I suppose if there’s no snow forecast for Joburg during the holidays, the next best thing is the Winter Wonderland at Gold Reef City them park where you can see a snowman, throw snowballs, climb a six-metre-high ice wall, tube down a snow ramp, or just walk in the white stuff (which is what I did a lot of).
The snow and ice setup is on until July 14, and is included in the theme park entry fee. I was there on the weekend and had great fun in the park and in the snow with my toddler. It’s not too cold and there’s a hot chocolate stand right there too if you need warming up.
You can buy tickets there, but – and trust me on this – try to buy tickets online via their website as if you do, you get preferential queuing. ie, you can enter through a non-crowded side where you probably won’t need to stand in a queue.
Also, on a different note, it was quite refreshing to see that prices for refreshments in the theme park aren’t hugely inflated, which is common practice at most other places (like movies and shows). For example, I paid about R16 for a bag of popcorn and a bottle of still water.
Entrance fees are R165 for adults (includes all rides) and R100 for toddlers, while kids under three get in for free.