Winter holiday fun for kids of all ages

by Laurel Pretorius
The winter school holidays are here and provide us with the opportunity to spend time with our kids doing fun holiday activities. Winter holiday fun
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The school holidays are here providing us with the opportunity to spend time with our kids doing factivities. Read on about fun stuff to do with the kids this winter. By Laurel Pretorius.

The winter school holidays in South Africa can be a tough one for parents. They’re normally long and the weather often doesn’t play ball. It’s often easiest to just let our kids lie under blankets and become couch potatoes in front of their screens. But this isn’t the best way to parent and ultimately, they eventually do get bored of couch-potato-ing. So, what to do then?

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5 awesome winter holiday fun and activities:

1. Ice skating

Grand West Ice-Skating Rink in Grand West CasinoEven though you can ice skate all year ‘round in our cities’ indoor ice rinks, the most perfect time to enjoy this fun activity is during the winter school holidays. Afterall, ice skating brings a touch of magic to cold winter days.

In Cape Town try the Grand West Ice-Skating Rink in Grand West Casino, and for kids not wanting to skate there’s also multiple other forms of entertainment to choose from, including ten-pin bowling, amusement rides, movie theatres and video arcades.

In Johannesburg the most popular rink is the Northgate Ice Rink situated in Northgate Shopping Centre, and in Durban there’s the Galleria Ice Rink in Galleria Mall. Expect ice skating to cost anywhere from R65 and you may end up paying extra for the skates. It’s a wonderful activity for little kids right through to teens. Dress warmly and wear thick socks.

2. Trampoline parks

Jump 4 Joy trampoline parkThere are so many benefits to gain from trampolining, especially for growing children and nowadays you don’t need a trampoline at home because there are trampoline parks to be found in almost every city.

Bounce World in Cape Town’s Montague Gardens offers brightly coloured trampoline-style obstacle courses and jumping castles, plus there is a dedicated play area called Toddler Bounce World for kids, aged 1 to 4.

Jump 4 Joy in Durban’s Watercrest Mall offers some great packages and a variety of areas to jump. iJump at Clearwater Crossing and Bounce in either Fourways Mall or Mall of Africa are all well used and loved trampoline parks in Gauteng offering exciting courses for kiddies and teens. Trampoline parks are situated indoors making them the ideal choice for kids to expend pent up energy on cold winter days. Expect to pay from R100 for around 1 hour of jumping.

3. Water wonders

The best thing about living in Durban, or holidaying there, is that during the mid-winter months of June and July, the sun shines and the temps often sit in the mid-20s. So, if your kids are water babies, this is where it’s happening.

Wet 'n WildUShaka Wet ‘n Wild offers everything from thrilling water rides to big and small water slides. It’s the water park of all water parks. Pay between R150 and R200 to get in. Then, another fun water activity in Durbs is pedal boating on the Waterfront canals. Book a boat at Durban Point Waterfront.

It’ll cost R120 for a family of 4, for 1 hour. If you’ve always wanted to surf the waves off Durban’s coastlines, learn to surf at Surf School Durban. You don’t only learn to handle the waves but apparently you also get to experience the surf culture as a whole. Find out more about this first black-owned Durban surfing school here.  

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4. Entertainment hubs

Venture Outside | Waterfall CityWhat would we ever do in the school holidays without our cities’ diverse hubs of entertainment. They’re clean and safe havens offering pretty much any form of fun activities for kids of all ages. Waterfall City in Gauteng offers Discovery Soccer Park, Fun Park and Waterfall City Park and that’s just for starters. It is also home to a number of shopping centres, including one of Africa’s largest, the Mall of Africa. Let’s put it this way, there is always loads to do and your kids will easily spend a day there being entertained. Check it all out here.

The V&A Waterfront in Cape Town offers plenty of good holiday vibes and great activities including Art Jamming, a Rollercade, an awesome Scratch Patch of semi-precious gemstones, and the one and only Two Oceans Aquarium, plus heaps more entertainment. Find out about it all here.

Then, in Durban, there’s the iconic beachfront amusement park at Durban Fun World where kids go bonkers driving dodgem cars and the cableway. There are all the classic fun fair rides for little ones and adrenaline-seeking teens. Rides cost around R30 to R50 per person.

5. Fascinating museums

Iziko South African Museum | City Pass Cape TownThe highly interactive Sci-Bono Discovery Centre in Newtown Johannesburg always runs wonderful holiday programmes. Pay around R40 to get in. Find out more about the holiday programmes here.

Then the world-renowned Iziko Museum in Cape Town offers a vast selection of artworks, artefacts and all kinds of interesting animal exhibits. Children love exploring its big displays, animal skeletons and relics from the past.

Plus, several interactive quizzes and games are scattered throughout the museum that is sure to entertain and educate. Pay just R15 for kids. The Natural Science Museum Durban is situated in Durban City Hall and attracts almost 300 000 visitors annually. There’s variety for kids from the boma storytelling area to a life size reconstruction of a Tyrannosaurus Rex, various diorama exhibitions, and loads more. Best of all is entrance is free.

Also read: Free family fun in Jozi

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