Northcliff – spectacular views and fabulous schooling
Northcliff is the grand old dame of Johannesburg, featuring spectacular homes with large, dense gardens, perched atop Northcliff Hill. This landmark is a must-visit for sundowners, or for hikes where the kids can help identify a wide range of birds and enjoy great views over the suburbs below. Some of Northcliff’s restaurants, such as Thundergun Steakhouse (known for its epic rib game) and Lucios Pizzeria, are institutions in the city.
There are a number of schools in the area, including Northcliff Primary School, Cliffview Primary School, renowned Northcliff High School, Reddford House Northcliff and Abbots College.
Nearby Cresta Shopping Centre is a popular mall in Johannesburg, offering fun for the whole family and top-class retail. Kids will delight in the tall, ethereal aquarium centered in the food court.
Lucios Pizzeria: www.luciospizzeria.co.za / +27 11 678 0042
Thundergun Steakhouse: www.thundergun.co.za / +27 11 678 7224
Cresta Shopping Centre: www.crestashoppingcentre.co.za / +27116785306
Fourways – idyllic homes and entertainment all round
One of Johannesburg’s newer suburbs, Fourways – in the northern suburbs – has fast become a favourite for families looking for safe, country-style living with endless entertainment offered for kids. The suburb is surrounded by farms and estates towards the north and easy access to the highway to the south, for those who need to travel. Popular Montecasino offers hours of fun for the family, with ten-pin bowling, prime shopping, a créche, cinemas, a theatre, laser games, an arcade and a bird park.
Fourways Academy Primary School, Crawford Preparatory and Fourways High School are just some of the excellent schools in the area.
Nearby Dainfern Golf Estate offers some of the safest family-friendly homes in Gauteng. Some stands measure up to 1000sqm each, and overlook rolling green hills featuring hiking and cycling tracks. Nearby Dainfern College is a favourite for residents in the area.
Dainfern Golf Estate: www.dainfern.co.za / 011 875 0401 / Facebook: @Dainfern Golf Estate
Montecasino: www.montecasino.co.za / +27 11 510 7000 / Facebook: @Montecasino
Linden – parks and gardens to delight
Situated only 8km from Sandton, Linden is best known for its tree-lined streets offering shade to youngsters pedaling away on little bicycles towards nearby Delta Park. This vast park, offering an extensive playground, three dams, views of both the Sandton and city skylines, and a bird sanctuary, makes for a perfect picnic destination over the weekends. Linden is one of the oldest suburbs in Johannesburg, enjoyed by both old and young residents alike, and its stately houses and vast gardens make for the ideal setting to raise a family. Central Linden is characterised by quirky restaurants and coffee shops which make for a fun morning out, such as Paputzis (offering dining under the trees), and Satori Family Restaurant.
Robin Hills Primary School, Risidale Primary School, Laerskool Louw Geldenhuys, Hoërskool Linden and Pinnacle College Linden are just some of the many schools on offer.
Paputzis: +27 82 573 8416 or check out their Facebook
Satori: +2711 888 7452 or check out their Facebook
Bedfordview – where business meets family fun
Bedfordview, in the east of Johannesburg, is the perfect suburb for families. With buzzing industrial and business hubs nearby, OR Tambo International Airport on its doorstep, and lush garden living all offered in this eclectic suburb, Bedfordview offers the best of both worlds. It’s easy to find the perfect home here with so many options available, from large stands with rolling lawns, to gated areas, to secure complexes that many families are choosing for the sense of community they create.
Many families are opting for the suburban style living offered here, with schools such as St Benedict’s College, Bedfordview Primary School, Crawford International Bedfordview, Bedfordview High School, and Reddam House Bedfordview all adding an extra drawcard.
Gillooly’s farm is a great spot for a picnic by the lake with beautiful views, and whole days can easily be wiled away at Eastgate Shopping Centre, with ample options for fashion, food and family fun.
The Parks – an international vibe right here at home
For a real cosmopolitan experience, with café-lined streets, and vast tracts of storybook-like open land covered in trees, lawns, playgrounds and cycling routes, many families are opting to live in the The Parks – encompassing Parkview, Parkhurst, Parktown North, Greenside and Craighall Park. Known for its free-standing homes surrounded by large parks, top-class restaurants and safe communities, The Parks has become extraordinarily popular over the years. Families walking their dogs, kids being rolled along in pushchairs and geese wandering the open areas are common sights here.
There are plenty of child-focused restaurants here, such as AJ’s in the Park (great for letting the littlies run around while snacking on pizza) and Delta Café (overlooking the Braamfontein Spruit). A stroll down Tyrone Avenue in Parkview and 4th Avenue in Parkhurst will reveal boutiques with world-class fashion, unique children’s toys and gorgeous trinkets. Zoo Lake and its surrounding pathways and vast waters are a favourite for kids.
Some wonderful schools can be found here, including Parkhurst Primary School, Greenside High School, Parktown High School for Girls, Emmarentia Primary School, and St Teresa's High School.
AJ’s in the Park: 081 234 5797 or check out their Facebook
Delta Café: www.deltacafe.co.za / 010 900 3850 or check out their Facebook
Roodepoort – where nature meets secure living
For open spaces, amusement, botanical gardens, adventures with wildlife, safe complexes and diverse schooling, look no further than Roodepoort. In this suburb of plenty, nature meets shopping and secure living.
Various mega malls such as Clearwater Mall, Hillfox Value Centre and wholesale warehouses draw shoppers from all around Johannesburg for the variety on offer.
The vast and lush Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens offer family-friendly hikes, picnic spots under the trees, a waterfall, a nursery and even an outdoor gym. Add this to the top of your list for family fun.
Property opportunities here are diverse, with newer complexes dotted amongst older stately homes and estates.
Helderkruin Laerskool, Westridge High School, Roodekrans Laerskool, Trinity House and Curro Academy Wilgeheuwel are just some of the many excellent schools in the area.
Clearwater Mall: www.clearwatermall.co.za / 011 288 5260
Hillfox Value Centre: www.hillfoxvaluecentre.co.za/ +27 11 675 2819
Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens: https://www.sanbi.org/gardens/walter-sisulu/ / +27 86 100 1278
By Taryn van Jaarsveld