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Staycation – what to do with kids in Johannesburg this holiday

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I try not to swear anymore. It is hard. I heard that smart people swear I lot – which means I must be very (bleeeeeeeeep) smart because I
(bleeeeeeeeep) swore a lot. My new swear word is fudge or fudgenarian or oh fudge. I think I can keep myself on the straight and narrow so Lexa doesn’t sound like a sailor one day!

 I love the Christmas period, flickering lights, Christmas catalogues, fruit cake and that general feeling of ‘I made it’. What I don’t like is that the pre-primary school closes and I am on duty (with the kids)while still working. I’m not a spring chicken and I can’t always run around after a toddler so I have come up with a list of things to do in Jozi for all the parents going through this rough patch.

Johannesburg Parks & Nature Reserve

Did you know that Johannesburg City Parks takes care of 22 278 hectares of open space and green areas made up of more than 2 343 parks, 22 nature reserves and 15 bird sanctuaries? Find your nearest City Park here.

One of our favourite parks is Rietfontein Ridge Nature Reserve because you never know when you are going to be photobombed by one of the “bokkies”.

Johannesburg is also rich in walking trails – check them out here. I do love the outdoor lifestyle in my city jungle 🙂

Montecasino

Use your Tsogo Sun Loyalty Cards for discounts – ok?

  1. The bird gardens at Montecasino! One small area with good visibility and of course BIRDS. I don’t like birds and Lexa chases them, but… it is a good outing.
  2. Christmas Market at Montecasino – this weekend! Love this little market and I will be taking Lexa because I also need to escape my home sometimes.

Gold Reef City

A theme park is always a hit – but be warned… queues are always a real possibility every single day. Remember to use your Tsogo Sun Loyalty Cards for discounts – ok?

Without a reward card With a reward card
  • Thrill Rider – R215 per person above 1.3m
  • Non-Rider – R125 per person above 1.3m
  • R135 per person under 1.3m
  • R180 per pensioner 60+ years (incl. thrill rides if physically safe)
  • R180 per student, upon presentation of a valid student card
  • R550 family ticket (2 Adults and 2 Children under 1.3m) This package excludes children under 3 years
  • Children under 3 years are admitted free of charge
  • Persons above 1.3m
    • Gold Cardholders: R190 per person
    • Platinum Cardholders: R180 per person
    • Black Cardholders: R170 per person
  • Persons under 1.3m
    • Gold Cardholders: R120 per person
    • Platinum Cardholders: R110 per person
    • Black Cardholders: R105 per person
Cardholders may not claim 4 tickets on each card they hold, should they hold more than one card.

Fourways Mall

Free parking at Fourways Mall all holiday! It is under cover in the newly built multi-story parking garage. Plus bring your Fourways Mall shopping (with receipt) to Santa’s elves for free gift wrapping.

  1. Skype with Santa at Fourways Mall! Your kiddy (or you) can talk to Santa at his workshop in the North Pole. Get down to this fun activity in front of Dischem. You can also have all your gifts bought at the mall wrapped for free by elves.
  2. Everblock pop-up PLAY ROOM at Fourways Mall. This is my kind of building block fun – and it is free. This is next to Bounce.
  3. Big screen movies at Sterkinekor! Popcorn and a Slush Puppy beats sitting at home and watching it streaming… unless of course you are a mom to a toddler! Sterkinekor at Fourways Mall now has a wonderful kiddies cinema with slide and smaller seats that even Lexa loved. R68 a ticket and R40 for some snacks sounds good to me.
  4. Adventure Golf is one of the things I would love to do with Lexa, but right now her little temper flares up and everything goes flying. Maybe she could have her start as an adventure golfer before going off and becoming a professional golfer. Three rounds of adventure golf will set you back R80 per person.
  5. BOUNCE – Mega Mania at R180 for 2 hours during the holidays – if you take your own special socks along with you. The Epic Pass will set you back R295 but will give you all-day access to the trampoline park’s awesome facilities… as well as a 10% discount off selected items in the shop.
  6. R300 will get you a full morning of joy at The Fun Company in Fourways Mall, with this amount covering the costs of a ten-pinbowling game, a bumper car ride, and 4D theatre, with some change left over to play arcade games.

Cedar Square

  1.  We know it’s not legal for you to race your kids on theroads – but if you head to Xtreme Go Carting in Cedar Square, you can show themjust how much better IRL driving skills are than gaming ones at XtremeGo-Karting, for R150 per time slot. You could also get a group together and take advantage of one of the party packages on offer, if you want a longexperience.
  2. If your kids are thrill seekers, then head over to Avalanche also at Cedar Square where they can enjoy skiing, snowboarding, bum boarding and tubing on a 65-metre ski slope for just R170 for 90 minutes.

Cresta

To thank shoppers for supporting Cresta throughout this year the Centre will take care of wrapping your gifts at their free gift-wrapping stations so that you can spend your time, and hard earned money, enjoying your shopping outing! To ensure shoppers get the most from the festive period, Cresta Shopping Centre will be extending their trading hours between Friday, 14 December until Monday, 24 December as follows: Mondays to Saturdays:09h00-19h00 and Sundays and Public Holidays: 09h00-18h00.

Special Trading Days:

  • Sunday, 16 December: 09h00-18h00
  • Monday, 17 December: 09h00-18h00
  • Monday, 24 December: 09h00-19h00
  • Tuesday, 25 December: Optional trade for stores 
  • Wednesday, 26 December:  09h00-18h00
  • Tuesday, 01 January: Optional trade for stores 

Remember that you can browse the Internet for free inside the Centre, just connect to Cresta’s free WiFi services.  

  1. Take the kids to share their wishes with Santa and pose for pictures in the Santa Zone (FNB Court) and receive an instant print to take home for only R40 each.
  2. To add more jingles to the bells, shoppers this December can enjoy live, pop-up entertainment on Fridays(14 and 21 December), Saturdays (15 and 22 December) and Sundays (16 and 23December) with a variety of live performers bringing joy to the Centre.
  3. Bring the little ones to the Kids Craft Zone in the Banking Court where they can learn to make festive decorations with recycled materials, colour in or adorn their own festive cookies at the Cookie Decorating Station with sprinkles to make any face beam. In the Food Court (upper level) kids can also learn how to draw cartoon characters at the Imagination Studios and create their own Power Puff avatar to print out and take home. Cresta also presents a Cartoon Network meet and greet with characters from the hit shows Adventure Time and The Amazing world of Gumball on Fridays, (14and 21 December) Saturdays (15 and 22 December) and Sundays (16 and 23December).
  4. The award-winning Cresta Festive Charity Tree makes an amplified comeback after the great support shown by shoppers in 2017, which resulted in over 5000 books being donated to the locally-based Tshepo Community Development Project Library.In place of a ‘traditional tree’, the Charity Trees found in the Banking Court will again allow and assist shoppers to donate this festive season.  A giant tree will be decorated with name tags of children from local partner children homes and what they wish for this Christmas. Cresta shoppers will be able to select a name from the tree, purchase a small gift (toy or clothing) in the Centre for the child and drop it off for Cresta’s team of wrappers to wrap and distribute to the children most in need of spoiling this season. The bookshelf tree will also be available for more book donations. 
  5. Feeling lucky this season? You stand to win one of ten great prizes worth over R1000 when you spend R250 or more at any Cresta shop. Make sure you enter your till slip with your name and contact number at the Giant Advent Calendar and you stand to win every day from the 15th December to 24th December. View Cresta’s Facebook Page for more information.

I am a Johannesburg based freelance writer, social media manager - and of course share bits from my life with you on this blog. We have 2 kids through surrogacy and 3 black cats.

2 Comments

  1. I also have to watch what I say in traffic cos that’s when I’m most tempted to use words Kayden should not hear 🙈 thanks for the informative list 😊

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