12 things to do with your kids in and around Durban for the school holidays

Posted on 29 June 2015

Looking for ways to keep the children busy during the school holidays? Of course you are. Here are 12 cool things to with your kids in Durban for the holidays.

(Please note that the prices below are subject to change at the organisers’ discretion. Best to give them a call or check their website before travelling).
Also read: a family-friendly guide to Durban

uShaka Marine World, Durban.

Things to do with your kids in Durban

1. Take a hike in Umhlanga

A great (and affordable) idea for a family day trip is to head to the Umhlanga Lagoon Nature Reserve and to stroll through the coastal dune forest and across the Ohlange River towards the Umhlanga Lagoon. The guided walk is half an hour long so it shouldn’t be too strenuous for little hikers. The Reserve is brimming with over 208 bird species as well as plenty of small mammals. Keep your eyes open for vervet monkeys and blue and red duiker. The route is well-marked but walking through the reserve alone is at your own risk.


Guided walks: Bookings must be made a day in advance by calling the Breakers Resort front desk on 031 561 2271. Please contact the desk for latest prices.

Contact Umhlanga Tourism

Tel 031 561 4257 / 031 561 2271, email [email protected], www.umhlangatourism.co.za


2. Visit the People’s Park at Moses Mabhida Stadium

Moses Mabhida Stadium, Durban. Photo by Mohammed Moosa

Moses Mabhida Stadium, Durban. Photo by Mohammed Moosa.

Take the kids to the People’s Park at Moses Mabhida Stadium. There is a kid’s play area for under 12’s, expansive lawns and a kilometre-long track. Parking is right at the playground which is made secure for the tiny tots by a little fence. There is a huge space on marble-like paving for the older ones to do skate-boarding and ride bikes down the ramps of the stadium. They’ve got an extensive plan for the holidays: have a look at the holiday schedule here.


The park is free, with various paid-for activities also available.


Tel 031 582 8242, email [email protected]www.mmstadium.com


3. Take the family to Funworld

Durban Funworld may seem like an obvious addition to this list but, hey, there’s no doubt it will be a huge hit with the kids. Plus, it’s actually quite affordable. And during the school holidays, Funworld will be open until late every day. Be sure to take a family ride on the aerial cableway overlooking the city, the tilt-a-whirl or the swing boat. Or why not have a family bumper-car-battle at the Dodgems Arcade?


All rides are priced between R10 and R15


Tel 031 332 9776 / 304 4934, www.mmstadium.com


4. Splash around at uShaka Marine World

A visit to uShaka Marine World is a must on the to-do list. It’s one of those places that will leave the entire family entertained. Swing by the Sea World aquarium and marvel at the incredible sea creatures or take things a step further and get wet in a world of slides and pools (including the highest slide in the Southern Hemisphere) at Wet ‘n Wild. And if you need to get the kids out of your hair, uShaka Kids World has an awesome play area and offers several fun activities and adventures for children.


Sea World costs R149 per adult and R115 per child (ages 3 to 12). Combos (Wet ‘n Wild & Sea World) costs R199 per adult and R149 per child. Entrance for children under three is free.


Tel 031 328 8000 / 031 328 8090, email [email protected], www.ushakamarineworld.co.za


5. Visit the Virginia Nature Reserve

A moderate walk is a great way to drain off some pent up energy. The Virginia Nature Reserve is 38ha reserve in the heart of Durban North. Once inside the gates, your kids will forget they are in the city and Dora the Explorer adventures take over. On a great day, you’ll see blue duikers, mongoose and some rare species in this popular bird-watching site. To get to the reserve, take exit number 5 off the M4 to Hinton Grove Road in Durban North (to Virginia Airport). Make sure to enter via the main entrance on Hinton Grove Road, which is five minutes from the freeway.





Also read: Six of the best day walks and hikes in Durban


6. Go biking at Giba Gorge

BMXing at Giba Gorge. Photo by Lloyd Ramsay on Flickr.

Take advantage of Durban’s fantastic winter weather and get outdoors. The Giba Gorge Mountain Bike Park in Hillcrest is an awesome place for you and the kids to shake off extra adrenaline that’s been building up during the school term. Giba Gorge sports an excellent BMX track and a 40km mountain bike trail that slithers through the wooded farmlands overlooking the Umtamvuma River Gorge. Giba Gorge also has a restaurant, an art gallery and picnic areas. BMX and mountain bike clinics are also offered.


A day pass for Giba Gorge costs R50 for adults and R20 for children (under 12). Non-riders pay a R10 entry fee.


Tel  031 769 1527, email [email protected], www.gibagorge.co.za


7. Confront crocodiles and snakes at PheZulu Safari Park

crocodiles escape limpopo floods
Nestled in the Valley of 1000 Hills just over half an hour drive from Durban, PheZulu Safari Park is an ideal place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. Apart from the breathtaking beauty of the area, the park’s highlight is definitely its menagerie of crocodiles and snakes. If the kids like facing up to all sorts of creepy creatures, a visit to the PheZulu Crocodile and Snake park will be a treat. Keep a look out for Ramesis their 90-year-old Nile crocodile, and Cleo their 42kg Burmese python.


Crocodile and Snake Park Tour: R50 per adult, R40 per child (under 12). Or purchase a combo package (Village Tour, Zulu Dancing Show, Crocodile and Snake Park Tour) for R150 per adult and R100 per child (under 12)


Tel 031 777 1000, email [email protected], www.phezulusafaripark.co.za


8. Take a trip on Umgeni Steam Railway

Grab the kids and creep through the Valley of 1000 Hills on a vintage steam trains on the Umgeni railway, one of the country’s oldest railway lines. The train journey is from Kloof Station to Inchanga Station and back and happens on the last Sunday of every month. The trains leave Kloof Station at 08:30 and 12:30 and take half a day. There are also special school holiday train on Saturday 4 July (10:30 and 14:30 departures). At Inchanga Station, you’ll find a craft market, picnic area and pony rides. When you get back to Kloof Station, be sure to pop into the Stokers Arms pub.


Tickets cost R200 per adult and R140 per child (ages 2 to 12).


Tel 087 808 7715 / 082 353 6003, email [email protected], www.umgenisteamrailway.co.za


9. Go zorbing at the Groovy Balls Adventure Park

Fancy hopping inside a giant, transparent ball and rolling downhill? It’s simple and great fun. And KwaZulu Natal, as it happens, has one of the best zorbing parks in the country. GroovyBalls Adventure Park in Cliffdale is the place for you and the kids to try your hand at this crazy sport. The Park offers different courses such as the “Kamikaze Run” – a 120-metre downhill roll – and a 60-metre ride for kids. If you want to combine your zorbing with some other activities, the park also offers go karting, target shooting and paintball. Open from 8:00 to 20:00 – booking is essential. Groovy Balls also offers go-karting and paintball.


Ball rides cost from R100 an adult for the first ride and from R75 a ride thereafter. For children (5-13 years), ball rides start at R50 for a first ride and R40 for each ride thereafter. Combos are available. Find a complete price guide here.


Tel 084 330 3112 / 031 783 7162, email [email protected], www.groovyballs.co.za


10. Play a round of paintball at Hillcrest Paintball

Hillcrest Paintball is a must-visit if you and the little ones are a tad bit trigger-happy. It has two arenas for distinct types of paintball warfare: one offers you an African bush experience while another is for SWAT-team-style battle. Hillcrest Paintball also has a pro shop, a tuck shop and braai facilities. Book in advance to avoid disappointment.


From R90 for one game and 100 paintballs. Full price list here.


Tel 074 172 1309, www.hillcrestpaintball.co.za


11. Get drumming at The Drumshack

If your kid is the musical type (or if you just need some musical therapy) you can do worse than taking part in a djembe drumming circle. This is one of those activities that’s not too much of a hassle to organise – the Drumshack in Morningside has interactive shows every Sunday evening – and it’s super-fun for both young and old. If you haven’t taken part in a drumming session, you have no idea what you’re missing. It’s extremely energising and a great way for the family to bond over a cool activity.


Contact Drumshack for details.

Contact Drumshack

Tel 083 704 4879, email [email protected], www.drumshack.org


12. Walk among the ‘living fossils’ at the Durban Botanical Gardens

The Durban Botanical Gardens are Africa’s oldest surviving botanical gardens and house one of the world’s top collections of “living fossil” plants: pre-dinosaur cycads extend back 250 million years. Spend a few hours with the family walking through the gardens, or make some sandwiches and have a picnic. The Gardens’ cycad forest is a bit like stepping onto the set of Jurassic Park. No dinosaurs here, but the pink-backed pelicans sitting in the trees do look eerily like pterodactyls.


Contact www.durbanbotanicgardens.org.za for more information.


Tel 031 309 9240, email [email protected]www.durbanbotanicgardens.org.za


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