We have been living in Pretoria for over 10 years. There was a brief moment we considered moving to Joburg (Fourways of all places) and I am so glad we did not move. There are so many places we love in Pretoria and I can’t imagine living anywhere else right now.
Pretoria is a big city but it doesn’t feel like it. Traffic is minimal and limited to peak hours. Things happen here but not as fast and they do in Joburg, there isn’t that feeling of constantly being rushed or having somewhere to be. People still stop and talk to one another here and kids still walk to school and ride their bikes in the street.
There is so much to see and do in Pretoria.
We may not have the sea or mountains or even wide open spaces but there is so much to do in Pretoria, especially for children.
One of our all time favourite place to go is, without a doubt, Zita Park. This is a park with something for all ages. There are jungle gyms , a swimming pool and loads of space to picnic. We have had so many kids parties here and it is a great place to take the kids to blow off some steam. There is a small entrance fee but if you pack enough snacks you can spend the entire day there.
Moreleta Kloof Nature Reserve is a favourite of David and the kid’s. It has some family friendly walking trails and even has some wildlife roaming around.
We love the Pretoria Zoo. We have been a few times and while I am not the world’s biggest zoo fan, this is a great one to take the kids too. If you are coming from Joburg, you can catch the Gautrain to the Pretoria station and then either catch the bus to the zoo or Taxify from the station to the zoo.
The fountains at Menlyn Shopping Centre. When I asked the kids for the places they loved, I was hesitant to add this one because it is a shopping centre but Jack and Emma love it here. They can spend hours playing in the fountains and the Panarottis has a really lovely play area. They also have some great pop up activities that happen at the centre.
I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with this place but we have had some great times at the Hillcrest Swimming Pool. Cameron does most of his galas here but it is a great pool to take the kids to swim.
The Faerie Glen Nature Reserve is another great one if your family are into hikes our just getting outside. We have taken the kids on some hikes there but check your routes before you start because some of them can get a bit tough.
The Hazelwood Food Market has been around for years and years and visiting is not even an option but a must see. They have some of the most amazing goodies for sale, go hungry because you will need to sample it all.
We also have a stunning Botanical Garden here in Pretoria. It is a great place to go for a picnic, baby shower and every now and then they have some cool concerts there. The older two kids and I spent a lot of time there.
Some of our favourite restaurants to take kids.
Pappacinos Silverlakes – always a win with small kids.
Panarotti’s Menlyn – they have such a lovely play area, it is our new favourite place to visit when we need to get out the house.