Its upon us. School holidays. Love them or hate them, for the next few weeks managing kids and sanity will be top priority in our home and homes around South Africa. The last long weekend was a bit of a trial run and I realised I need a bit of a plan to get through the next few weeks…

A brief respite from mornings like this…

Here is what I’ve managed to come up with:

By now most of Ballito has visited the new Mall, so any list would not be complete without it. I have yet to check out the kids section, but confining my kids to a trolley while trying to check out Cotton On just won’t work, at least not for me. A few years ago we had an emergency room visit when I was momentarily distracted reading a label the size of my thumb. So when I do check out the kids zone, I will have no other To-Dos. I’m just going to hang with the kids and try to avoid another ER visit to Alberlito.


Sugar Rush is another great spot that has truly gotten what families need. Their Jump Park is a slice of sanity and keeps my boys engaged for what feels like ages. And I know a few adults who would LOVE the chance to go jumping too. Well supported is their park run and bike trails (both of which I have yet to attempt). I have visited their coffee shop while the kids played in the Kids Area- note that it is a closed in play area so you feel they can’t really get up to much while being shut inside. They also host open air movie nights for families – I love this idea and hope to attend one soon.

Plan a morning of tidal pool exploring. Pack goggles, buckets, nets and a picnic ( maybe some yummy munchies from Salt Free Saffa ?) Whats best is that it’s free. Nothing ever beats free.

Speaking of free, why not take your kids fishing or tadpole catching? Simbithi, Dunkirk and Brettenwood have dams just for this.We are in Salt Rock so we have the Monkey River, at least I think thats its unofficial name. My husband has memories building forts here and catching fish and tadpoles. Unfortunately it’s not as clean as back in his day but we still enjoy spotting fish, dragonflies, frogs and building little dams along its path.

** Disclaimer – I do scrub and hose my kids in Dettol afterwards!**

Hazelmere Dam. This is a special one, maybe its the draught we have just been through and it makes my heart feel good to see the dam fuller than full or if you have grown up here, the dam is somewhere that carries fond memories. We recently spent an afternoon with some friends and surprisingly the dam had a fair amount of people enjoying a laid back afternoon. We packed a picnic and caught that familiar delicious smokey wiff of a neighbors braai. I highly recommend this one- the facilities and grounds are clean, there is an entrance fee but well worth it for a day out. And its super relaxing just watching the clouds waft over the dam and hills while keeping a lazy eye on lumo life-jacketed kids.

I’ve saved the craziest one for last- crazy because I’m literally so scarred from previous attempts. Plus it takes a little more planning. Over the last few years I’ve been hoarding pins of kids crafts and activities. A few of these I have actually attempted. Dinosaur digs and puppets are a hit with my kiddos. Here is the link to my board and good luck!! –

That just about rounds it up, but there are TONNES of things to do; try a visit to the Sharks Board or day out in a game reserve, or even a day out on the Durban beach front- visiting Minitown or a ride in a rickshaw. Most of all, I plan on enjoying the time out before reality hits on the 18th of April.

To explore more photography by Rebecca Rottcher, you can go here –