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What to do in Gauteng

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I like to use “Paris is always a good idea” by Audrey Hepburn for this occasion – but is it still a good idea if it is Little Paris in North West province?

When you have kids you start seeing things differently. Your camera angles up from a much lower perspective – and that’s when the magic happens on roadtrips.

After our stop at the amazing Upside Down House we wanted to get at least the (faux) Eiffel ticked off our list for the day.

We stopped at little Paris with Littles already telling us that it was nearing her nap time, so we ordered a takeaway of French Toast (because how can you stop at a place called French Toast Café and not order that?) and made a beeline for the Eiffel behind the fountain.

We had our pink engraved locks ready and let the kids run wild to search the perfect spot to attach them to. They eventually pointed at the bench and as hubby was finalizing where and how he was going to attach the locks, the kids admired almost every lock they could reach.

We snapped a few photos while we had the Eiffel all to ourselves.

Just look at those locks! There are thousands upon thousands.

On our way out we picked up our takeaway and wolfed down the most delicious French Toast we’ve ever had. It was a bit much for me, but I didn’t let any go to waste.

On the Little Paris premises there are a few small shops, an aquarium and even a wall with a real Paris photo where you can snap a few photos.

If you are looking for fun things to do in or near Gauteng, look no further than this list:

One thing I have learnt during a pandemic and having toddlers is that no matter how big your house, it is not big enough for a threenager diva and one that has her mother’s temper plus just entered the terrible twos.

Life is an adventure; we get out of it what we put into it.

Richard Daly, God’s Little Book of Hope

We have visited many little nature reserves here in Gauteng and it was lovely. We saw the usual and got a little too close to rhinos – you know, the normal stuff. (Just kidding, it was spectacularly unforgettable!) We were however also limited to Gauteng…

I’ve had my eye on visiting the Upside Down House near Harties (Broederstroom) for a while. It didn’t take much to convince hubby to get in my car with the 2 hooligans with snacks…

It was fun! Lexa was in awe of the Upside Down House and Lily slapped her hands over her mouth. Hubby was impressed with my activity pick of the day.

Once inside the Upside Down House all the furniture is hanging from the floor above you. The “ceiling” you walk on is slanted… so we felt a little woozy after a few minutes. Don’t even get me started about walking upstairs – or is it downstairs up???

Entrance at the Upside Down House in South Africa is a bit steep for adults, but once you’ve seen it you probably won’t go back unless you have kids that nag you to go back. That said, I had fun and the kids had fun – it was worth it for the almost 30 minutes we were there on our very own.

Upside Down House South Africa Details

What to do with Kids in Gauteng (& North West)

It has been 106 days since lockdown started in South Africa. For the kids and I, it has been 118 days. Since the country entered Lockdown Level 3 we have been out and about most weekends to little nature reserves in Gauteng. It felt great to be out and feel the sunshine, see a lion and hear the wind in the trees.

Modderfontein Reserve in Edenvale, close to the airport, was our destination for our last weekend outing. It was a 20-minute drive from Fourways. Entry fees are quite affordable (R30 for adults and R15 for kids with Cyclists paying R50).

We were surprised to see so many people out, there were cars upon cars. People were out picnicking on the banks of the dam, walking along the trails and even enjoying a sit down at the Farmers’ Market.

The website promised a number of herbivores, but we didn’t see any. We did see a lot of birds during our walk.

I probably wouldn’t go back hoping to see animals, but I would definitely go back to have a picnic next to the water! I really enjoyed the walk in nature too.

Find out more here: www.modderfonteinreserve.co.za

What to do in Gauteng with Kids

Who knew Gauteng had so many (little) nature reserves that we could escape to? I used to jump over into Limpopo to get my “wild fix” – but now I am forced to make do with what’s inside a provincial border… and it’s not that bad.

Last weekend we decided to check out Groenkloof Nature Reserve by Pretoria.

  • Pros
    • It is a hikers’ paradise with little footpaths up and down hills
    • There are herbivores like wildebeest and rooibokkies – and ostriches (we didn’t see anything else)
    • There are horses
    • You don’t need to pay for your car if you are just going for a hike
  • Cons
    • Not much to see and takes about 20 minutes to drive around once (including to stop and watch animals)
    • You can however get out of your car and hike to a viewpoint for some fresh air
    • They don’t let you know how far you will wander to a viewpoint
    • It costs R120 for a vehicle plus then some per person

The horse pictured was surrounded by grazing wildebeest. Suddenly it neighed wildly and the wildebeest scattered over the road. A few minutes later they were right back next to the horse. I wonder what that was about?

While driving you’ll even catch a glimpse of the Voortrekker Monument and if you walk the first viewpoint route up the koppie, a view of Pretoria.

There is also a 4×4 track, but obviously we gave this a skip. I’m not really a bundu basher.

What to do with kids while in Gauteng