It’s officially December and here in South Africa, we’re in Summer!!!
Schools are about to close in the next week or two, and many people have already made their plans as far as travelling goes, both local as well as international travel.
Some of us however, don’t have the luxury of going on holiday, as December turns out to be the busiest of times for many businesses.
As such, we tend to have many ‘staycations’, mainly at home, while our spouses are of to work.
So to keep from going ‘stir crazy’ at home, I’ve decided to compile some activities all around Gauteng.
I’ll admit that I love getting pampered. Massages, facials, manicures, pedicures, hair treatments, etc, are something I miss a lot.
Since I’ll be home for the holidays, I have absolutely no reason not to have all the above done. However, there are those times when its month end and after paying all the bills, you don’t quite have much left over for a spa treatment or session, or you just don’t have the time.
If you’d like to spoil yourself, an option may be to have a mobile spa come to your home and you can have all of the above mentioned things done in your own space.
If not, than perhaps a ‘pamper day’ would be fun. Invite all your besties or nearest and dearest, get everyone to bring their favourite facial masks, nail kits, hair treatments, oils, creams and lotions, and give each other massages, manicures or pedicures while waiting for your face masks to dry. Also make sure to have some healthy snacks like a fruit platter and some refreshing lemon or fruit water/ cucumber water handy ( its great for hydration of the skin!).
I fondly remember helping my grandfather plant seeds for vegetables and herbs on Sunday mornings when i was a child.
Recently, my husband and I bought some rather pretty pots and some flowers, a tree, and some herbs to begin a potted garden as the place we live in doesn’t really have room for a normal garden as such.
It looks really pretty and I hope to add a few more pots as time goes on, to plant more vegetables, and perhaps some fruit trees.
It’s a great way to spend an afternoon and once things begin growing, you can see and perhaps even eat the results of you’re handwork.
Did you know that by working with soil and earth in general is both calming and good for you?
3. Sporting Activities
Many of us love doing certain sports. You could be kicking a ball with the kids or inviting the neighbours to all join in for a game of cricket, or maybe just taking your bestie out for a walk, there are many options open to you.
If you have a love for hiking and history, be sure to check out the Klipriviersberg Nature Reserve for hiking, bird spotting, and even some wildlife sighting such as zebra, red hartebeest and black wildebeest. There is also a heritage ‘farmstead’ site which is quite interesting.
This reserve is open to the public from sunrise to sunset daily and has no entrance fees.
Laser tag and adventure golf are two other fun sport games. There are places around Gauteng as well as around the country, for both of these.
I much prefer Laser tag instead of paintball as it definitely doesn’t hurt, compared to paintball. Check out Swat Laser Tag for more information.
Or if you’d prefer adventure golf, click here.
4.Picnics In The Park
In Gauteng, we may not have been blessed to have an ocean front, but we do have some amazing botanical gardens and some lovely parks, as well as the zoo lake, which is always nice.
As its summer now, it’s a good time grab your sunglasses, sun hat, a picnic blanket and your picnic basket. Make some delicious food and chop up some fruit, add a bottle of frozen pink lemonade and water…. and of course your sunscreen, and off you go.
The Rietvlei Farm and Lifestyle Centre is a lovely place to go to. Based in southern Johannesburg, it’s quite near to places such as Walkerville, Eikenhof, Ridgeway, Mondeor, and Lenasia.
It’s a perfect location for picnics and letting the kids go wild, as they have a petting zoo and Tractor Cart Rides, Pony Rides, Steam Train Rides, and a Mini Zipline. There are lapas and a venue for hire as well as drum braai hire if you do not have your own.
There is an entrance fee as well as a fee for hiring Lapas and they sell tickets for all the rides mentioned above, as well as for the zipline.
5. Have An Amazing Dinner
Ok, so all year you may have been hearing about people raving, on social media especially, about some newly opened restaurants. Why not treat yourself to a fabulous meal that [a] you didn’t have to cook, and [b] you deserve for working hard all year round. Alternatively, include your spouse or best friend if you’re not comfortable with eating alone.
6. Take An Art, Language or Cooking Class
The holidays are a great time to learn something new. Learning how to cook a gourmet four course meal, with dessert or if you’re adventurous, how about learning to cook a different cuisine completely? perhaps Thai, Middle Eastern, Korean or French? Maybe even learn to speak 2nd or 3rd Language?
If classes are unavailable, how about following a recipe from some amazing cooks around the world? Or learning from an online website?
Check Terrapetti, the cookbook out, available on Amazon. They have an amazing collection of recipes from around the world, in one digital copy. Not only does it have recipes, but it has some great stories in it which make for interesting dinner conversation.
7. Be A Tourist In Your Own City
Although we live in a country with a lot of history, how many of us have actually gone out to visit places such as the Carlton Tower, famous for once being Johannesburg’s tallest building in Newtown, the Apartheid Museum, or the Hector Pieterson Museum?
There are some interesting art galleries to visit as well, click here to see Getaway.co.za’s 12 Must-See Art Galleries in Johannesburg.
Or view Vibescout.com’s 21 Museums & Art Galleries in Joburg here.
8. Take A Day Trip
Day trips are always interesting and fun… and sometimes educational too.
The Lesedi Cultural Village in the Cradle of Humankind is quite interesting.
If you’d love to see animals, check out the Rhino and Lion Nature Reserve in Krugersdorp.
A personal favourite place to visit is the Magaliesburg. It has some great fruit farms and picnic places. From mountain biking, fly-fishing, hiking, horse riding, and even adventurous canopy tours to luxurious spa’s, there’s something for the whole family. Click here to read more about Magaliesburg.
Hartebeespoort Dam is really popular and there are so many places to visit. It boasts a variety of boat cruises, hot air balloon safaris, and other activities for the adventurous traveler.
My favourite thus far has been visiting ‘French Toast’ to see the ‘Little Eiffel Tower ‘ and ‘Bridge of French Love Locks’. Its like having our own ‘Little Paris’ in Gauteng!
[Please do note that French Toast is NOT a Halaal Certified establishment. Its always a great idea to pack a picnic basket & cooler bag with drinks, as many places do not cater for Muslims.]
I hope that these ideas will inspire you to enjoy your ‘Staycation’. Should you have more ideas to add or if you would like to share your favourite ‘Staycation’ idea, please do, by clicking that comment tab now.