The festive season is here, finally.  Honestly this year went so fast that I feel there were so many things, places and weekend trips I still wanted to take but never got to it.  But wait, this year is not over just yet, make some time and visit some of these festive day trips in and around Johannesburg.

1. Monte Casino Bird Park

What Time:

  • Monday to Friday: 08:30 – 17:00
  • Weekends and Public Holidays: 08:30 – 17:00
  • Flight of Fantasy Show – Weekdays: 11:00 and 15:00
  • Flight of Fantasy Show – Weekends and Public Holidays: 11:00, 13:00 and 15:00


  • Adults R64 | Pensioners R 36 | Hotel Guests: R 36
  • Children:  10 years+ R 64 | Children 9 years – R36
  • Montecasino Rewards Programme members pay only R 33 per tickets or less (Thats a saving of R 31! ).

 Monte Casino also has Ten Pin Bowling (R48/person) and Laser Tag (R50/game) available, perfect to end the day

2. Johannesburg Botanical Gardens and Emmarentia Dam

The Johannesburg Botanical Gardens and Emmarentia Dam are one of our little secrets.  The gardens and dam is relatively well maintained, especially considering how popular it is.  This is truly a lekker place to have a picnic with friends or take the dogs for a jog (please take a poop bag for your dogs)

Johannesburg Botanical Gardens has seven distinct gardens:  the Herb Garden, the Hedge Garden, the Succulent Garden, the Shakespeare Garden, the Rose Garden, the Chapel Garden and the Arboretum (a collection composed exclusively of trees).

The gardens have a small café near the main entrance on Olifants Road, that serves light meals and refreshments. That is if the picnic basket seems like too much effort

There are safe parking from different access points in Thomas Bowler, Orange and The Braids roads.

  • Your dogs are welcome at Emmarentia dam, not the Botanical gardens.

  • Johannesburg Zoo and the Military Museum is also around the corner

What Time:

The park is open to the public throughout the year.

Ching- Ching:

The park and gardens are free to the public

 Trip Advisor Ratings 

3. Klipriviersberg Nature Reserve

Feel like a nice afternoon hike up the Koppie, waiting as the sun set over a spectacular landscape, well then Kliprivierberg Nature Reserve is ideal for you. Having a day out with the family and forgetting that you are but a few km outside Jozi , has never been easier.

Ching- Ching:

It completely free

 Trip Advisor Ratings:

4. Trampoline Parks

How I love this new trend that has hit our South African shores, trampoline parks.  I love them, they are great for for all, no matter your age, no matter your body.  Everyone is there to have some fun.

The two options I would recommend:


  • Where: Cape Town | Greenstone (Jozi)
  • Ching-Ching: R140 for your first hour


  • Where: Midrand
  • Ching-Ching: R140 for your first hour

5. Honeydew Mazes

Honeydew Mazes is simply a place to go have fun.  Take your mates and family and go have a day of exploration.  Remember your Sun hat, this is an outside venue.

Ching- Ching:

  • Adult R120 | Children R80
  • Family price 2+2 = R350

Trip Advisor Ratings  

6. Cradle of Humankind

If you haven’t been here yet, then I suggest you get yourself to this truly amazing discovery.  Experiencing a small part of where we as a species came from is worth the drive and the price.

What Time:

Maropeng: 09:00 -17:00

Sterkfontein Caves: 09:00 – 17:00

Ching- Ching:

Holiday special of 25% off


  • Adults R120 | Children (4-14) R65 | Under 4 Free
  • Pensioners R65 | Students R75

Sterkfontein Caves:

  • Adults R165 | Pensioners R85 | Students R100
  • Children (4-14) R97 | Under 4 Free

Trip Advisor Ratings

7. Gold Reef City

An old time favorite, a place for the entire family, even grandma will love it.

Where: Johannesburg City

Ching- Ching:

Operating Hours during December is 09h30 – 18h00

  • Thrill Rider – R 200/person above 1.3m
  • Major Rider – R 150/person above 1.3m
  • Non Rider – R 115/person above 1.3m
  • R 125 per person under 1.3m
  • R 165 per pensioner 60+ years (incl. thrill rides if physically safe)
  • R 125 per pensioner 60+ years (incl. major rides if physically safe)
  • R 165 per student, upon presentation of a valid student card
  • R 525 family ticket (2 Adults and 2 Children under 1.3m)
  • Children under 3 years are admitted free of charge.
  • A Thrill Rider ticket gives you access to all rides in the park
  • A Major Rider ticket gives you access to no thrill rides, but all major rides and non-rider activities
  • A Non Rider ticket has no access to Thrill or Major rides but can use the following facilities
    • Farmyard
    • Science Exploratory
    • Train Museum and Bullion Coach
    • Heritage Houses
    • Crush Museum
    • Gold Panning
    • Fun Train


Trip Advisor Ratings

8. Laser Quest

I have always wanted to go play a game of lazer guest, just like Barnie (maybe even in a suit:).  Surprisingly there are several spot in Jozi available.

Sadly I can say which of these places are the best, but I can say that I will try one of them out soon.

Several of the place seem to be closed on Modays

Swat Laser Tag

Swat Laser tag is an outside venue, similar to paintball.  They work mainly with bigger groups, but I’m told individual parties are welcome (phone first).  What I do like about S.W.A.T is that they can bring the game to you, wherever you want your party, they will bring the guns.

They also have a interesting venue spot, worth a check out.

Where: Sandton | Germiston Rand Airport

Ching- Ching:

Germiston Rand Airport: R1800 for 12 people | R150/person | The Cheapest Option

Santon: R2200 for 12 people | R184/person

Bring the party to me:R2300 for 12 people | R192/person

Laser Max

This venue reminds me of the decor of Barney’s favourite Laser tag, glow in the dark graffitti with smoke machines, adding the the ambiance of sneaking around, shooting you mate in the back/ front in this case.

Where:   Stoneridge Shopping Center, Greenstone


  • R60/person for 15min game

Laser Battle Zone

Another venue Barney will approve of

Where: Brightwater Commons, Randburg


  • R50/person for 15min game
  • R120/person for 45min game

9. Steam Train Experience.

If you haven’t experience a steam train yet, then I suggest you get to it.  Take your mates or your significant other and make a day of it.  Lounging around the train, feeling as it moves ahead with every cloud of smoke puffing away truly calls for a relaxed Sunday afternoon.

We have two option available close by:

Reef Steamers

Tel: +27 (0)11 888 1154


The train departs from several destinations, but seemingly all ends in Magaliesburg


  • Adults R250
  • Children R165 (3-12) | Children under 3 is free
  • Picnic or Braai at Swallows Inn is R20/person
  • Magaliesburg Country Hotel offers a buffet for approximately R120/person | Children R60 (under 12)

Friends of the Rail

Friends of the Rail currently have a festive season special.


They seem to depart fromPretoria-Tshwane and end in one of three destinations:


  • Adults: R250 | Pensioners (65+) R200
  • Children: 13-18 years R175 | 7 – 12 years R150 | 2-6 years R100 | Under 2 is free

10. Parys, Free State

So Parys has been the weekend town of Jozi for quite some time. However over the past few years the poor town has deteriorated to some extend.  But I say this is not due to the townies, but mismanagement of funds.  Rather have blind eye to this and come and support the local businesses (just drive around the massive pot holes, the trucks do).

Parys offers several funs things to do for the day:

  • Going out for a lunch next to the Vaal River or at their super ladida restaurants.
  • Going for some extreme sporting down the river, like wild water rafting
  • Taking a hike close by, or bicycle ride,
  • Skydiving for the fearless
  • Paintball for the boys
  • Abseiling down a cliff
  • Fly Fishing, there is lots of fishing
  • Berry Picking

Give these venues a call:

Sky Diving: 

Real Adventure:

Bon-Af Berry Farm: 

Earth Adventure:

 Trip Advisor Ratings for Parys:

Written by Lizl Brink, Lizl is copywriter and designer based in Johannesburg, she is also a frequent contributor to the Mafadi blog, and as an Urban investor and rejuvenation shares a passion for urban regeneration, go check out her personal portfolio here
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