The 10 best?.?.?.activities for the school holidays

2013-07-07 14:00

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With the winter break in full swing, Smangaliso Ngwenya and Gayle Edmunds recommend a few ideas to keep your little monsters out of trouble.

1Winter Wonderland. Corner Northern Parkway and Data Crescent, Ormonde, Joburg:

The Gold Reef City theme park has set up a fantastic ice and snow land, featuring a high-speed 28m-long ice slide, a 6m-high ice climbing wall, a snow playing area and a real snow ramp.

This wonderland is a guaranteed way to make your child long for cold weather every year.

»?Entrance is included in the entrance fee to the theme park (R165 or R100 for children shorter than 1.3m)

»?When: 10am to 4.45pm daily

2Sci-Bono. Corner of Miriam Makeba and President streets, Joburg:

This discovery centre presents a great opportunity for your child to enjoy fun, educational knowledge about many aspects in general science.

It includes a unique dissection of a shark, the exploration of the human body and a science show.

The miracles of science shown practically

This will enhance your child’s scientific knowledge without it feeling like school.

»?Entrance fee: R20 for adults and R10 for children (an extra R10 to R30 may be required for workshops)

»?When: 9am to 4.30pm daily

3Pretoria Zoo. 232 Boom Street, Pretoria:

It’s always worthwhile visiting the largest zoo in South Africa, with a selection of 7?000 animals, reptiles, fish and birds to study and admire.

Moreover, there are great ways to get around the big complex, such as the cableway, which is bound to rocket your child’s excitement levels.

A day with our fellow earthlings

»?Entrance fee: R55 for adults, R35 for children aged two to 15. R22 for school groups (Mondays to Wednesdays) and R30 (Thursdays to Fridays)

»?When: 8.30am to 5.30pm (last ticket sold at 4.30pm)

4Serendipity. 48 Keyes Avenue, Rosebank, Joburg:

This place is a magical escape, overflowing with fun-filled activities such as baking, a variety of arts and crafts activities, story time to keep your child giggling with pleasure, and a gift shop that will transform your child into their favourite character.

A hidden slice of heaven for kids

»?Entrance fee: R45 for the first child, R40 for the second and R30 for the rest

»?When: 9am to 5pm daily

5Cradle of Humankind. R563 Hekpoort Road, Sterkfontein, Krugersdorp, Gauteng:

One of eight heritage sites in South Africa, it offers activities such as fly-fishing, game drives, hot air balloon rides, and a rhino and lion natural reserve.

It also has the Lesedi Cultural Village and the Maropeng Visitor Centre, which showcase African cultures and traditions.

The Wonder Cave is sure to excite your child’s sense of wonder.

»?Entrance fee: R175 for adults, R102 for children, children under four enter for free

»?When: 8am to 3.55pm daily

6Wits Planetarium. Wits University, Yale Road, Braamfontein, Joburg:

The planetarium casts a wide lens on to the constellations, the star signs and the movement of the moon in relation to Earth.

It provides an amazing outlook on astronomy that will keep your child gasping endlessly.

»?Entrance fee: R20 for children and students, and R32 for adults

»?When: Daily except Sundays. Check show times

7Fun World Amusement Park. OR Tambo Parade (opposite Marine Parade Holiday Inn), Durban:

The amusement park is conveniently situated on Durban’s beachfront and provides great entertainment that kids of all ages can enjoy.

There are a variety of fun rides, as well as a cable car that will take you up to enjoy a bird’s eye view of the beach – if only for a second.

There’s fun to be had in the paddling pools too, if the weather obliges.

»?Entrance fee:Free, but individual rides require payment

»?When: 9am to 5pm daily

8The Iziko Museum, 25 Queen Street, Cape Town:

The African Dinosaurs exhibition is enough to keep young palaeontologists entertained for hours.

The Jobaria and Suchomimus skeletons are hugely impressive and it’s a part of Earth’s prehistory we seldom revisit.

Kids love this exhibition because it’s interactive and they can run around exploring to their hearts’ content (and there are benches for tired parents too).

»?Entrance fee: R15 for adults and R7.50 for children

»?When: 10am to 5pm daily

9Honk Jr! National Children’s Theatre, 3 Junction Avenue, Parktown, Joburg:

This children’s show is a delightful retelling of Hans Christian Anderson’s The Ugly Duckling.

Clever costumes, ingenious use of intimate space, plenty of songs and a cast of enthusiastic players make this a fun outing.

The good news is adults will love it too.

It’s impossible not to be drawn into the tale of the poor duckling who says “honk” instead of “quack” and embarks on a journey of self-enlightenment.

»?Entrance fee: Chairs R110, cushions R90

10The Minions tour:

Despicable Me 2 has arrived and the minions are on tour.

Children love the minions more than the movie in some cases. You can catch Jorge and Stuart at the following places:

»?Today at Nu Metro Key (9.30am to 11am), Nu Metro Clearwater (12pm to 1.30pm) and Ster-Kinekor Cresta (2.30pm to 4pm). Then on Tuesday, July 9, they will be at Ster-Kinekor Southgate (1pm to 4.30pm) and at Nu Metro Emperors Palace (3.15pm to 5.45pm); and from Thursday July 11 to Saturday July 13, they’ll be at Sun City

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