10 things to do with your kids in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands these school holidays

Posted on 18 June 2013

It’s that time of the year when parents are plagued with the question: How do I keep the kids busy during the school holidays? Well here’s the answer. The Natal Midlands with its warm winter days is a one-stop-shop filled with fun and exciting activities. So grab the kids and enjoy any (or all) of these 10 things to do with your kids these school holidays. (Not in the Midlands? Get some ideas for things to do with your kids in Cape Town, Joburg, or Durban here.)


1. Piggly Wiggly Country Village


kids playing putt putt at the piggly wiggly country village

Kids enjoying a game of putt-putt.


With various activities for the entire family, the Piggly Wiggly Country Village has something for everyone. The Candle Dipping Shop invites little piggies of all ages to create candle art by dipping their candles into different colours of wax while mom and dad shop or do some wine tasting at Meander Fine Wines. Kids can also play putt-putt at the Piggly Wiggly Putt Putt or get creative at the Zulu-Lulu Ceramic Boutique. Offering wholesome family fun and plenty of opportunities to bond with your kids, the Piggly Wiggly Country Village is a must visit this winter holiday. They also have great Kiddies’ Party Packages!

Price: Piggly Wiggly Putt Putt: R20 per person. For prices of other activities, please contact the organisers.

Contact: Tel 033 234 2911 / 076 803 1110,  email [email protected] , www.pigglywiggly.co.za


See More: Activities To Do With Your Family In Cape Town


2. Karkloof Canopy Tours


Karkloof Canopy Tours

Kids as well as adults can be accompanied if required.


For an adventure activity that you and your kids will remember, go on a canopy tour with Karkloof Canopy Tours. Unleash your inner monkey by joining the Samango monkeys in the Karkloof forest canopy. Suitable for children from the age of seven, the two-hour eco-experience will afford you the opportunity to traverse from one platform to another along a steel cable suspended 35 meters from the forest floor. With nine platforms and eight foefie slides, it’s a zig-zagging experience the whole family will enjoy.

Price: R595 per person.

Contact: Tel 033 330 3415, email [email protected] , www.canopytour.co.za. Book your canopy experience.


3. Chocolate Dipping at Chocolate Heaven


Chocolate Heaven chocolates

Delicious chocolates from Chocolate Heaven.


For a sweet experience that will certainly give you the parent-of-the-year award, go chocolate dipping at Chocolate Heaven. The chocolates are hand moulded and are created with premium Belgian chocolate. It is an activity dunked in fun that will hopefully leave more chocolate in your belly than on your face.

Contact: Tel 033 266 6870 , email [email protected]www.chocolateheaven.co.za


4. Funtasy Toy Shop


Photo by Vicki.p

Toys! Image by Vicki.p.


After a term filled with learning and homework, don’t you think it’s time to reward your little bright spark? Funtasy Toy Shop offers a wide variety of different toys and games most of which are not found in commercial stores. The quaint toy store offers carefully handcrafted toys for both boys and girls. At Funtasy Toy Shop the kids can create their own special soft toy which has its own heart and passport. Hours of fun can be had with the unique bears.

Contact: Tel 033 266 6999, email [email protected], www.funtasy.co.za


5. Mandela Capture Site

Mandela Capture Site

Nelson Mandela Capture Site sculpture comprised of 50 steel columns.


For an educational experience these holidays, why not visit the interesting Mandela Capture Site. Learn about how Mandela was captured on his return journey from Johannesburg and afterwards, have a snack at Truth Cafe. You can also visit the Impumelelo Bead Shop and sample the beaded artwork and jewellery produced by a group of women.

Price: To visit the Mandela Capture Site, it’s R25 for adults and R15 for Kids (under 18).

Contact: Tel 071 834 4349, email [email protected], www.thecapturesite.co.za


6. Visit Umgeni Valley Nature Reserve


Photo by Baschtl_

See if you can spot a zebra at the reserve. Image by Baschtl.


For a chance to see wildlife in the Natal Midlands, why not visit the Umgeni Valley Nature Reserve, a part of WESSA (The Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa). Your kids will have a field day spotting giraffe, zebra and a variety of antelope in the reserve. With an indigenous tree trail surrounding the main Education Centre, self-guided walks enable mingling with the animals in the reserve. The largest part of the reserve is located in the stunning gorge below Howick Falls, guaranteeing impressive views.

Price: An Umgeni Valley season ticket is R300 pp or R580 for a family (max. 5 members).

Contact: Tel 033 330 3941, email [email protected] / [email protected]wessa.org.za


7. Hiking at the Midlands Meander


Natal Midlands, Photo by active-escapes.co.za

A beautiful view awaits you at the top. Image by active-escapes.co.za.


Get the kids out of the house and head to the Midlands Meander for a casual walk or a hike. The Indigenous Tree Walk is an easy thirty minute walk in Milestone Forest where kids can get some exercise. For a challenging hike, Lemonwood Trails offers an all-day hike up to the escarpment where you can enjoy impressive views of the Drakensberg. Permission for these trails must be obtained in advance.

Contact: Call 033 234 4484 / 082 052 6072, email [email protected], www.lemonwood.wordpress.com


8. African Bird of Prey Sanctuary


African Bird Sanctuary

Children watch a bird of prey in action.


For a day of outdoor fun, visit The African Bird of Prey Sanctuary in Pietermaritzburg, and watch some awesome predators like owls, falcons and hawks in action in an open-air amphitheatre and learn their stories. Don’t miss the vulture feeding sessions, on weekends and public holidays at 12:30. Afterwards, visit the Kestrel Cafe for a cup of coffee and a bite to eat, while the kids burn off some extra energy at the jungle gyms or feeding the rabbits and guinea pigs.

The flying displays are open air and weather dependent. So, if you are uncertain, phone ahead to avoid disappointment and remember to bring your hats, jackets and umbrellas.

Price: To visit the African Bird of Prey Sanctuary, adults pay R70 and kids are R40 (ages 2 to 13).

Contact: Tel 031 785 4382, email [email protected], www.africanraptor.co.za


9. Butterflies for Africa


Butterflies for Africa

Butterflies for Africa.


Visit Butterflies for Africa with the kids these holidays, for a fun and educational experience to remember. There is a walk-through Butterfly House, which boasts both exotic and indigenous butterflies, where you can experience a first-hand encounter with these beautiful insects. There’s also an Education Centre, for those curious kiddies (or parents). Or, for those wanting something a little more wild, there’s a Green Iguana Enclosure and Monkey House. Afterwards, head off to the Butterfly Garden and Nursery  or The Painted Lady Coffee Bar for a cuppa and a bite to eat or pick up a souvenir at the Butterfly Shop.

Price: Admission to butterflies for Africa: Adults – R39, Kids (3 – 16 years) – R26. Admission to The Monkey House: R16 pp (All age groups).

Contact: Tel 033 3871356, email [email protected]ww.butterflies.co.za


10. Fishing in the Midlands Meander


Fishing on the Midlands Meander

A day spent fishing is a day well spent. Main image by Motherhood Cafe.


For a fun-filled day spent relaxing, fishing and braaing, Midmar Resort in Howick is a lovely choice. Teach the little ones the inns and outs of fishing while you try to catch a trout, bass or carp. With a large expanse of water, the resort also offers boating and sailing. The delightful picnicking spots of the resort ensure precious bonding time with the family. The resort offers camping, caravaning and self-catering accommodation options for those who wish to extend their stay.

Contact: Tel 033 330 2067, email [email protected]www.ekznw.co.za


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