School holiday family fun in Joburg

2016-05-20 11:44 - Nadia Krige
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The school holidays are around the corner - 24 June to 18 July to be exact. And there can be nothing more depressing for children of any age to either to be stuck at home, facing the entire break without anything to do.

We're sure many of a parent has thought about the costs of a family holiday and how expensive things are at the moment.  

But we'd like you to know that with a little bit of planning, keep an eye out for great special deals and packages or even just thinking of ingenious ways to spend the holidays in your own city means they will be able to have some really special family memories. 

We've rounded up some fun, fresh ideas to help you out this school holidays. So now you have no excuse not to find you family holiday #FindYourEscape

It’s easy to keep the winter blues away this holiday with this all-encompassing line-up of events and entertainment to experience in Joburg and surrounds.


Innibos Fees 2016

When: 29 Jun 2016 - 2 Jul 2016
Where: Nelspruit, South Africa

Pack your car and your kids for the weekend and set out to Nelspruit for the InniBos Fees. This iconic Afrikaans arts festival showcases the best of Afrikaans music, theatre, cabaret, children’s theatre, literature and the visual arts.

A photo posted by Johan Maree (@jgmaree) on

The Dullstroom Winter Festival 2016

When: 8 Jul 2016 - 10 Jul 2016
Where: Dullstroom, South Africa

Over the weekend of 8 to 10 July 2016, the quaint town of Dullstroom will be adding a little bit of warmth and merriment to the chilly months with their annual Winter Festival. This year's event marks it's sixth installment and aims once again aims to bring some pre-Christmas spirit to the sleepy town. 

Vrystaat Kunstefees 2016

When: 11 Jul 2016 - 16 Jul 2016
Where: Bloemfontein, South Africa

If you’re looking for something slightly further afield, head to Bloemfontein for the Vrystaat Kunstefees. This Afrikaans arts festival forges artistic creations with the English and Sotho cultures.  The festival began humbly in 2001 with the vision to exchange ideas around art and to promote the works of upcoming and established artists.

Outdoor adventures

Dad’s Day Off Craft Beer Picnic

When: 25 Jun 2016

Where: Riversands Family Farm, Midrand

Forming part of the Picnics in the Park series, Dad’s Day Off promises to be a family day filled with retro fun. Apart from craft beer and delicious food for mom and dad to enjoy, as well as loads of space for kids to run and play, there will be screenings of three ‘80s movies throughout the day. To add to this ‘Back to the Future’ feel, there will be plenty of novelty treats and memorabilia. 

Steam train afternoon trip around Tshwane

When: 3 Jul 2016

Where: Hermanstad Station

Provide your family with a blast from the past when you board the Diamond Express steam train for a circular route around Tshwane. The two-hour trip will take you from Hermanstad station through Daspoort Ridge and Tswhane Station and past a host of the city’s most familiar landmarks. Pack your own cooler box or buy lunch at the Friends of the Rail depot prior to departure.

Joburg Zoo holiday programme

When: 4 Jul 206 – 8 Jul 2016

Where: Joburg Zoo

The Joburg Zoo will be hosting a special 4-day children’s holiday programme once more in July. There are normally two different programs – one for kids under 7 and one for kids between 7 and 13. Activities include animal feeding, arts and crafts, educational tours and demonstrations.

Nelson Mandela Weekend at The Ark

When: 16 Jul 2016 – 18 Jul 2016

Where: The Ark Animal Centre, Chartwell

What better way to end off a wonderful winter school break than getting involved in charity work to honour first democratic president’s life? The Ark Animal Centre will be opening its doors to willing volunteers who will be helping with a range of projects, from gardening to decorating and washing and walking the furry residents.

Magical markets

When: Weekends

Where: Right across Joburg and Gauteng

Gauteng is home to an ever-growing array of amazing markets, offering loads of food, drinks and space for kids to play. Be sure to check one or two out during the school holidays. Some notable examples include Market on Main (Newtown), Rosebank Sunday Market (Rosebank), Jozi Real Food Market (Parkhurst) and Pretoria Boeremark (Silverton).

Hop On – Hop Off 3-for-1 Special

When: Throughout the school holidays

Where: All around Joburg

Enjoy seeing your city through a tourist’s eyes and keep the kids entertained at the same time with an outing on City Sightseeing’s Hop On – Hop Off bus. For every one adult ticket you buy, two kids (under 18) get to ride free. What a bargain!

A photo posted by KC (@helderkc) on

Gold Reef City

When: Throughout the school holidays

Where: Gold Reef City Theme Park

Joburg’s legendary theme park will be open every day during the school holidays, making it easy to schedule a day that works for you and your kids alike.  

Arts and entertainment

Gateway to Space

When: 1 Jun 2016 – 31 Jul 2016

Where: Sandton Convention Centre

This exhibition brings, for the first time, the great adventure of space exploration to South Africa. Have a look inside the 15m Mir space station, a Sputnik 1 model, a full-size lunar rover model, an Apollo capsule design for future space exploration, and even touch the moon!

Shrek the musical

When: 24 Jun 2016 – 17 Jul 2016

Where: The Lyric at Gold Reef City Casino

Shrektacular family fun as the greatest fairy tale never told comes to life in a whole new way in this breath-taking Broadway musical adaptation of DreamWorks hit movie Shrek.

exciting activities such as face painting, colouring in, puzzles, play tents and black bikes to ride.

Disney on Ice: Worlds of Enchantment

When: 24 Jun 2016 – 3 Jul 2016

Where: Ticketpro Dome

Give your kids the opportunity to see all their favourite Disney characters come to life this holiday. The enchanting show will comprise snippets from four popular films: Cars, The Little Mermaid, Toy Story and, of course, Frozen.   

A video posted by Bê (@ana13e) on

Dora the Explorer LIVE!

When: 7 Jul 2016 – 12 Jul 2016

Where: Theatre of Marcellus at Emperor’s Palace

Join Dora and her friends in Dora`s Pirate Adventure as they embark on an exciting trip to Treasure Island in search of the ultimate pirate party. This interactive show will encourage kids to get involved with the on-stage journey by helping her navigate, warning her about dangers and helping her make sums.