School holidays family fun in Joburg

06 Jul 2023
It’s school holidays and if you’re looking for ways to keep your kids busy, we have rounded up some fun ways to spend the days. From easy-going markets and exploring historic sites, to thrilling rides and activities to get the adrenaline up, there's plenty of great things to do during the July break. Also, be sure to check out how to be a cool Joburg parent for more ideas. 

Explore the city 

A guided tour of the notorious Number 4 prison block at Constitution Hill. Photo Kemiso Wessie. 

Make it an educational day out and take the teens to pay a visit to one of Joburg's most important heritage landmarks, Constitution Hill. Take a tour of the Constitutional Court and learn about Nelson Mandela's time in prison at the Mandela's Cell exhibition, then end off the day with lunch at Food I Love You, which forms part of the Old Fort and prison complex.


Pretoria views from Schanskop Fort on a hike at the Voortrekker Monument. Photo: The Voortrekker Monument and Museum.

Joburg is among the world’s most treed cities, and within city limits there is no shortage of scenic green spaces to take a stroll. For long walks and hikes, take a short drive out of the city into the surrounding countryside where you can find private nature reserves crisscrossed by hiking trails that promise plenty of interesting fauna and flora and wonderful views, all within an easy day-tripping distance. Over the years we've made it our mission to get out and hike Gauteng, and we always have our eyes and ears open for new trails to try out, so check out our list of tried and tested trails suitable for the whole family. 


Johannesburg City Sightseeing Bus. Photo: City Sightseeing. 

See the city in a new way on the open-top, hop-on, hop-off bus. Explore Johannesburg along beloved routes through leafy suburbs to the inner city. There are also brand-new routes and stops taking you through Joburg. The Red route takes a circular path around the city centre and the south of the city, starting at Constitution Hill. The Purple route is a vibrant Soweto extension tour starting and ending at Gold Reef City with stops at the township's must-see sights. Stops on the Green route include the Johannesburg Zoo and tranquil Zoo LakeDitsong National Museum of Military History and the Nelson Mandela Foundation in Houghton. Kids even get their own fun activity pack to keep them occupied on the bus between stops.

Family-friendly theatre, markets and food 

Seussical The Musical Jnr at The People's Theatre. Photo: The People's Theatre.

This production recognises the personhood of small ones thoughtfully, professionally, and with colour and fun at Braamfontein's Joburg Theatre. In time for the school holidays, grab your small people (leave the tiny ones at home as they only allow kids aged three years and older to attend) and let them be enchanted by a magical musical production of Dr Seuss rhymes. The interactive musical theatre includes a cast from Johannesburg’s primary schools who do a remarkable dancing, singing and acting job to bring the story alive. The show runs until Sat, Jul 30. Show times for school groups are Tues – Fri at 09:00 and 11:00. Show times for the public are 10:30 and 14:30 on weekends and school holidays


Spend some quality family time at the Bryanston Market. Photo: Bryanston Market.

Shop for organic goods, arts and crafts, and health and wellness products at Joburg's original outdoor market, the Bryanston Market, or head to Fourways Farmers Market in Modderfontein from Fri – Sun, and browse a variety of exciting food stalls. Luckily we've got the lowdown on what to eat at the market, or find a new treasure from clothing to cute crafts. Meanwhile, at Rosebank Sunday Market the little ones will love the free Kids' Zone. 


PlaYard at Herb Land. Photo: Kate Liquorish. 

Herb Land is a wonderland of herbs and flora along Summit Road in Bridle Park, Midrand, where kids big and small are encouraged to run around, explore and even pick herbs and flowers from the gardens. It’s located on a sprawling property with rose gardens, water features and multiple paths and mazes. 

The kids will love the huge outdoor activity area called PlaYard with enormous jungle gyms, slides and swings, as well as sandpits, miniature houses and a vast range of other indoor and outdoor entertainment. There are private party pods you can rent out along with an entire barn for bigger events. Be sure to visit the on-site café, Herb Café, for some sweet treats. Think crisp Belgian waffles with lashings of ice-cream, strawberries and chocolate, and farm-style pancakes with cinnamon-sugar and cream. This is a sweet-tooth sanctuary where you can have your cake and eat it in the garden, too. Herb Land is a gem that’s not so much hidden as it is undiscovered.

Thrills and adventures for all 

Thrilling times at the Ultimate Battlezone Adventure. Photo: Johannesburg In Your Pocket. 
Join the Ultimate Battle Zone Adventure at Bedford Centre these school holidays – and get ready for an exhilarating experience where kids can be transported to a world of epic battles. Open every day until Mon, Jul 17, it's a chance for the young (and not-so-young!) to enjoy games including airsoft, archery tag, nerf wars, and awesome virtual reality games. This adventure combines strategy, teamwork and loads of excitement, so put your skills to the test to succeed. Whether you prefer team battles or going solo, you can compete in a way that suits you.

Acrobranch, Melrose. Photo: Acrobranch.

Test your skills and your stomach for heights by zip lining from tree to tree and climbing across rugged woodland at one of Acrobranch's aerial adventure playgrounds at Huddle ParkMelrose, Modderfontein or Centurion. There are courses for all levels and ages including toddlers. The Acro-twigs course is perfect for the younger kids (ideal for ages three to six years old) with various obstacles including rope bridges, while the Monkey Moves course, aimed at beginners, is suitable for slightly older children with height steadily increasing over the course and reaching a peak of up to five metres above the ground. Online booking is recommended. 


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.


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