As the largest city in South Africa, Johannesburg boasts a long lineup of activities and attractions for families of all ages and interests. With a diverse history and colorful present, families can explore the once home of Nelson Mandela, now a museum, along with a slew of interesting and educational attractions along the way.
Venture through stunning botanical gardens, modern museums and historic landmarks to your heart’s content, as the city is literally filled with them, or stick to the thrills that will keep your kids active, engaged and entertained for the duration of the trip.
Skim through this list of kid-friendly fun in the city.
Keep the kids busy and entertained at Gold Reef City, an amusement park loaded with gold-mining history and information, playfully mixed into more than 30 roller coasters and interactive 4-D theater experiences.
You can always rely on a great city zoo to keep the kids happy on a family vacation. Explore the many beautiful and wild residents of the zoo and enjoy kids programming and learning all about the Joburg Zoo conservation efforts.
Get a little closer to the action and visit the Lion & Safari Park. This tourist destination protects wildlife from poaching and abuse, as well as educates visitors on unique and endangered species. Read more about the voluntourism programs before visiting and see if your kids want to get involved. Children 12 and younger are free admission and can even get up-close to some of the friendly wildlife.
Boasting natural landscape and incredible UNESCO World Heritage sites — one of only eight in the country — this stunning locale is known as the place where mankind originated. The Cradle of Humankind is the location where the first hominid, or great ape and human species, Australopithecus fossil was uncovered in the early 1920s, leading scholars to believe the area was home to the first signs of life. The entire region boasts 13 excavation sites, all a significant fossil discovery as the birthplace of the human species. The region is about an hour drive from Johannesburg proper, so pack some snacks and enjoy some fun along the way with the kids. The picturesque wide-open landscape and natural beauty is reason enough for a quick trip.
Get in a little shopping, dining and relaxing at the Neighbourgoods Market in downtown Johannesburg. The open-air market is open every Saturday, with locals selling food, drinks, homemade goods and unique art pieces, along with a wide variety of attractions.
Zermatt’s colorful ski boutique-lined Bahnhofstrasse, stylish apartment-style lodgings of every description and views of the Matterhorn from every angle make up one of Europe’s most family-friendly destinations — and it certainly does not hurt that it is proclaimed the “world’s best ski resort” by organizations like SnowOnline.com year after year. During the warmer months, meanwhile, you will see many family groups with kids strolling the shopping streets (sometimes alongside a herd of about 50 free-range Valais Blackneck goats around 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.), enjoying fondue and pizza at nearby cafés, and taking advantage of the many hiking and bike trails.
By Hainan Airlines
In a recent survey by Orbitz, 63 percent of millennial travelers said the hotel amenity they'd like to see more of is plants in hotel rooms. The same number said they seek plant-filled spaces and activities on vacation, including parks and botanical gardens.
The movies and cruise vacations actually have a lot in common: fascinating ports of call, making friends with interesting people, new sensory experiences, the constant change of scenery. When you think about it, it’s no surprise many classic comedies and romances are set aboard cruise ships, including Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) with Marilyn Monroe, Royal Wedding (1951), An Affair to Remember (1957) with Cary Grant, the more recent and kid-friendly Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation, and the long-running television series Love Boat.
Downton Abbey swept into family rooms and show-binging homes back in 2010 and is now resurfacing with a new story — this time on film! For Downton Abbey enthusiasts, this is a highly-anticipated event; for newcomers, this is a great chance to binge the show ahead of the film’s release; and for families looking for any excuse to get away, this is the time to take advantage of CIE Tours lineup of Downton Abbey-themed stops.