I’ve always perceived Johannesburg to be a bit of a concrete jungle – no wonder everyone living there would always run to the coastal towns when holiday season arrived. Now imagine my shock and disbelief when it was decided that we would be taking a family trip to Johannesburg for the December holidays. As expected, my very first question was; what are going to do there?! Alas, contrary to popular belief, there are quite a few family friendly things to do in Johannesburg.
Family Friendly Things to Do in Johannesburg
Gold Reef City
And of course right at the top of my list of fun things to do in Johannesburg for families is the ever popular Gold Reef City. With 8 thrilling rides, 13 dedicated kids rides, Jump City Trampoline Park, the only true underground mine tour in Johannesburg, 12 dining options, multiple retail stores, plus 15 other attractions all set against a gold rush era setting – what’s not to love! This was hands down the best experience of our Johannesburg family trip. We literally stayed from opening time to way past closing time and enjoyed everything on offer at the theme park from the rides to the various theme park games and the restaurant. Some of our favourite rides included the Golden Loop, Jozi Express, Log Ride and the Raging River Rapids. Our 4 year old literally loved every single kiddies ride – and might I add, he went on every single one of them! Plus, as an added bonus my husband received free entry because it was his birthday on the day of our visit.
www.goldreefcity.co.za | +27 011 248 5000
Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden
One of the best outdoor things to do in Johannesburg is a day trip to the Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden. The tranquil garden has a variety of picnic setting options and even a lovely play area for the kids right opposite the on-site restaurant. The Garden and nature reserve is home to a variety of wildlife with about 240 bird species recorded on site. A breeding pair of Verreaux’s Eagles nest on the cliffs near the waterfall. The Waterfall View Walk starts just above the Bird and Butterfly Garden, below the Garden offices and leads behind the restaurant, offering a spectacular view of the majestic waterfall. This area consists of many tree species and thick vegetation. Visitors can relax and take in the view on benches near the Waterfall. Unfortunately no picnics are allowed at the area surrounding the waterfall as the grass in the area would be unable to withstand the wear and tear – 14000 pairs of feet walk through there every month so I’m sure one can understand the reasoning behind it. All in all this is without a doubt one of the best family outings in Gauteng.
www.sanbi.org | +27 086 100 1278
Blueberry Square Shopping Centre
A major portion of the old Honeydew Shopping Centre was demolished to make way for Blueberry Square. Situated along Blueberry Road, just off Beyers Naudé; Blueberry Square has extensive visibility from passing vehicles and is ideally positioned next to Eagle Canyon Golf Estate. Blueberry Beacon is a family restaurant with an amazing kiddies menu and great burgers, pizza and a very nice drinks menu for the parents. Both Fishmonger and Blueberry Beacon restaurants overlook and have access to an incredible kids playground area, there’s even very friendly and helpful childminders to attend to your children. So you can actually enjoy your meal in peace while being in full view of your kids. This amazing restaurant is the epitome of one of the most family friendly things to do in Johannesburg. The playground has two four-story jungle gyms fully equipped with slides, push bikes and raceways, swings and rides. Our little one didn’t want to leave!
Contact: +27 84 628 6496
Book a Family Friendly Johannesburg Airbnb
Nothing will put your minds more at ease on your family Joburg holiday than booking child-friendly accommodation. We chose our Johannesburg accommodation from the many options on Airbnb. It had 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a very spacious lounge, dining and kitchen area and the best of all was the big swimming pool and Jacuzzi in the serene garden. We could also watch the Jozi sunset from the front porch which had a beautiful view of the hill and surrounding neighbourhood. The house also had uncapped WiFi and a smart TV which came in handy for when the little one was tired playing outside!