Things to Do in the City
It’s September and that means a lot of things: we’re celebrating spring, we’re celebrating our heritage and we’re celebrating World Tourism Day. This year Heritage Day falls on a Tuesday which means that if you are able to take the Monday off, you’ve got a sneaky little 4-day holiday to do pretty much whatever you want.
You can put your feet up and relax for the weekend, catch up on work (yeah right!), head out for relaxing park strolls or even cautiously “party” it up like in the old days. If you’re staying put, we look at a couple of non-Sandton Central, though Sandton Central-approved things to do in the beautiful city that is Johannesburg.
It’s strange to think that there’s a world outside of the district where you are able to have almost as a good time as here, but we braved it out and were delightfully surprised by the things we found.
Happy Island Water World
What better way to celebrate the arrival of spring than an exhilarating water park that houses the biggest wave pool in Africa, features unique rides and slides such as a Monstrous Behemoth Bowl, and the Gravity Loop or pools that double as massage pools? Yeah, we can’t think of anything either.
After closing during winter, for obvious reasons, the park opens its doors again for spring and summer. Tickets will only set you back R250 for adults, R150 if the kids are shorter than 1.3m with free entry for children under the age of 2. Considering what you get, it’s a steal!
Sci-Bono Discovery Centre
Just because it’s a holiday, it doesn’t mean that there shouldn’t be any learning taking place. The Sci-Bono Discovery Centre is a world class science centre that encourages maths, science, and technology education in a fun and thoughtful way.
Even though meant for kids, we’re sure parents can learn a thing or two as well.
Cradle of Humankind
Another educational experience, just a short drive to the west of the city lies the Cradle of Humankind. It is said that this is the exact site where man separated from the other great apes in the evolution theory. One would think a bold claim to such a historic event would be overcrowded and abuzz with tourists, but on the contrary – and that might just be part of the beauty of it all.
The Heritage Site has an abundance of things to do in and around the area, from canopy tours to fly fishing and medieval experiences. With a host of restaurants in the area, ranging from fine dining to authentic African experiences, as well as plenty of places to stay, there really is no reason to not make a small getaway out of the weekend – it is World Tourism Month, too, after all.
Hit the Parks
We know that the hustle and bustle of the busy city and financial hub of Africa can take its toll sometimes. Reason enough to switch off and take some time out on this weekend.
Often, clearing your head is as simple as taking a stroll – out in nature. We’re not suggesting a full-on trail-hike, unless you’re into that sort of thing, of course. No, we’re thinking pet-friendly playgrounds to take the edge off for a while.
A firm favourite for dog lovers, the large park provides space aplenty for dogs – and dog owners – to roam around for a breath of fresh air. Located just 10kms from Sandton, it’s perfect for half a day out.
On the outskirts west of the city lies a literal haven, hence the name, for dogs, dog owners, or just dog lovers. This park is factually dedicated to the walking of dogs. For a small entry fee, you’ll find yourself in a safe environment, with like-minded people, all enjoying a day out with their furry loved ones. There is an atmosphere of sorts in the air, that gives you a welcomed feel while your pooches make new friends. This floof wonderland is well-worth the drive out.
There is no shortage of fine dining or eateries at Sandton Central, we’re the first to advocate this. But once again, since it’s Tourism Month, we want to urge our SC faithful to head out and explore other offerings that the city has to offer. As long as it stays a fling and doesn’t evolve into anything long term 😉.
We had a look at some other interesting places to dine at, that we sort of wish we had in the district too…
1. For the Sophisticated – Churchills Bar
Just a stone’s throw away from Sandton Central, in Melrose Arch is a new establishment intended for an upmarket crowd – both local and international. The British themed bar/lounge exudes sophistication with fine Chesterfield couches – with Union Jack cushions of course – mahogany bookshelves, and the finest cigar and whisky menu this side of the equator, oh, and did we mention the food?
2. For the Urban Creatives – The Living Room
In the heart of inner Johannesburg, in the chic Maboneng Precinct, lies what is known as The Living Room. An urban rooftop café slash event venue, the trendy setting is a perfect combination of natural and urban elements with a panoramic view of the Johannesburg skyline as a backdrop. The Living Room is renowned for their Sunday Fundays, champagne breakfasts and urban vibe. A must-visit if you haven’t done so yet – or even if you have.
3. For the Rowdy – Hell’s Kitchen
Situated on the sidewalk of the infamous 7th Street in Melville, sits a one of a kind easy going pub/restaurant where you can be yourself. With a 1920’s New York feel with a dash of rock – an unlikely but effective combination, making a great spot for a day out of good music, good food, and good whiskey.
4. For the Hungry – BGR
If you ever want American styled fast food that doesn’t taste like, uhm, American styled fast food, this is little place is a must. Located just off Jan Smuts, in Rosebank, this joint is everything you’d expect an eatery from the States to be, but with better tasting food. This spot is well worth the visit.