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Tighter restrictions during school holidays calls for some creative thinking to keep children busy. Here are six ways to make the most of this mid-year break:

1. Stay home

This might seem like a strange one, but many people simply don’t want to leave the house right now or can’t for various reasons. Understandably though, you might be worried about how you’re going to entertain the family.

There are so many unique ways to do this from home now. You could book an Online Experience on Airbnb, for example. Imagine being able to salsa dance with someone in Mexico or learn how to do magic with someone in the UK – all from the comfort of your living room?

You can also turn to Google for some fun virtual arts and culture tours. Google Arts & Culture has recently joined forces with SA Tourism to launch the online exhibition South Africa: An Explorer’s Paradise. The experience allows visitors from all over the world to explore South Africa’s heritage and “visit” its breathtaking destinations, through a collection of 500 images and videos, 55 Street Views and 20 exhibits – perfect for the whole family. To experience South Africa and explore its beauty from the comfort of your own home, visit, or download the Android or iOS Google Arts & Culture app.

Why not support some of the local eateries in your area? You may not be able to visit the restaurant, but order from the takeaway menu and enjoy a gourmet meal at home.

2. Get creative

Being at home doesn’t have to be boring. There are many companies – such as Moxie Kids and Crafty Packs – offering an array of craft boxes that will keep children busy for hours. Clay Cafe offers paint-from-home kits.

Do you have a budding master chef at home? Why not order a cooking box from companies such as Hungry Heads Gourmet Food? You can choose between three delicious menu options, and each box comes with a chef’s hat, recipes and all the ingredients you will need to make three mouth watering items.

Cooking fun at home
The “Ultimate Rocky Road” is just one of the treats in the cooking box from Hungry Head’s Gourmet Food Credit: Roy Glasspool

3. Get out and about in your own city (safely)

There are still many safe ways to take the kids out of the house. You can use the time to explore what’s in your backyard, in your own city. We understand that it can be expensive to take the whole family out for the day, so it’s best to look for some family-friendly deals in and around your area. For those based in Cape Town, Cape Town Tourism has put together a handy guide of pocket-friendly things to do in the Mother City for only R150 or less. Do some research into affordable or free activities in your city. You might be surprised by what you find and what can be done while safely keeping your distance from others.

4. Enjoy a truly South African holiday

Our country has so much to offer and, right now, there are many specials to be enjoyed around the country. Why not use these holidays to take your family on a local getaway? Travelling with the family can often cost a fortune – especially if you don’t know where to look for deals during this time. Cheapflights is dedicated to offering users a range of travel deals and helping them compare prices. By making use of Cheapflights, families are able to find affordable holidays by looking for the best travel deals to suit their budgets.

5. Wellness treat

It’s easy to forget that the older children need attention too. Just because they’re almost out of their teen years and close to finishing school, doesn’t mean they don’t want some time with their folks. In fact, they probably need it seeing as they will soon be stressed by year-end exams. A great way to de-stress is with a spa day or treatment. Keep an eye out for any deals you can treat them too. Amani Spa and Wellness at Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront has a two-for-one special going on their treatments. The hotel has implemented strict and stringent safety measures in the fight against COVID-19.

6. Take a bush break 

Lockdown fun
Kruger Station

Getting far away to escape the madness of life is perhaps the best way to spend the holidays. The Kruger National Park is always a good idea at this time of the year. The animals love the cooler weather so they tend to show themselves a bit more. And can you imagine your child’s delight when they see a lion? While you’re there, be sure to visit the Kruger Station precinct. It has everything a family could possibly want, including a delicious artisan food, a bar to cool off at, a play zone for the tots, a biltong bar, a petit four station with small cakes and delicacies and so much more.

For more holiday ideas