It's holiday season again, and if you're stuck wondering how to keep both your teen and toddler happy, we have rounded up some fun ways to spend your time in Joburg this Christmas holidays.
FESTIVE FUN AT JOBURG MARKETS AND MALLSTHU DEC 21
ROSEBANK SUNDAY MARKET
One of Joburg's biggest and best weekend markets with hundreds of stalls selling all manner of crafts, clothing and vintage bric-a-brac plus an array of tasty food stalls. This is also the perfect family market with a dedicated children's play area with jumping castle, face painting and crafting tables. The Sunday market for 2017 is happening on Sunday December 17 and there's also a special Christmas night market edition on Thursday December 21.
TUE DEC 19
FAMILY DAY AND MOONLIGHT MARKET IN BRYANSTON
Marking the Reconciliation Day public holiday Bryanston Organic Market presents a special Family Day on Sat Dec 16 with loads of fun arts and crafts activities for kids to take part in including candle making, ceramic painting and wood crafting plus a Christmas carol concert at 11:00. The last Bryanston Organic Market for 2017 is a moonlight night market edition on Tue Dec 19.
UNTIL DEC 24
SHIMMER AND SHINE AT NELSON MANDELA SQUARE
The lovable genies-in-training Shimmer and Shine come to the Nelson Mandela Square for daily shows until Christmas Eve. Based on the popular Nickelodeon series Shimmer and Shine, cheer along the twins as they learn to manage their powers, get into all sorts of magical messes and grant their best friend’s wishes.
UNTIL DEC 24
SANTA'S WORKSHOP AT ROSEBANK MALL
Take advantage of the extended shopping hours at Rosebank Mall in the run up to Christmas this December. As well as a gift wrapping service the mall is also hosting a festive Santa's Workshop with fun crafting and art activities and other entertainment for kids.
UNTIL DEC 23
THE BEACH AT MALL OF AFRICA
Take some time out of the shopping frezny at Shoppers at Mall of Africa's pop up artificial beach which has been installed in the piazza facing the mall especially for the festive season. There's plenty of entertainment for young and old including waterslides, volleyball, bouncing castles, paddle boats and little kiddies train ride. The beach is open Wed-Sun 10:00-18:00.
FAMILY FRIENDLY THEATREUNTIL DEC 23
WACKY RHYMING FUN AT THE NATIONAL CHILDREN’S THEATRE
A classic Christmas tale gets given a zany twist with the National Children’s Theatre’s A Seussified Christmas Carol. Written by American juggler, musician and playwright Peter Bloedel, the play reinvents the classic tale in rhyming couplets (perfect for the younger kids) reminiscent of the unconventional rhymes of Dr Seuss. Showing until Dec 23.
UNTIL DEC 30
Follow the adventures of the wooden puppet who wants to become a real boy in award-winning scriptwriter Janice Honeyman’s festive pantomime. With the most fantastic costumes, elaborate larger-than-life sets and a script filled with humour that will appeal to both kids and adults, this festive production is a guaranteed hit suitable for the entire family. Showing at Joburg Theatre until Dec 30.
UNTIL JAN 6
CINDERELLA ON ICE
Treat the kids to this awe-inspiring new presentation of the classic fairytale Cinderella performed by Russia's Imperial Ice Stars at the Teatro at Montecasino which promises incredible stunts, stunning costumes and lots of special effects.
ACTION AND SPORTSAERIAL ESCAPADES AT ACROBRANCH
Kids can burn off the excess energy and test their skills and stomachs for heights by zip lining from tree to tree and climbing across rugged woodland at Acrobranch’s aerial adventure playgrounds. Find Acrobranch at James and Ethel Gray Park in Melrose or at Huddle Park.
SPIDERMAN FUN AT BOUNCE
Crazy trampoline fun for both kids and adults. Bounce off the walls, practise your flips and generally unleash your inner Spiderman on more than 100 interconnected trampolines in the giant Bounce warehouse.
ROLLERCOASTERS AND THRILLS AT GOLD REEF CITY
Gauteng's leading theme park is open throughout the holidays and you'd be hard-pressed to find a better place to keep surly teenagers amused. Extreme rides like the Anaconda, Jozi Express and Tower of Terror are for the brave, and for toddlers there's the option of a gentle train ride around the park with a soft-serve ice cream in hand.
Catering for super active kids from 5 to 75 years old Jozi X offers loads of physical fun for fans of extreme adventures. There's mountain boarding, a slackline park, big wheel trike drifting, a parkour gymnasium and the star attraction, an extreme wipeout course.
COOL OFF AT THE ZOO LAKE SWIMMING POOL
The historic Zoo Lake Swimming Bath is a local favourite. The main pool is 30 metres square and there's also a small kiddies splash pool. Arrive arrive early to mark out your picnic spot on the grassy area overlooking the pool or if the sun is blazing you'll find shade on the bleachers.
DAY TRIPSA DAY AT THE ZOO
Both Joburg Zoo and Pretoria Zoo are open for the holidays and budding conservationists can even visit on the public holidays. With over 2000 animals in residence, start the day at Joburg Zoo and end off with a picnic at Zoo Lake across the road.
EXPLORE THE CITY WITH THE JOBURG CITY SIGHTSEEING BUS
See the city from the top of the open-top, hop-on hop-off City Sightseeing bus. There are two connected routes making 14 stops in downtown Joburg and the leafy northern suburbs of Saxonwold, plus a whistle-stop Soweto mini-bus tour link. Kids get discounted tickets plus their own child-friendly commentary and a special kid's activity book to keep them amused. Among the most interesting stops for kids are the Gold Reef City amusement park (see above) and the hands-on science museum Sci-Bono Discovery Centre in Newtown.
DISCOVER YOUR ORIGINS AT MAROPENG
The extensive exhibition at the Maropeng visitor's centre in the UNESCO protected Cradle of Humankind takes an interactive approach to the history of life as we know it from the big bang to the present day. A visit starts with a fun boat ride through the ages before you enter the museum proper where there are plenty of interactive and educational displays. Combine a visit with a tour of the Sterkfontein Caves.