Hein Kaiser
4 minute read
9 Apr 2021
9:00 am

Awesome stuff to do with kids this weekend

Hein Kaiser

A stroll through the gardens, seeing a host of birds and other small animals is a fantastic experience for children of all ages

Family on their way to have some weekend fun. Picture: iStock

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and fun is in the smile of a child. Weekends, public holidays and vacation time does not have to be an expensive ‘what to do with the kids’ exercise.

Gauteng has some awesome, kid friendly eateries, specialized activity centers and adventure areas for families where, at some places, child minders can give mom and dad a short break for a beer and a burger. Is that not just a bonus.

As far as restaurants go, there are two that have been test driven that stand head and shoulders above the rest. Both in terms of Covid-awareness and protocols as well as the quality of the childminders and playground equipment. It is the Spur in Carnival City casino and standalone Benoni restaurant Fahrenheit.

The Spur at Carnival City’s child minders are friendly, sanitize everything from little hands through to the playground with impressive regularity. The large windows mean that mom and dad have permanent sight of junior.

At Fahrenheit in Benoni the food is great and the playground, a central play-pit with jungle gyms, trampolines and super vigilant childminders. Again, an opportunity for parents to chill while the kids have a whale of a time.

Montecasino’s Bird Gardens is a great day out for a family. A stroll through the gardens, seeing a host of birds and other small animals a fantastic experience for children of all ages. It costs R 90 per adult over 13 and for younger children R 62.

There is a café for lunch, or a snack and the pizzas are yum! Here is a tip, if you visit after 15:30, although it limits your time a bit as the park closes at 17:00, entrance is reduced to R 62 per adult and R 50 for kids under 12.

The Weekend Market is situated in between the Uncle Charlie’s interchange in the south. There is a host of stalls, buy and braai facilities as well as a Kids’ World with zip lines, go-carting, various rides such as quad bikes and boats.

Entry is R 90 for a day’s play excluding some of the rides while the whole family can settle in, buy some braai and take a handful of moments to relax.

It is not a zoo. The Benoni Monkey and Bird Park is perfect for a kids’ party or just to visit, grab a burger and see a ton of monkeys, lemurs and birds. There is also a collection of snakes, lizards and a small crocodile enclosure, all annexed to a pet store where you can stock up on some well-priced supplies for Fido.

It is also possible to interact with the lemurs and capture all important memories. Facilities are great with a playground, separate party areas for hire and enough space to socially distance effectively.

The Sterkfontein Caves and the Cradle of Humankind is a must on any family itinerary. For mom and dad, it is not just the adventure of caving, but the rich history that the area holds with the secrets of humankind’s origins. It is fascinating.

For the kids, well, caving is an adventure of note. And it is affordable. Kids under six explore for free while anyone older than that pays R 100 to walk in the footsteps of our ancient ancestors.

Situated on the banks of the Apies River, the National Zoological Gardens in Pretoria needs a day. Go early in the morning and leave when the park closes. It is huge, and there is a lot to see and experience.

The gardens also serve as a key conservation research center. If you do not feel like walking, golf carts are available but go early as they rent out fast. There is a fun cableway and loads to eat and drink. Otherwise, take a picnic basket and chill on one of the many open, grassed spaces available.

Hein Kaiser

About the author:

Hein Kaiser is a seasoned journalist, broadcaster, producer, and marketing communication professional and has worked in a variety of markets, sectors, and countries. He presently hosts the 360 Brunch over weekends on Mix 93.8FM.