What to do during the holidays

  • HolidaysJHB2
There is no need for your kids to hang out at home with all these events on offer.
by OWN CORRESPONDENT | Jun 21, 2018

Camp Gan Yisrael
2 to 13 July 2018
Activities include: Learning Torah through fun and song, arts and crafts, sport, mind-development games, team-building exercises, and lots more.
Ages three to 12. Divided into nursery and primary school kids.
Starts 09:00, with boys finishing at 15:15 and girls at 15:30. Kiddie camp ends at 14:00.
Cost: R900 per week, or if you register a child for both weeks, it is R1 250. (If you register two children for one week it is R900 per child).
A full lunch and two snacks are offered each day.
To register, go to or for more information, email [email protected], or call 011 440 6600.

Habonim Winter Day Camp
Every day, channichim are taken to a different fun destination, including adventure golf, ten pin bowling, Bounce, and Sci-Bono.
Lunch and transport provided. From 9 to 13 July, 09:00 to 15:00.
Contact 011 786 7046 or

Bnei Akiva Holiday Camp
The Incredible Winter Camp from 24 to 27 June at West Coast National Park for Grades 3 to 9. In Johannesburg, Gurim Seminar is held at Sanrock Resort from 29 June to 2 July for Grades 3 to 6.
A winter camp for Grades 7 to 9 at a resort in Port Edward from 2 to 8 July. This week is filled with fun activities including crazy water-sports, fun hikes, and inspiring tochniot, all with the beach on your door step.
A winter camp in Durban called Camp Snoopy from 12 to 15 July, which introduces children to the best that Durban and Umhlanga have to offer. Exciting day outings end off with an inspirational Shabbat.
For more details, call 011 485 1695, or email [email protected], or sign up on

Sydenham Pre Primary Winter Holiday School
Every day is a new adventure at Sydenham Holiday School. Monday is Rumble in the Jungle; Tuesday Nutty Professors; Wednesday Super Sports Day; Thursday Crazy Carnival; Friday Sydenham Bake-Off.
From 2 to 6 July, 18 months to six years old. Cost: R780 per child for the week, or R180 per child per day. For two children, R1 450 per week.
Contact 011 640 5011, or email [email protected] for more information.

Sandton Sinai Holiday School
Children will be entertained with arts, crafts, snacks, and loads of fun.
From 2 to 6 July, 18 months to six years old.
Cost: R170 per child per day.
Contact 011 802 1210, or email [email protected]

Tam Kids Holiday Programme
Activities such as baking, story time, arts and crafts, outdoor games, dress up, and music on offer. From 2 to 6 July. R250 per child per day.
Contact 082 807 7100 for more information.

Aish Hatorah Holiday Programme
Fun and games, outdoor play, dress up, storytelling, music, and so much more.
From 2 to 6 July, 18 months to six years old.
Cost: R150 per child per day.
Contact: Alexandra 082 413 3124 for more information.

Esti Cohen Holiday Workshops
Different workshops on offer including cakes, fondant, fashion, jewellery, T-shirt design, slime, and more. From 2 to 12 July. Ages six and up. 09:30 to 12:00. R250 per morning.
Contact Esti on 062 595 2973 for more information.

King David Linksfield Pre Primary Holiday School
Activities include baking, sports, and arts and crafts.
From 2 to 6 July 2018 and 9 to 13 July 2018, two to six years old, 08:00 to 14:00.
Cost: R265 per child per day or R1 250 for five days (including lunch and snacks).
Contact: Belinda 084 980 5639 (week one) or Lara 076 090 7793 (week two).

Tinker School Kitchen Concepts Holiday Workshops
There are three different kitchen concept sessions a day: 09:00 to 11:00, 11:00 to 13:00, 13:00 to 15:00.
The 09:00 to 11:00 session includes breakfast, art, and expression. The 11:00 to 13:00 session includes lunch, art, and expression, and the 13:00 to 15:00 session includes gardening, art, and expression.
Cost: R200 to R500.
Contact Pippa 079 151 9015 for more information.

Waverley Shul Winter Delight Holiday School
Activities include arts and crafts, baking and treats, moving and grooving, fun and games.
From 2 to 6 July, two to eight years old, 08:00 to 12:30.
Cost: R170 per child per day or R765 for five days.
Contact: Michelle 083 407 4044 for more information.

Nutty Scientists Holiday Programme
25 to 29 June
For those with a scientific bent, enjoy master of disasters (experimenting with volcanoes, tornadoes, lightning, snow, blizzards, and more) and crazy scientist investigators (hands-on experiments with states of matter, senseless senses, optical Illusions, chemical reactions, and more).
Five to 10 years old.
From 08:00 to 12:30 at two different venues: Bryanston and Linksfield.
Cost: R700 per child for two days.
Contact: Kevin 083 675 8076, or go to for more information.

Rimon Holiday School
Activities include arts and crafts, baking and treats, moving and grooving, fun and games.
25 to 29 June. Fifteen months to five years old. From 08:00 to 12:30.
Cost: R170 per child per day, or R750 for five days.
Contact: Kelli 082 492 0227 for more information.

More in Joburg

Red Bus City Tour

The Red Bus City Tour is a hop-on, hop-off excursion which takes you to some of the most interesting spots in Joburg – from Gold Reef City to the James Hall Transport Museum – with a special audio commentary channel for kids. Keep your eye out for specials which often run over the school holiday period.
Price: Adults tickets cost R170, and kids (aged 5 to 17) are R90. Kids under 5 are free (online prices). These prices are for a one-day ticket; you can get a number of combos and multiple-day tickets too. Full details and latest prices here. Contact: Tel 0861733287,

Spend a day at the Johannesburg Zoo

If all else fails, take the kids to the zoo. The Johannesburg Zoo has got all sorts of exciting things lined up for the holidays. Price: Holiday Fun Day is R85 per child. Standard zoo entrance fees are R50 for kids between three and 12, and R80 for adults. Open Monday to Sunday (including public holidays) from 8:30 to 17:00. Contact: Tel 0116462000,

Go quad-biking

Escape the urban jungle and hit the Segwati quad trails on the slopes of the Witwatersberg mountain range overlooking the Cradle of Humankind. Combine your quad-biking trip with a picnic, a braai or maybe even some game-viewing or bird-watching. There’s also a paintball range. Kids have to be over 13 years old to go quad-biking. You can do this by foot as well, as they have lovely hiking and walking trails. Segwati also has cottages and a bush camp if you plan on turning your quad-biking trip into a weekend away. Price: Please call Segwati for latest prices. Contact: Tel 0824129823, [email protected],

Visit Kloofendal Nature Reserve

Friends of Kloofendal is a conservation NGO that offers guided nature tours through the Kloofendal Nature Reserve in Roodepoort. These tours give you a chance to learn about and interact with the nature reserve’s plants, animals and insects. From bird ringing to panning for gold, there’s an interesting event happening almost every weekend! You can have a look at their event line-up here. If you feel like doing your part for nature conservation, you and the family can join the Friends of Kloofendal team on one of the invasive alien “hack” sessions. Price: Various prices depending on the activity. See their website for details. Contact: Tel 0116742980 or 0796935608,

Explore the night skies at the Planetarium

If stars and constellations and comets are your kid’s thing, the Johannesburg Planetarium should be at the top of your to-do list (although their website is a glorious throwback from the beginning of the internet). They also should have experts on site to answer any of your astronomy questions. Added bonus: telescope are also for sale at the Planetarium which means you can take star-gazing into your own hands. Price: Adult tickets are R45 and kids tickets R30. Family tickets also available for R165 (max two adults with their dependent children – scholars or full-time students – and grandparents). Contact: Tel 0117171390, email [email protected],

Paint your own pottery at Pottery Junxion

The Pottery Junxion in Edenvale is a great place to get your hands dirty and have something to show for it at the end of the day. Check into their studio and paint and decorate your own personalised plates, bowls or tea sets. All tools, products and ceramics are available on site. ages seven and up can try one of their painting or mosaic workshops. Price: R95 for a three-hour session, excluding the product: you pay for the products and for the amount of paint you use in addition to the R20 per hour starting fee. Bookings are essential. Contact: Tel 0114532721, email [email protected],

Get lost in a Maze

Honeydew Mazes’ new Bee Maize Maze is now open and their 12th maize maze, designed in the shape of a honeycomb, has a whopping 3.5km of pathways and includes an eight-station general knowledge quiz which can be enjoyed by the whole family. They’re open on weekends from 10am-5pm (no bookings required). Bookings are however required for any special events such as kid’s parties, via email. If you wish to host a large group, or a birthday party, please refer to their website for more information. Price: R150 an adult and R100 a child. There’s also a family ticket (two adults and two children) for R420. Contact: Tel 0737952174, email [email protected], or

Things to do with your kids in Durban
Take a hike in Umhlanga

A great (and affordable) idea for a family day trip is to head to the Umhlanga Lagoon Nature Reserve and to stroll through the coastal dune forest and across the Ohlange River towards the 1. Umhlanga Lagoon. The guided walk is half an hour long so it shouldn’t be too strenuous for little hikers. The Reserve is brimming with over 208 bird species as well as plenty of small mammals. Keep your eyes open for vervet monkeys and blue and red duiker. The route is well-marked but walking through the reserve alone is at your own risk. Price: Guided walks: Bookings must be made a day in advance by calling the Breakers Resort front desk on 031 561 2271. Please contact the desk for latest prices. Contact: Umhlanga Tourism Tel 031 561 4257 / 031 561 2271, email [email protected],

Visit the People’s Park at Moses Mabhida Stadium

Take the kids to the People’s Park at Moses Mabhida Stadium. There is a kid’s play area for under 12’s, expansive lawns and a kilometre-long track. Parking is right at the playground which is made secure for the tiny tots by a little fence. There is a huge space on marble-like paving for the older ones to do skate-boarding and ride bikes down the ramps of the stadium. They’ve got an extensive plan for the holidays: have a look at the holiday schedule here. Price: The park is free, with various paid-for activities also available. Contact: Tel 031 582 8242, email [email protected],

Take the family to Funworld

Durban Funworld may seem like an obvious addition to this list but, hey, there’s no doubt it will be a huge hit with the kids. Plus, it’s actually quite affordable. And during the school holidays, Funworld will be open until late every day. Be sure to take a family ride on the aerial cableway overlooking the city, the tilt-a-whirl or the swing boat. Or why not have a family bumper-car-battle at the Dodgems Arcade? Price: All rides are priced between R10 and R15. Contact: Tel 031 332 9776 / 304 4934,

Visit the Virginia Nature Reserve

A moderate walk is a great way to drain off some pent up energy. The Virginia Nature Reserve is 38ha reserve in the heart of Durban North. Once inside the gates, your kids will forget they are in the city and Dora the Explorer adventures take over. On a great day, you’ll see blue duikers, mongoose and some rare species in this popular bird-watching site. To get to the reserve, take exit number 5 off the M4 to Hinton Grove Road in Durban North (to Virginia Airport). Make sure to enter via the main entrance on Hinton Grove Road, which is five minutes from the freeway. Price: Free. Contact:

Go biking at Giba Gorge

Take advantage of Durban’s fantastic winter weather and get outdoors. The Giba Gorge Mountain Bike Park in Hillcrest is an awesome place for you and the kids to shake off extra adrenaline that’s been building up during the school term. Giba Gorge sports an excellent BMX track and a 40km mountain bike trail that slithers through the wooded farmlands overlooking the Umtamvuma River Gorge. Giba Gorge also has a restaurant, an art gallery and picnic areas. BMX and mountain bike clinics are also offered. Price: A day pass for Giba Gorge costs R50 for adults and R20 for children (under 12). Non-riders pay a R10 entry fee. Contact: Tel  031 769 1527, email [email protected],

Confront crocodiles and snakes at PheZulu Safari Park

Nestled in the Valley of 1000 Hills just over half an hour drive from Durban, PheZulu Safari Park is an ideal place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. Apart from the breathtaking beauty of the area, the park’s highlight is definitely its menagerie of crocodiles and snakes. If the kids like facing up to all sorts of creepy creatures, a visit to the PheZulu Crocodile and Snake park will be a treat. Keep a look out for Ramesis their 90-year-old Nile crocodile, and Cleo their 42kg Burmese python. Price: Crocodile and Snake Park Tour: R50 per adult, R40 per child (under 12). Or purchase a combo package (Village Tour, Zulu Dancing Show, Crocodile and Snake Park Tour) for R150 per adult and R100 per child (under 12). Contact: Tel 031 777 1000, email [email protected],

Take a trip on Umgeni Steam Railway

Grab the kids and creep through the Valley of 1000 Hills on a vintage steam trains on the Umgeni railway, one of the country’s oldest railway lines. The train journey is from Kloof Station to Inchanga Station and back and happens on the last Sunday of every month. The trains leave Kloof Station at 08:30 and 12:30 and take half a day. There are also special school holiday train on Saturday 4 July (10:30 and 14:30 departures). At Inchanga Station, you’ll find a craft market, picnic area and pony rides. When you get back to Kloof Station, be sure to pop into the Stokers Arms pub. Price: Tickets cost R200 per adult and R140 per child (ages 2 to 12). Contact: Tel 087 808 7715 / 082 353 6003, email [email protected],

Go zorbing at the Groovy Balls Adventure Park

Fancy hopping inside a giant, transparent ball and rolling downhill? It’s simple and great fun. And KwaZulu Natal, as it happens, has one of the best zorbing parks in the country. GroovyBalls Adventure Park in Cliffdale is the place for you and the kids to try your hand at this crazy sport. The Park offers different courses such as the “Kamikaze Run” – a 120-metre downhill roll – and a 60-metre ride for kids. If you want to combine your zorbing with some other activities, the park also offers go karting, target shooting and paintball. Open from 8:00 to 20:00 – booking is essential. Groovy Balls also offers go-karting and paintball. Price: Ball rides cost from R100 an adult for the first ride and from R75 a ride thereafter. For children (5-13 years), ball rides start at R50 for a first ride and R40 for each ride thereafter. Combos are available. Find a complete price guide here. Contact: Tel 084 330 3112 / 031 783 7162, email [email protected],

Get drumming at The Drumshack

If your kid is the musical type (or if you just need some musical therapy) you can do worse than taking part in a djembe drumming circle. This is one of those activities that’s not too much of a hassle to organise – the Drumshack in Morningside has interactive shows every Sunday evening – and it’s super-fun for both young and old. If you haven’t taken part in a drumming session, you have no idea what you’re missing. It’s extremely energising and a great way for the family to bond over a cool activity. Price: Contact Drumshack for details. Contact: Drumshack Tel 083 704 4879, email [email protected],

Holidays in Cape Town

The Book Lounge, City Centre

Every Saturday at 11:00, The Book Lounge in Roeland Street has a free story telling session, perfect for 3-8 year olds. They often have additional activities during the school holidays as well. While your little one is enthralled by magical tales, you can sit downstairs and enjoy a cuppa at their coffee shop or take some time to browse through the myriad of interesting and sometimes unusual books. It’s best to book, so give them a call or visit their website for more information. Contact: Tel 021 462 2425, email [email protected],

Bishopscourt Village Park

This was recommended by a mom and it sounds like an idyllic spot with a stream to splash in, rocks to clamber over and trees to climb. Not many folk seem to know about this hidden spot – it seems to be one of those “in-the-know” places! To find this secret garden paradise, drive all the way to the end of Upper Noreen Avenue and park along the road (don’t block driveways). There are two entrances: one you’ll see on your left as you drive down the road, marked by a green information board. The other is located near the end of the road, across the lawn, under the trees. Take a picnic as there are tables and benches too. Contact: Email [email protected]

Noordhoek Farm Village

Noordhoek Farm Village, is the ideal children’s destination to entertain the kids, with its free, fun activities, age-specific playgrounds and child-friendly restaurants. The playground has been designed to accommodate various age groups with suitable activities and safety features. Parents can enjoy laid-back breakfasts and lunches from Café Roux, while keeping an eye on the little ones as it borders the kids’ play area. Café Roux also offers a kiddies’ menu and hosts birthday parties. Contact: Tel 021 789 1317, email [email protected], Inexpensive (under R50) activities for children during the holidays

Cool-Runnings, Durbanville

Tobogganing Cool-Runnings-style involves planting your bum on a bob-sled and speeding down the hillside on a 1.2 kilometre steel-pipe track. The speed of all the toboggans is break-controlled and the rides are very safe for children. Little ones under the age of eight have to be accompanied by an adult. One ride for children costs R35 (up to age 14) and one ride for adults costs R40. Contact: Tel 021 949 4439, email [email protected]

Rainbow Puppet Theatre, Constania Waldorf School

Situated at the Constantia Waldorf School, tucked away in the Kindergarten building is the only permanent Puppet Theatre in South Africa. The artistically painted theatre has a permanent team of five puppeteers complimented with full stage lighting, beautiful glove, rod and shadow puppets and even live music. The Rainbow Puppet Theatre presents a new fairytale each month which takes place on Saturdays at 10:00 and 11:15. Tickets are R20 for adults and children and can be purchased at the door. Recommended age is 4 plus. No booking required, unless you’d like to book for a birthday party. Contact: Phone Alison on 021 783 2063 or email [email protected] for more information.

Mini train, Mouille Point

I know of some adults who enjoy this train too! Catch a ride on this cute little miniature train and enjoy views of passing ships and Robben Island. Then hop off and let the kids enjoy the park with a tricycle track, jungle gyms and rock climbing. R20 per person per ride. Contact: Tel 021 434 4297. Email: [email protected]

Iziko Museums, Cape Town

One of the major perks of living in Cape Town is that both the South African Museum and the South African National Gallery are conveniently situated in the City Bowl, around the Company’s Gardens. The Museum and the Gallery – both falling under South Africa’s national heritage institution Iziko – are ideal for a more peaceful, contemplative family day-out. The Museum boasts everything from dinosaur fossils to rock art. The National Gallery houses an impressive range of contemporary artworks, traditional beadwork and textiles and is ideal for the culture vultures in your family. Entry to the South African Museum costs R15 for Kids (aged 6 to 18 years) and R30 for adults. Kids under 5 get in for free. A Family Ticket for two adults and two children costs R75. The same prices apply for the South African National Gallery. Contact: Tel 021 481 3800, email [email protected],

Butterfly World, Klapmuts

Take a drive out of Cape Town on the N1 to Butterfly World, where you will find a fluttery paradise with butterflies from all over the world. When the kids get bored of the beautiful flying insects, there are meerkats, ducks, goats and chickens to look at. Along with iguanas, scorpions and spiders. Adults – R72, Kids – R41. Contact: Tel 021 875 5628, email [email protected],

Oude Molen Eco Village, Pinelands

I met one of my mommy friends here recently and was quite impressed with The Playshed. The kids (make that screaming kids) were having a ball on the jungle gym and zipping down slides, while we enjoyed a cup of coffee and a toasted sandwich. There are magazines on the tables so moms can take some time out and the food is very reasonably priced. Afterwards we took the kids for a pony ride which was a highlight (and at R10 a ride, well worth it!) Children will love this place – apart from pony or horse rides and The Playshed, there are chickens and dogs too. It’s like a little farm in the middle of the city. If you don’t fancy eating in the Playshed, there’s also a separate restaurant. Contact: Tel 021 801 0141/2, email [email protected],

Cape Town Science Centre, Observatory

For indoor family fun, the Cape Town Science Centre in Observatory is a great place to indulge your kid’s inner nerd. The Centre’s exhibits are are both mind-bogglingly cool and informative. Who says the holidays can’t be educational? During the holidays they have hands-on workshops, science shows, family bingo evenings and even cool stuff just for moms. The SciCafe has a basic menu of filling and healthy options. There’s also free Wi-Fi. Entry to the Science Centre costs R50 a person. Contact: Tel 021 300 3200, email [email protected],

The Giraffe House, Stellenbosch

The Giraffe House in Stellenbosch provides easy access to certain species of wildlife and birds, including giraffe, eland, impala, zebra, springbok, monkeys, owls, storks, parrots, ducks, geese and more. They host animal-themed parties, educational programmes, snake encounters, a play area and bicycle track. There is no restaurant on the premises, but a refreshment kiosk supplies snacks and something to drink. Visitors are welcome to bring a picnic basket (please adhere to their no-alcohol policy). Open daily from 09:00 to 17:00. Read about my experience at The Giraffe House. From R30 a child, and from R50 an adult. Please bring cash as there are no card facilities. Contact: Tel 021 884 4506, email [email protected],




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