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How to spoil your family when you’re broke

By Isabelle Coetzee

Not everyone can afford outings to fancy amusement parks, shopping sprees with a movie and dinner, or a day of wakeboarding and quad-biking in the sun.

Perhaps it’s been a rough financial year, or maybe you’re still growing your wealth. Whatever the reason, this shouldn’t stop you from enjoying the holidays with your loved ones. 

Below are links to articles with a variety of suggestions to free or affordable activities to do during this summer holiday:

  • Free and Cheap Things to Do with Kids in Cape Town: Cape Town Magazine made a list of activities you can do with your family. Each suggestion includes a short description, price (no more than R60 per person), and opening hours of the facility.
  • 19 free things to do in Gauteng: Getaway put together their top suggestions in Gauteng, including a visit to the Adler medical museum and listening to live bands in Braamfontein.
  • Cape Town: 20 free things to do: News24 found 20 things to do in Cape Town for free. From a picnic on Signal Hill to a variety of food and goods markets around town, there’s always something to do when you’re on a tight budget.
  • 13 things to do in Gauteng for under R100: W24 came up with several things you can do in Gauteng for under R100. This includes a comedy show for R20, entrance to the Sci-Bono Discover Centre for up to R35, and a beer tasting for R80.
  • 14 things to do in Durban under R100: Following on their series, W24 also put together a list of affordable activities in Durban. Among these you can find the Fun World Amusement Park, where it only costs R15 a ride, and entrance to the Mini version of Durban for R15.
  • 30 budget-friendly fun days out for the family: Essentials created a list of family outings around South Africa. Their suggestions are all divided into helpful categories, like Edutainment, Fun-for-kids, Heritage, Artsy-fartsy, and Pack-a-picnic.
  • Free Things To Do In Joburg: The charming website,, made a jam-packed list of everything you can do in Johannesburg – on a budget. They’ve included trips to the Bunny Park and an actual Buddhist Temple. Each suggestion includes trading hours, contact numbers, and links to the official websites.
  • 20 free (or very nearly free) things to do with your toddler in South Africa: Need to cater for your young one? Parent24 has you covered, with toddler book readings at your local library, to an opportunity for your child to climb on trains and planes at the SA Steam and Railway Museum for only R15.

The holidays aren’t about spending as much money as possible; it’s about spending as much quality time as possible.

Being together is what matters – not the price tag of the activity you choose, and with the above suggestions, the whole family will have a blast.

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