The time has arrived for you to reveal the romantic in you, even if only on this one day in the year. Here are 12 things to do for Valentine’s Day in Gauteng.
Valentine’s Day in Gauteng
Please note: most of these venues will require you to book beforehand, and it’s always best to confirm details and prices with the specific establishments concerned.
1. Hot-air ballooning over the Cradle of Humankind
Take a hot air balloon ride with AirVentures over the Cradle of Humankind. These one-hour flights leave from Kloofzicht Lodge, coffee is served on arrival, and champagne after landing. Take a bottle of bubbly along if you feel like having some while enjoying the spectacular view of the heritage site below. Booking is essential.
Price: R2000 per person for the classic flight, R 2300 per person for safari flights, and private flights are R6700 per couple for the classic flight and R6900 per couple for the safari flight.
Venue: Cradle of Humankind, Muldersdrift, Johannesburg
Contact: Tel 083 356 2435, www.air-ventures.co.za
2. Go to a concert at the Pretoria National Botanical Garden
Pack a picnic basket and a blanket, and enjoy an evening in the open air with entertaining live music. Guest stars include Shimza, Black Coffee, Oskido, Crazy White Boy, Skeelo and Holly. Gates open at 13:00 on Saturday 14 February. Advanced booking is required. Tickets not for sale to persons under the age of 18.
3. Cook a romantic meal together
Wicked Food Cooking School offers a special cooking class for couples on Valentine’s Day (and earlier that week on Friday 13 February). Both classes start at 18:00 in the evening. Included in the price below are delectable foods (contact them for details about the menu), the cooking lesson, sparkling wine and drinks during the evening. The evening promises to be fun-filled and a great bonding experience for couples. Cooking classes are limited, so be sure to book in advance.
Price: R950 per couple
Venue: The Square Shopping Centre, c/o Rivonia and Naivasha Roads, Sunninghill, Johannesburg
Contact: Tel 076 236 2345, email email@example.com, www.wickedfood.co.za
4. Have a laugh at Parker’s Comedy and Jive
Laughing is known to be the best medicine. Spice up your Valentine’s Day with a live comedy show. Experience a sophisticated up-market venue whilst stretching back in your chair to the sounds of laughter with your loved one. Local and international comedians come in regularly. Keep an eye out for upcoming functions and events on the website. Shows are held at Montecasino and Silverstar. Doors open at 18:30 and bookings are essential.
Price: R120 per person
Venue: Montecasino, 1 Monte Casino Boulevard, Johannesburg; Silverstar, R28 Muldersdrift, Krugersdorp
Contact: Tel 011 511 0081/2, email firstname.lastname@example.org, www.parkerscomedy.com
5. Spend a day at Sparkling Waters Health Spa
Treat your partner and yourself to a relaxing day out of town at Sparkling Waters Health Spa. Ask for the Valentine’s Day offer (applicable for the entire month). The spa is an extension of the Sparkling Waters Hotel (3 star), and makes for a lovely treat, especially if you also plan to stay for the night. Sparkling Waters Hotel also has a dinner dance on the Saturday night of the weekend preceding Valentine’s Day.
Price: Valentine’s Day special R990 per person (which includes a 30 minute Jacuzzi session, followed by a glass of champagne and relaxing spa treatments)
Venue: Rustenburg, roughly one-and-a-half hours’ drive from both Johannesburg and Pretoria
Contact: Tel 014 535 0000/6 or 082 859 4036/7, email email@example.com, www.sparklingwaters.co.za
6. An afternoon or evening at Tangaroa Strawberry Farm
Have a romantic picnic on the banks of a beautiful dam and watch ducks swim past while you enjoy the sunset at the Tangaroa Strawberry Farm. Tangaroa Strawberry Farm has various picnic basket specials to choose from (last orders are taken on 6 February) and also offers spa treatments. There are two picnic sessions, one in the afternoon and one in the evening. Booking is essential. Note that strawberries are not in season, but the outing still promises a farm feeling and escape from the city. Also note that visitors that bring their own picnic baskets require picnic bands for entry.
Price: Variable, according to the different picnic basket specials. The De Luxe basket costs R490 (for 2 people), the Gourmet basket costs R595 (for 2 people), and other options are also available. You also have choice of spa treatment specials.
Venue: The farm is near the south-west corner of the Hartebeespoort Dam, ± 50 km from the Dome at Northgate.
Contact: Tel 082 503 5996 or 012 207 1116, email firstname.lastname@example.org, www.tangaroa.co.za
7. Go to the Johannesburg Zoo
This is the classic outing romanticised by Hollywood and makes for a great day trip. Kids will also be entertained. Take a nice long stroll, have an ice cream, and learn about the animal world. The zoo is open from 08:30 to 17:30 weekdays and weekends, with last entries being at 16:00.
8. Horse-riding, quad-biking and picnics
Spend the day riding horses, quad bikes and enjoy a tasty picnic platter with a bottle of sparkling wine in the Magaliesburg Mountains. A bouquet of flowers and chocolates are also included in the adventure. Saddle Creek Ranch are also offering a second Valentine’s Day package, which includes horse riding, quad biking and go karting. Booking is essential.
Price: R700 to R850 per person
Venue: Saddle Creek Ranch Farm, Hartebeesfontein Road, Hekpoort
Contact: Tel 079 467 9906/7, email email@example.com, www.saddlecreekadventures.co.za/valentines-day
9. Hedianga Beast
If candle-lit dinners aren’t your thing, hit the trail in this running event in Pretoria East. There are three distances to choose from – 5, 10 and 15 kilometres – along an undulating course of rocky climbs, single track, Jeep track and grassy stretches. There’ll be live music, food stands, craft beer and artisanal coffee. Warning: the 15-kilometre route requires a strong level of fitness (or a bloody-minded I’ll-show-you attitude).
Price: R90 (5km), R100 (10km), R130 (15km)
Venue: Hedianga Farm, Pretoria East
Contact: Wildtrail Tel 083 294 5260, website wildtrail.co.za
10. Go ice-skating at Festival Mall or Northgate
This is a fun option both for those in Kempton Park (Festival Mall) and in Johannesburg (Northgate Shopping Centre) – and with the high summer temperatures, a golden opportunity to cool down in style. Kids will also enjoy this outing. There are two ice-skating sessions, from 10:00 to 17:00 and from 19:30 to 22:30.
Price: R80 entrance fee, including skate hire, at both ice rinks (Northgate’s ice rink has a half-price Tuesday special for only R40, including skate hire. Both have a Sunday Night Madness special, when you pay R45 for the evening, including skate hire).
Venue: Festival Mall corner CR Swart Drive and Kelvin Street, Kempton Park and Northgate Mall, c/o Norththumberland Road and Olievenhout Avenue, Northriding, Johannesburg
Contact: Tel 011 394 6702 (Festival Mall) and 011 794 8706 (Northgate)
11. Couples photo shoot
Many photographers in Johannesburg do couple photographs, and it could be good fun and a generally inexpensive and memorable thing to do on Valentine’s Day. Because beauty is in the eye of the beholder, search for a photographer in your area and pick the one whose portfolio you like most.
Tip: remember that many Valentine’s Day specials become cheaper when done in groups, so check with the venue and consider involving your friends for double dates etc.