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Housed in the Witwatersrand University property, The Life Sciences Museum and Biodiversity Centre claims to be the only museum of life sciences in the city of Johannesburg. Established in 2003, this museum was formed by the merger of the C. E. Moss Herbarium and Zoology museum. The C. E. Moss herbarium dates back to 1917 and boasts of a collection of 100000 botanical specimens from around the world. The Zoology museum dates back to 1922 and was founded by the Zoology Head of Department Professor Fantham. This museum was started as an attempt for the better understanding of the subject with the collections imported from Europe. Now, the zoology museum boasts of a collection of 60,000 specimens, out of which 40,000 are embryological specimens which are touted to be one of the largest embryological collections in the southern hemisphere.
It is believed that our earliest ancestors lived in Africa over 200,000 years ago and as time passed, they migrated to the other continents like Asia, Europe, the Middle East and finally America. The Origins Centre is a world class facility which traces the evolution of man right through the ages. The exhibits will not fail to fascinate even the hardened believer. The center has five venues, which can be hired for private events and arrangements can also be made to include bands, dancers or other performing artists in a function. A visit to Johannesburg is not complete without a visit to the Origins Centre.
Incorporating interactive learning methods to promote science and technology education, Sci-Bono Discovery Centre is a popular destination in the city. The large number of exhibits aim at improving public awareness to technological advancements and inventions. The center constitutes state-of-the-art classrooms, an auditorium and well-equipped laboratories. Sci-Bono Discovery Centre also regularly features a range of entertaining parties and events.
An early Twentieth Century house takes your children back in time, to watch (mostly) kids' Classic plays. You can also see every room decorated with old sets, costumes and pictures both photographic and impressionistic. The National Children's Theater is run by an award-winning executive director. About 120 patrons can occupy the theater on floor-mats or chairs, the latter if you're over a certain age. Casts are sent out, too, if a theater loving school can't afford its own journey. This is sheer entertainment, as well as educational theater. There are also interactive theater workshops if your kid hankers after being either a professional walk-on or a Star. Call ahead for hours.
Featuring park-like surrounds, the Johannesburg Zoo offers a glimpse at over 3,000 animal species. Night-time tours are also offered, giving a fascinating show of the nocturnal behavior of many residents. ‘Behind-the-scenes' tours offer a chance to witness first-hand, the goings-on in a typical zoo such as the feeding and cleaning routines the public seldom see. Children's' birthday parties are hosted (book in advance) and a restaurant/tea garden is open during all normal visiting hours. An approximate time of four hours is required in order to view all the exhibits.
Built around the No. 14 shaft of Crown Mines, this city is an authentic reproduction of Johannesburg at the beginning of the 1900s. There are fully furnished miner's houses with original furniture and fittings, including pressed ceilings. The museum exhibits include antique clothing and children's toys, which take the visitor back 100 years to the city that was. A train encircles the park and many shops offer interesting curios. You can also visit the original gold mine in a lift that goes down to 220 meters below the surface. An on site casino is open 24 hours daily.
Let the little ones run free at this fantastic playground and activity center located in Rosebank. Children frolic in the outdoor play area with a host of games or can create masterpieces of their own at The Artists Corner. There's a dress up area where the kids can put on interesting costumes and bring their imagination to life. The center also has a gift shop offering toys as well as costumes. A selection of cakes and light bites keeps the children as well as the parents on their toes. Facilities for hosting kids parties are available. Check website for more.
Experience the forest from a whole new angle with Acrobranch, one of a number of outdoor adventure parks, which offers a number of exciting activities like canopy walks, bungee jumping and zip lines. Located in the James and Ethel Gray Park, this particular facility has one of Africa's longest zip lines which makes its way through the forested canopy of the park. Zip down the rope from tree to tree across their various zip lines or show off your climbing skills on their various obstacle courses which include everything from monkey bars to Tarzan swings. Separate obstacle courses are also available for kids and teenagers.
Dress up your little angels in stylish attire from this fabulous designer boutique. Jelli features clothing, accessories and shoes sourced from leading European brands like 3 Pommes, Berlingot, Il Gufo and Kenzo to help you find just the right look to complement your little one's innocent beauty. From adorable onesies and dresses for newborns, to chic outfits for stylish teens, Jelli boasts a varied collection that is sure to appeal to fashion-forward parents and their little darlings. Apart from clothing and accessories, Jelli also offers a selection of toys, shoes and bags for a more complete offer. Bring out your child's budding sense of style, individuality and innate charm with a little help from Jelli's fab fashion experts.
The Sandton City Shopping Centre is one of the city's most popular destinations for high-end shopping, leisure and entertainment. The luxuriously-appointed mall features top international brands like Apple and Louis Vuitton, alongside local designers and charming boutiques selling arts and crafts. Experience cinematic brilliance at the Sandton City Ster Kinekor Classic Cinema, or head to one of the center's many restaurants for a culinary treat. Complement your latest buys with a new hair-do, or shop for accessories to amp up your style at the Sandton City Shopping Centre. Here, you will also find an ample selection of home decor, electronics, cosmetics, gourmet foods and other buys that will keep you at the forefront of the latest trends. With over 300 retailers to choose from, alongside numerous cafes, restaurants and services to suit every budget, the Sandton City Shopping Centre is easily one of the city's most well-loved shopping, entertainment and dining destinations. The shopping center is conveniently located just a short walk away from the Sandton Station and several hotels.
Known as one of the most cosmopolitan shopping centers in South Africa, the Southgate Mall has played a huge role in aiding post-apartheid economic growth. Visitors can spend an entire day browsing over 100 shops, supply stores, and restaurants at what promises to be the one-stop shop for all of a consumer's needs.
Formerly known as Afga Theater on the Square, the Old Mutual Theatre on the Square hosts all kinds of entertainment, including musicals, plays, children's theater, concerts, and corporate events, to name a few. The licensed theater is a comfortable 200 seater, conveniently located in Nelson Mandela Square (formally Sandton Square), where numerous shops and restaurants can be found. You can also opt for a dinner/show package in which many of the restaurants on the square participate.