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Archery for kids | © anjanettew / Flickr
Archery for kids | © anjanettew / Flickr

10 Top Family-Friendly Things to Do in Pretoria

Picture of Sunee Jones
Updated: 4 October 2017

Looking for a fun day out with the kids? There are tons of things to do in Pretoria that will provide hours of fun for the whole family. Here are 10 of the top family-friendly things to do here.

Ice Skating, IMAX, and Water Fountains

The Grove Mall has something to keep everyone entertained. Pretoria’s only ice-skating rink is a popular destination for young and old, while the IMAX cinema is right across the hall for those who like to see their blockbusters big. The little ones can come in their swimsuits and have hours of fun in the toddler water park, and if you’re still looking for more to do, you can visit the entertainment center to have a go at tenpin bowling, laser tag, bumper cars, the 4D simulator, and classic arcade games.

The Grove, Cnr Lynnwood Rd & Simon Vermooten Rd, Equestria, Pretoria, South Africa, +27 128070963

Animals at the Zoo

The National Zoological Gardens of South Africa is the largest zoo in the country and home to more than 3,100 animals, including a reptile park and a marine aquarium. It’s a wonderful place to spend the day and children will love seeing such animals as lions, tigers, elephants, giraffes, and gorillas up close. There is also a farmyard enclosure where children can pet cows, sheep, and pigs, a large walk-in aviary, and the chance to ride a cable car up the mountain to the predator enclosures. Bring a picnic basket and have lunch next to the Apies River, or buy cash-only snacks at the restaurant and food vendors inside the zoo.

232 Boom St, Daspoort, Pretoria, South Africa, + 27 123392700

Mini Train Rides

Fancy a ride on a mini train? Cedar Junction theme park has three replicas of life-sized trains that will have your little ones hooting for joy as they travel around the 0.75 mile (1.2 kilometre) tracks, going through tunnels and over bridges throughout the park. Other activities available include a swimming pool with a slide, pedal boats, jumping castles and trampolines, jungle gyms, a sandpit, and a mini bike track. Get your kids away from their electronic devices and spend the morning in a safe outdoor environment that is sure to bring a smile to their faces.

Cedar Junction, 404 Graham Road, Zwavelpoort, Pretoria, South Africa, +27 827662748

Train ride | Courtesy of Cedar Junction

Treetop Adventures

Can you see yourself swinging from branch to branch, ululating like Tarzan and pretending to be king of the jungle? If so, then you need to visit Acrobranch, a unique treetop experience dedicated to offering both children and adults the adventure of a lifetime as they move from tree to tree in lush, green forests. There are different obstacle courses based on age and fitness, some aimed specifically at smaller kids, while others cater for teenagers and adults. Imagine yourself zip-lining, crossing wooden walkways, and traversing rope ladders high up in the trees. A unique way to spend the day!

Acrobranch Pretoria North, 18 Honingnestkrans Street, Soutpan Road, Pretoria North, Pretoria, South Africa, +27 869990369

Tree-top adventures | Courtesy of Acrobranch

Go-Kart Racing

For adrenaline thrills, racing go-karts around an indoor track can’t be beaten. Compu-Kart, inside the Zambezi Mall in Pretoria North, allows drivers to push themselves to the limits with speeds of up to 40 miles an hour (65 kilometres an hour). Safety comes first and no racing is allowed without helmets, while experienced marshals are on the track at all times to ensure everyone plays by the rules. With races for all ages, this is the perfect opportunity to experience the exhilaration of Formula One racing in a safe environment.

China Shopping Mall, Sefako Makgatho Dr, Roodeplaat, Pretoria, South Africa, +27 128081138

Learning About Animal Conservation

What better way to learn about animal conservation than to meet the animals up close and perhaps even get the chance to pet them? Bester Birds Zoo is a family-run educational conservation center that also allows children to feed and interact with tame animals. There are over 55 species of bird and 40 varieties of animal, including monkeys, crocodiles, tortoises, and big cats. Bird lovers will be thrilled to see penguins, eagle owls, marabou storks, vultures, and more. Little children will especially enjoy the petting zoo, where they can learn about and have a chance to feed bunnies, guinea pigs, chicks, and ducks.

44 Simon Vermooten Rd, Meyers Park, Equestria, Pretoria, South Africa, +27 128074192

Snake encounter | Courtesy of Bester Birds Zoo

Indoor Trampoline Jumping

It’s like bouncing on the moon! BOUNCE at Menlyn Maine is a huge indoor trampoline park that is home to South Africa’s largest trampoline. They have a free-jump arena, trampoline slam dunk, big bag, dodgeball, and wall tramps in the performance area, as well as a unique adventure challenge course called X-Park that combines elements of climbing, jumping, and free-running before zipping on the aerial runway to the finish line. If you’re serious about trampoline jumping, you can also take classes, including courses designed specifically for kids to help with their social, physical, and cognitive development.

Menlyn Maine, Level 2, Central Square, Amarand Ave, Waterkloof Ext 2, Pretoria, South Africa, +27 129421117

Trampoline jumping for the whole family | Courtesy of BOUNCE Inc

Mountain Biking in a Bike Park

While parents and older kids might enjoy a trail run through any of Pretoria’s top mountain bike trails, little ones who enjoy cycling can do so in the safety of the Hazeldean Valley Kiddies Bike Park. The park is fenced off, allowing parents to get a bite to eat at the Cowhouse Market without worrying that children might wander off; there is seating inside for parents who prefer to keep a close eye out. Inside the bike park there are two trails: a blue-dot trail for toddlers and a green-dot trail for older children. Entry is free.

Ridge Road & Oukraal Boulevard, Hazeldean, Pretoria, South Africa, +27 723990154

Mountain biking | Courtesy of Hazeldean Valley

Adventure Sports in the Outdoors

A trip to AdrenalinX Adventure Park will thrill kids who love action-packed outdoor activities; there are laser games, air-gun shooting, archery, rock climbing and abseiling, and a water park featuring a monster super-slide. All activities are suitable for children and instructors provide presentations before each activity to ensure safety and correct technique, while supervising them constantly to ensure their safety and enjoyment. Perfect for parties, booking is essential to have a day filled with adrenaline-fueled fun.

74 Graham Rd, Shere, Pretoria, South Africa, +27 732713936

Horse and Pony Rides

Horse riding is an activity that can be enjoyed by the whole family. You don’t need your own horse, because at Esperanza Equestrian Center they will let you borrow one of theirs. There are pony rides for little children of all ages and sizes, and horses for older children. Come for the day or take long-term lessons, or enrol your children in a holiday camp where they will learn to ride and take care of horses ,while at the same time learning self-confidence and responsibility.

Volstruis Street, Mooiplaats, Pretoria, South Africa, +27 761845660

Horse riding for the whole family | Courtesy Esperanza Equestrian Center