7 Lekker Local Experiences to Keep the Kids Entertained

by Tia

The latest buzz is that our beautiful country is becoming even more popular for domestic travel. It would seem, according to South Africans, that local really is lekker. In fact, from January to March 2023, we’ve seen a whopping 40.5% increase in local holiday trips compared to the same period last year, says Tourism Update.

Considering a local escape for the whole family? Then your biggest concern will almost certainly be keeping the kids entertained. Because let’s face it, if the kids are happy, everyone’s happy.

Luckily, South Africa is spilling over with fun outings and activities for children of all ages. To aid families in planning memorable local family getaways, Flight Centre South Africa has compiled a list of 7 unmissable local experiences, all with kids top of mind. Let’s dive in.


SANCCOB is dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation, and release of sea birds – primarily the endangered African penguin. It plays a crucial role in educating the public about marine conservation.


  • Interactive Centre Tours: Taking place every 30 minutes, these tours teach families about the journey of rescued birds and the importance of conserving their habitats.
  • Home Pen Feeds: Occurring daily at 09h30 and 14h30.

Practical Information:

  • Opening Times: Open seven days a week from 09h00 – 16h00. Please call to confirm.
  • Entrance Fees: Adult RSA citizens pay R50, and all senior citizens and children under 12 years pay R30. Please take your ID or passport along for verification, as rates differ based on country of residence.
  • Bookings: Via email sim@sanccob.co.za or call 041 583 1830.

Note: there’s also a thriving SANCCOB centre in Cape Town.

2. Ushaka Marine World – DURBAN

Ushaka Marine World is an aquatic wonderland boasting Africa’s largest aquarium (Sea World) and an adventure-packed waterpark (Wet N Wild) for family fun in the sun.


  • Aquarium: Home to diverse marine life displayed in uniquely designed tanks. There’s also a separate shipwreck aquarium.
  • Waterpark: Features an assortment of relaxing and exhilarating water slides and pools.
  • Shows and Events: The aquarium regularly hosts kid-friendly shows and special events.

Practical Information:

  • Opening Times:
    • Sea World is open daily from 09h00 – 17h00.
    • Wet N Wild is open daily from 10h00 – 17h00. Closed during off-peak season on Monday and Tuesday.
  • Ticket Pricing: Various ticket options include family passes and combo tickets for multiple attractions. Check the website for the latest pricing: www.ushakamarine.com. Tickets are only available at the ticketing office.

3. Spier Wine Farm – STELLENBOSCH

Spier, set in the heart of the Cape Winelands, is renowned for its exceptional winery and commitment to family-friendly experiences.


  • Eagle Encounters: Get up close with birds of prey in interactive demonstrations.
  • Craft Markets: Explore local arts and crafts, perfect for family browsing.
  • Kid’s Grape Juice Tasting: Specially curated for young ones to enjoy the fun of tasting while parents sample the estate’s iconic wines.
  • Play Areas: Safe and engaging spaces for kids to play and explore, including their Elemental Play Garden.
  • Picnics: Indulge in seasonally-inspired finger food beneath the farm’s oak trees.

Practical Information:

  • Opening Times: Open daily. Check the website (www.spier.co.za) for specific timings for various activities.
  • Pricing: Check the website for up-to-date prices.
  • Bookings: Email info@spier.co.za or call 021 809 1100.
  • Accessibility: The estate is well-equipped to accommodate families, with pram-friendly paths.

4. Noordhoek Farm Village – CAPE TOWN

Tucked away at the foot of Chapman’s Peak, Noordhoek Farm Village captures the essence of rustic charm and simplicity.


  • Playground: A safe and engaging play area for children of all ages.
  • Artisanal Shops: Explore unique local goods from little shops like Tenga Tenga and The Food Barn Deli.
  • Markets and Events: Find treasures and handmade wooden toys at their Wednesday market and enjoy regular events, such as potjie cookoffs.
  •  Live Music: Listen to great SA bands at Café Roux in a fun and festive family setting.  
  • Delicious Food: Kristen’s Kick-Ass Ice Cream shop is a firm favourite with kids. Restaurants offer pub grub, woodfired pizza, acclaimed chef-prepared tapas, and sushi.

Practical Information:

  • Opening Times: Open daily, but hours may vary for different attractions and shops.
  • Bookings and Pricing: Some activities may require booking in advance. Visit the website (www.thefarmvillage.co.za) or contact them for detailed pricing.

Noordhoek Farm Village is a perfect day-out destination for families, offering a slice of Cape charm with the convenience of family-friendly dining.

5. Monte Casino Bird Gardens – JOHANNESBURG

Overview: The Monte Casino Bird Gardens acts as a serene sanctuary for over 60 species of birds and is known for being Johannesburg’s best-kept secret.


  • Bird Shows: Engaging and educational bird shows captivate audiences of all ages.
  • Walk-through Aviaries: Walk amongst various bird species in their naturalistic habitats.
  • Educational Programmes: Designed to enlighten visitors about bird conservation and ecology.
  • Garden Walkways: See reptiles, small mammals, and unusual animals as you meander past enclosures.

Practical Information:

  • Opening Times: Wednesday – Sunday from 09h00 – 17h00. Confirm timings before visiting.
  • Entry Fees: Entry fees differ for various reasons, but normal rates are R105 for adults and children 13 and older, R70 for pensioners and children 12 and under, and R45 for hotel guests.
  • Show Timings: Bird shows run for 15 minutes at 11h00 and 15h00.
  • Bookings: Some events or programmes may require advance booking via education@montebg.co.za or 011 511 0477.

6. Loch Logan Waterfront – BLOEMFONTEIN

Loch Logan Waterfront in Bloemfontein is one of the largest shopping centres in the Free State, providing a retail experience combined with leisure options for the entire family.


  • Kid-Friendly Entertainment: Various entertainment options are available for children, including play areas and gaming zones.
  • Shopping: Wide range of stores catering to all needs, from fashion to toys.

Practical Information:

  • Opening Times: Open from 09h00 – 18h00 on weekdays, 09h00 – 17h00 on Saturday, and 09h00 – 16h00 on Sunday.

7. Market@theSheds – PRETORIA

Market@theSheds promises an eclectic urban market experience and a celebration of local culture, arts, and cuisine – the perfect family day out.


  • Live Music: Enjoy a variety of live music performances.
  • Local Arts and Craft Stalls: Explore over 50 stalls featuring local artisans and their creations, from handcrafted jewellery to bespoke homewares.
  • Children’s Workshops: Interactive and creative workshops designed specifically for kids.
  • Food Stalls: A wide range of food options showcasing local flavours and seasonal ingredients.

Practical Information:

  • Dates of Operation: The market is hosted every first Saturday of the month.
  • Entry Cost: R50 before 12h00, R100 before 14h00, and R120 after 14h00. Kids under 13, Vespa riders and cyclists enter for free. Parking is free. Rates differ for special editions of the market. Visit www.marketatthesheds.co.za for more info.
  • Opening Times: 11h00 – 20h00.

Ready to explore our beautiful country further? As you can see, magic awaits in practically every corner. Enjoy!

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