50 things to do with your kids in Johannesburg

If your kids are anything like mine, they love to get out and about.  With these long school holidays we can all get a bit of cabin-fever being at home, and early January in Johannesburg is the best time to explore – it’s quiet! I’ve put together a comprehensive list of fun places to go, things to do and see with your kids in Johannesburg – no more excuses to be bored at home!

In no particular order, here is a list of 50 fun places to explore with your family in Johannesburg:

  1. Linden Public Pool: No pool at home to cool off? No problem. The Linden Swimming pool is both heated and covered (open ALL year round) – corner 11th Street and Fourth Avenue, Linden Central – R12 per adult and R6 per child.

    Linden Pool
    Photograph by Affricanalien
  2.  Maggies Farm – Home of the Chicken Pie:  On Malibongwe Road, just past Lanseria, is this little gem of a place.  With delicious homemade pies and meals on offer, this relaxed atmosphere is perfect to take the kids to. They can walk around the little dam feeding ducks and chickens and play on the jungle gyms.

    Home of the Chicken Pie FB Page 2
    Photographs from Maggies Farm – Home of the Chicken Pie Facebook page
  3. French Toast Koffie Kafee – Hartbeestpoort Dam: Take a drive out to Harties for breakfast and experience a small slice of Paris.  Bring along a lock to put on the bridge to ‘seal your love forever’ – a wonderful day outing!

    French Toast 1
    Photograph from the French Toast Koffie Kafee page
  4. Lonehill Nature Reserve: Open from 6am with no entrance fee, this is the perfect spot to go fishing. Bordering the Lonehill Shopping Centre, the Reserve is also the perfect place to walk the dogs, or have a picnic in the play park if you don’t feel like fishing. Oli and Dyl have caught some decent sized carp and barbel here. Fishing Lonehill
  5. Emmarentia Dam: Enjoy the vast array of birdlife  with a picnic, and take along some stale bread crusts to feed the ducks that gather at the water’s edge.  No entrance fee to get in!

    Photograph from www.joburg.co.za
  6. Adventure Golf: Enjoy a round of Adventure Golf at either Brightwater Commons, Fourways Mall or Stoneridge.  R90 for adults, R75 for scholars and under 7’s & pensioners pay R60.

    Photograph from www.adventuregolf.co.za
  7. Mashie Golf at The Campus:  If you have a budding golfer you can try out the mashie golf  course at The Dimension Data Campus, cnr Main Road & Sloane in Bryanston for R50 – open during the week and weekends.
  8. PwC Bike Park:  Situated in the heart of Bryanston this is perfect place to take your kids to learn to ride! There are some fantastic junior tracks (all kids need to wear a helmet – you can rent one there if you don’t have your own) for them to ride and jumping castles, water slides and jungle gyms to play on. Under 15 riders pay R60, Adult riders pay R80, and as a spectator you pay to enter.PWC Bike Park 1
  9. Jozi X: Opposite the bike park in Bryanston, this is the perfect place to take an older adventurer (5 and up) for a day of outdoor obstacles on giant inflatables and fun! Wednesday – Friday R100pp, Saturday – Sunday R120pp ages 5 and up.

    Jozi X 2
    Photograph from www.jozix.co.za
  10. Gold Reef City: With the introduction of Jump City (indoor trampoline arena) this theme park really has it all. Rollercoasters, water rides, trains, ferris wheels, gold panning, a 4D Theatre Experience and more, plan to take the family for an all-day outing. Thrill Rider (above 1.3m) R210, Non-Rider (above 1.3m) R120, R130 under 1.3m, R175 for students (with student card), children under 3 enter free & Family tickets available.
  11. Hop On Hop Off Bus: For the best way to tour Johannesburg, explore the city centre and various heritage sites from an open top red bus! Check out www.sightseeingseeing.co.za for various packages and options.

    Photograph from www.gauteng.net
  12. Zoo Lake: Rent a rowing boat from the Lions Club next to Moyo and take a leisurely row around the lake, or even better, pack a picnic basket to enjoy while out on the water! R10 per adult per hour; R7.50 per child (Under 14) per hour and a minimum charge of R15 per boat (2017 prices). Boats 1
  13. Irene Dairy Farm in Centurion: A well-known family friendly restaurant at the Farm to take the kids, The Barn, offers amazing meals with a fun playground for the kids where they can play on the old tractors, see farm animals and have the freedom and space to run around. Important to note, it’s a cash-free environment.

    Irene Dairy Farm
    Photograph from Irene Dairy Farm Facebook page
  14. Rand Society of Model Engineers:  open on the 1st & 3rd Sunday of every month, the kids and family can enjoy train rides on the mini steam train. Rides cost R10 pp per ride. Cnr Louis Botha Ave and Golf Club Terrace, Florida Park, Roodepoort.

    Trains Jozi Kids
    Photograph from www.jozikids.co.za
  15. Lanseria Airport:  Have a little one that loves airplanes? Take the kids for a milkshake at Wiesenhof Restaurant out on the open viewing deck at Lanseria and watch all the departures and arrivals.
  16. GoG Lifestyle Park. Newish to Johannesburg, this outdoor adventure park has an amazing spray park, trampolines, play parks, pedal go-karts, inflatables and more. Entrance is R150 for adults and kids, with kids under 4 entering for free. You can even take your own picnic basket in, just no glass or drinks. Only thing they don’t have, which hopefully in the near future they will, is lockers for your personal belongings while you’re in the water with your children! Plot 126, Nooitgedacht (Old R114), Krugersdorp.

    GoG Lifestyle Park
    Photograph from the GoG Lifestyle Park Facebook page
  17. Movies:  If you have Discovery Vitality your child can watch movies for free everyday at Ster-Kinekor Cinemas (under the age of 18) until 7pm, and adults get a discounted rate! Check out more details here.
  18. Build a Bear Workshop:  Take your children to go and create their own stuffed toy, customised to their liking with clothes and accessories to purchase as well as something to go in it – you can choose between a scent, a beating heart or even a voice activator! A one-of-a-kind gift! Available at Toy Kingdom in Centurion Mall, East Rand Mall, Menlyn Park & Sandton City.Build-A-Bear
  19. Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens:  Take a picnic and go and enjoy the magnificent waterfall from the picturesque gardens, spotting some endangered black eagles that nest at the falls if you are lucky!  There’s a fun play park there with a tunnel and a shop selling snacks and ice-creams, a restaurant and a nursery. Fees: Adults R30, Scholars R15 and children under 6 are free (2017 prices, note that prices increase if there are events) Botanical Gardens 2
  20. Delta Park: Take the kids to ride their bikes along the Braamfontein Spruit and then have a delicious breakfast at Delta Café.  On the other end of the park is a gorgeous play park where you can even host your child’s birthday party, free of charge!

    Delta Park 3

  21. Mushroom Farm Park: Set in heart of Sandton, this well-maintained park is equipped with a wonderful children’s play area, an earth garden, amphitheatre, giant balloon riding facility, outdoor gym and duck pond.  No entrance fee.

    Mushroom Farm Park
    Photograph from www.joburg.co.za
  22. Field Berry Farm:  Situated in Walkerville,  Johannesburg South, the raspberry farm is open for public picking from 6 January 2018 (while the season lasts) this is one activity not to miss out on!  Our kids had the most amazing time selecting luscious red berries and walked off with buckets full!  Delicious Prego’s and raspberry smoothies are on offer to enjoy on the hay bales as well as frozen berries to take home. Entrance fee is R40 for adults, R30 for children and you pay for the berries you pick when you weigh them.

    Field Berry Farm 3

  23. Bon-Af-Berry-Farm: About 95km from Johannesburg next to the N1, just before the Kroonvaal Toll Plaza, lies the beautiful berry farm.  You can go for a guided tour of the  farm where you can pick gooseberries, raspberries, blackberries, blackcurrants, blueberries, elderberries and more to take home (season runs from end Nov to end March) – open throughout the week and weekend! There’s also a lovely tea garden to eat at which is famous for it’s berry cheesecake.

    Photograph from Bon-Af Berry Farm
  24. The Wits Planetarium: Discover the stars, planets and galaxies of our universe through a 60-minute show. Public shows for the year start again in February 2018 – check out the schedule here – from ages 5 and up.  You can also host a birthday party here. The planetarium can be found at University of the Witwatersrand,  Yale Road, East Campus, Braamfontein. Entrance fees: Adults R50, Children and Scholars R30 – family packages are available (2017 prices).
  25. Sci-Bono Discovery Centre: By far the coolest Science Museum in Johannesburg! Bring the kids to discover more than 350 hands-on maths, science and tecnology exhibits. Great place to visit when you need to be indoors! Entrance fees:  Older than 16 – R48, Children 3-16 R32, Children under 3 are free (2017 prices). Corner of Miriam Makeba & Helen Jospeph Streets, Newtown.

    Photograph from www.sci-bono.co.za
  26. Bambanani: Situated in Melville, this is a real gem for exhausted parents! Relax with a good cup of coffee or a meal while your children can play and craft under the watchful eyes of experienced child-minders. A calendar of events can be found here, so you can decide when to take your children. Closed on Mondays.

    Photograph from www.jozikids.co.za
  27. The Magic Company Ten Pin Bowling arena: situated in Montecasino – a fun outing for the family, bowling shoes are provided and snacks and refreshments are available to purchase. R55 a game.
  28. Tree Top Adventures: Situated at the corner of R511 and Erling Road, Fourways, your kids will have a blast on the obstacle courses up in the trees! From ages 3 and up there are age-specific courses to enjoy.

    Tree Top
    Photograph from the Tree Top Adventures Facebook page
  29. Alliepad Alpakkas – situated in Magaliesburg, this Alpaca farm is open by arrangement (weekdays) for groups of 10 or more for R50.00 pp. Take a 2-hour Alpaca Fiber Tour of the farm, feed the alpacas and purchase handcrafted artisan fibre products.

    Alliepad Alpakkas
    Photograph from Alliepad Alpakkas Facebook page
  30. National Children’s Theatre – check out their website here to look for new plays advertised – they ran a wonderful Christmas play over December called ‘A Seussified Christmas Carol’. The theatre is situated in Parktown.
  31. Lion and Rhino Park: The park can be found at 520 Kromdraai Road, Kromdraai in
    Krugersdorp. This is self-drive park, where you can find in the Reserve more than 30 different species of animals from buffalo, white rhino, zebra, eland, wildebeest, springbok, ostrich to lion, tiger, leopard, hyena, wild dog and many more. There are three different restaurants to choose from, but sitting at The Neck & Deck you’ll see and can feed the tame giraffe (something my kids loved). There’s an animal crèche, Wondercave and play park for the kids, as well as 4×4 routes. For the entrance fee schedule, click here. Rhino & Lion Park
  32. iJump – A fabulous indoor trampoline arena in Strubensvalley, The Glen and East Rand Mall, the kids will burn off loads of energy here (good rainy-day option). From ages 2 and up. For pricing click here, grip socks are for purchase at R20. iJump 1
  33. Johannesburg Zoo – A must see! Well-run with loads to do besides from just seeing the animals – there’s rides galore and a great play park for the kids. Look out for the Zoo Trot throughout the year, a fun walk/run through the zoo that you can do with the kids. Entrance fees: R80 Adults, R50 Kids 3-12.
  34. Lory Park Zoo – A small, privately run zoo in Midrand, our kids loved their visit here (even after Soph got attacked by a bird). Entrance fees: R100 per adult and R70 for children over 2.
  35. Montecasino Bird Gardens:  There’s more than just birds here – and big pram-friendly walkways within beautiful gardens. In the walk-through Aviary you’ll find over 60 species of birds. The bird shows run on weekdays from 11h00 and 15h00 and weekends from 11h00, 13h00 and 15h00 (each show is 30 minutes long).  Enjoy breakfast or lunch at the Flamingo Café which has a nice playground for the kids.
  36. Mall of Africa – More than just another shopping mall, there are fun water fountains at Town Square to enjoy as well as an amazing play park modelled on a shongololo. The Hamley Express (free-standing mini steam train) is stationed outside Hamleys and offers rides for R25 pp. It runs from 10am – 7pm everyday, starting at the store on weekdays and at the park on the weekend. Tickets can be bought directly from the Hamleys store, at the information kiosk on the upper level or from the friendly train driver.
  37. The Ski Deck (Randburg): I only discovered this recently! Kids can sit on a plastic bumboard enjoying a ride down the ski slope just like they would on actual snow. There’s also a trampoline, zip line and jungle gym all in an enclosed garden area where you can bring a picnic basket in, so parents can sit back and relax! For ‘casual’ (ie. not part of a party) bumboarding, it’s open Monday – Friday at R100pp for 2 hours of fun.  

    Photograph from The Ski Deck Facebook page
  38. Lifestyle Garden Centre:  The most wonderful garden centre on the corner of Beyers Naude & Ysterhout in Randpark Ridge, we visit just about every weekend! Besides from having a Westpak, it also has a pet shop, the garden centre, Readers Warehouse, kids toys and clothes, the Silver Birch Restaurant, a Gourmet Market, Primi Piatti and more!  There are rides for the kids, go-karts and an amazing play area.
  39. Artjamming –  Looking to give your kids a creative outlet and a bit of messy fun? Head over to Artjamming in Melrose Arch  – they also have Messy Play classes for the littlies from 8 months – 3 years. Call them on 011-684-1608 to book.

    Photograph from www.artjamming.co.za
  40. Roll Egoli: A 1000 square metre, all-weather skating rink – plan a fun outing to Roll Egoli in Bryanston with the family – socks, skates, skating frame all for hire/purchase.  Click here to see prices and sessions. There’s also a zipline, jungle gym and trampoline for those that don’t want to skate.
  41. Croc City & Reptile Park: Plan to go in time for the tour, it’s well worth it.  Hold baby crocodiles, spiders and snakes and learn all about these animals.  There’s a restaurant, loads of tortoises roaming around the grounds and an amazing play ground.  For the adventurous, there’s a Croc FlyOver experience (you zipline 5m over three different crocodile enclosures!).  Entrance fees: R80 for Adults, R60 for Kids.
  42. Northgate Ice Rink: Take the kids to experience the ice! Entrance fees: Admission  R75, skate hire  R35 (2017 prices). Skating frame available to hire for the kids – remember to dress warmly! IMG_6309
  43. Ditsong National Museum of Military History: We went to a birthday party there a few years ago and it was absolutely fantastic.  It borders the Johannesburg Zoo in Saxonwold, and holds a collection of over 44 000 items from both world wars and the civil war against Apartheid. The kids will love seeing the tanks and planes. Entrance fees: Adults R35, Kids R25. Military Museum
  44. Tres Jolie: Situated in Ruimsig, this is kiddies paradise!  They have everything from sand art, face painting, jumping castles to camel rides, horse rides, swings and mechanical rides, farm animals to feed and more! Go for breakfast or lunch – book on 011 026 0153, it gets really busy!
  45. Glitter Factory at Freerange Lifestyle Centre:  Enjoy a cup of delicious coffee at State 5 while your little ones paint and create at the Glitter Factory – various items on offer to paint, glue and glitter, the kids will have a ball and have a special creation to take home.
  46. Junior Traffic Department- A hidden gem, it can be found in Martha Road, Fontainebleau. We discovered this place after being invited to a party there and the kids had such fun!  Kids can learn the rules of the road with working robots and road signs, and ride their bikes in a safe environment – and even more amazing, it’s FREE!
  47. Antonnio’s Italian Kitchen: Situated in the Lonehill Shopping Centre, we had Oli’s 4th birthday party here – what a fun place for kids!  There’s a bike track with a bridge and balance bikes, a soccer ‘field’ and nets, ginormous jungle gym and water fountains for the kids to play in – all while Mom and Dad enjoy a tasty meal (there are some lovely child minders!).
  48. The Fat Olive Country Restaurant: You can enjoy a phenomenal meal in the Lanseria area, while the kids can explore and run around the fields. There are loads of jungle gyms and jumping castles, with free access to the animal farmyard featuring cows, miniature ponies, potbelly pigs, sheep, goats, guinea pigs, rabbits and chickens.  In the warmer weather the kids can enjoy water slides or canoe on the dam!
  49. Papachinos – This popular franchise of family friendly restaurants can be found across Johannesburg, although we tend to go to the Clearwater one.  There’s a yummy menu to choose from, a Kids Emporium to shop at, a Maddy Magoo’s to have your kid’s hair cut or for a pamper party for little girls, and of course an amazing play ground for the kids with child minders. With the addition of mist sprays, it’s just got a whole lot cooler!

    Photograph from www.papachinos.co.za
  50. Ri’Stretto: Based in Morningside, this is an amazing family friendly restaurant – wonderful for any meal, but if you go on a Monday you get a free meal per child attending with an adult! Besides a fabulous play ground, kids can also make their own pizzas!
Photograph from www.ristretto.co.za


Who can complain that there’s nothing to do with your kids in Johannesburg now? If you have any fun suggestions of places you’ve discovered, let me know in the comments section and we can build this list! Have fun!


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