5 Kid-Friendly Activities in Johannesburg

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.

Gold Reef 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.

Johannesburg Zoo

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.

Lion & Safari Park

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.

Brown lion cubs running and playing in a nature reserve in Johannesburg South Africa.

Brown lion cubs running and playing in a nature reserve in Johannesburg South Africa. Photo: Shams Faraz Amir | Dreamstime.com

The Cradle of Humankind

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.

Neighbourgoods Market

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.