Spring is here, and with it comes extra energy from our kids. As a general rule, we love seeing our kids active and happy. Unfortunately, active children can become extremely frustrated if they are living in a flat. Running in the corridors, kicking balls between the cars and hanging from the washing lines might also get evicted. The ultimate solution would be to have a pro-active plan to help your kids stay active where they won't get into trouble, without breaking the bank.
Below is a list of ideas for activities to do with your kids in and around Alberton:
1. Rietvlei Parkrun
Parkrun organise free, weekly, 5km timed runs around the world. They are open to everyone, free, and are safe and easy to take part in. The Rietvlei Parkrun takes place in the pleasant parkland surroundings of Rietvlei Zoo Farm. People of every ability are encouraged to take part; from walkers or those taking their first steps in running to Olympians; from juniors to those with more experience; everyone is welcome.
Visit www.parkrun.co.za for more information on the Rietvlei Parkrun and other Parkrun's near Alberton.
2. Rietvlei Zoo Farm
Rietvlei Zoo Farm is a beautiful farm that is located in the South of Johannesburg and offers a wide range of recreation, education, sport and family outdoor activities. The Picnic Park lapas/braai areas and Rietvlei Trails are set in the most tranquil settings on the farm, surrounded by natural wetlands, large willow and oak trees and beautiful gardens and lawns, where you can relax and enjoy the sunshine and outdoors.
2. Alberton Dam
The Alberton Dam is a popular venue for people who want to relax and enjoy the great outdoors. There are lovely picnic areas with grass and beautiful trees. A great number of water birds nest on the island in the middle of the dam. Entrance is free.
3. Jackson Dam
The Jackson Dam is a pretty recreational facility in Alberton that offers playground equipment for the children, grassy lawns for picnics and bass fishing. Get out into a natural environment to play some soccer or cricket, walk your dog or just relax and read a book. Entrance is free.
4. Rondebult Bird Sanctuary
The Rondebult Bird Sanctuary is conveniently located, close to Germiston and a number of important motorways and thoroughfares. Being so accessible makes this attraction fantastic for locals and visitors that are looking for an escape from the nonstop city vibe without having to drive long distances or put aside much time.
Spanning 95 hectares, the Rondebult Bird Sanctuary comprises wetlands and grasslands that were established as a renewal endeavour, salvaging an old sewerage site. The three large pans were set up as the natural habitat of choice for a number of bird species, and there are eight separate, secure hides scattered around the dams to allow visitors to enjoy the avian antics around them.
These are well camouflaged, so as not to compromise the activities or frighten the wildlife. Some of the almost 200 recorded species here include the maccoa duck, greater flamingo, black-crowned night heron, orange-breasted waxbill, African snipe, marsh owl (during the winter months), African wattled lapwing, great reed-warbler, purple gallinule and avocet. Rondebult also receives a number of migrant species every year, such as an array of warblers, swallows and cuckoos.
Entrance is free.
5. Bokkie Park
Bokkie Park in East Rand, Gauteng is a great place to bring the family for a fun filled day out. Children will enjoy the playground and will love the petting farm. Activities at the farm allow you to stroke and feed the animals or even milk the cows.
Bunny rabbits roam free through the park and are always a highlight for the little ones. Camel and pony rides are also available at the weekends.
6. Germiston Lake
The park has been designed to encourage residents to enjoy the outdoors and interact with one another as families and residents of Ekurhuleni. It features a fully equipped open-air gym; revamped pathways for walking and jogging; three playground areas; new park furniture, braai and picnic facilities including Victorian-styled gazebos.
There is something for everyone at the park, and the designated play area is expected to be a favourite among parents and children. A junior playground furnished with modern play equipment designed to encourage learning through play is on offer.
7. Klipriviersberg Nature Reserve
The Klipriviersberg Nature Reserve is conveniently situated from Alberton.
It is the largest proclaimed nature reserve in the Johannesburg Metropolitan area (over 700 ha. in extent). The reserve boasts a surprising diversity of interests ranging from larger game such as zebra, red hartebeest, and black wildebeest, to many items of botanical, geological, archaeological, historical and cultural interest. Red data listed and other protected species are also to be found.
The Reserve is rated by many as a birding hotspot where approximately 230 bird species have been identified.
Hiking is the main activity in the Reserve.
For the outdoor enthusiast, a visit to the Reserve is not to be missed. First time visitors are surprised at this beautiful natural asset so close to the hubbub of the city. It is very aptly referred to as Johannesburg's Jewel of the South.
The Reserve is open to the public from sunrise to sunset seven days a week – please ensure that you are out of the reserve by the closing time on the gate. There is no entrance fee.