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short stay in J'Burg in July with kids

Denver
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short stay in J'Burg in July with kids

We will be staying in Rosedale at the Hyatt for the first two nights of our trip. We are traveling with an 8 and 11 year old and are looking for a recommendation for what to do for the one full day we have in the city. Given the location of our hotel, what would you recommend? We will be spending the next two weeks visiting game parks so not sure if it's worth going somewhere to see animals (like the zoo). I know the craft market is near the hotel - any thoughts on that versus the craft market in Victoria Falls (will be there at the end of our trip)? Is the Apartheid Museum appropriate/interesting for kids?

Johannesburg, South...
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1. Re: short stay in J'Burg in July with kids

You probably mean ROSEBANK, as there is no "Rosedale" in Johannesburg.

I would not recommend the Apartheid Museum, for kids.

Even Adults find it very intense, and besides, you need about 3 hours to even begin to do it justice, and unless they are kids that are especially interested in politics and history, I reckon they'd be very bored, before long, with all the photo's, and old video material.

Rather take the Hop on Hop off bus, and visit a few of the other sites, like the James Hall Museum of transport ( Largest in Africa), and Gold Reef City, or perhaps the museum of Military history, near the Zoo.... lots of cool tanks, aircraft, even a submarine.

Kids should enjoy those!

Johannesburg, South...
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2. Re: short stay in J'Burg in July with kids

Too Late to edit.

The Rosebank Rooftop Market ( Sundays) has moved to another area of the city, namely Norwood.

The Rosebank African Craft Market (7 days a week) has also apparently moved, to somewhere in Sandton.

I cannot compare with the market at Victoria Falls, as it is several years since I have been there, but from what I recall, one should expect much better "bargains" at Victoria falls, than in Johannesburg suburbia..

Berkhamsted, United...
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3. Re: short stay in J'Burg in July with kids

It's a bit out of town but my 10 and 8 yo really enjoyed the Cradle of Humankind last August.

We drove there straight from the airport after landing, first visiting the museum then going to the Sterkfontein Caves which they LOVED. The museum is interactive with plenty of handson exhibits and the caves complements it beautifully. It's a great opportunity to find out more about our human origins.

Brisbane, Australia
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4. Re: short stay in J'Burg in July with kids

If you want to learn about the Apartheid era then go to Liliesleaf farm. It is not as intense as the Apartheid museum, but it is still very good. It is considered by some local historians as one of the best and most important sites/museums in South Africa.

Also consider Sci-Bono discovery centre, its a science museum with lots of interactive stuff for kids.

Johannesburg, South...
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5. Re: short stay in J'Burg in July with kids

I agree, the Interpretation Centre at Maropeng is especially geared for children, and the museum and caves at Sterkfontein are interesting. There is now a shop where one can purchase high quality resin casts of many of the famous fossils.

However, as Sandsy40 says, it is a way out of the city........ about a 1 hour drive each way, traffic dependant.

Denver
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6. Re: short stay in J'Burg in July with kids

Thanks for all the great ideas - I'm thinking my kids would enjoy Maropeng/Sterkfontein but we won't have a car, any idea what a taxi would run from Rosebank or would you recommend renting a car for the day? Also, any recommendations for a good but kid friendly restaurant in Rosebank? Finally, wondering if taking the Gautrain from the airport to our hotel makes any sense - apparently the station is right next to our hotel. The price for 4 tickets looks to be the same or more than a taxi/shuttle but I've heard it's faster because of traffic. Will have luggage.

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7. Re: short stay in J'Burg in July with kids

The Gautrain is probably the better option, time wise, as it is much faster than a road transfer.

You will have to change trains in Sandton.

I'm not sure about the luggage. I know Luggage is not a problem from ORT to Sandton, but someone else will need to advise you about luggage between Sandton and Rosebank

To get to the Cradle of Humankind, you would need to book with one of the many tour/transfer companies.

That way you would get the benefit of a knowledgeable guide.

Taking a taxi would not have that benefit, and would probably cost more, in the long run.

OR, you could hire a car, and self drive.... your choice.

I cannot help with child friendly restaurants, as I tend to visit restaurants locally where I live, and not in Rosebank, which is at least 30 minutes drive from my home.

Someone else is sure to have some advice for you on that score.

Enjoy your stay

Pretoria, South...
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8. Re: short stay in J'Burg in July with kids

"Good" is a relative term of course, but there are quite a number of places to eat in the Firs and the Zone shopping centres, with which the Hyatt shares a pedestrianised precinct. Most of them are franchise operations. I quite like Ocean Basket (fish and chips essentially) or the somewhat more upmarket Fishmonger (haven't eaten at thus branch though) and Doppio Zero (pizzas). The Grillhouse, which I can't afford, is supposed to be a pretty good restaurant. www.thefirs.co.za , www.thezoneatrosebank.co.za . There are many others within a 5 km radius.

Edited: 10 January 2014, 14:01
Brisbane, Australia
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9. Re: short stay in J'Burg in July with kids

As Auntie says there are lots of restaurants connected to the Hyatt. There is a good pizza place in the zone called pizavino. There is also a place called Tasha's there that is a chain, but quite good. That area is an entertainment zone, with a cinema and an amusement center so it is most definitely Kid friendly and also will be convenient for you, particularly if you don't have a car.

Atlanta
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10. Re: short stay in J'Burg in July with kids

Sandsy40, going directly from the airport to the Cradle of Humankind is EXACTLY what I was considering doing. Do you mind commenting on when you landed, how long it took to get to the Cradle (I assume you rented a car?), and how long you stayed? Our flight arrives around 9 AM from Europe and I'm thinking we should head NW straightaway to spend our first day at Cradle and caves.

Edited: 11 January 2014, 02:33