When your kids reach a certain age, it becomes slightly more challenging finding fun physical activities for them that don’t involve school sports. In an ideal world, they would be able to ride their bikes, go skateboarding and play basketball until dinner time – but for many of us, that is not a luxury we have right now. Then there’s the added challenge of getting them OFF their screens and focus on the real world.

Enter CityROCk in Randburg – a phenomenal facility on Republic Road that provides wall climbing facilities for kids of all ages, as well as adults. But don’t take OUR word for it – we sent 12-year old Kayla NT off to give it a try with a few friends – here’s what she had to say:

What activities are on offer?

There are Automatic Belay Walls, which mean you don’t need someone to help belay you down. You first have to take part in an introductory lesson that teaches you how to manage the ropes. There are also Bouldering areas where you can climb (without a rope) - some are easier than others so you never get bored. There’s always a harder one to try! Smaller kids aged 5 and up can also try climbing, so it’s great for families to go together.

There is also a dedicated yoga and Pilates studio, but we were too busy climbing and didn’t go inside.

What makes it special?

It’s really challenging and can be a little scary at first. But once you get going and you realise that you are completely safe, you go higher than you ever expected. Even those of us that are scared of heights!

CityROCK

What does it cost?

The costs vary – you can click here for the full list. We paid R110 per kid, and R90 for shoe and harness rental. You can also sign up to become a member – kids pay R350 per month.

There are also a few different courses that kids can take if they really enjoy climbing and want to get serious about it – I recommend the Kids Top Rope Introduction Course – R640 for 3 days. These courses run once a month. There are also School Holiday Crag Days that kids can do after completing the course – these are R260 (includes gear rental and excludes transport to the local climbing crag).

Do you need to take extra money (outside the entrance fee)?

There is a coffee shop with FREE WiFI, so take extra money for drinks and snacks. There’s also a Specialist Outdoor Gear Shop that sells loads of amazing climbing, hiking and outdoor sports gear, clothing and equipment – so definitely check that out. We saw yoga accessories, camping gear, ski jackets and so much more. I can’t believe we have never heard of this place before!

Did everyone enjoy it?

Everyone! Even my friend that had a broken arm (and couldn’t climb) enjoyed watching everyone and shouting instructions from the bottom. She can’t wait until her arm is out the cast and then we’re going back. I think both girls and boys enjoy it just as much!

Is it a good venue for parties?

Definitely. They host parties for between 6 and 25 kids (all children must be over 5 years of age). You can choose between 11:00 – 13:00 and 15:00 – 17:00, and pay R250 per child. Activities include team races on the automatic belay wall, ladder climbing, bouldering, knot tying skills and so much more. Sounds like fun!

What would you rate this activity?

A definite 8 out of 10. It’s highly recommended!

For More Information

Address: 173 Republic Road, Fontainebleau, Randburg
Tel: 010 007 2732
Email: [email protected]
Web: www.cityrock.co.za

REVIEW BY: Kayla NT (12) - with a little help from her mom, Shelli NT.

Jump For Joy 

BOUNCE inc offers a fun and exciting way to keep the kids (and even yourself) entertained and active. This trampoline park gives young and old a place to jump, sweat and most importantly, have fun. Kids will have a blast jumping from trampoline to trampoline, playing a little dodgeball, throwing a few baskets, climbing a high wall at various difficulty levels and showing off tricks mid-air. There are loads of activities at BOUNCE inc to keep your little ones happy.

Swing From The Treetops 

Get the kids away from their PlayStations and Xboxes and take them on a treetop adventure at Acrobranch. An engaging and exciting way to enjoy the outdoors, children (and adults too) get the opportunity to zip line from tree to tree, tackling tricky crossings and being challenged by a variety of obstacles. Acrobranch will have your kids climbing, swinging, balancing, exploring and abseiling their way through a number of different courses to test their skills, while keeping them entertained. Or try Go Ape in Modderfontein where you can spend hours doing obstical courses in the trees.

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Don’t Need Snow To Ski 

Who says you need snow to do a little skiing, snowboarding, bum boarding and tubing? Come rain, shine or snow (just kidding), Avalanche at Cedar Square in Fourways offers kids and parents the opportunity to experience exciting winter sports — minus the snow and chill. Arrive for a day visit, book skiing lessons or host your child's birthday bash here. Definitely different and always exhilarating.

Get Down & Dirty

For a change, have some fabulous fun with the whole family. Pull on old clothes, gather the kids and head to Boot Camp SA for an energising day out, military-style. The outdoor activities accommodate all fitness levels, whether you’re a beginner or a fitness fundi. The various exercises require both physical and mental participation and are designed to teach new skills. They also cater for team-building events, birthday parties and social group outings. Bookings are essential.

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Take a Shot

There is nothing more thrilling than playing a round of paintball at Woods Paintball. Kids can spend the afternoon ducking, diving, running and hiding behind objects to avoid being ‘hit’ by a flying paintball. For safety, they are kitted out with protective masks, overalls and chest protectors. If paintball is a little too extreme for your kids, then check out Black Ops Tactical Laser Tag. Bookings are essential at both venues.

Hit The Raceway

On your marks. Get set. GO! There's something for children of all ages at the Randburg Raceway. Whether your kid likes speed or prefers to hold his own Grand Prix or race it out in an Endurance Race, it's all possible here. Safety is a top priority, so everyone gets balaclavas and full-face crash helmets. Then there's a crash course (excuse the pun) of the rules, procedures and flag signals. But the raceway isn't only for the young ones; it's a great outing for anyone aged between 7 and 70! Bookings are essential.

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Reach New Heights

We all know how children love to climb jungle gyms and even all over the furniture. Take them to CityROCK to put their skills to the test. There are three climbing options which vary in height: bouldering (2m - 4m), the automatic belay wall (8m) and top rope climbing. Kids over the age of five are allowed to climb but must be under the parent's/guardian’s supervision at all times.

Kids on Quads

If you're looking for outdoor fun for your little ones, why not make it a day trip? Saddle Creek Adventures in Hekpoort offers mini quad biking, and while you sit back and relax in the lapa, the staff take care of your kids. For a greener option, there are pony rides on the farm. Safety is of utmost importance and all rides are assisted and supervised. Other activities available at Saddle Creek Adventures include mountain biking, go-karting and archery.

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Go For a Slide

Croc city in Dainfern gives your children the opportunity to zip line for 150 metres over crocodiles. They have well trained staff that will go over the procedures with you and your kids to ensure their safety. It is also a requirement to wear a harness, sling and lanyard that connects to the cable to make sure you don't become croc food.

Catch a wave

For all the water babies, Stoke City is the place to be. This water park offers various water sports for the whole family. Their cable park has motorized water-sports, water-skiing, kneeboarding, wakeboarding and wakeskating. They also offer lessons for beginnings and hire out all equipment. They also have an Aqua Park which has swings, ramps, jumps, ladders, a trampoline, a slide, and bridges.

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Remember that our “Top Picks” are not paid for and are compiled at the discretion of the journalist. We only write about what we love. Please call venues to find out about costs and bookings.