It’s back-to-school for most scholars, a time when young children have to sit in stuffy classrooms, yearning for break time where they can give their heat-addled brains a bit of fresh air, or play a game of soccer with their friends.
Weekends during summertime should be spent outdoors, where children run amok and bask in the sunshine. While shopping is a typical weekend activity in Johannesburg, we have compiled a list of kid-friendly events to get the youngsters out of those air-conditioned malls with these active, outdoor-based activities.
We can all agree, our childhoods were often characterised by the phrase ‘stop bouncing off the walls, please’, used by frustrated parents who just want us to calm down. However, at BOUNCEinc, bouncing off the walls is not only allowed, but is certainly encouraged!
BOUNCEinc in Midrand is a spring-loaded urban playground with a wide range of things for the whole family to do. Hard surfaces are replaced by a spongey material, making it nearly impossible to break an arm or sustain an injury. Here you’ll be able to participate in dodgeball or shoot some hoops – a task made easier as the rules of gravity don’t apply.
Honeydew ‘A-Maize-ing’ Maizes
Honeydew is a go-to destination for parties and kid’s outdoor adventures, with the highlight being a giant maize. This attraction brings to life enchanted scenes our favourite childhood fantasy stories.
Having been first incepted over ten years ago, the maize has seen many squealing children(and excitable adults too) solving mind-boggling riddles and answering tricky trivia questions. If you answer them correctly, you’ll be granted clues and one step closer to completing the challenge. Be warned, this is no easy task so be prepared to run into more than a few dead ends. So put your thinking caps on and put your heads together, this is a task that requires teamwork! If you’re looking for something a little less daring, have a good jump around and zap that untapped energy.
Ice Skating at North Gate Ice Rink
If you went to ‘Swan Lake on Ice’ with the family recently, you can be rest assured that your youngsters have envisioned themselves gracefully twirling around on the ice like the swan princess, Odette.
Make this dream into a semi-reality by taking a trip to the North Gate Ice Rink in North Riding. Not only can your kids hone in on their ice skating, but will also help to escape the unwavering summer heat.
Whether the youngsters prefer to slip and slide near to the rink’s edge or dare to race around at warp speed, it is a fun day out for everyone.
Multi-Flora Flower Market
As the saying goes it is important to take a moment to ‘stop and smell the roses’, and at the Multi-Flora Flower Market in central Johannesburg this is exactly what you can do.
If you’ve got kids who are horticulturalists in the making, why not take them to the largest flower warehouse in the country? Here they’ll be taken on a sensory journey, greeted to a world of vibrant colours and aromatic scents.
The 500-square metre venue brings in an approximated total of 300 million flower stems daily, so you’re certainly spoilt for choice on this flower outing!
If you like what you see, purchase a few bunches to remember the day by.
Dipped and Dusted Kid’s Chocolate Workshop
While cooking clubs are all the rage these days, you don’t often hear chocolate workshops for kids. The reason being? Mix melted chocolate and a child together and you’re in for a gooey mess, not to mention a hyperactive youngster. However, at Dipped and Dusted Kid’s Chocolate Workshop, programmes on offer are interactive, controlled and introduces one to the subtle art of chocolate making.
The programmes on offer are diverse, offering lessons to small kidlets and toddlers to teenagers who are looking to become chocolatiers themselves. Dunk biscuits and marshmallows into melted chocolate, mould shapes and design your favourite movie characters out of chocolate.
Pottery workshops at the Junxion
Get covered in clay and paint at Edenvale’s Pottery Junxion’s fun, interactive workshops. Try your hand at the potter’s wheel, where you’ll have the opportunity to make your own plates and bowls – a special, homemade gift for Mother’s Day (which is only in May, but it’s never too early to start planning ahead).
Alternatively, play around with mounds of clay – using cookie cutters and pottery-related tools to make works of art.
If your kids don’t quite see themselves as a master potter-in-the-making, purchase some earthenware and allow them to get creative with some painting.
Montecasino Bird Gardens
Family outings shouldn’t only about having fun and games, there should also be an element of learning involved too. We aren’t talking about a science lesson in a stuffy classroom, but informative lessons on protecting South Africa’s birdlife and conserving their natural habitats.
At the Montecasino Bird Gardens in Sandton, there is 142 cycad bird species – the largest collection in the world, over 1000 reptiles as well as small mammals like meerkats and lemurs.
Young twitchers looking to take part in a live demonstration should not miss out on the daily bird shows – where birds of prey and their handlers will be putting on a display
Friends of the Rail
If you know Thomas the Tank Engine theme song off by heart, then it’s about time you hop aboard an authentic steam locomotive in Pretoria. Your kids will be entranced as you ride all through Johannesburg, watching as the city pass on by.
While making for memorable weekend activity, there is an abundance to learn about when it comes to the history of South Africa’s railway system and the mechanics, so if you have a passion for old vintage trains, listen up!