Beat the winter blues with these cool indoor adventures across SA

2018-06-25 11:30 - Kavitha Pillay
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Children enjoying go karting.

Go-karting is one way to have some indoor fun. (Photo: iStock)

Embracing the outdoors in the chilly season just isn’t for everyone – even in South Africa’s winter sunshine or along the warm east coast.

If the myriad of outdoor events and activities during the winter school holidays won’t make it on to your to-do list, then there’s no need to stay bored at home – we have a list of indoor activities across SA to add excitement to your weekend or vacay plans.

SEE: SA Winter school holidays: Fun things to do with the kids

You can play detective and ‘escape’ from a locked room, slap on some ski gear and glide across SA’s ice rinks, or perhaps you prefer even more adrenaline-fuelled activities like go-karting? Whatever your taste, here are some indoor adventures to indulge in across SA.


Let the detective in you shine in this group adventure like no other, that can make or break relationships!

You and your team-mates get “locked” in an uber-cool themed room filled with clues. The aim of the game is to work as a team to put the pieces of the puzzle together, with a few hints from the HintHunt staff, and aim to “escape” the room within an hour.

Adventure-seekers can choose from a ship-wrecked room, submarine theme, detective room, Japanese-themed Zen room and more. The various themed rooms in Cape Town and Johannesburg, suitable to a range of skill levels, are not very easy to accomplish – but with teamwork and for the love of pure fun, you can escape reality while trying to escape from one of these rooms.

MUST-SEE: #LoveSA: Escape winter with these events across Western Cape

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Check out some incredible ocean animals at Bayworld in Port Elizabeth. Bayworld is home to endless educational discoveries, including a 15-metre skeleton of the last Southern Right whale that was harpooned in Algoa Bay.

The Oceanarium also features live seal shows and an underwater observation area - perfect for those who are curious about life under the sea. For more information, click here.

SEE: School Holiday Fun: Family glee in PE

There’s also Two Oceans Aquarium in Cape Town and uShaka Marine World in Durban to satisfy the minds of those interested in learning more about the ocean and its inhabitants.


Get active all while indoors at Bounce trampoline park with franchises located in Durban, Pretoria and Johannesburg.

Whether you go on your own or with your crew for a party, prepare for one of the most fun-filled workouts you will ever have. Be sure to wear the right gear and get ready to bounce of walls!

MUST-READ: School Holiday Fun: Spice up your holiday in Durban

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Bugz Playpark

The largest playpark in Western Cape celebrated its 10th birthday in 2017. Bugz Playpark offers diverse play experiences for kids between the ages of 2 to 10.

There’s a shaded outdoor playpark, and an indoor area filled with obstacles, slides, educational boards and challenges that are intended to keep attention spans going while allowing creativity to flow.

Future developments include a more extensive toddler section with a series of unstructured play pods to enhance learning - where kids can create dens and structures from loose parts, as well as an adventure farm park just outside of Stellenbosch for natural, inclusive and family play.

CHECK OUT: School Holiday Fun: Mother City spoils

Indoor go-karting

Want an adrenaline rush without facing the cold? Xtreme Indoor Karting in Johannesburg will give you the opportunity to get your heart racing all while staying indoors.

This indoor go-karting facility features some challenging kart racing tracks that promise “extreme F1 style racing”. You can enjoy this experience on your own or with a group of friends, with “senior karts” for racers older than 8 years.

MUST-SEE: #WinterEscape: Chill things to do in Jozi that'll keep the cold away

The Big Box Boardgames Café

Chill out with some board games while chowing down at this Boardgames Café in Cape Town. Not only can you hire a game to play, but you can also buy games.

Not just for the board game lovers, this is the ideal spot to hang out with friends and family while evading the chilly outdoors – grab a meal and one of many board games of your choice to get your mind working and your tummies full.

ALSO SEE: Escape to these unique Western Cape winter winelands + wine events not be missed

Butterflies for Africa

Exploring nature need not only take place outdoors, as Butterflies for Africa in Pietermaritzburg allows one to discover the beautiful world of butterflies while indoors.

Make your way through the butterfly house with a guide and come into close contact with butterflies from around the world. The butterfly house serves as a conservation and educational tool for visitors, and boasts an art gallery, shop and café for an extended stay.

ALSO SEE: Sun City's Valley of the Waves closed for winter

Glow-in-the-dark putt-putt

Forget normal putt-putt – now you can add some glow to mini-golf with glow-in-the-dark putt-putt.

Glowing Rooms in Cape Town uses 3D glasses that create striking images and illusions from normal 2D images for a one-of-a-kind putt-putt experience. This winter holiday, on Tuesdays to Thursdays until 12 July, pay for 3 players and the 4th player can enter free.

ALSO SEE: School Holiday Fun: Your Garden Route POA

Sci-Bono Discovery Centre

SA’s largest science centre in Johannesburg makes an ideal indoor space to foster curious minds. The Sci-Bono Discovery Centre supports maths, science and technology education to help build the country’s science, engineering and technology capacity.

Situated in the historic Electric Workshop in Newtown, Johannesburg, Sci-Bono boasts a collection of interactive science and technology exhibits and exhibitions, and also offers a programme of science and technology related events, activities and programmes.

SEE: School Holiday Fun: Good times in Jo'burg

Iziko MuseumsThe Planetarium

Spend a few hours exploring one of many Iziko Museums in Cape Town and open up your mind to the many fascinating fields of science, nature, art, heritage and history.

The Iziko Planetarium and Digital Dome offers perspective-3D edu-tainment through a completely unique experience, one that is now able to be updated with new data and information as new discoveries are made. Check out the show-times for a one-of-a-kind viewing and be sure to explore the rest of the museum after the show.

HAVE YOU SEEN? What winter? How to have a sun-kissed mini-break in Durban

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Ice rinks

If you crave a winter experience without the coldness of snow, then head down to an ice rink in SA. With options to choose from in Durban, Cape Town and Johannesburg, you can get your skis on and get gliding across SA.

There are three ice rinks in Gauteng all run by the same operation – click here for details. In Durban, check out the Durban Ice Arena, while Cape Town boasts the Ice Station, where you can learn to skate.

ALSO SEE: #LoveSA: Must-do winter events in KZN

Zeitz Mocaa Museum

Zeitz Mocaa Museum of Contemporary Art in Cape Town is a geometric marvel showcasing African art. The museum structure is a seamless collaboration where architecture and art meet.

The museum’s design and the display of artwork influence each other, in a new creative paradigm - redefining the way we consume art - and makes an alternate indoor escape for adults in the city.

SEE: Is this the most hair-raising exhibits of the Zeits MOCAA?