Tuesday, 17 March 2015

The Jozi WAHM's Guide to Budget Outings with Kids in Jozi

As school holidays near, moms who are at home will be tasked with keeping children busy and stimulated. While there is plenty to do at home, cabin fever is likely to ensue at some point and a few outings are needed for your own sanity. Some fun places to take the kids can be found here (at a fee). Unfortunately, most of us cannot afford to splurge on expensive outings everyday, so here are some ideas on places to go with your kids without breaking the bank.

The park
It may be hard to believe, but there are a few nice FREE parks scattered around Johannesburg if you search hard enough.  Look out for those that have undergone the City of Joburg's Extreme Park Makeover challenge. We have a park within walking distance which is okay, but some of our favourites are Mushroom Park in the middle of Sandton (opposite the Radisson Hotel) and Rose Park in Lenasia.

The great outdoors
Jozi was once said to be the greenest city with the most open areas in the world (I am not sure if that record still stands) and we have plenty of nature in the city. 

The Zoo Lake, Delta Park (both of which have amazing play areas), Emmarentia Dam and accompanying botanical gardens, the Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens, the Melville Koppies (which has weekend tours), the Bunny Park in Benoni and Rietvlei Dam in the south of Johannesburg are some that come to mind. 

Note: some of these charge a nominal entrance fee, while most are completely free (save for maybe some stale bread to feed ducks with).
Play area at Delta Park
Zoo Lake play area

The library
There is no better gift to a child than instilling a love of reading and a membership at your local municipal library is absolutely free for children and no longer even requires payment of a membership fee and will allow little ones to take out three books. Despite many of the books showing their age, there is a great variety of books to choose from and children will be happy with the selection.

One proviso- if your child is not old enough to stay quiet for a few minutes, a trip to the library is likely to earn you the stare of death for anyone seeking solitude there. While Noodle eagerly looks forward to library trips, I think it will still be a while until I am ready to brave a trip to the library with Squish.

Kid's Section at Emmarentia Library

Your local public swimming pools
We are lucky enough to have a pool at home, but if you do not, a trip to the local public swimming pool can be great fun for kids.

 An ice-cream cone at franchises like KFC, Steers or McDonald's is still under R5. For most kids, a trip to get ice-cream is a treat in itself. 

For older kids, it is a good idea to get them involved in some kind of volunteer work, whether it be on a formal basis or even just helping out a neighbour. 

P.S. Jozi WAHM would love to here some of your suggestions for budget trips in and around Johannesburg, so please do share some of these in the comments section.

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