Top 10 affordable things to do in Cape Town with kids

Following my article last week of 10 things to do for free around Cape Town here are a few ideas which won’t break the bank even if you do have to pay an entrance fee. Most of these ideas are under R40 and a lot of these you only pay for the adults.

1. Kirstenbosch is our beautiful Botanical Garden. We are so privileged to live in Cape Town and have access to such a huge open space. The gardens are educational as well as fun and the grounds are well maintained with plenty of long sloping lawns to roll down or run about. Little rivers to catch tadpoles, big trees to climb, plenty of places to hide and explore. You really won’t be bored even if you return weekly. The entrance fee is R37 for adults, R10 for kids 6 – 17 and children under 6 don’t pay. Grannies might like to know that Tuesday is Pensioners day and you get free entry if you are over 60.

2. Visit a kid-friendly farmyard. Kids LOVE animals – and especially farm animals! A perennial favourite with Southern Suburbs kids (and their moms) is The Barnyard. Unfortunately the petting section has closed but there is still “Chocolate Brown” the pony willingly taking the kids for rides and a few extra kiddie rides apart from the usual jungle gyms and jumping castle. Be prepared to fork out a bit for juice, rides, sweets, bird feed etc as well as a coffee for yourself! Another option is Higgeldy Piggeldy Animal Farm at Imoff Farm in Kommetjie. There is a wonderful view from the nearby Blue Water Cafe. Entry to the farm animals is R10. If you are feeling brave you can also attempt to ride a camel at the entrance.

3. Take a train trip – if you’re not brave enough to attempt the real public transport in Cape Town then why not try the little Blue Train on the beachfront in Mouille Point. It is great fun for kids albeit a bit bone jarring for adults! Trips cost R8 and it is run by the Rotary Club of Sea Point so proceeds go to charity – a real bargain!!

4. The Scratch Patch – there are two located in Cape Town. The bigger of the two is the one near Simonstown and the other one is in the V&A Waterfront. Prices vary depending on what size bag you choose to fill with semi-precious stones. They start from R14 for a small bag but for littlies this is sufficient for their “chosen” stones. They tend the grab a handful and shove it in the bag and then wander off to play and slide among the pretty pebbles. I remember visiting as a kid and prizing my precious stones for years!!

5. Visit the Theatre – during all school holidays the Baxter and the Artscape Theatre put on shows suitable for kids. Our favourites are the fairy tale adaptions performed by the Lilliput Theatre Company. The highlight is the “flippy chairs” and packet of Niknaks. At Easter and Christmas there are often extras such as a visit from Father Christmas or an egg from the Easter Bunny. I look forward to these outings so much as I loved going with my own Gran when we visited her on holiday. As we grew a bit older we were introduced to the Ballet too. All tickets can be bought at Computicket and are usually in the region of R35.

6. An Ice-cream Outing. Many Sunday afternoons when we feel the need to get out the house we head for one of our favourite “Gelateri’s” We prefer the real Italian style ice-cream as opposed to soft serve but there are good places all around the peninsula to find both. Luigi’s in Hout Bay and The Ice Cafe in Kalk Bay are our faves. Also Sinnful in Camps Bay and Muizenberg. For soft serve try the Fish Hoek cafe on the beachfront. Prices are about R12 – R20 depending on how many scoops you can handle!

7. Play some Putt-Putt. A well loved South African family standard. Visit the course at Muizenberg or Mouille Point for a bit of competitive putting. Cave golf is an indoor option located at the V&A Waterfront. Probably for slightly older kids who have some coordination. Best to prepare all members of the family (ahem, dads) that it’s not always about winning but how much you enjoyed the game… Approx price is R8 – 12 per game.

8. The Museum and Planetarium are long forgotten places which we recall from various school outings but recently I have returned with my son for some interesting meanderings in the cool, dark passages. A great place to while away time on rainy days. At his age we can only handle small sections at a time so each visit we see something new! His favourites are the Whale sound booth as you overlook the huge whale skeletons, the new dinosaur display and of course the Planetarium where they have shows geared for kids once or twice a day. Entry to the Museum is R20 for adults and kids under 18 are free (on certain commemorative days in the year it is free for adults too) and the Planetarium shows cost R25 for adults and R10 for kids. Don’t forget to factor in some time to wander around the Company Gardens and feed the squirrels while you are there!

9. Silvermine Nature Reserve and Dam are wonderful places for kids to play and explore. There are picnic sites situated all along the edge of the dam and a ring walk around it. There are plenty of other walks including one to Elephants Eye if you are in a party of fairly fit individuals whose legs won’t give up half way! A favourite activity is fishing and catching tadpoles at the waters edge, on Sundays there are loads of kids trying their luck with their nets. Entry is R20 for Adults and R10 for scholars. For more info visit the Table Mountain website.

10. Boulders Beach – visit the friendly African Penguins via the boardwalk and then take a stroll along the path to the beach where you might get the chance to swim with some of the birds! The beach is really sheltered from the wind in summer and the bay is perfect for paddling. There isn’t much sand space so get there early especially on summer weekends. Entry is R40 for adults and R15 for scholars.

Hope you got some new ideas – if you have any suggestions please leave a comment. It would be great to hear from you and expand my horizons!

Here are few more articles I have written about “Things to do with kids”.
Free things to do in Cape Town with kids
More free things to do in Cape Town with kids
Things to do in Cape Town for a special treat
Things to do with kids on the Garden Route

images: Kathryn Rossiter

Kathryn Rossiter

Kathryn is a South African lifestyle blogger and mom of 2 who has been blogging daily for over 9 years! She writes about travel, health, beauty, fashion, decor and family... but not food (unless it's food she's eaten made by someone else) as she is a hopeless cook. She only wakes up early for 2 things... a red-eye flight to somewhere exotic and early morning game drives. She has just finished an extensive home renovation and would prefer to never see another box again. She's never met a chocolate or glass of bubbles that she didn't like!

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