But why spend a fortune for a day of extravagance when you can have loads of fun for as little as R50? Here are spots near Mzansi’s cities you can visit – and enjoy – for less.

Johannesburg

  • Ride up to the top of the Carlton Centre (R15 per adult, R9 for kids under 10). It’s the tallest building in Africa and, yoh, what a view.- Go to the Zoo Lake swimming pool (R12 per adult, R9 per child). It is clean, beautifully maintained and you can have a picnic with family and friends
  • Explore Walter Sisulu Botanical Garden (R45 per adult, R30 for students with valid card, R15 per scholar, free for kids under six). There’s lots to see and it’s the perfect place for a picnic.
  • Melville Koppies Central – part of the Melville Koppies Nature Reserve – has guided tours or group hikes on alternate Sundays (R60 per adult, R40 per child). You can go to www.mk.org.za for details on how to book.

Durban

  • Ushaka Marine World is the place to take your kids this festive season. Kids World, a fantastic play area for kids aged two to 12, will keep the young ones entertained for hours (R28 per adult, R80 for kids under 12, free for kids under two).
  • Catch a ride on a rickshaw along the Golden Mile for as little as R25. While you take in the view, take time to appreciate your rickshaw puller’s magnificently decorated, extremely heavy, head-dress.
  • Funworld amusement park has a cable car that provides a beautiful view of the Durban beachfront. The park has many fun rides, including a carousel, tilt-a whirl, tornado and a swing boat. Prices differ but it’s around R14 per child per ride and R17 per adult per ride.
  • Durban Ice Arena promises a day of fun for the whole family. Whether you’re a pro skater or creating exciting memories –  the space is for everyone. Prices start at R50 if you have your own skates and R85 if you need to rent skates.
  • Visit Mitchell Park Zoo to see crocodiles, various types of buck, flamingos, monkeys, giant tortoises and more. Once you’ve had your fill of looking at the animals your can also enjoy the playground, walk-through birdcage, tea garden and braai areas (R11 per adult, R9 per child and R5 per pensioner).

Cape Town

  • Catch the train from Cape Town city centre all the way to Simon’s Town. Perfect for a day at the beach as it stops in Muizenberg and Kalk Bay along the way. A day ticket will cost you R35 and you can hop on and off as much as you like.
  • The Helderberg Nature Reserve is a bit further afield, but it is sure to be fun for all. Not only is the nature reserve ideal for bird watching, hiking and walking, it also has an environmental education centre, picnic area and a children’s play area (R20 per adult, R10 per child, free for kids under three). Follow their Facebook page for info on guided hikes.
  • For the family that likes to add an educational element to their holiday fun, a visit to Iziko South African Museum is a must. The museum houses more than 1,5 million specimens of scientific importance and is located in the heart of Cape Town next to The Company’s Garden. (R30 per adult, R15 per child or student, free for kids under five)
  • Go to Cape Town’s most vibrant market, The Bay Harbour Market in Hout Bay. Enjoy live music for free on Fridays 5-9pm and Saturday and Sunday 9.30am-4pm. For more information on their monthly line-up follow them on Facebook.

Nelspruit

  • Enjoy live music and entertainment every Sunday from 4-7pm at Da Loose Mongoose restaurant. There’s no cover charge and if you buy pizza you get the second one free! The venue is kid friendly.
  • Watch a movie at the privately owned Casterbridge Cinema at the Casterbridge Centre in White River. Showtimes are 6pm Tuesday to Saturday (R50 per person) and there is a 2.30pm show every Tuesday (R40 per person). Check their Facebook page to find out what’s showing.

Bloemfontein

  • The Free State National Botanical Garden is well maintained and tranquil, with indigenous trees and picnic spots. It also has a bird hide, medicinal garden and traditional huts. Entrance to the garden is R25 per adult and R12 per child.
  • For the history boffins, the Angle-Boer War Museum provides an understanding of the background against which the Anglo-Boer War took place through its unique art collection, dioramas and exhibitions. Entrance fee is R10 per adult.

Port Elizabeth

  • The Valley Market has lots of delicious food, including spicy paella, gourmet boerie rolls, crisp pizzas, freshly baked artisan bread and smoothies from as little as R10.