When we said this was the ultimate list of fun things to do in Johannesburg with kids, we weren’t kidding. This list is LONG, and if you do one of these kids activities in Johannesburg every weekend it should keep your family entertained for just about a whole year!
So get comfortable, start reading and planning. We’ve divided it up into the following sections (to go straight to one of the sections, click on the name of the section below):
- Museums and galleries in Johannesburg
- The best hikes and picnic spots in Johannesburg
- Our favourite outdoor activities in Johannesburg
- Indoor activities for kids in Johannesburg
- Kids entertainment that involves animals
- Johannesburg kids theatres
Free activities are listed first in each section, because we know having kids is expensive!
If we’ve left off your favourite fun things to do with kids in Johannesburg, let us know in the comments and we’ll add it to our list.
1. James Hall Museum of Transport
What kid doesn’t love cars, buses, steam trains and fire engines? At the James Hall Museum of Transport in La Rochelle children can see how people moved around Joburg more than 100 years ago and all the weird and wonderful modes of transport they used. And it’s free — winning!
Find out more: jhmt.org.za; 011 435 9718
2. Museum Africa
Think there aren’t any free things to do in Johannesburg with kids? Well, guess again! Museum Africa in Newtown details the fascinating history of the birth of Johannesburg, plus a good chunk of our South African heritage. The temporary exhibits and installations change regularly.
Find out more: sa-venues.com; 011 833 5624
3. Standard Bank Art Gallery
We are so lucky to have the Standard Bank Art Gallery right here in Johannesburg! The gallery has brought exhibits by international artists like Chagall, Miro, Picasso and Matisse to our city, not to mention their showcases of South African artists like Stern, Sekoto and Siopis.
Find out more: standardbank.com; 011 631 4467
4. The Johannesburg Planetarium
Whether you need to entertain kids, teens or adults, a show at the Johannesburg Planetarium in Braamfontein is sure to be a hit. And with kids’ tickets going for just R30, it’s a budget-friendly day out too!
Find out more: planetarium.co.za; 011 717 1390
Yet another great kids entertainment idea in the heart of Johannesburg! Sci-Bono i Newtown is a state of the art interactive science and technology centre where kids — big and small — will learn to love science. They even run holiday programmes to keep kids busy and exploring during the school holidays. Kids get in for R30, so it won’t break the bank.
Find out more: scibono.co.za; 011 639 8400
6. Lindfield Victorian House Museum
This unique tribute to the Victorian lifestyle in Auckland Park is a living museum that shows you how a Victorian family would have lived. A fascinating tour costs R50 per child, with tea and cake served afterwards, and the museum is open by appointment only, so make sure you phone ahead to book your spot.
Find out more: linfield.com; 011 726 2932
7. Cradle of Humankind
If you haven’t been to the Cradle of Humankind with the kids yet, you have to go on a day trip with the family! The Maropeng Visitor Centre is designed with kids in mind, with everything from an underground boat ride and fossil display aimed at teaching us about our ancient origins. Get a combined ticket that includes a tour of the Sterkfontein Caves and you’ll be sure to come home with exhausted kids.
Find out more: maropeng.co.za; 014 577 9000
8. South African National Museum of Military History
Just above the Johannesburg Zoo is the Military Museum. Serving as a memorial to South Africans who have died in war, it’s a fascinating place to visit. Expect to see military memorabilia, tanks, weapons and even airplanes and read about the wars South Africa has been involved in. It’s also a fabulous kids’ party venue.
Find out more: ditsong.org.za; 010 001 3515
There are more than enough hiking and picnic spots in Johannesburg to choose from, so pack some snacks, plenty of water and enjoy a budget-friendly day out with the family.
9. Melville Koppies
The Melville Koppies are divided into 3 sections. An easy 10-minute walk to the top of the Melville Koppies East will give you great views of the city, or go on a guided tour of Melville Koppies Central. The tours take 3 hours and you’ll learn about the flora, fauna and history of the area. Well worth it for R20 a child! Melville Koppies West is the largest part of the reserve, but it’s only advisable to walk there in large groups.
Find out more: mk.org.za; 011 482 4797
This is a really special hiking spot in the south of Johannesburg — packed with bird and animal life (including buck), go for a hike with the kids in Joburg’s largest nature reserve and it’s easy to forget you’re even in the city. Stop for lunch at the top of the ridge and enjoy a meal with a view. Best of all, it’s totally free!
Find out more: klipriviersberg.org.za; 084 804 4073
Kloofendal Nature Reserve on the West Rand is a great place for a self-guided stroll, but if you can, signing up for a guided walk is a must. Visit an old open-cast mine, learn about wild flowers or catch and release butterflies with one of the guides. Some of the tours are free, others require a fee, but booking is essential.
Find out more: kloofendalfriends.com; 011 674 2980
12. Delta Park
Pack a picnic and spend the day at this sizable picnic spot in Johannesburg. After lunch, stroll to 1 of the dams (complete with bird hide), let the kids tire themselves out in the enormous playground or visit the Delta Environmental Centre (which is only open during the week). If you don’t want to take your own food, have a meal at Delta Cafe. It’s still one of our favourite free kids activities in Johannesburg, and you can take the dogs.
Find out more: jhbcityparks.com
Marievale Bird Sanctuary in the east of Gauteng is one of the best-kept secrets in the province! Set in a flood plain, over 280 species of birds have been spotted there. The sanctuary features 5 bird hides overlooking the water, plus picnic spots and braai facilities. It’s about an hour’s drive from Joburg, but if you have a budding birder on your hands, a trip to Marievale is a must. And it’s free!
Find out more: gauteng.net
14. Emmarentia Dam
Looking for family-friendly things to do in Johannesburg? Feeding the ducks at Emmarentia Dam is an all-time favourite for kids and relaxing under the trees on a blanket with a book is a blissful way to spend an afternoon. It’s free and you can even go fishing if you like!
Find out more: jhbcityparks.com
15. Northcliff Hill
For unsurpassed views of Johannesburg, Northcliff Hill is the place to be. Either drive to the top and just enjoy the view, or get your exercise in by parking at the bottom and hiking up to the top of the ridge. There’s no better spot for sundowners in Jozi!
Find out more: gauteng.net
16. Zoo Lake boat rides
Not only is Zoo Lake a pleasant picnic spot in Johannesburg, you can also go for a boat ride on the lake. Rent a 4-person row boat and make the kids paddle you around. There’s also a kid’s playground, the Zoo Lake swimming pool and Moyo nearby. Visiting Zoo Lake is free, but renting a boat costs around R15 per person per hour.
Find out more: jhbcityparks.com; 011 646-5803
17. Walter Sisulu National Botanical Gardens
Get back to nature by visiting this glorious garden in the west of Johannesburg. Home to a waterfall, a pair of breeding Verreaux’s eagles, hiking trails and picnic spots there’s no shortage of stuff to keep the kids busy. Kids get in for R15 (if you’re under 6 it’s free) and adults are charged R40.
Find out more: sanbi.org.za; 086 100 1278
18. Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve
Drive for around 45 minutes south east of Joburg and you’ll find yourself at Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve — a hiking, biking and picnicking haven. The hikes range from easy to strenuous, so there’s something for everyone. There is a nominal fee to enter the reserve, which is around R22 for adults and R11 for kids.
Find out more: south africa.net; 011 439 6300
19. Mountain Sanctuary Park
Although Mountain Sanctuary Park in the Magaliesberg is a bit outside of Johannesburg, it’s an amazing place to spend the day with the kids. Because a certain number of people are allowed into the reserve each day, booking is essential. As a day visitor you have access to a swimming pool, braai facilities, technical mountain bike trails and marked hiking trails. A swim in one of the crystal clear mountain rock pools on a hot day is such a treat!
For day visits, adults get in for R115, kids for R75 — there are also camping sites and chalets available if you’d like to stay for a while.
Find out more: mountain-sanctuary.co.za; 014 534 0114
Bambanani in Melville is more than just a kid-friendly restaurant that serves tasty food — it also hosts a variety of FREE activities for kids during the week. From pottery and paper craft to fun magic shows and baking, you’ll be able to enjoy a cappuccino and a slice of cake in peace while your kids are entertained.
Find out more: bambanani.biz; 011 482 2900
At just R60 per three-hour roller skating session, a morning at RollEgoli in Bryanston is the most budget-friendly way we can think of to thoroughly exhaust the kids. Snacks are also sorted with wood-fired pizzas and homemade Italian ice cream on offer.
Find out more: rollegoli.co.za; 083 232 9861
22. Bounce Inc
Let the kids lose on more than 100 interconnected trampolines, trampoline dodgeball and basketball arenas and walls to run up — kids and teens will love Bounce Inc in Midrand. Tickets start at R105 for kids.
Find out more: bounceinc.co.za; 011 517 2500
23. Sandton Action Sports Centre
Action cricket, action soccer and action netball are all on offer at the indoor Sandton Action Sports arena. Get a group of kids together and book a court, then watch them exhaust themselves. Teens will love the extra-strenuous, extra-entertaining bubble soccer.
Find out more: sandtonactionsports.co.za; 011 444 6176
24. City Rock
It’s the biggest indoor climbing gym in Africa, and it’s right here in Randburg, Johannesburg. City Rock offers climbing courses for kids (over the age of 5), teens and adults. Prices vary depending on whether you want to rent equipment or not.
Find out more: cityrock.co.za; 010 007 2732
25. Go bowling
Introduce some friendly competition into your family bonding sessions with an a morning or afternoon of ten-pin bowling in Johannesburg. Some of our favourite bowling alleys are in Rosebank, Northcliff, Bramley Gardens and Monte Casino.
26. Get cooking
With classes all over Johannesburg, if you have a kid or teen who’s happiest in the kitchen, let them spend some time at cooking lessons, dirtying someone else’s kitchen! Hopefully they’ll be asking you what you want for dinner before you know it.
Find out more: Bright Young Chefs, Fairland; Oh Crumbs, mobile baking classes; Tots n Pots, all over Joburg; Little Cooks Club, Sunninghill; Aniki’s Kitchen, Roodepoort; Olive Branch Cooking, Fourways
27. Ice rink
No childhood is complete without a few visits to the ice rink! Kids love slipping and sliding on the ice, and the entry fee to the Northgate Ice Rink lets you skate from 10am to 5pm if your kids have got the stamina.
Find out more: theicerink.co.za; 011 794 8706
28. Park Run
Looking for some motivation to get active with the kids? Park Run is held in various green spaces all over Joburg (and the world) every Saturday morning at 8am. It’s a 5km run and walk that’s perfect for all fitness levels. It’s free, and it’ll earn you Discovery Vitality points!
Find out more: parkrun.co.za
29. Hop On Hop Off bus tour
See the city without the stress of dealing with traffic or getting lost. A City Sightseeing tour lets you see the best of Joburg or Soweto witout having to organise anything yourself. Even better, they offer FREE walking tours that leave everyday from Park Station. How amazing is that?
Find out more: citysightseeing.co.za; 0861 733 287
30. Public swimming pools
Yes, there are still public pools around for you to swim at! The ones on our list cost next to nothing to get in and they’re all relatively well maintained. Give them a visit and see what we mean. If you’re going to be going a lot with the kids, consider getting a season’s ticket, it works out cheaper in the long run.
Find out more: Get details about pools in Linden (indoor, heated), Zoo Lake , Parkhurst and Roosevelt Park at joburg.org.za.
31. The Strawberry Farm
Just outside of Joburg at the foot of the Magaliesburg Mountains is a beautiful farm where you can pick your own strawberries in strawberry season. And even if it isn’t picking season, you should still visit the farm — you can pick your own organic veg, go for a picnic or have a meal at the restaurant.
Find out more: thestrawberryfarm.co.za; 012 207 1116
32. The Field Berry Farm
30 minutes south of the centre of Joburg in Walkerville you’ll find a raspberry farm that’s open to the public for berry picking and picnics during the raspberry season. The season usually starts in mid January and lasts until March, so that’s when you should take the kids for a fun day out. Even better, entrance is free for kids and you can buy all sorts of raspberry products from the farm stall on the property.
Find out more: thefieldberryfarm.wordpress.com; 079 791 0793
33. Steam train adventure
Most people don’t know about this, but you can take a steam train from Park Station to the Magaliesburg, where you disembark from your heritage locamotive and enjoy a picnic in a scenic spot. It’s a really fun day out for the family.
Find out more: reefsteamers.com; 062 743 9200
Swing from the trees, literally, at Acrobranch in Melrose. There are tree-top obstacle courses for kids from the age of 3, teens and adults. Courses start at R100 and you definitely need to book in advance!
Find out more: acrobranch.co.za; 086 999 0369
35. Go karting in Johannesburg
Kids and adults love go karting! Here are a few places you can choose from for indoor and outdoor go karting in and around Johannesburg
Indoor go karting
- Indy Kart, Roodepoort, 011 764 2771
- Xtreme Indoor Karting, Fourways, 011 465 0088
- Randburg Raceway, Randburg, 011 792 2260
- Compu-Kart, Greenstone, 0861 465 278
- Super Kart, Rivonia 011 027 7033
Outdoor go karting
- Dirt Ryders, Lanseria, 071 677 8673
- Buggy Parks, Muldersdrift, 082 410 5331
- Soweto Outdoor Adventures, Soweto, 072 692 8159
36. Jozi X
Perfect for adrenaline-seeking teens, Jozi X in Bryanston is an adventure centre that offers trapeze courses, jousting on an inflatable castle and a whole lot more. it currently costs R120 per person for a weekend session.
Find out more: jozix.co.za; 082 456 2358
37. PwC Bike Park
Whether your kids are only riding tricycles or they’ve graduated to doing tricks on a BMX, they’re sure to enjoy a day riding on this collection of courses in Bryanston. After a day of cycling, have a picnic on the lawns, a meal at the clubhouse or book a boma and have a braai. Under 5s pay R20 for the day, under 12s R50, under 18s R60 and adults R75.
Find out more: bikepark.co.za; 083 725 2453
38. Honeydew Mazes
Get lost at Honeydew Mazes, then solve puzzles, quizzes and tasks to find your way out. What makes this one of our favourite things for kids to do in Johannesburg is that the mazes are as much fun for adults as they are for kids!
Find out more: honeydewmazes.co.za; 073 795 2174
39. Gold Reef City
Gold Reef City in the south is Joburg’s very own theme park, and kids of all ages LOVE it. You can choose your tickets based on which rides you’re likely to go on and they range from terrifying to positively tranquil. While you’re in the area, the Apartheid Museum is well worth a visit for young and old alike.
Find out more: tsogosun.co.za; 011 248 6800
40. Harties Cableway
Move over Cape Town, Gauteng has its own cable car! It might not be as grand as the view from Table Mountain, but it’ll still take your breath away. Once you’re at the top, take a stroll on the marked path or have a picnic. Children can get rid of any pent up energy in the Kids Zone.
Find out more: hartiescableway.co.za; 072 241 2654
41. Adventure Golf
An Adventure Golf course is like putt-putt on steroids. The courses in Fourways, Randburg and Greenstone will keep the family entertained for at least 1 afternoon.
Find out more: adventuregolf.co.za; 011 447 3045
42. Kinder Theatre at Kinderspiel
For an intimate children’s theatre experience, Kinderspiel in Emmarentia is a must-visit. To see puppet shows, shadow theatre, magicians and fun physical theatre, check the schedule at kinderspiel.co.za. Shows usually happen on Saturdays at 10am and Tuesdays at 3:30pm and tickets are R55 a person.
Find out more: Kinder Theatre on Facebook; 011 646 0870
43. Peoples Theatre
The team at the Peoples Theatre are dedicated to putting on children’s theatre that delights and enchants. They put on 8 productions a year at the Joburg Theatre complex in Braamfontein, so book as soon as you see a show your kids are interested in.
Find out more: peoplestheatre.co.za; 011 403 1563
44. National Children’s Theatre
Not only does the Children’s Theatre in Parktown put on shows for kids, but all of the shows actually feature children, which makes them extra special. The theatre also runs workshops and holiday programmes. Booking well in advance is essential for workshops and shows.
Find out more: nationalchildrenstheatre.org.za; 011 484 1584
The SPCA is always looking for volunteers to help look after the dogs and cats it takes in. The Johannesburg SPCA accepts kennel volunteers older than 13 and hospital volunteers older than 18.
Find out more: jhbspca.org.za; 011 681 3600
46. The Johannesburg Zoo
If you live in Jozi, you know that a trip to the zoo is great entertainment for kids in Johannesburg, but did you know you can go on night tours, sleep over at the zoo, participate in holiday programmes and join zoo clubs to help the zoo keepers look after the animals behind the scenes? And if you haven’t been in a while, you should go!
The Johannesburg Zoo entrance fee is currently R80 for adults (older than 12), R50 for children (between 3 and 12) and free for under 3s. It’s even cheaper (R55) if you go on a morning when a Zoo Trot is happening, but you’ll have to arrive between 7 and 7:30am.
Find out more: jhbzoo.org.za; 011 486 3931
47. Montecasino Bird Garden
Walk along elevated wooden pathways that wind through the beautiful gardens in Fourways, marveling at over 100 bird species, small reptiles and buck. Make sure you catch a bird show while you’re there. Tickets cost between R39 and R70.
Find out more: tsogosun.com; 011 511 1864
48. Tres Jolie
At Tres Jolie in Muldersdrift, kids can enjoy the play ground and touch and feed farm, while parents enjoy their lunch. There are horses, donkeys, sheep, goats, chickens, ducks, geese, rabbits, guinea pig and even emu to feed — plus pony rides are available. Bring your own lettuce, carrots and healthy veg to feed the animals or buy feed at the venue. Booking is essential.
Find out more: tresjolie.co.za; 011 794 2473
49. Delta Park horse riding
Who would’ve thought you could go horse riding right in the middle of Joburg? Lessons are available on a monthly basis or ad hoc — so kids can try them out before you commit. There are also pony rides and outrides available.
Find out more: Ranger Stables; 082 452 9321 or 076 305 5652
50. Croc City Crocodile & Reptile Park
This park in Chartwell lets you interact with baby crocs and other reptiles while a guide tells you all about the scalier species. It’s a bit of a drive from Joburg, but on Saturdays and Sundays at 2pm you’ll have a chance to see the crocodiles being fed!
Find out more: croccity.co.za; 083 321 1016
51. The South African Lipizzaners
Every Sunday at 10:30am the South African Lipizzaners put on a delightful show in their indoor arena in Kyalami. After the performance you can feed carrots to the horses, and there’s even a jumping castle for the kids. Booking is essential.
Find out more: lipizzaner.co.za; 079 716 4792
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