Our top 4 child-friendly outdoor spots in Joburg

Looking for the perfect outdoor venue to take the family this weekend? We’ve rounded up the best spots in Joburg, just in time for spring. By Tammy Jacks

While it’s always wonderful to have everyone together on weekends and holidays sometimes, wondering where to take the kids and how to entertain them (and eat a meal) can leave most of us feeling a little panicked. Take a deep breath, because we’ve got you covered. From great child-friendly facilities to delicious food and beautiful surrounds, these child-friendly outdoor spots are certain to keep the kids entertained and leave your sanity intact.

ALSO SEE: 4 baby-friendly breakfast spots in Joburg 

River Café Sandton, Parkmore  

Why it’s great for kids:

Surrounded by kilometres of forest and open fields, this quaint country-style café, complete with jungle gyms, a jumping castle, massive sandpit (and water slide in summer) is ideal for kids who love to climb, swing and build sandcastles. Tables are scattered across rolling lawns so there’s plenty of space for your little one to crawl without scuffing her knees. Plus, you’ll find a second play area in the park just alongside the restaurant.

How’s the food?

There are plenty of kids favourites, from freshly baked croissants and French toast to homemade ice-cream and a large selection of pizzas.


The venue is enclosed and secure, plus there’s baby-changing facilities, kiddies’ tables and chairs as well as a children’s menu with the option of designing your own pizza – perfect for picky eaters!

Visit www.rivercafesandton.co.za or call 011 783 2442.

FreeRange Lifestyle Centre, Fourways

Why it’s great for kids:

When it comes to meeting every family member’s needs, this bustling, upmarket courtyard hits the spot.  There’s a large play area that’s been divided into various age categories, from 0-5 years old, so littlies will have their own section to play away from the older kids. There’s a lovely sandpit, two child-friendly houses to play in as well as a few jungle gyms. Plus, there’s sand art, pottery and painting facilities, suitable for all age groups.

How’s the food?

If you’re looking for fabulous coffee and delicious food, the Lot Restaurant Bakery & Deli in the middle of the centre, won’t disappoint. The focus is on homemade healthy food, so you won’t find tasteless, processed food on the menu. Instead you’ll see banting-friendly meals, artisanal breads, gourmet burgers, freshly baked pastries and sublime coffee. The kiddies’ menu also gets a thumbs up… think sour worm lemonade and Kit Kat chinos.


There’s a few child minders to watch over the kids while you eat, a mini bike track, wooden fantasy castle, and a separate nappy changing and feeding room.

Visit www.freerangelife.co.za or call 011 465 5193.


Tres Jolie, Honeydew

Why it’s great for kids:

From pony and camel rides to face painting and a fully kitted-out playground including a jumping castle and sandpit, your little ones are certainly spoilt for choice at this fabulous venue. Set on five hectares of farmland, this country estate also has a petting zoo where kids are allowed to touch and feed the animals.
How’s the food?

The restaurant boasts a special kiddie’s menu complete with burgers, sandwiches and pizzas.  Plus, the large menu for adults includes everything from freshly prepared flapjacks to homemade burgers and a wide variety of main meals and desserts.


The venue includes nappy changing facilities, child minders to watch the kids, camel and pony rides, a few jumping castles and large playground, plus there’s an option to organise school visits and kiddie’s parties with special catering.

Call 011 026 0153 or visit www.tresjolie.co.za

Gold Reef City theme park, Ormonde, Johannesburg South

Why it’s great for kids:

There’s no doubt that theme parks are a firm favourite with children of all ages. And when it comes to the ultimate fun fair experience, Gold Reef City’s theme park is an award-winning destination, and ideal for a family day out. Even better news is that there’s a brand new Golden Wave ride – which has just arrived in time for summer. The ride has eight hot-air balloons and each one holds four little passengers. When the balloons take off, the ride tilts and spins accompanied by music and a kaleidoscope of bright colours and flashing lights. In motion, the quick revolving movement of the balloons give passengers the sensation of riding a wave. Plus, kids can spin the baskets themselves as the ride is in motion.

How’s the food?

The food court has a wide selection of eateries and restaurants for adults and kids. In fact, all your children’s favourite spots are in one place including Wimpy, Milky Lane (their waffles are still sensational), Mugg n’ Bean (for delicious breakfasts and lunches) and Barcelos.


The theme park has over 30 rides, ranging from thrilling rollercoasters to moving animals ideal for toddlers. Plus, there’s a kiddies’ corner, farmyard and speciality shops. Baby changing facilities are available for both moms and dads too- so your partner can take the little one to the loo while you relax.

Call the Gold Reef City Theme Park hotel for any information on 011 248 5700 or visit www.tsogosun.com/gold-reef-city-casino.

ALSO SEE: 7 fun indoor entertainment areas for kids 


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