the kids can enjoy interesting, educational and hands-on cooking programmes, which teach them to appreciate healthy, good food. Classes cater to all ages. The club also hosts fabulous cooking parties which are great for parents and kids.
For more info, go to www.littlecooksclub.co.za or call +27 (0) 83 556 3434.
Montecasino Birds Garden
Here you are free to walk around the gardens and see magnificent birds, mammals, reptiles and unusual animals from around the world. There is a walk through aviary which holds 60 species of bird including Scarlet Ibises and Nicobar Pigeons. Visit the frog room to see scorpions, spiders and of course, frogs. You can also see reptiles such as the Puff Adder and Black Mamba behind glass. The mammals here include sloths, lemurs, meerkats, blue duiker and various small primate species. When its time for a break, have a seat at the Café Flamingo which overlooks the Flamingo pond.
Rates: Adults and Children over 10: R53, Pensioners and Children under 10: R30. Opening Hours: Monday - Friday 08h30 to 17h00, weekends and public holidays 08h30 to 18h00. For more info, go to www.montecasino.co.za or call +27 (0) 11 511 1864.
Sci-Bono Discovery Centre
This science centre is filled with interesting exhibits and top of the line laboratories. Attractions include Africa's largest science centre, 4 educational labs as well as a career centre. A super science holiday programs will be running and the cost for this is R20 per adult and R10 per child, which covers entrance fee to the centre, a science show and an interactive workshop.
Children under 6 as well as pensioners enter for free.
Operating hours: Monday - Friday 09h00 to 17h00, Saturday and Sunday 09h30 to 16h30. For more info, go to www.sci-bono.co.za or call +27 (0) 11 639 8400.
National Children's Theatre
Activates here include life skills programmes, eco-musicals, theatre workshops as well as a summer camp. There are many interesting shows runnning during the holidays on Tuesdays to Sundays from 10h30 to 14h30. For refreshments there is a tuck shop and coffee shop.
For more info, go to www.nationalchildrenstheatre.org,za or call +27 (0) 11 484 1584
The Johannesburg Zoo is home to a great collection of animals ranging from farm animals to animals from around the world. There are several exhibits including the Amazonia, AngloGold Lion enclosure, Ape house, Cheetah slopes, Crocodile country, Education centre, Farmyard, Reptile house and Temple of the Ancients.
Facilities include Café Fino, several kiosks, ATM facilities, an information kiosk and picnic facilities. Rates: Adults R58, Pensioners R36, Children R36
Open 365 days a year from 08h30 to 17h30. For more info, go to www.jhbzoo.co.za or call +27 (0) 11 708 6467.
Wonderwall Climbing Gym
All are welcome here as they are able to cater to beginners as well as the more experienced climbers. They offer 500m² of climbing walls, 3m high bouldering cave, gear rentals, pro shop, locker facilities, change rooms, training and courses, cool drinks and snacks as well as a fully licensed restaurant and bar.
Rates: (For a day pass excl. gear) Adult R65, Student R60, Scholar R50.
Operating hours: Tuesday - Friday 10h00 to 22h00, Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays 09h00 to 18h00. For more info, go to www.wonderwall.co.za or call +27 (0) 11 708 6467.
Maropeng - The Cradle of Humankind
Maropeng is the official visitor centre for the Cradle of Humankind and the Sterkfontein Caves, and is located only 1-hour away from Johannesburg. At Maropeng you can enjoy the self-guided exhibition, and see many fascinating displays and life like replicas of hominids.
Rates: Maropeng: Adults R135, Children 4-14 R75, Pensioners and Students R85, kids under 4 free. Sterkfontein Caves: Adults R140, Children 4-14 R80, Pensioners and Students R90, kids under 4 free. Combination Ticket: Adults R215, Children 4-14 R130. Operating hours: 09h00 to 17h00. For more info, go to www.maropeng.co.za.
Jozi Food Market
This outdoor market stocks the finest fresh produce and supports many local producers. There are a great variety of stalls to browse and lots of goodies to taste, thereafter you can relax under the trees and watch the kids and dogs play. There is also a huge jumping castle which the kids will love.
For more info, go to www.jozifoodmarket.co.za or call +27 (0) 83 556 3434
Gold Reef City
Gold Reef City will provide endless hours of entertainment for the entire family. The theme park boasts many thrilling rides including the Anaconda, Tower of Terrors and Dreamboat, as well as other attractions including putt-putt, a farmyard, the Magic Company Arcade and Amphitheatre.
For more info, go to www.goldreefcity.co.za or call +27 (0) 11 248 6800.
Johannesburg Botanical Gardens
Located only 6km from the city centre, this park contains 3 dams, which are perfect for boating, canoeing and sailing. Other things to enjoy include a bike ride, running, dog walking, picnics and playing with the kids. The park boasts some of the finest plant collections in the world. There is a small café which serves light meals and refreshments.
Jakaranda Children's Home Christmas Light Festival
This festival runs from 1 December until 31 December at the Jakaranda Children's Home in Pretoria, and has been in existence since 2010. The personnel, children and sponsors cheerfully decorate the premises with millions of Christmas lights creating a magical light route which stretches over 800m.
There is a great selection of entertainment to be enjoyed at the festival including street musicians, singers, bands and laser shows. The annual gala evening also showcases some of SA's top artists.
The emphasis of the festival is to promote the real Christmas message and create awareness for the home. For more info, go to www.jacarandachildren.co.za or call +27 (0) 12 800 4700.