A magical time for kids

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From a whimsical escape full of unexpected delights to a magic carpet ride, it’s time for children to get ready for a spectacular holiday experience!

How does your garden glow?

This year’s Trail of Lights – themed Garden Glow – promises a radiant spectacle showcasing the breath-taking beauty of the Durban Botanic Gardens. You can wander along the trail revealing multiple pockets of dazzling light installations, and enjoy all the live entertainment on offer between 6pm and 10pm each evening. You’ll find all your favourite festive characters, live ‘selfie spots’, food gardens and a festive market. Grab a picture with Santa in his Grotto, have your face painted, play a game or find the Grinch while supporting various worthy causes at Santa’s Workshop. It’s on from December 8 to January 3. One of last year’s most popular attractions, Paws and Claus, returns from December 10 to 14, when you can take along your dogs to join in the fun. Ticket sales from these evenings go to Feeding the Furballs charity. Tickets on the Paws and Claus nights are R50 per pet, when booked with a full-paying adult ticket. Regular tickets are priced from R70 to R90 each and are available through Webtickets or at selected Pick n Pay outlets. The Trail of Lights will be closed on December 11, 12, 25 and 31. Details: www.webtickets.co.za

Magical pantomime

KickstArt Theatre’s adaptation of Aladdin is a must-see over the holidays. Directed by Steven Stead and Darren King, with sets and costumes by Greg King, choreography by Evashnee Pillay, and lighting by Tina le Roux, the panto is all flying carpets, giant genies, popular songs, jokes galore, gorgeous costumes and sumptuous sets ranging from a Cave of Wonders to a golden Chinese palace. The show stars Daniel Anderson as Aladdin, Blessing Xaba as his long-suffering mother, Widow Twankey, and Iain Robinson as the dastardly wizard, Abanazar and runs from December 7 to 14 at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre. Curtains up at 2.30pm Tuesday to Friday, 11am and 3.30pm on Saturday and 2.30pm on Sunday. Suitable for ages three and up, tickets are priced from R150. Details: kickstarttheatre.co.za

Summer holiday train trips

A great day out for the family … a trip on the 85-year-old Inchanga Steam Engine. This roughly 75-minute trip departs from Inchanga Railway Station and meanders along the Valley of 1000 Hills and through one of the oldest operating tunnels in South Africa, before turning around at Botha’s Hill for the return.

Before or after your trip, you can visit the Inchanga Railway Museum in the Old Station Master’s House, find Thomas & Friends in the Modeller’s Shed or browse the Inchanga Station Craft Market where there are various treasures on sale, food to suit most tastes and activities for all.

Holiday trips are on Dec 15, 16, 17, 23, 24, 26, 30 and 31 and January 6 and 7. Santa will be on board from the December 15 to 24, checking who has been naughty and nice; while Carols by Candlelight will be held on 5pm return trips on December 15 and 16. Ticket are R170 each for adults and R110 for pensioners and children aged two to 12.

Details: www.umgenisteamrailway.com

Whimsical escape

Gateway’s Amazing Maze is a whimsical escape of unexpected delights. It takes you on an excursion through an exhilarating journey of contrasting environments created by a kaleidoscope of shapes, spaces, graphics, lighting and mirrors. It’s a selfie paradise if you love to keep friends guessing where on earth you are! For content creators, it’s a sensory overload. The maze is entered through an ethereal blue and white Cascade Tunnel, which draws you into a play on relativity. Finding yourself in the enigmatic Escher Realm, the mind says up when you can see that it’s down. Journeying on, adventurers reach the surreal expanse of Warped Reality. Field of Dreams is all enchantment, mystery and snap-ready scenarios, and the House of Cards is larger-than-life with strategy and surprise. Capture loads of selfies in the Plush Room, a luxurious statement of designer comfort before hitting the Techno Tunnel. Entry is free and it’s suitable for all ages. Open now until January 2. You’ll find it on the Cinema Level during mall trading hours.

Details: www.gatewayworld.co.za

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