Ten things you never knew you could do over Easter in Joburg

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Sometimes it’s really nice NOT to go away. Holidays are fab, but they do mean packing the car, leaving early to avoid traffic, getting stuck in traffic anyway, and then spending a small fortune on a weekend away.  Here are a whole lot of wonderful things that can keep you happy in Johannesburg, these Easter Holidays.

Go to the Beach:

The beach is coming to Johannesburg!  Montecasino’s outdoor Piazza is being transformed into a tropical beach playground.  Build sandcastles, eat ice cream, and enjoy loads of beach activities.  In the evening, sip on a cocktail, eat seafood, then kick off your shoes and dance all night.  R 30 for kids to partake in activities. http://www.montecasino.co.za/whatson/Events/Pages/Easter_Beach_Festival.aspx

Hit the Rand Easter Show:

Fun family entertainment.  The Rand Easter Show is famous for attracting thousands of visitors every year, and just gets better and better.  Carnivals, a circus, kids theatre, puppeteers, a motoring festival, shopping, one of the biggest exhibition halls, food, drink and craft beer.  At Nasrec, gates open at 9 am. R 100 per adult, R 50 per child, free less than 6 yrs. www.randshow.co.za

Watch a live rugby match:

There are a few Easter Rugby and Hockey Festivals over this time, the two big ones organized by St. Stithians and King Edward School.  They are considered annual pilgrimages for multitudes of old boys, school-parents and visitors. Eat a boerewors roll, watch the top high schools clash, get carried away and yell in support on the sidelines.  Click on the below links for the full schedule.

http://www.kingedwardschool.co.za/Annual%20Events/Easter%20Festival

www.saintsfestival.com

Find an Easter egg.  Or twenty:

Join the Easter Bunny at Emperors Palace.

Bring a blanket and your wallet to buy delicious goodies.  The Easter Bunny will entertain your kids, there will be music, and of course, eggs!  No outside picnic baskets allowed.  19 to 21 April, R 70 per adult, R 50 for kids

http://www.emperorspalace.co.za/peermont/content/en/emperors/emperors-events-entertainment

Drive around a race track:

Go-karting, anyone? Head to Kyalami for some high adrenalin action!   Arrive and drive, sprint race or endurance race.

Closed on Good Friday.  Call Phillip as it’s a good idea to book. 071 – 500 8022.  R 200 per person for 15 minutes, the longer you Go-Kart the cheaper it gets. www.gokartracing.co.za

 Put on some layers:

Ice Skating?  It may be autumn, but you can pretend!  Don your beanie and scarf and head off to one our Winter Wonderlands.  Check out the ice rinks at The Grove, Northgate Mall and Festival Shopping Mall.  Open 10am–5pm and 7.30pm-10.30pm.  R 55 entry fee.  Dress warm!  http://theicerink.co.za

Cable Car, anyone?

You’ve always seen it, but never taken it!  Now is the time.  The cableway has had a serious over-hall, the views are beautiful, the dam sparkles, and there’s a restaurant at the top.  Spend a few hours in Hartebeespoort afterwards. They have a zoo, snake farm, boat cruises and loads of restaurants, shops and markets. Tickets are around R 160.00 per adult, R 90 per child.  www.hartiescableway.co.za.

Cuddle a lion. (cub)

If you can’t get yourself to the Kruger Park, this is the next best option.  And much, much closer.  No booking needed.  Take a game drive where you can see lion, wild dog and cheetah, as well as the many antelope species, giraffe and zebra.  Get there in time to see a lion feeding.  Stay in the car!  Adults R240, kids R 140, free if you’re under four.  Lower prices for self -drive, extra fees for lion cub interactions.  Tel: 011-691-9905 or www.lion-park.com

Lay out a Blanket, enjoy a Picnic:

Where Eagles soar! Buy some goodies and head to The Walter Sisulu National Botanical Gardens.  The walks are easy and beautiful, there’s a waterfall that you can splash around in, and beautiful indigenous plants and animals. If you didn’t pack a picnic, don’t worry! The Eagle’s Fare Restaurant serves light meals.  Open daily, 8 am to 6 pm, R 35 per adult, free for kids under six.  Tel: 011 – 958 1750 http://www.sanbi.org/gardens/walter-sisulu

Put on your Hiking Boots:

Suikerbosrand is 45 minutes out of Johannesburg and is the best place in Gauteng for cycling or hiking. The name means ‘Sugar Bush’ and the flora and fauna are really pretty. Walk with dassies or baboons!  If walking is not your thing, there is a 60 km circular drive, with picnic spots on the way, really beautiful.  R 20 for adults, R 10 for kids. http://www.gauteng.net/attractions/entry/suikerbosrand_nature_reserve/

 A Canopy Tour?

Drive for just one hour, whizz through the trees for two! Magalies Canopy Tours offer a kind of Tarzan and Jane experience, sliding above the trees in zig zag fashion, from platform to platform, while safely harnessed in.  It’s expensive, but great fun!  014 – 535 01050, bookings essential.  R 495 per person.www.magaliescanopytour.co.za

 Walk, with or without a dog: 

Johannesburg boasts more than 2300 parks.  Take a slow walk around the Delta Park or the Melville Koppies.  Take a book, laze under a big tree and eat an ice cream. Perhaps visit the Jozi Land Art outdoor exhibit at Emmarentia.  Or you could try The Zoo Lake, and if you’re hungry, Moyo has divine African food and music.Check out www.jhbcityparks.com and www.moyo.co.za

Explore the Inner City:

You can join a Walking Tour of Braamfontein, Maboneng and Newtown.  Book ahead of time, and either do this privately or join a scheduled tour.  Take the kids, leave the dog at home.  www.mainstreetwalks.co.za or www.joburgplaces.com

There you have it – even more than ten ideas of things to do in Johannesburg.  And we haven’t even mentioned the Cinema, Markets or Sandton City Malls.  Which means, if you find yourselves in Johannesburg over Easter, don’t despair.  There’s a ton of stuff to do!

Have fun and Happy Easter!

 * We suggest you call ahead of time to ensure that above places are trading on all days over the Easter Holidays.  Prices and opening times are guidelines only.