Budget-friendly family activities for the school holidays

Picture: Alberto Casetta/Unsplash

Picture: Alberto Casetta/Unsplash

Published Jun 17, 2023


Family bonding during school holidays positively impacts the emotional well-being of all family members.

Spending quality time together reduces stress, promotes relaxation and boosts happiness. It creates a supportive environment where children and parents can express their emotions, feel heard, and find comfort and reassurance.

With schools across South Africa due for holidays this month, many families are wondering where to spend these.

Time away from the household routine and the normal structure of the day spells excitement for children and if possible, a much-needed break for parents.

Limpopo's Natural Wonders

Limpopo province offers a blend of landscapes, from the bush of Kruger National Park to the tranquil Limpopo Riverine Forest. Go on game drives together, spotting the famous Big Five. Discover the tented camps in the forest, providing an opportunity for unforgettable family adventures.

Soar through the Waterberg Mountains on an exhilarating ziplining adventure. This unforgettable experience provides panoramic views and an adrenaline rush for the entire family, suitable for children aged 5 and up, where you can slide through the stunning mountains.

Zebras at Mapungubwe National Park. Picture: INSTAGRAM

Discover the Unesco World Heritage Site of Mapungubwe National Park. Enjoy guided game drives to observe elephants, giraffes and other wildlife roaming freely in their natural habitat. Take a guided tour to the iconic Mapungubwe Hill, an ancient archaeological site where you can learn about the region’s rich history.

Jozi’s interesting inner city

City ROCK Johannesburg. Picture: INSTAGRAM

Johannesburg boasts a vibrant food scene, making it an excellent choice for a culinary family adventure. Treat your taste buds to delicious sorbets, ice creams, and gourmet popcorn at Maverick and Jane’s in Rosebank.

For health-conscious families, Veggie Shake Shack offers mouthwatering vegetarian burgers, crinkle-cut fries and delectable shakes.

Explore other exciting eateries like Casadanatas, District Café, Pizzeria Lorenzo, and Shazmins Patisserie, where you can experiment with various cuisines and flavours, strengthening family connections through shared dining experiences.

Challenge yourselves with indoor rock climbing at CityROCK Johannesburg. With various climbing walls suitable for different skill levels, the whole family can enjoy this exhilarating activity.

Experienced staff provide safety instructions and equipment to ensure a safe and enjoyable climbing experience.

Cape Town’s Thrilling Ocean Adventures

Despite the winter chill, Cape Town’s ocean offers adventures for families. Enrol in surf camps offered by surf schools across the city, where adults and kids can learn to ride the waves.

Wetsuits and beginner surfboards are available for rental, and experienced instructors will guide you through the process.

Children enjoying the scenes at the Two Oceans Aquarium. Picture: INSTAGRAM

For something perhaps less adventerous but also exciting, visit the underwater world at the Two Oceans Aquarium at the V&A Waterfront.

Here visitors will encounter a diverse range of marine species, from colourful fish to mesmerising jellyfish. Participate in interactive exhibits and educational presentations, allowing the whole family to learn and appreciate the wonders of the ocean.

Whale watching at Hermanus view. Picture: INSTAGRAM

Whale watching

Take a road trip to the charming town of Hermanus, known as one of the best whale-watching destinations in the world.

From June to November, southern right whales visit these coastal waters, providing an awe-inspiring spectacle for visitors. Join a guided boat tour or observe these magnificent creatures from the shoreline.

Enchanting Eastern Cape Fairy Forests

Venture into the enchanting Eastern Cape, where magical fairy-filled forests await. Visit the delightful Away with the Fairies Lodge, explore the Crystal Corner crystal shop, and embark on a whimsical adventure in the fairy forest.

Hogsback is also a fantastic destination for nature hikes, walks, and regular markets, providing ample opportunities for family bonding in a picturesque setting.

The Amathole Mountains’ Hogsback, Picture: INSTAGRAM

Embark on family hikes in the stunning Amatola Mountains. Choose from a variety of trails suited to different fitness levels, including the popular Madonna and Child Waterfall hike. Immerse yourselves in the scenery, encounter wildlife, and create lasting memories in the heart of nature.

Discover the Big Tree, an impressive yellowwood estimated to be over 800 years old. Located in the indigenous forests of Tsitsikamma, this giant stands tall, providing a sense of wonder and offering a great photo opportunity for the family.

No matter your budget or the weather, South Africa offers numerous opportunities for family bonding through food, nature and adventure. This school holiday, embark on a memorable family break, building lasting bonds and creating beautiful memories with your loved ones.

Read the latest issue of TRAVEL digital magazine here.