Soak up the sights, explore the bustling centre of the City of Gold, and most importantly, keep the kids entertained with our handpicked selection of family-friendly things to see and do in and around Johannesburg.
Affectionately known as Joburg, South Africa’s largest city is packed with fun possibilities for family adventure. Whether you’re looking for educational opportunities or an action-packed holiday, we’ve rounded up the best of the city for a holiday with the kids.
Get a move on
Each region of Johannesburg has its own lush green park. Whether you’re planning a picnic or more active pursuits, these spaces are ideal for fresh air with the family. Spend a day on the water, sailing or canoeing, at the Johannesburg Botanical Gardens in Emmarentia, where you can also explore the landscaped grounds and look out for water birds. Or pack a Frisbee to throw around Mushroom Farm Park, a quiet spot just minutes from our Radisson Blu Hotel Sandton, Johannesburg.
Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!
Open year round, the Joburg Zoo in Parkview is a must-visit for families with kids under 12. It’s home to hundreds of species of animals, including rare white rhinos and Siberian tigers. Check out the special events showcasing the zoo’s animal of the month, and be sure to get up close and personal with a farmyard tour. The zoo is also known for its conservation and animal welfare initiatives – a great educational angle for your visit! If you’re trying to fit in activities around afternoon naps, join one of the daily moonlight tours, where you’ll “meet” more nocturnal animals than you would during the day.
Rock with the crocs
For youngsters who aren’t afraid of not-so-cuddly species, Croc City Crocodile and Reptile Park – just north of Johannesburg – makes for an exciting day out. The park hosts creepy crawlies like snakes and tarantulas as well as friendlier reptiles like tortoises, who roam freely, delighting any kids who cross their paths. Get a special insight into these creatures’ lives by holding a baby crocodile hatchling or – if you’re truly brave – touching a puff adder at one of the park’s weekend shows.
Stargaze in South Africa
This squat brick building announced by a bright yellow sign might not look like much, but the Johannesburg Planetarium was the first of its kind in Africa. It’s been an institution since 1960. The secrets of the solar system hold endless fascination for kids of all ages, so take advantage of the different shows available. The Saturday morning Space Travel show aimed at children between 5 and 8 tells the story of Thomas the astronaut travelling through the stars in a giant rocket, while the older set will prefer Sky Tonight, a show packed with information about the sky after dark, including the newly discovered star Nova Cen 2013. The latter show runs for 60 minutes from 8pm on Fridays or 3pm on Saturdays.