Sci-Bono Discovery Centre

Next time you’re in Joburg, you have to go to the Sci-Bono Discovery Centre. That’s simply all there is to it. It is quite possibly the most fun place for adults and children combined (that is, the most fun place that both adults and kids will enjoy – not only fun for adults and boring for kids, or vice versa).

We were dragged there with kids in tow one rainy Sunday morning and I have to say my expectations were not high. Not even waist-high. I had written off the morning as something that had to be done, that might be fun for the kids.

Boy was I wrong! It was one of the most fascinating Sunday mornings I’ve had in months. Essentially, Sci-Bono is a giant warehouse filled with all kinds of displays, projects and games that happen to be educational (but don’t hold that against them). A couple of highlights:

–    The life-size dinosaurs that move their heads, roar, blink and breathe when you press a button. Terrifying for kids and ever-so-slightly creepy for adults.
–    The electricity display that only blinks when two of you hold hands and hold your other hand against the plastic hands the display holds out for you. Seriously cool.
–    The silent game where two people have to lift a ball up a treacherous hole-pitted wall without it falling into any of the holes.
–    The chance to play a surprisingly tricky Wii game that involves jumping from one moving plate to the other without falling into the cracks.
–    The soccer aim game – follow the blinking light and kick a soccer ball to the right silhouette. The one who gets the most kicks on target in 30 seconds is the (unofficial) winner.
–    The incredibly impressive Lego display of the soccer stadium, complete with fans, players, pets and everything in between.
–    The super-cool magnet displays.
–    The somehow magical brainwaves game: two of you sit on either end of a long table, wearing a strap around your foreheads with nodes that can read your brainwaves. A small silver ball sits in the middle of the table, and is pushed away from the person with the calmest mind. Really! The calmest mind. You can watch your brainwaves on the screen, but that detracts slightly from trying to have as few thoughts as possible.

And that’s not even all of them! This is one seriously cool spot. It’s described as ‘a world-class science centre that supports maths, science and technology education…’ but it’s far more fun than that. Open Monday to Friday 9am to 4.30pm and weekends 9am till 4pm, and a mere R20 for adults and R10 for kids, this will soon become your favourite Joburg hang-out. It’s located in the newly hip New Town district and across the road from something called the Beer Museum (really?! Don’t tell dads!)

Find out more (like the fact that they are the largest science centre in Southern Africa) on their website:

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