Family time

Spots to bond with family these school holidays

The winter school holidays are upon us. Are you dreading the numerous times your kids may say ‘Mom, I’m bored’, or ‘Can I have some money to go bowling?’
Be assured, you are not the only one wishing the next few weeks would pass in a blink of an eye.
If you are one of the lucky few that are fortunate enough to stay home with your children during these school holidays, consider taking your little ones for these fun activities or take a bite at any of these child-friendly heritage sites in Pretoria.

Voortrekker Monument

On 15 March 2012, the Voortrekker Monument was declared a national heritage site, marking it as the first Afrikaner national heritage site since the advance of democracy.
It was declared a heritage site due to its significance in the political history of South Africa and the building’s unique architecture.
Feel free to take your little ones and give them a much-needed lesson on our rich history.
Tel: 012 326 6770

Union Buildings

The Union Buildings were declared a national heritage site on 16 December 2013. This coincided with the building’s centenary and unveiling of the giant bronze statue of Nelson Mandela.
Apart from housing the presidency and being one of South Africa’s most iconic buildings, many significant historical events have taken place at the Union Buildings, which include the 20 000 women march in 1956, and Nelson Mandela’s inauguration as the first democratically elected president of South Africa.
The grass and beautiful garden around the buildings are fascinating. Take your children for a stroll or enjoy a refreshment on lawn while taking in the beautiful view of the city.
Tel: 012 300 5200

Tswaing

About 40km north of Pretoria, still within the municipal boundaries of Tshwane, you’ll find a crater formed by a meteorite that crashed there over 220 000 years ago. The whole area is now a nature reserve and one of the top birding destinations in Gauteng.
Take a drive with your little ones and learn something new, one that not many people know about.
Tel: 076 945 5911

Historic Buildings

There are many lovely historic buildings in Pretoria. Treat your children to one or all these wonders:
– The Pioneer House at the Pioneer Museum is an open air museum set in a restored three-hectare Victorian settler farmstead.
– The Kruger House is the residence of Paul Kruger, now a museum.
– The Melrose House is the beautiful Victorian house where the Treaty of Vereeniging, which ended the Anglo Boer war, was signed and is now a museum.
– The Palace of Justice and The Raadsaal are among the many historic buildings on Church Square.

Freedom Park

Freedom Park is regarded as one of South Africa’s most ambitious heritage projects and dedicated to celebrating South Africa’s heritage.
Taking your children for a peaceful picnic in Freedom Park.
Tel: 012 336 4000

The Intiem Love Bridge at Magnolia Dell

Magnolia Dell is a beautiful, clean and green park where visitors can enjoy an afternoon stroll next to the water.
It is a popular venue for arts and crafts markets. It also has a lovely tea garden and restaurant.
Be sure to visit the Intien Love Bridge, it is a sight not to be missed.
Tel: 012 358 0495

Ditsong National Museum of Natural History

The Ditsong National Museum of Natural History, or previously the Transvaal Museum, is a natural history museum situated in the heart of Pretoria.
The museum curates large collections of Plio-Pleistocene fossils, including hominids from Sterkfontein, Swartkrans and Kromdraai in the UNESCO World Heritage Site; the Cradle of Humankind, as well as late Permian therapsids (proto-mammals from the Karoo).
Tel: 012 492 5744

Pretoria National Botanical Garden

The Pretoria National Botanical Gardens is one of South Africa’s nine National Botanical Gardens.
The 76 hectares garden was established in 1946, and of late hosts the headquarters of the South African National Biodiversity Institute.
The botanical gardens are perfect for a picnic with your little ones. Be sure to pack a nice picnic basket as there are no braai facilities and it is strictly prohibited.
Tel: 012 843 5071

Pretoria National Zoological Gardens

The National Zoological Gardens of South Africa (also informally known as The Pretoria Zoo) is an 85-hectare zoo located in Pretoria.
It is the national zoo of South Africa and was founded by J. W. B. Gunning in 1899. Pretoria zoo is one of the eight largest zoos in the world and one of the most highly-rated.
The zoo has holiday programs that are available to students during the winter holidays. One such course is the Junior Nature Conservators course. For more information on the courses send an email to [email protected]
Tel: 012 339 2700

Rose garden at Venning Park

The Venning Rose Park was previously known as Eastwood Square. The name Venning Park honoured John Harold Venning, former Municipal Director of Parks who retired in 1940.
Today the park is known as Rose Park mainly due to the Rosarium which is filled with more than 3 000 rose bushes.
If your children like flowers, more specifically roses, treat them to this lovely site over the holidays.
Tel: 012 344 3840

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