Looking for places and spaces to take your children around Johannesburg? I have consolidated and updated my lists and I have a feeling that this is one of those posts I’ll have to “redo” annually, or at least every 2 years. At least once a week I get messages asking about the best places to take kids to in Johannesburg, and I know I’m always looking for new places as well!
I’ve updated our ultimate list from 2017, taken out some which have closed down and added in some new hot spots as well. Are there any other places you would recommend that I may have missed? I’ve tried to “categorize” them into applicable activities. Animal related, park related, cafes etc and links to all original articles with full lists of places are attached as well.
I don’t want to ever hear “but there is nothing to do in Joburg with kids” again 🙂 Theres a ton!
Happy reading and exploring 🙂
Lion and Safari Park (Lanseria) – New and improved, the recently re-opened Lion and Safari park is bigger, better and has a lot more interaction for kids.
Rhino and Lion Nature Reserve (Kromdraai, Krugersdorp) – Our most favourite “Nearest Faraway Place”, the Rhino and Lion Nature Reserve really does cater for the whole family. With a lovely restaurant (thatch cafe), an incredible BMX bike and all the animal enclosures are super spacious. Theres a “nursery” for cub interaction and you can even feed Sonny the Giraffe!
Crocodile City (Just before Lanseria) – We had such a good time at our outing to Croc City. They boys got an educational talk on crocs, on how thick their skin is and got to hold and observe their eggs. They also house a number of reptiles and much to my horror my boys lined up to hold the snakes. After a tour of the croc park the kids ran around counting and feeding as many tortoises as they could. The play area of course provided hours of entertainment. For the braver kids, why not try zip-lining across the croc enclosure?
Old MacDonald’s Farm Yard (The Fat Olive Restaurant/ Beach Bar) (Lanseria) – This is a true hidden gem. Home to the Fat Olive restaurant and a Beach bar, Old MacDonald’s has free roaming Zebras, geese, duck and a whole mini farmyard for kids to feed/interact with. It doubles up as a party venue as well as a restaurant. Theres even canoes to take out on a paddle on the small lake.
Crazy Kids Farmyard (Randburg) – A diamond in the middle of a bustling city. Crazy Kids has also recently had a bit of a refresh with some new animals (including another pony and a friendly pig). It is literally smack bang in the middle of a residential area in Randburg. It has a huge variety of play equipment for kids, a ton of bikes to ride around and an epic sandpit. This is a winner, everyday of the week.
Bird Garden – Monte Casino (Fourways) – We have been going here since the boys were small. The only bird park of its kind in Africa and perfect for all ages! Take a stroll through the gardens and aviary and see a wide variety of bird life, reptiles, and other exotic animals. It also has a café and a cute kids play area.
The Johannesburg Zoo – A timeless classic and always good for a family day out.
The Irene Dairy Farm – Every child’s dream, right on our doorstep! A working dairy farm situated right in the heart of Gauteng. Kids can enjoy seeing the cows being milked, ride on one of the numerous tractors and enjoy an ice cream underneath the beautiful shady trees. We were lucky enough to go when the construction was still occurring, it was every little boys dream, with tractors, trucks and diggers to watch!
Lori Park Zoo (Midrand) – Holds a nice variety of crocodiles, predator birds and of course lions/ leopards – though I do feel for the bigger cats as their enclosures are very, very small.
Cafes and Play Area’s:
For a full list see my previous article here.
Pappachinos – No Johannesburg list would be complete without one – Broadacres seems like the biggest, Clearwater mall also has a bike track)
Clay Café (Irene) – About twenty minutes out of Johannesburg Clay Café is opposite the iconic Red Barn in Irene. Kids can choose from a large variety of ceramics to paint with lots of accessories to add patterns/ shapes to their masterpieces.
Kiddilicious (Bedfordview) – You will never regret paying this child friendly cafe a visit. The staff are always friendly, there is endless play equipment for the kids and they even offer various classes and workshops from ante-natal to baby massage. One of my favourite places discovered in 2018.
256 on Smit (Fairlands) – Friendly staff with a super little hairdresser and masseuse right next door this is also set in an unassuming suburb in Fairlands. The play area is cleverly designed in the middle so you can watch your little ones from pretty much anywhere. They also have an aviary and some bunnies.
The Momentum World of Golf – Yes yes, its “Golf”, but it’s so much more. The World of Golf has an incredible kiddies play area, they offer free “masterclass” coaching sessions for kids and Kids can hit at the driving range, bunker pits and the chip and putt to their heart’s content. They also offer sand art on the weekends for kids and they can make their own pizzas. What more do you need? Oh i forgot to mention, there is a Camelot Spa there too for mums 🙂
Glitter Factory Craft Shop (Fourways)– Just off Witkoppen, next to the fabulous State 5 coffee shop and restaurant, the glitter factory craft shop offers a ton of messy fun! From painting ceramics and wood to creating mosaic’s, it’s a fabulous outing for both parents and kids. The State 5 coffee shop next door offers such a huge selection of treats for the kids as well as a fun play area.
Hyto Tyto(Olifantsfontein)- Fairly new on the scene it offers a brilliant kids play area and eatery with an epic bike track. It’s a bit of a drive if you are in central Joburg but worth it I think. They have really put a lot of thought into the design of the kiddies play area.
Art Jamming (Across Gauteng) – I love how they have pegged the term “The art of paintertainment”. Paintertainment is exactly what it is! Whether you are young or old, time spent at art jamming feeds your soul. Our favourites are in Cresta and Melrose Arch. For younger kids they have also introduced “messy play”. Contact stores for more detail.
27 Boxes (Melville) – Not the most conventional place to take your kids but its right across the road from Bambanani (kiddies restaurant and play area). They have recently redone their outdoor play area and its pretty impressive! You can also find “Kitchen Concepts” there for your little ones to try their hand at baking and cooking!
Bounce – Take your pick from venues across the city, our favourite is at Fourways Mall. You pay per hour (it flys by), and you and the kids can bounce, run, jump, play basketball, soccer or run the obstacle course to your heart’s content. Download the Entertainer app and receive 2 for 1 specials if you have a larger family! Well worth the deal!
Adventure Golf – An afternoon of fun for everyone! Theres 3 to choose from across Gauteng, but again our favourite is at Fourways Mall (you could really spend the entire day there with the kids). Its open daily until 10pm and they offer various packages and birthday parties. What kid doesn’t love putt-putt? Especially when you have to navigate through streams and waterfalls.
Happy Island Waterworld (Muldersdrift) – It opened its gates in December 2018, and although it still actually had its “official” opening yet, (there are a few slides and rides that have not been complete), its taken Jozi by storm! The Pre launch has been extended so you can enjoy discounted rates if you dont mind not having access to the lockers etc. Its a waterworld filled with slides, pools and a guaranteed day of fun! (I would try to go either mid week or early morning to avoid crowds).
GOG Lifestyle Park (Nooitgedacht) – The original outdoor adventure park for families – Gauteng now boasts 3, one in Lanseria, Haarties and Soweto. Haarties opened up in November and it offers beach area’s, swimming pools, spray pads and slides. The one in Lanseria offers climbing walls, frames, a number of pools and slides and lots of water feature fun!
Sci Bono Center (Newtown)- A must visit on a rainy day (well actually any day). The Sci-Bono Discovery Centre is situated in the vibrant and safe precinct of Newtown. It offers over 350 exhibits to encourage Math, Science and Technology in kids. Its ideal from ages 3-12 and they host birthday parties!
Ditsong National Military Museum (Forest Town) – The boys love going here! Not only is it aesthetically beautiful (we always eat ice creams underneath the huge war memorial), but its packed to the brim of old history, real aeroplanes and tanks and old artifacts. For a super reasonable price its a jam-packed day for the whole family.
Outdoor parks and Farm spots:
For a full list of our favourite parks and picnic spots click here.
Kids Days at Leafy Greens Cafe (HoneyDew)- Kids days or not, Leafy Greens and Casalinga are legitimately one of our most favourite weekend spots to venture out too. There is nothing better than walking through the glorious gardens, seeing all the incredible vegetables and flowers and having a bite to eat. We take the boys bikes with and they ride across the huge fields to their heart’s content. This is the closest I get to my “bush” Botswana life here in Jozi and I relish every chance I get to visit. Leafy Greens hosts Kids Adventure days from time to time and for a small fee, children can pick their own vegetables and make a little treat fresh from the garden!
The Herb Farm (Midrand) – A botanical gem in the heart of Gauteng. Boasting over 400 herbal plants in a beautiful garden setting and it has a gorgeous play area for kids. It has an outdoor educational facility for kids, where they can get their hands dirty and play in the garden. Now that’s my kind of place!
Delta Park – Probably holds the best play area out of all Joburg parks. It also has glorious walking paths with gigantic trees shading them.
Lonehill Park – Between Lonehill Park and Angelo’s Restaurant you are guaranteed a good time with the kids. Lonehill Park has a beautiful enclosed play area for kids and Angelo’s Kitchen borders onto the park with additional jungle gyms, bike tracks and games for kids.
Mushroom Park – Our go to park for mid-week fun. Mushroom park is a little piece of green forest in amongst Sandton’s high-rise buildings. It has the perfect tracks for kids to ride their bikes on and has over 5 jungle gyms and a large sandpit area. Perfect for soaking up the winter sun, and when it is in operation, also holds the Hyundai Hot Air Balloon.
Raspberry Picking at Fieldberry Farm (When in Season) – A morning spent in the fields at Fieldberry farm is a morning well spent. A beautiful day out for the entire family, kids will have an amazing time selecting and picking the juiciest berries to pick. After all their hard work mum and dad can relax on hay bales around the play area while sipping on a handmade smoothie. My boys had sooo much fun. Raspberry season typically ends around April.
Alliepad Alpakkas – A bit of a drive out of Johannesburg, Alliepad Alpakkas is just before Magaliesburg and has the most adorable fluffy Alpacas to go crazy over. Make it a weekend drive or wait for one of their festival days when you can get a tour around the farm, learn more about how they get wool and feed the Alpacas.
Willow Feather Farm(Pretoria) – Originally started off as an Indigenous tree farm, Willow Feather now hosts a nursery, tea garden and awesome Farmyard for kids. They have a number of interactive activities for kids and the number of animals in the Farmyard is exceptional. Alpacas, pigs, bunnies, cows. Kids can get up close and personal to the animals and of course participate in feeding. There’s also a wonderful kiddies play area to keep little ones busy while moms can enjoy hot tea and scones.
Two Trees Bakery (Mulbarton) – Under the shade of blue gum trees, this gem is in the South of Joburg. It possibly has the biggest selection of climbing equipment, monkey swings and zip lines that I’ve seen in a restaurant. They specialise in pizza’s, burgers, and yummy baked goods. Super friendly staff and a mass to do with the kids, my boys cried when they left!
TreeTop Adventures – Across Gauteng. We love Riversands, situated in amongst an old pine forest, Treetops have constructed different obstacles at varying heights catering from about 2 years of age right through to an adult course! Kids can climb through the trees, complete an obstacle course, and if brave enough (my 4-year-old was), zipline across the river!
Tres Jolie(Ruimsig) – Traditionally thought of as more of a wedding venue, Tres Jolie actually is a littler wonder world for kids. They offer a touch and feel farmyard, giant sand pit, pony and camel rides, and a big jungle gym. You can bring your own food to feed the animals or buy packets at the Kiosk.
These are just some of the places I’ve explored with my boys and I know there are probably hundreds of more hidden gems waiting to be discovered. The list is on going, and ever-expanding. Where are some of your favourite places to go?