Jozie has lots to offer teenagers besides movies and shopping malls. From outdoors trails, quad biking and paintball games, to star gazing, theatre and ice skating, there’s little chance of boredom. For adrenalin junkies, there are also plenty of extreme sports to keep you buzzing.
Let the kids experience the thrill of indoor go-karting at Randburg Raceway, where they can race against friends and family, and if they become experienced drivers, participate in endurance races and a grand prix. It’s great fun for birthday parties – get all the details on 011 792 2260. Open Mondays to Sundays from 10am to 8pm and on Sundays 11am to 6pm. Check the website for more details.
You will love the thrill of unleashing laser fire in the battle zone where guerrilla tactics will be needed to make your way through the darkness of the maze. Laser Quest is at Brightwater Commons and is open Mondays to Fridays 11am to 9pm, and Saturdays to Sundays 9.30 till late. Phone Grant Arbuckle on 011 789 3036 to make bookings for kids and teen parties.
Give skateboarding a go. Boogaloos skateboard parks at Montecasino and Brightwater Commons have two indoor facilities and one outdoor facility. Take along your skateboards, skates or rollerblades and trick bikes, or you can buy skateboarding equipment at one of the Boogaloos stores in Brightwater Commons, Montecasino or Cresta Shopping Centre. All ages can enjoy the parks, at R30 per person plus R20 for helmet hire. Get more details on 011 608 1101 or check out the website.
Galaxy World tenpin bowling
Have fun playing tenpin bowling at Galaxy World in Rosebank with its 12 trendy lanes. It runs a social and competitive league on Mondays and Tuesdays for those who want to test their skills. Galaxy World in open Sundays to Thursdays 9am to 1am, and on Fridays to Saturdays 9am to 2am at The Zone in Rosebank. There’s another Galaxy World in the Carlton Centre in the CBD. Find out more on the website.
Feel like some noisy, motorised action? Try the quad bikes at Daytona Adventure Park in Fourways. There are 18 quad bikes – hop on one and do the guided outride into the bush and across rivers. The park is open from 9am till dark, and is at Plot 12, R511 Riversands, Fourways. Phone 011 795 1091.
Water fun and sun
For the best outdoor fun, head for Sun City, where the sun always shines. From the Valley of the Waves, where a wave machine produces 2m waves rolling up onto a large beach, to rides on a 17m high chute, the complex provides endless thrills. More outdoor fun includes horse riding, quad biking, riding an elephant, archery and flying in a Tiger Moth. Indoor fun includes a games arcade. Phone Sun City on 014 557 1000 for directions or visit the website.
Learn theatre skills at the Johannesburg Youth Theatre, 011 484 1584, at 3 Junction Avenue in Parktown. There are classes every Saturday morning from 9.30am to 12 for teenagers where where music, movement and drama instruction is given and selections for one of four annual productions is made.
Develop your skills at the Northgate Ice Arena in the Northgate Shopping Centre, entrance 6, Olievenhout and Northumberland avenues, Northriding. Phone 011 794 8706. It’s open seven days a week, 10am to 5pm, and 7.30pm to 10.30pm. If you can’t skate, the arena runs a skating academy with 8-week courses held on Wednesday evenings and Saturday mornings. Phone Colleen or Mike on 011 463-4239.
No Johannesburg teenager would turn down an invitation to the Gold Reef City theme park which offers 31 exhilarating rides. Try out the anaconda, earthquake tunnel, miner’s revenge, the tower of terror and the river rapids, followed by an underground tour, down a mine. Gold Reef City, 6km south of the city in Ormonde off the M1 South freeway, is open from 9.30am to 5pm every day.
Take a night tour of the zoo, or camp overnight among the animals. And for some hands-on stuff, volunteer work is available. The zoo is open from 8.30am to 5.30pm, seven days a week and secure parking is available at the entrance on Upper Park Drive in Saxonwold. Phone 011 646-2000.
For the energetic teenager, there are some great walks around about the city. Most are manageable at around 5km, others are up to 10km with sleepovers in the veld, at Suikerbosrand. Still others involve walking among wild animals, at Klipriviersberg, or taking in historical sites like the Iron Age furnace and 16th century Tswana stone walls, at Melville Koppies. Get more details. Open every Sunday for three hours, you can take a guided tour along the many paths of Melville Koppies, or just find your own way around, enjoying the wonderful views of the city and suburbs. Secure parking is available at Marks Park on Judith Road. Click here for the open days. Phone 011 482-4797 for more details.
Raves don’t have to involve nightclubs or hanging out in malls or arcades. Take a bus tour of the city’s haunted places and cemeteriesat night, stroll across Melville Koppies at dusk and take in the night sounds, or explore nocturnal crawlies and birds by torchlight at the Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden. Get more details.
Tired of hiking, jogging or the gym treadmill to get exercise? Try stepping off a 24-storey building, or descending into a pitch-dark cave, or climbing, Spiderman-style, over huge boulders without ropes. Bring it on!
Streamline your swimming skills in one of the city’s heated pools at Linden, Pimville, Ellis Park or Coronationville. For the more daring, Ellis Park also has diving facilities, as well as a life-saving club. Get more details.
Sci Bono Discovery Centre
Science doesn’t always have to be about chemicals and formulas worked out in stuffy classrooms. It can be a truly exciting learning experience at Newtown’s Sci Bono Discovery Centre . For more information call 011 639 8400 or log on to http://www.sci-bono.co.za/.