Holiday time and what to do with kids in Jozi …

What to do with kids in Jozi 

We all regale against the enemy –  Time ….  What happens to the days, the weeks, the months? It’s year end again – summer holidays and kids at home.  But don’t despair, there’s always loads for kids to do in Jozi. 

The Wilds and the Owl Project

Last minute addition to Things to do with kids in Jozi .. and this activity is free.  There’ll be a full blog post coming but in the meantime to whet your appetite: the Wilds has been cleaned up thanks to Herman Mashaba’s Clean the City campaign and James Delaney’s  amazing time, energy and creativity.  James is an artist,  Jozi explorer, faithful friend to Pablo (his retriever/lab), and lives near the Wilds.  He started working on clearing the Wilds and clearing and opening up the overgrown areas plus dotting fabulous metal cut-out owls in the trees (and some animals to complete the wild theme!). There are 67 metallic owls in a copse and it is SUCH fun to look and find them. It’s a wondrous combo of that spotting the previously unseen when you come to a complete stop  in the Game Reserve; of finding treasure in a hunt; and of being in an outdoor art gallery. WHAT a win!  Adults and children were clearly getting such pleasure; strangers were connecting over their ‘sightings’. What an amazing initiative James Delaney – you superstar!  In the meantime check this as always fabulous post from 2 Summers. Take a picnic in the holidays and enjoy the new-look Wilds.

Stay at Liz at Lancaster Guest House

Stay at our well located Guest House and experience Johannesburg activities with the family. View our Rosebank Guest House for Rates and Availability!

Activity centres

Noisy Rooster Keyes Ave Rosebank 

Three little boys having fun on the trampoline

So for littlies (ie up to 5?)  one of my favourite places is The Noisy Rooster 48 Keyes Avenue Rosebank.  The ‘new’ owners have done wonders with this venue. I have watched it grow over the last months in terms of equipment, activities and size of the clientele. Admittedly when I last went it was a Saturday and there were a couple of large birthday parties, but somehow despite lots of small kids, there was a feel of energetic play and contented fun. There are animals (pigs, goats, rabbits) , lots of equipment, fun indoor stuff to do and the most lovely child-minders who are like angels when, as an adult you have more than one small child to watch over and you need an extra pair of eyes and hands! Highly recommended.

FreeRange Lifestyle Centre, Rustic Timber Garden Centre Witkoppen Rd

Further north In Fourways (not my usual stamping ground) is FreeRange LifeStyle Centre at the Rustic Timber and Garden Center 42 Witkoppen Rd, Cnr Kingfisher Dr.  There are 2 play areas: 0-3 play area with childminders and then for the older +3s there’s more advanced equipment, castles, sandpit, bike track and all with the wonderful Clamber Club equipment. Plus lots of shade for adults to relax and have a meal or a cup of coffee.  And there are cookery classes and an amazing crafting section called the Glitter Factory where kids can use glitter, paint, mosaic, clay and make their own creations. The Glitter Factory is  open 7 days a week…Monday to Friday 8:30 to 16:30 and Saturday and Sunday 9:00 to 17:00. 

Dr Seuss holiday camp, National Childrens’s Theatre 

 

For older children and teenagers (from 7 to 16) if you need them occupied for the entire morning you can send them to a Dr Seuss camp at the National Children’s Theatre in Parktown.  It doesn’t come cheap at  R1400 per person, but will for sure be loads of fun.  9-12pm 4th – 8th December 

 

Theatre and shows

Pinocchio, Joburg Theatre, Braamfontein 

There are several theatre performances which are ideal family entertainment. The inimitable and indomitable Janice Honeyman has her annual pantomime. This year it is Pinocchio at the Joburg Theatre with the equally inimitable and indomitable Tobie Cronje as Geppetto. It shows until 30th December. 

Shrek People’s Theatre Braamfontien

One of my favourite animated movies of all time was Shrek so I am for sure going to take my grandsons along to see the play at the Peoples Theatre.   Till 24th December

A Seussified Christmas Carol National Children’s Theatre Parktown

If Dr Seuss has anything to do with Dickens’ Christmas Carol, it could only be a whimsical reinvention as well as loads of fun.  A Seussified Christmas Carol shows at the National Children’s Theatre until the 23rd December  3 Junction Avenue, Parktown. 

BOOKINGS: Call the theatre on 011 484 1584/5 or bookings@nctt.org.za

Sparky National Children’s Theatre, Parktown

Also at the National Children’s Theatre is Sparky a play which is perfect for 3 to 7 year olds. It’s based on the book with the wonderful opener:   

“I want a pet.”

The girl’s Mother’s response ? “You can have any pet you want as long as it doesn’t need to be walked or bathed or fed! It’s a sloth!

WHEN: Tuesday 5 to Friday 8 Decr 12:00 and 14:00;  Saturday 9 Dec, 10:00 and 14:00; Tuesday 12 to Friday 15 December & Monday 18 to Sat 23 Dec, 10:00 and 14:00.   

Ticket Prices: R90.00 for chairs and R80.00 for cushions

WHERE: Wynnstay Theatre at National Children’s Theatre grounds

BOOKINGS: 011 484 1584 or bookings@nctt.org.za 

Cinderella on Ice, Teatro Monte Casino 

For older kids and especially the wannabee ballerinas Cinderella on Ice is always a favourite.  it is showing at the Teatro at Monte Casino  until 6th January

WHEN: Friday, 1 Dec to Saturday, 6 Jan, Every Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday Time: Tuesday – Friday: 19h30; Saturday: 15h00 & 19h30; Sunday: 14h00 & 17h30

Markets

Rosebank Sunday Market

Markets are wonderful place to browse, eat, drink, chill and shop. The Rosebank Sunday Market is a great family market as it has wide aisles and lots of space so there isn’t that cramped claustrophobic feeling that so many markets have. Plus they have special children’s activities planned for Sunday 3rd and Sunday 10th December.  

 

Bryanston Organic Market 

The Bryanston Organic Market  has several stall holders who offer various activities for kids from painting on ceramics and Tshirts to the Toy Lady’s stall with its train set and doll’s house.

For more on Jozi Christmas markets see the as always excellent post by Johannesburg In Your Pocket. 

Carol Singing

Gauteng Opera at The Sheds, 1 Fox St. 

Carol singing is a firm family favourite at this time of the year and there are always loads of events on offer.  But particularly special will be the Gauteng Opera singing carols at the Sheds Fox St on 9th December at 7pm.  

 

Christmas with the Welsh Male Voice Choir & the South African Lippizaners, Kyalami 

Billed as “the best Christmas Show in Gauteng”, it’s a wonderful mix of the magnificent white stallions and the Welsh Male Voice Choir, who will sing popular carols. There are performances in the evening and on Sunday mornings but check the website for full details.  

Movies 

Paddington 2 

Paddington is happily settled with the Brown family in Windsor Gardens, spreading joy and marmalade wherever he goes. Paddington finds a special pop-up book in Mr. Gruber’s antique shop and wants to buy it. But when it is stolen he has lots of adventures to find the thief.  

Jungle Bunch  

This didn’t get a very positive review billed in The Guardian  as a ‘relentlessly chirpy kids’ animation … set in a colourful jungle menaced by a pyromaniacal koala bear called Igor.  But then Cath Clarke is a grown up who probably  also thinks that a python that has swallowed an elephant is just an ordinary hat.  

And finally Coco and Olaf’s Frozen Adventure is a typical Disney animation. Olaf’s Frozen Adventure is a 21 minute short (the 2013 Frozen won many awards) which shows before the feature film Coco.   

So as always there is lots to do, although most of it comes at a price! 

Playgrounds, feeding the ducks and visits to the local library all come for FREE!!  

 

 

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