The kids have been looking forward to the school holidays since the very first day of the new school term, but now that the holidays are finally here, they want to be entertained. Worry not because here are the coolest ways to spend quality time with them these holidays, no matter their age. And best of all, you'll still have some cash to treat them to dessert afterwards!
Butterfly World Tropical Garden
What: Is there a better excuse to take a road trip with the kids than the school holidays?
The Western Cape Winelands are home to Butterfly World’s tropical garden, where your family can identify free-flying butterfly species from as far away as Costa Rica, the Philippines and Malaysia, and a number of exotic creatures. The tropical garden is divided into six sections, there's the chance to interact with free-roaming meerkats, marmoset monkeys and blue duikers, and children will also learn about various reptile and amphibian species. Enjoy family time together over lunch at the Jungle Leaf Café before heading home.
When: Monday–Sunday and public holidays, 09:00–17:00.
Where: Route 44, Klapmuts (near Stellenbosch and Paarl), Cape Winelands
Cost: Adults R65, kids R37
Contact: www.butterflyworld.co.za , firstname.lastname@example.org
Disney on Ice
What: If there's a perfect time to watch Disney On Ice it's in winter. This year’s school holiday show is called Let’s Celebrate. And it does just that, as 50 beloved Disney characters, like Mickey and Minne Mouse, take you to magical worlds on a journey through decades of heart-warming stories. The kids will be singing along to their favourite soundtracks during the three-hour show that includes high-energy choreography and a colourful set. This is what childhood dreams are made of!
When: 08–12 July 2015. Disney on Ice is currently on at the Dome in Johannesburg until 05 July 2015.
Where: 1 Vanguard Drive, the Grand Arena at Grandwest Casino, Cape Town
Cost: from R110-R350
Artjamming Holiday Workshops
What: Let your kids' creativity flow at one of the many daily Artjam workshops at the V&A Waterfront, while you do the shopping or take a bit of a breather at your favourite coffee shop. Who knows, you may discover that your little one is an aspiring Picasso or expressionist like Jackson Pollock, maybe he'll even land up being a cartoonist one day. Each one-and-a-half-hour daily art workshop has a different theme, so children can get their creative juices flowing and discover which artistic style they love the most.
When: Monday–Friday during school holidays, 10:00–11:30.
Where: Portswood Close, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town
Cost: R150 per child, per day.
Contact: www.artjamming.co.za, email@example.com, 021-425-5050
Cape Point – Kids ride and eat for free
What: Take the kids to the tip of the Cape Peninsula during the winter school holidays this year for a free ride on the electric powered Flying Dutchman Funicular when accompanied by a full paying adult – they will also be treated to a free kids meal for every main meal ordered at the Two Oceans Restaurant. Thereafter the whole family can experience the breathtaking sight of Dias Beach as you make your way through the dense fynbos up to the Lighthouse.
When: From 27 June to 19 July 2015 - 7 days a week, 7am to 5pm April to September.
Where: Cape Point Nature Reserve
Cost: Entry into Cape of Good hope: Adults – R100, Kids R55, Flying Dutchman Funicular trip: Adults R55, kids free
Contact: www.capepoint.co.za; CapePointSA on Facebook
School of Rock
What: If your son is constantly playing the air guitar and keeps telling you that he's going to be a rock star when he grows up, you need to send him to School of Rock. This four-day winter camp has daily themed lessons where kids can jam to their favourite rock songs and learn to play musical instruments. There's everything from a drum crash course, guitar zero to hero classes, vocals training and sax 101.
When: 13 to 16 July 2015, 10:00–15:00
Where: Suite 202, 2nd Floor Standard Bank Galleria, 120 Main Road, Claremont
Cost: R400 per day
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org, 021-671-9620, 082-412-7733
The Ice Age Exhibition - presented by Huisgenoot, YOU and DRUM
What: Take the family to experience this true winter treat. Some 3 000 m2 of the Sandton Convention Centre has been turned into a frosty habitat, complete with its 45 moving, life-size animals, 11 models in an interactive zone and a 12-m snow blizzard tunnel, replicating a real snow storm - with actual snow and wind. The Ice Age Exhibition will show younger audiences a fascinating part of Earth’s history and serve as an entertaining outing for the whole family.
When: Saturday 20 June to Saturday 8 August 2015 - Monday-Friday: 9 am-7 pm, Saturday-Sunday: 9 am-8 pm
Where: Sandton Convention Centre, 161 Maude Street, Sandton, Gauteng
Cost: Adults: R145 a person, Children (aged 18 months-18 years): R99 a child,
Children under 18 months (or shorter than our sloth – 83 cm): FREE
Families (2 adults and 2 children): R435
Contact: www.theiceage.co.za; email email@example.com for group bookings or book through www.computicket.com
Win: We have two sets of family tickets (2 adults and 2 children valued at R435) to give away. Email us one of your favourite family holiday photos to firstname.lastname@example.org. The winners will be chosen and announced on 10 July 2015.
What: So perhaps Acrobranching is not top of your list of things you'd consider doing, but your little monkeys will love it as they swing from tree to tree in a harness. There are four family-friendly courses for children as young as three: two treetop obstacle courses for kids and two more adrenaline-pumping courses for teens and adults. Each is equipped with zip lines, swing bridges, acro-bungee and Tarzan swings. Let them get outside and take to the trees, under the supervision of the guides.
When: Monday–Sunday and public holidays, 09:00–17:00.
Where: The James and Ethel Grey Park, Melrose
Cost: R100 - R250, depending on the course
Contact: www.acrobranch.co.za, 078-438-7463
Bounce Inc SA
What: If your kids have more energy than you can handle on a good day then you should take them to the newly-opened Bounce Inc SA, where they can bounce off the walls – literally. This indoor trampoline playground consists of more than 100 interconnected trampolines and "The Great Wall of Jozi". There are slam-dunk areas and dodgeball courts too. They can even try to defy gravity with wall running, although there's a soft cushioning at the end. There are jumping sessions especially for junior jumpers to ensure that everyone can soar through the air.
When: School holidays: Monday–Friday 09:00–22:00, Saturday 08:00–22:00, Sunday 08:00–2000.
Where: Waterfall Lifestyle Centre, Corner Woodmead Drive and Maxwell Drives, Midrand
Cost: From R90–R140 depending on age. Don't forget to book a session.
Contact: www.bounceinc.co.za, email@example.com, 011-517-2500
Rolling Cherry Roller Skating Rink
What: When last did your tweens – or you, for that matter – put on a pair of roller skates? Well, there's a new indoor roller-skating rink in town to help you relive those good old days. It's located near Maboneng Precinct, so why not pop on over after you've enjoyed a Sunday lunch at the Market on Main. There are elbow and knee guards for younger kids and a rail to help them keep balance. If they're really getting into it there are skating instructors. There's even a karaoke room if they need to rest from all that skating.
When: Thursday to Friday: 18:00–22:00 (student nights), Saturday to Sunday (kids days): 09:00–22:00.
Where: Ariel Empire House, 7 Sivewright Avenue, Johannesburg
Cost: Hire a pair of skates for three hours: adults (R100), kids (R65) or come with your own, entrance: adults (R60), kids (R30).
Contact: 079-247-2331, find Rolling Cherry on Facebook
The Art of The Brick Lego Art Exhibit
What: We all grew up with Lego, and as a parent you've probably stepped on them barefoot more times than you'd like. These holidays celebrate those colourful, interlocking building blocks at the Art of Brick Lego Art Exhibit. It showcases more than one million Lego bricks in 75 original sculptures. The show wants to inspire artwork through unique art forms and you can admire famous artworks recreated using Lego, such as Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa and Van Gogh’s Starry Night. There's even a T-Rex skeleton constructed from more than 80,000 Lego bricks that measures over six metres in length and a building zone.
When: 03 April–02 August 2015, 09:00–19:00 daily
Where: The Zone, Rosebank Mall
Win: We've got three sets of family tickets (of four) to giveaway until the end of the show, all you have to do is tag us in a family holiday shot on Instagram or email firstname.lastname@example.org- winner will be selected by the 10th of July.
Groovyball Adventure Park
What: Are you the type of parent who would strap your kid into a giant inflatable ball and let them roll downhill? Then you'll surely be considered a super cool parent! Groovyball Adventure Park offers adrenaline-junkie kids three zorbing courses. There's the 150-metre-long downhill “Kamikaze Run” for the brave, and a 120-metre-long Tornado and Twister course, as well as a 60-metre-long ride for younger children. But that's not the only thing they can do here, there's also off-road go-karting, paintball and even target shooting. Get them strapped up and ready to roll!
When: Monday–Sunday, 08:00–20:00
Where: Lot 152, Off Capital Hill Drive, Cliffdale
Cost: A kids' harness ball ride starts at R75 for the first ride and is R50 per ride thereafter. Booking is essential.
Contact: www.groovyballs.co.za, email@example.com, 084-330-3112
Fun World Amusement Park
What: This beachfront amusement park is a huge hit with kids and the subtropical climate will make you forget that it's winter elsewhere in the country. Besides it's also really budget friendly as entrance is free and you only pay for each ride. There's great fun to be had for the whole family, start off with a family ride on the aerial cableway that overlooks the city and marine promenade. Tots will delight on the Elephant Ride and Carousel, while older kids try out the Swingboat, Breakdancer and Hully Gully rides. Don't leave before an exhilarating bumper car challenge.
When: Until 20 July 2015 open daily from 11:00–21:00, thereafter closed on Mondays
Where: 78 OR Tambo Parade, Durban
Cost: Entrance is free, pay per person, per ride (R14, R17, R20)
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org, 031-332-9776
uShaka Marine World
What: A visit to uShaka Marine World is a must if you're visiting Durbs these school holidays. See how many characters from Finding Nemo your family can spot at the Sea World Aquarium. These holidays there's the 'Healthy Oceans, Healthy People' holiday programme that promises to be action-packed with fun activities, while kids learn about the importance of the environment and our oceans.
When: Monday–Sunday, 09:00–17:00
Where: 1 King Shaka Avenue, Durban
Cost: Adults R149, kids R115
Contact: www.ushakamarineworld.co.za, email@example.com, 031-328-8000, 031-328-8090
Sugar Bay Holiday Camp
What: A week full of adventure, new friends and experiences await campers at the Sugar Bay Holiday Camp at the seaside village of Zinkwazi, only 30 minutes' drive from Durban. Each week has a different theme, like Pitch Perfect and Jurassic World, and children will be engrossed in numerous outdoor activities, as well as arts and crafts under the supervision of the camp leaders. Take it from us, they'll be begging you to go back next year!
When: 5-12 July, 12-19 July, 9-16 August
Where: 21 Nkwazi Drive, Zinkwazi Beach, KwaZulu-Natal
Cost: new camper R5 699, past camper and siblings: R4 849
Contact: www.sugarbay.co.za, firstname.lastname@example.org, 032-485-3778