Summer activities for kids

Summer is an expensive time for any family – holidays, festivities and kids’ entertainment can certainly add up. Unfortunately, all those great winter specials come to an end and it seems prices on most activities are hiked up over the holiday season. Moneybags went out and sourced some easy activities that won’t blow your summer budget.

Cape Town

Free story telling at The Book Lounge
Every Saturday from 11am, the Book Lounge (71 Roeland Street, Cape Town) runs free story telling sessions. You can sit at their coffee shop and browse the New York Review of Books while you wait. Phone +27 21 462 2425 or email booklounge@gmail.com.

Boulders Beach
Entrance is R 35 for adults and R 10 for kids, and includes access to the idyllic beach as well as the penguin viewing areas. Boulders can get busy over the summer period, so if you are looking for a quieter beach head along the coastal path and pick a spot. There are plenty of penguins along the coastline and the sea is usually calm.

The Barnyard Restaurant
The Barnyard Restaurant (4 Steenberg Rd, Tokai) is a great spot to take your children for a day. You can enjoy a meal with friends while the kids play on the swings and jungle gyms or explore the petting zoo. Meals are reasonably priced (between R 30 and R 60 for a main course), and donkey rides can be organised. Call +27 21 712 6934 to book.

Johannesburg

Indoor Entertainment
Galaxy World offer packages on activities that will keep your kids endlessly occupied. Try their R70 Single Combination Package, which includes one game of bowling, one bumper car ride and 30 minutes on high tech amusement games. Their Family Combination for R240 includes four games of bowling, four bumper car rides and 30 minutes on high tech amusement games.
With branches in Menlyn, Bedforview, Carlton and Hammanskraal, it shouldn’t be too hard to find a Galaxy World near you. Visit www.galaxyworld.co.za for more information.

Johannesburg Zoo
This extensive zoo covers 81 hectares of land and runs a variety of programmes each month. Entrance is R36 for kids and R58 for adults. Take advantage of their picnic specials in summer or their family programme for a full day of fun. Call +27 11 646 2000 for more information.

Bunny Park picnic
Take a picnic to the Bunny Park in Pretoria Road where you can eat surrounded by bunnies, donkeys, goats and other free-roaming farm animals. Although it is not an upmarket venue, kids will enjoy petting the animals and entrance is free. Call +27 11 422 3651 to book.  Make sure you pack a bag of carrots.

Ice Skating
Northgate Ice Arena run a half price special on Thursday nights. And on Sundays, entry and skate hire is only R40. For the rest of the week, entrance is R50 and an ice skate hire is R20. There are snacks available at the tuck shop, and a range of restaurants in the mall. Cal +27 11 794 8706 to book.

Moneybags’ fun find:
Let’s Go Bowling run off-peak specials – first come, first serve: Tuesday R10, Wednesday R15, Thursday R20 and Sunday at R25. Click here to find a branch near you.

Durban and KZN

Amanzimtoti Bird Sanctuary
Amanzimtoti Bird Sanctuary consists of 4.5 hectares of land, including a riverine forest and gardens boasting 150 different species of birds. Only 20km outside Durban city centre, entrance is free and you can take a picnic along. Call +27 31 903 7498 for more information.

Adventure Golf
Try your hand at adventure golf at the Pavilion shopping centre in Westville. For three game passes, you pay R55 for adults and R39 for children under seven. Passes can be used on that day or redeemed at a later stage. Best of all, they’re open all day every day – even on a Sunday. Call +27 31 265 1570 to book.

uShaka Marine World
From 1 December 2012, visitors can purchase a package which includes access to the uShaka Marine World and Wet ‘n Wild water park. Adults pay R165, and kids below 12 get in for R 125. Click here for more information.

Moneybags’ fun find:
Durban has some great beaches with warm sea and predictable weather.  Take a drive to Willard Beach in Ballito where lifeguards will be on duty seven days a week. The waves are great for body-boarding and there is no entrance fee.

And if the kids are hungry:
Panarotti’s is running an all you can eat pizza deal every Thursday for R54, 95. And Spur will continue to run their buy-one-get-one-free burger deal every Monday evening.

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*All prices correct at time of publication and subject to change thereafter.