Please note: Costs mentioned were correct at the time of writing (2021) and are subject to change at any time. Please contact your desired destination directly to confirm entry fees, costs and operating times.
Let the kids climb the walls in a good way at CityROCK in Randburg. It's the biggest indoor climbing gym on the continent, and best of all, it has some of the best coffee in town too! So, if climbing isn't your thing, at least you can enjoy a good cuppa joe while the kids go climbing. The gym boasts 2 000m² of high-wall climbing, 124 top rope anchors, nine automatic belay walls, 500m² of bouldering, a well-stocked outdoor gear shop, a beautiful yoga studio, a training area and a dedicated beginners’ climbing area perfect for birthday parties, kids and courses. Not only is it fun, but it gets the kids active too!
Spend quality time as a family and experience the beautiful vibrant residents of the Montecasino Bird Gardens. This is the only wildlife and bird park of its kind in Africa and is a must when you're visiting Montecasino. Here, you can wander along walkways, explore the manicured gardens and marvel at a menagerie of colourful birds, mammals, reptiles and unusual animals from around the world. Also, enjoy their walk-through aviary where you'll find over 60 species of birds, reptiles and small mammals roaming freely. Due to the COVID-19 restriction, the Bird Gardens will be open from Wednesday to Sunday between 08:30 to 17:00. Also keep in mind that their Fantasy of Flight shows are cancelled until further notice.
How much of the city have your kids actually seen? We don't mean all the fun places, their friend's house down the road or the mall. We mean all the significant and historic parts of the city, including Nelson Mandela Bridge, Constitution Hill, the Apartheid Museum and the Johannesburg Zoo. City Sightseeing Johannesburg is all about experiencing the city and 20 of Joburg's leading attractions from the comfort of a big, red, double-decker bus. Fun for the whole family!
Sure, scaly critters make our skin crawl, but this cool spot is worth the visit if you and your kids are braver than us and are looking for thrills, chills and a whole lot of fun in between. If your kids are fearless and up for experiencing anything (even holding a creepy, cold, icky creature that sends us running for the hills), then the Croc City & Reptile Park is just the place for them. They can touch a baby crocodile or a slithery snake and get up close and personal with a hairy tarantula. Eeeek!
Today's kids don't understand the fun, excitement and concentration that goes into rollerskating. This was THE thing to do when we were kids and RollEgoli is bringing it back with a bang! If you see us rollerskating too, don't judge us! This is the perfect activity to get the kids out of the house to a place where they can hang with their friends and be active, showing off their skater tricks (like we used to do, back in the day). Skating works up an appetite, which is why RollEgoli has some of the best wood-fired pizzas in town! And for the younger ones, they also offer a tree garden with a few shy chickens and a jungle gym with a trampoline.
Need something entertaining for older kids, let's say from 12 years upwards? Then why not challenge their cognitive skills with real-life room games at the Escape Room? This is the type of adventure where they are 'trapped' in a room with friends and family. This is real, not a computer game, so there are no cheat codes! They'll need to use their noggins to get out. Here are a few crucial skills that'll get them through this challenge: they must use their sense of adventure, imagination, lateral thinking, powers of observation and, of course, teamwork. Once they have cracked a series of stimulating, challenging and fun puzzles and solve the mystery, they'll be freed. They just need to keep in mind that they'll have to do this within the time limit. Sounds like fun, doesn't it?
There is nothing like an adventure to get the adrenaline pumping! And to delight your kids' sense of adventure AND keep them entertained for hours on end, Jozi X Adventure Centre is a must. They have everything under the sun from bubble soccer, games of Arch Rivals, zorbing and loads of other fun and exciting obstacle courses. This makes for an epic day out for your kids and their friends.
We all know how kids LOVE making a big mess! So why not let them go bonkers with paint and creativity at Artjamming? Best of all, you don't need to worry about the clean up afterwards. Artjamming allows your little ones to indulge their inner artist and create their own inspired, colourful and interesting masterpieces. All they need to do is pick their canvas, decide what they want to paint and go wild.
Do you and the kids have a love for animals? Then we know just the place to visit! The 85-hectare Pretoria Zoo is the largest zoo in the country and the only one with national status. A staggering 9 500 animals call this popular destination home – ranging from mammals, birds and fish to reptiles and amphibians. There's also an aquarium and reptile park that forms part of the zoo. There's plenty for all ages to explore at the Pretoria Zoo. Visit their website and get your tickets now!
Explore South Africa’s natural heritage at the Ditsong National Museum of Natural History. This is the only natural history museum in Gauteng and one of the largest in South Africa. Here, visitors will be able to view collections and exhibits that includes hominid fossils from the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site, other fossils, skeletons, skins and mounted specimens of amphibians, fish, invertebrates, reptiles and mammals and much more!
For an easy entertainment solution perfect for both young and old, why not visit The Grove's Ice Rink for some cool fun on the ice? Hire some skates and take to the ice, race your friends with laps around the arena, practice your skills, or simply just have a great time. This is the perfect outing during the summer month when it's hot outside, the ice rink is sure to keep you cool and refreshed.
Make the most of our South African summer by visiting Cedar Junction Theme Park! Here, guests, both young and the young at heart, can spend the day hopping on train rides, making a splash with 16 water slides, dipping into four different pools to keep cool, floating down the Lazy River, climbing up and down Jungle Gyms, bouncing on trampolines and so much more! There's plenty of exciting outdoor activities to keep visitors entertained at Cedar Junction Theme Park.
For an exciting day outdoors, filled with adventure and adrenaline, visit CryWolf in Irene. Here, visitors can spend the day doing exciting activities including two-speed go-karting ideal for both young and old, playing some paintball or laser tag (depending on whether or not you can handle being hit with a paint ball), or trying out laser clay pigeon shooting!
Cost: Click here for all the pricing details.
Venue: Smuts House Museum, Plot 53, Jan Smuts Avenue, Irene, Pretoria.
Sitting on the couch with their eyes and hands glued to their cellphones is NOT the way kids should spend their school holidays, especially this festive season. They need to get out of the house, away from their gadgets and get active, which is why BOUNCE Inc is ideal. Not only does it offer a cure for boredom, but also loads of fun activities to keep them busy all day long. Think 3 000m² of interconnected trampolines, adventure features, padding and airbags, giving kids (and even adults) the chance to bounce around, throw balls, do backflips, show off their aerial skills and just have a blast.
Please note: All BOUNCE Inc venues will be reopening on 27 November 2020.
Another great idea is to let the kids swing about and experience a treetop adventure at Acrobranch. There's something for all ages and all fitness levels, from ziplining and tricky crossings, to high ropes and much more. This is also a great family activity if you want to do something new together. There's no better place to get your kids out and about and reconnecting with nature than at Acrobanch. When last did you or your kids climb a tree? Hmmm, we thought so! Just make sure they wear the right gear — closed shoes, comfy clothes, long hair tied up and safety gear (provided by Acrobranch).
Sometimes, parents just need a bit of time-out. A place where they can relax unwind while letting the kids run wild and blow off some stream. Cue Papachinos. Not only is this an awesome hangout for mamas, papas, oupas, oumas and the little tykes, but it's a great place to grab a bite to eat (the pizzas are amazing) while the kids run rampant and blow off steam in the designated kiddies' play area. This is a family restaurant that caters to all your needs — kiddie entertainment, food, wine and chillaxing.
Who doesn't love animals? And lucky for us, we don't need to drive too far to experience what South Africa is well known for — its wildlife! The Lion & Safari Park in Harties offers loads of outdoor activities for a fun day out for all ages. No need to travel all the way to Mpumalanga or the Kruger! Take your pick from interaction and walking experiences, guided tours and self-drive safaris. After all that excitement, relax and grab a bite to eat at the Bull 'n Buck Grill.
Say bye-bye to new-age movies and hello to an old-school drive-in experience. Yes, mom's be the cool kids for a change! This is the chance for you to school your kids about how your youth was like and, trust us, they will enjoy every moment. So, dress up in your matching onesies and get comfortable as you prepare to watch a movie in the comfort of your own car with your daughter. To find out more about this event visit the Drive.in.co Facebook page for more information.
Girls are always game for some retail therapy, right? Get them out of the house and head out for some fresh air at one of our favourite markets: The Horwood Farm Family Market with over 200 stalls to discover. Sometimes the simple things in life mean more than most of us think. For more information on this event visit here!
This event is more appropriate for older daughters, so if your teen is into theatre, surprise her with tickets to see The Color Purple – The Musical. Based on the moving novel by Alice Walker, this play will make you ugly-cry, laugh and leave you talking all the way home. For more information on this event click here!
Thank goodness The Bioscope introduced their Ugly Cry Nights for all of us who appreciate a good sob. And what better movie to ugly cry to than the Legends Of The Fall? Well, then, moms and daughters it’s time for you to head to Maboneng for a girl's night. For more information on this event click here!
High teas are always a great idea for mom and daughter dates, where conversations flow with pinkies up in the air. Growing up, our grandmothers always made us make tea when people visited, and we didn't understand then why people sat around chatting over tea. Now that we're older, we understand that tea is the root of a great conversation. Let your daughters in on the secret with this special treat. Click here for more information. If you are looking for more high tea spots around the city, check out our Where To Indulge In A High Tea In The City piece.
Whether it's licking the batter bowl together or having a flour fight, baking is a great way to bond with your daughter. To inspire your child to be creative in the kitchen, consider calling The Baking Shed for some fun baking classes. This also helps with team building and getting to know each other. It's easy, check it out here!
You might be raising a young Picasso and all they need is that inspiration to find their artistic instinct. It's never too late or too early to allow your kids to explore their artistic side, so expose them to something creative and join them in the process! Paint Nite offers private events for families and friends, so get in touch with them for an extra-special mom and daughter outing. Click here for more information.
A simple day out with mom can also mean staying at home in your PJs and doing something cool like scrapbooking, model building or getting stuck into some decoupage. Sound like fun? A simple date would mean going to a hobby store and getting all the things you need for your time together, and we've got a list of where to start: Check it!
All girls need a little time away to get pampered – even the young ones. There are a few salons and spas offering tween and teen packages with mom, however, our overall favourite is Life Day Spa Kids, because they also have kids party packages.
To close this list off, we had to throw in Art Jamming. This is an absolute win for the kids, in our opinion. For some art motivation, you will be so happy you brought them here. For more information on their offering click here!
And we're out ✌️.....
Tell us if you've tried any of these, or tell us about more mom and daughter date ideas 😉
Time For Some Art Jamming!
We first discovered Art Jamming a few years ago, and make a plan to visit at least once during the school holidays. Kayla is now 12 and STILL enjoys going there, as does Isabella, my 5-year-old. The two of them will happily spend over two hours sitting at their easels, chatting away, and admiring each other’s handiwork. While I grab a takeaway cappuccino and enjoy a few heavenly hours of peace and quiet (also known as shopping).
In a nutshell, Art Jamming is dedicated to helping kids get in touch with their creativity. There are no rules and zero guidelines – kids can paint whatever they choose. Simply purchase and pay for a canvas, and everything else is covered – paint on tap, brushes, tools and supervision.
At this age, Isabella is quite keen to explore various painting “techniques” and needs very little adult input. She has been known to finish a painting, turn it over, and paint on the back! Kayla is the opposite – she prefers to choose one of the many designs that are freely available and trace it onto her canvas. She also sometimes ask one of the resident assistants to draw something for her – and they are more than willing to help out. Her favourite is definitely the “splash zone” where kids can, quite literally, throw paint at the canvas. I’m dying to give it a try!
Art Jamming is also a fantastic idea for kids’ parties – imagine 2 hours of painting time, as well as the option to provide additional catering. Corporate team building is also on offer – you can imagine the discussions that take place while everyone is painting, not to mention the life lessons that are learned in the process. You know, how the fear of failure can cripple a project? Or how mistakes can be woven into a design to make it even better than before?
At present, there are THREE Art Jamming venues in Joburg – Melrose Arch, Cresta and Bedfordview. Click here for details.
Highly recommended: Kayla gives it an 8/10
For More Information
What Is It?
This event is for all ages. A place where you can choose a canvas, grab some paints and get to creating. You can expect lessons on how to create your unique art and much more. Materials will be provided. There's plenty of inspiration provided and you get to take your unique artwork home. Bring the whole family to experience this unique event.
When Is It?
Weekdays at from 09:00 - 18:00
Where Is It?
Art Jamming, Shop 27, Melrose Arch Piazza, Melrose.
How Much Is It?
Tickets cost R 135 at www.artjamming.co.za.
For More Information.
Vitality HealthyFood Studio – kids aged 8 – 12 can learn how to make delicious meals in these fun interactive cooking classes in Sandton (in conjunction with Woolworths and Prue Leith Chefs Academy!)
Art Jamming – kids can paint (fully supervised) to their hearts' content while you work in a nearby coffee shop, run some errands or have your nails done.
Colour Café – a great activity for grandparents looking for a less boisterous activity that they can do with with the kids. Then pop next door to Glenda’s for tea and cake!
Wooden Spoon Cooking Classes – Ankie offers exciting cooking classes using fresh ingredients and fun programs for kids aged 4 and up. This is also a great idea for kids’ parties.
Sci-Bono – Still the BEST value in town, Sci-Bono is a fun and interactive science centre that helps kids learn as they play and explore! Check out their Wacky Weekend Science program!
Planetarium – hands up if you’ve never taken your kids to the planetarium. You’re not alone – make a plan to visit in the coming weeks (you’ll love it too, promise!)
People's Theatre – Alice in Wonderland is on stage until the end of April – a magical show that is so much better than the movie!
This is an oldie but a goodie when it comes to getting messy and having fun. Whether you're looking to play, paint, sponge or spray your way to a masterpiece, Artjamming is just the place to be. Best of all, it won't cost you an arm and a leg for a little bit of artsy fun. You just have to pay for the canvas you have chosen (prices vary depending on sizes), then everything else comes with the price – including the acrylic paints on-tap, brushes, tools and apron. From as little as R135 (that's for the smallest canvas size available), you can create your own artwork without having to spend thousands on expensive art materials. This is perfect for all ages.
Okay, so hear us out before you brush this one off owing to the hefty entrance fee (R135 for kids under 1.3m tall and R215 for kids taller and 1.3m). Considering you pay that fee for an ENTIRE DAY'S WORTH of fun, rides, thrills and excitement, we think it's a bargain! You would have to spend way more money elsewhere to give the kids a full day's worth of shenanigans that are far less exciting. They can spend their 9 to 5 (park opens at 09:30 but you get what we're trying to say) braving the brand-new High Flying Maverick, the Anaconda and the Golden Loop, splashing and floating about the Raging River Rapids, spinning and flying on the UFO and so much more. Trust us, your kids will be exhausted after all of this fun at Gold Reef City Theme Park!
How about something different? Cooking classes! That's right! Kids will have a blast creating their own delicious treats and not only is it fun, it also helps them build essential skills. They'll be using their motor skills, doing simple math, reading through the recipe, working on their communication and teamwork abilities, learning about the science of baking/cooking, broadening their scope of general knowledge and delighting their senses. See... plenty of skills built into one fun activity! Bright Young Chefs offers everything from weekly workshops and holiday clubs (R150 per workshop) to parties (R300 per child) and events.
Who knew bouncing on trampolines could be so entertaining? Even for us parents! With this in mind, Bounce Inc has a fun family bouncing package that will have you saving and bouncing for joy! Jump as a family (four jumpers, max two adults) at R500 for two hours. That's a lot of exercise and fun right there! But if you're looking to sit back, relax and leave the bouncing to the little ones, it's R100 for anyone over three years old and under 125cm in height (R145 for jumpers taller than that).
So, the kids are going bonkers, which is driving you bonkers... What is a parent (in dire need for some quiet time and a good cuppa Joe) supposed to do spur of the moment? One word - Yeesh! No, not that type of yeesh (we're not that cruel), we mean Yeesh! as in the kiddies indoor play place. They offer moms and dads a safe haven, no matter what they need – be it a quick drop in, holiday fun, a party venue and more. You can make a stop at the Coffee Bar for some well-deserved peace and quiet. Parents need a timeout too sometimes!
This fun wonderland has been around for a very long time. Heck, we even remember the days where we'd spend hours (and loads of cash) on arcade games just to set the high score or attempt (for the umpteenth time) to grab that teddy bear from the crane machine. Those were the good old days, so, why not show the kids how much fun the Magic Company can be? You may spend a pretty penny, but it is loads of fun! There are a few Magic Company branches around the city – a few that we can name off the top of our heads are Montecasino, Emperors Palace, Gold Reef City, Silverstar, Sibaya and Carnival City.
A little pampering never hurt anyone, which is why this little pamper paradise will make the perfect spot for a playdate. The Life Day Spa Kids offers an extraordinary experience for your little ones, where they'll get to enjoy massages, manis, pedis, facials and much more. Also, this makes for a fab party idea (just keep it in mind for the next birthday if your little one loves being pampered). Treatments range from just R10 to over R1 000. There's even a Mom and Me package if you both need a relaxing day out.