So the Easter School Holidays are upon us with most schools breaking-up in the next few days. As most parents I find myself faced with a whole lot of empty days on my calendar and I can’t help but feel a little bit nervous about how I am going to entertain 2 small people for 2-plus weeks…
In order to make the next few weeks exciting and fun rather than frustrating and drab, I have done a bit of research for ideas of things to do with kids in Cape Town during the Easter School Holidays and here is my top 10…
1. A firm favourite in our house is to visit a local kids production at the theatre. Now I have probably seen every production a few times over as they do tend to repeat every year or so, but I don’t feel I am quite ready to give up this tradition seeing as my daughter is only just turning 2 and probably at just the right age to enjoy these now! Considering I know most of the songs by heart for these shows I am more than thrilled to find out that there is a new one on at the Artscape this holiday called Tales of Little Grey Rabbit. The performances at the Artscape are usually done by children which means the kids in the audience love them and there is a lot of interaction such as a easter-egg hunt this year! The show is on daily at 10:30 from 23 March – 5 April in the Artscape foyer and tickets are R50 each. The Baxter will be showcasing The Ugly Duckling and Other Stories by Hans Christian Anderson. The acting is by adults and even adults will enjoy the humour. The songs are excellent and very catchy! The show is on from 2 – 7 April at 10:30 and tickets are R40 each. Booking can be done through Computicket for both and is advisable!
2. Recently the Cape Town Science Centre in Observatory opened it’s doors after having taken over from the MTN Sciencentre in Canal Walk. I took my son there on a “Mommy date” this past weekend and we were “blown away”! The highlight for my 5 year old was most definitely the Murray and Roberts / Bob the Builder section which is a scaled down version of a building site with little wheelbarrows, hard hats and conveyor belts. Kids of all ages were loving building a “real” house with foam bricks and cement. It was hard to move him on to see the rest of the exhibits. One of my favourites was the life size replica of the space shuttle in which Mark Shuttleworth travelled to space in. It is incredibly TINY! Can’t imagine being in that small space for over a week! Crazy. There are plenty of other hands-on exhibits for kids to explore. I would say it is aimed at kids over 4 but there are a few areas for toddlers to enjoy. There is also a cash only coffee shop for parents to recharge! A great addition to the Cape Town Kids Entertainment landscape especially for indoor days! It is open everyday of the week from 9:00 – 16:30 and entrance is R38 per person older than 3. For more details visit the website.
3. While the weather holds out (and the rain is notorious to arrive on the Easter Weekend in Cape Town) make a plan to get out in nature! There are so many wonderful places to explore the natural surrounds of Cape Town and I have mentioned many in previous posts as well as featured some in my Weekend Wanderings series. Why not try a place you haven’t been to for a while such as Deer Park, climb the contour path at Constantia Nek or Cecelia Forest, talk a walk around Silvermine Dam, Tokai Lower Forest Walk or in the Arboretum, swim in the tidal pools and explore the rockpools at St James and Dalebrook beach, visit the penguins at Boulders, visit Rondevlei Nature Reserve, meet up with a group of friends at Kirstenbosch and roll down the grassy banks, walk along the pier at Kalk Bay Harbour, visit Die Oog bird sanctuary in Bergvliet, explore the wonderful Bishopscourt Village River Project, pack a picnic and head out to your local park, go camping for a weekend or just sleep out under the stars in your own back garden!
4. The Aquarium is also always on our list for a school holiday outing esp as we have the annual pass which makes it much more economically viable! Even thought we go often, there is always something new to focus on or a different craft to do and what’s not to love about the supervised, secure play area at the cafe (as long as you are in sight of the door!) The Solemates club is also hosting a free sleepover on 31 March at 7pm if you are feeling brave enough to sleep “under the sea” so to speak!
5. Not too long ago we took a trip out to sea aboard the Jolly Roger Pirate Ship based at the V&A Waterfront. It was such fun! I would really recommend this outing as a special treat especially while the weather is still good. A 1 hour cruise costs R60 for kids and R120 for adults.
6. Sign up your kids for a holiday programme such as the paid ones held at Kidz Discovery, Doodle Creative, Circus School or Me-time. You could also look into the free programmes offered at your local library.
7. Ratanga Junction theme park is open during the school holidays as well as the weekend of 27 April – 1 May. We have not yet taken our kids but I think this just might be the holiday to do it. There are plenty of rides to choose from for all ages including some for the little kids, a bird show and the My Zoo 2 U baby animal petting zoo too which is so lovely! For a R10 entry fee you can hold baby chicks, ducklings, bunny rabbits, lambs, mini goats, guinea pigs and piglets.
8. Get your craft on and make or create something new. There is nothing more satisfying for kids of all ages than doing something creative. There are lots of ideas of Easter activities to do with your kids at home (For great ideas see these links: Red Ted Art, Nurture Store, Everything Etsy) Alternatively visit a pre-arranged art class such as Artjamming or Clay Cafe who both are running holiday specials. At Clay Cafe you can paint 2 items plus get a drink and a muffin for R85.
9. Do something that you used to love doing as a child and share the experience with your kids! Pay a visit to the circus or fun fair (one is open at Zwaanswyk High School at the moment). Play family games. Go Geo-caching which is the updated version of a treasure hunt where you use your GPRS to track down hidden clues around the country. Why not have a family game of Putt-Putt? Go for a drive on a Sunday afternoon for an ice-cream. Get on your bikes and peddle around the neighbourhood. Pack fishing rods and find a local pond. Go to a kiddies movie and order a big box of popcorn!
10. There are plenty of sports activities available for slightly older children to sign up for extra coaching in cricket, rugby, football or astro hockey with Sporting Chance. You could also sign up for a week of intensive swimming lessons, visit the gym swimming pool and then drop the kids off at the Club-V play area while you head off for a sauna! Or for the slightly more adventurous why not try learning to surf at one of the surf schools in Muizenberg such as Roxy Surf School or Garys Surf School?
I hope this list has inspired you to try a few things you hadn’t thought of. Let me know if you are aware of any other ideas that I can add by leaving a comment or sending me an email! I would love to hear from you.
Here are few more articles I have written about “Things to do with kids”.
Free things to do in Cape Town with kids
Another Top 10 free things to do with kids in Cape Town
Things to do in Cape Town for a special treat
Things to do in Cape Town that won’t break the bank
Things to do with kids on the Garden Route
images: Kathryn Rossiter