10 family-friendly things to do in Ballito during The Ballito Pro presented by O'Neill

Visitors to Ballito are in for action-packed summer holiday with The Ballito Pro presented by O’Neill being hosted – for the first time ever – in December. This brings with it a full festival programme from 9 to 19 December running alongside the surfing action at Willard Beach. But beyond this festival fun, Ballito also has a number of family-friendly activities to keep visitors entertained every day.

“KwaDukuza Municipality is always so accommodating in hosting the annual Ballito Pro, and all efforts have been made to ensure visitors are kept safe during this time,” explained Collette Bundy, The Ballito Pro Festival Organiser. “Alongside the warm welcome, visitors also get to enjoy being in one of the country’s most scenic and exciting tourism locations. The festival programme caters to all ages and tastes, but for those looking to try something different, we’ve compiled a list of some of the great tourism offerings found here.”

1. Flag Animal Farm
This is a wonderful ‘forever home’ for more than 1 000 rescued animals, many of whom roam the grounds freely, making friends and searching for snacks. This is a 3-in-1 experience with animals, reptiles and a water park! Splash waterpark on site which is open daily during the holidays, as well as playgrounds and indoor play centres for the younger children. Visitors enjoy a real farm experience with the opportunity to cuddle the cuddly animals, and learn something through the daily shows.
These include:
· 11am and 3.30pm wolf interaction
· 12.30pm milking show
· 2pm reptile show
Costs: R60 for entry (children under 2 enter free); Splash waterpark is R25 per hour per child (adults enter free); R12 per train, tractor or pony ride; R12 per packet of animal feed.
Website: www.flaganimalfarm.co.za
Trading hours: 9am to 4.30pm, seven days a week.

2. Sugar Rush Park and Jump Park
There is so much to do at Sugar Rush for the whole family! Children can run freely, enjoy the playground and explore the farm. There’s a putt-putt course, pump track, laser tag course, bike shop, restaurant and the incredibly fun Jump Park, in indoor trampoline park.
Costs: Entrance to Sugar Rush Park and playground is free; R150 per hour for children 6 and over at the Jump Park, or R110 per hour for children 5 and younger. Check www.sugarrush.co.za/priceguide for all the pricing.
Website: www.sugarrush.co.za or www.thejumppark.co.za
Trading hours: 8am to 4pm, seven days a week.

3. Holla Trails at Sugar Rush
For those who prefer an outdoor adventure, Sugar Rush Park also has Holla Trails, a vast series of trails for mountain bikers or trail runners from entry level to experienced. The trails cross through the neighbouring farms with many places to stop, rest and take in the scenery.
Costs: Adults are R75 for a permit to ride the trails; R28 to run the trails for 12 and over; free for under 12s.
Website: www.sugarrush.co.za
Trading hours: Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

4. Ballito Junction Regional Mall
If it’s time for a bit of retail therapy or last-minute Christmas shopping, visit Ballito Junction. This mall has more than 200 stores and six anchor tenants including Pick n Pay, Woolworths, Checkers, Edgars, Game and Dis-Chem – as well as a cinema! It’s also home to the family-friendly 22JumpStreet indoor entertainment centre complete with trampolines and arcade games.
Costs: R100 per hour for 22JumpStreet (excluding jump socks).
Website: www.ballitojunction.co.za
Trading hours: 9am to 6pm, Monday to Saturday; 9am to 5pm Sundays and public holidays.

5. Monkeyland-KZN
Discover different species of exotic monkeys at this free-roaming primate sanctuary. The organisation aims to educate and foster a greater understanding about primates and the challenges they’re facing. Enjoy a guided walking tour while spotting capuchin monkeys, ringtail and black-and-white ruffed lemurs, buff-cheeked gibbons, squirrel monkeys, black howler monkeys and spider monkeys in their forest home.
Costs: R280 for adults; R140 for children aged 3 to 12; and free for children under 3.
Website: www.monkeylandkzn.co.za
Trading hours: 9am to 4pm every Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

6. Luthuli Museum
KwaDukuza is also a cultural gem and home to the incredible Luthuli Museum, located at the site where Chief Albert Luthuli met New York senator, Robert F Kennedy back in 1966. Luthuli was a Nobel Peace Laureate and president of the ANC from 1952 to 1967 when he met his untimely death. Learn more about this great man and the country’s history at this iconic museum.
Costs: Free entry
Website: www.luthulimuseum.org.za
Trading hours: 8.30am to 4pm, Monday to Saturday.

7. Burnedale Farm & Nursery
This is a beautiful venue where visitors can enjoy a great meal at the café and indulge in some high-end retail therapy while the little ones run freely around the farm, exploring the playground and meeting the many farm animals.
Costs: Free entry
Website: ‘Burnedale Farm’ Facebook page
Trading hours: 8.30am to 4.30pm.

8. Crocodile Creek
For a snappy time, head to Crocodile Creek, home to more than 6 000 Nile crocodiles, alligators, snakes and other crocodilian species. There’s also a curio shop to browse, and a great restaurant overlooking the crocodiles’ den.
Costs: Adults R105; aged 4 to 17 R60 and pensioners R75.
Website: www.crocodilecreek.co.za
Trading hours: 10am to 4:30pm daily.

9. Ballito Ski Park
For a full day of action, head to Ballito Ski Park. Here visitors can partake in skiing, jet ski rides, tub riding, slip n slides or even the massive Viking slide. There’s also paintball and archery tag for those wanting some out-the-water adventure.
Costs: R160 for skiing or paintball; R110 for jet ski and tube rides; R70 for a one-hour slide or R130 for the day; R70 for archery tag.
Website: www.ballitoskipark.co.za
Trading hours: 9am to 5pm, Monday to Sunday.

10. The Market at Lifestyle Centre
For an artisanal food and shopping experience, head over to The Market eatery at the Lifestyle Centre. This alfresco-style shopping centre has a range of stores to browse, and a wonderful range of quality food options suited to all tastes.
Costs: Free entry and parking
Website: www.ballitolifestylecentre.co.za
Trading hours: The Market retail from 8am to 5pm daily; eateries Sunday to Thursday until 8pm; Friday and Saturday until 9pm.

Ballito Pro Covid-19 Safety Campaign and Vaccination Site
The Ballito Pro in partnership with IPSS Medical and Thrive Better than Well is running a Covid-19 Safety Awareness Campaign which will include a Vaccination and Testing Site at Willard Beach for event goers. Thrive Ballito Pharmacy based at Balvista Centre Ballito will be offering onsite vaccinations at the Ballito Pro from 9am to 1pm daily. Walk-ins are welcome but priority is given to bookings that can be made on their website www.wethrive.co.za. From 2pm to 5pm daily, vaccinations will be offered at their pharmacy. IPSS Medical will also have a designated Covid-19 Testing Site at the event entrance, together with the Dept of Health, where they will conduct Covid-19 PCR and antigen tests.