Avoiding the holiday madness

The Yards has been transformed from an unsafe and derelict space into a place where a family can spend a day of fun with something for everyone.

Tis the season to be jolly. Oh, and to also travel and contend with highly exorbitant and overly inflated flight and hotel prices. And let’s not forget the packed airports and ensuing confusion due to our current national carrier’s issues.

Basically, blowing your budget on a trip you could never really afford but you’re taking anyway because of peer pressure and a barrage of subliminal advertising convincing you that you deserve time off because you are #WorthIt! and will feel #ForeverBlessed! even after travel agents have drained your bank account. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for zen moments, finding yourself wherever the road leads you or spoiling yourself with your own hard-earned money. But I’m also extremely frugal. It’s the only way to get through the silly season.

We are the self-help “I deserve” generation, full of self-gratification, encouraging each other to be reckless because we only live once, forgetting that the stress of an empty bank account can cause far more harm than that unplanned trip to Bali because of social pressure. The trend is to give and be jolly. My take? Bah, humbug! Sure, spread the cheer but save the pennies unless you only plan to travel once a year.

Isn’t it a wise idea to travel during off-peak periods, where rates are cheaper and you have the opportunity to book two to three trips a year? One could argue that it’s easy for me to speak as travel comes with my chosen profession but when taking personal trips, I enjoy the planning experience of working on a set budget, rather than throwing caution to the wind.

Having never been a fan of festive travel, I’ve had to come up with ways to stay entertained while staying in the city. The most obvious is vegging on the couch but this is the perfect opportunity to visit some of the province’s latest offerings.

Two areas in particular stood out for me this year – the first being the Nirox sculpture park in Krugersdorp. Not only is the spot a luscious visual feast of greenery and standing art installations, it’s a perfect picnic spot for families next to a lake. The park has set opening and closing times and dates but is worth a visit. It houses a number of visual artists who take up a residency on the property for an allocated period, all while creating artwork that remains part of the park.

Some of the works being gargantuan in size, they are rooted into the earth and become part of the fauna and flora, with plants growing on them. There is an organic kitchen where food is sourced from organic farms in the area and catering to many tastes, including vegan. Nirox is a stone’s throw from Maropeng and the Cradle Of Humankind, for anyone who wants a deeper educational or extensive tour of the culturally rich area we reside in.

If you aren’t a fan of driving too far and you’d rather uber around the city, the Victoria Yards area in the city is another find. Located in Lorentzville, this isn’t the sort of place you’ve got to be glam. Previously an industrial space, the yards have been turned into a cultural feast for design shops, eateries, galleries, bookshops, décor and small stalls. Selling product that is all locally produced and laid out for the public to sample and shop.

The Yards has been transformed from an unsafe and derelict space into a place where a family can spend a day of fun with something for everyone.

Info:

  • Nirox Foundation Sculpture Park
  • Address: R540 Kromdraai Rd, Kromdraai, Krugersdorp, 1739
  • Victoria Yards
  • Address: 16 Viljoen St, Lorentzville, Johannesburg, 2094
  • Closes 5PM
  • Phone: 010 594 5210

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