The Winter School Holidays are almost here!
Over the past few years I’ve published a list of ideas for places to go and things to do with kids during the wet, wintery weather and because I don’t want to disappoint you I have given the list a bit of an update for this year!
So, whether you’re lucky enough to live in Cape Town for 365 days a year, or just visiting, I hope you’ll find this list of Things to Do with Kids in Cape Town helpful, whatever the weather!
Things to do with Kids in Cape Town
(during the Winter School Holidays 2016)
1. See a Show
We love a good show and these school holidays there are quite a few on around Cape Town:
Our family favourite is Disney on Ice and once again they are bringing their extravaganza to the Grand Arena at Grand West during the school holidays (7 – 12 July 2015). Tickets start from R100 and can be booked through Computicket (Click this link for more details in my previous post about Disney on Ice)
The Artscape theatre always has a kiddies show on during the school holidays that is appropriate for kids aged 2 and up and this season Noddy makes an appearance with all his Toyland friends and learns the value of friendship, hard work and honesty through a series of adventures and building his own house in Toyland. Before the show there will be exciting activities such as face painting, colouring in, puzzles, play tents and black bikes to ride. Tickets can be booked via at Artscape Dial-a-Seat on 021 421 7695 at Computicket. The show runs from 27 June – 9 July at 10:30am.
Canal Walk is staging Robin Hood at the Canal Walk Theatre. The show runs from 24 June – 16 July with show times at 11am, 12.30pm and 2pm (no shows on Mondays). This year, the age-old tale of ‘giving and equality for all’ comes to life with the telling of Robin Hood, as Centre Court is transformed into Sherwood Forest and Nottingham Castle. Produced by Fred Abrahamse & Marcel Meyer, this is a musical feast featuring a five metre talking tree, speaking falcon, Maid Marian and a host of other loveable and admirable characters, will help Robin on his quest to give to others, defeat the Sheriff of Nottingham and find love. This is also a chance for everyone to do their bit for community, CWSC is asking patrons and theatre goers to bring a can of food to help them and the LEAP schools to feed the minds and bodies of those less fortunate. Tickets are available through Computicket.
The Lilliput Players Children’s Theatre Company will be performing Goldilocks and the Three Bears, at the Nassau Theatre (Groote Schuur High School) in Newlands, from Monday 4 July until Saturday 16 July at 10:30am. (12 performances only). Tickets are R70 and bookings can be done via Computicket.
The Wizard of Oz is playing at The Playhouse in Somerset West from 22 June – 6 July. After a tornado whisks away a young Kansas farm girl, Dorothy, along with her dog Toto, to the magical land of Oz, she starts her quest to find the Mighty Wizard of Oz who has the power to send her home. Along the way, Dorothy meets some memorable friends and foes including a Scarecrow, a Tin Woodsman, A cowardly Lion and a Wicked Witch. Tickets cost R120 and are available on Computicket.
The Rainbow Puppet Theatre at the Constantia Waldorf School presents a new Fairy Tale each month which takes place on Saturdays at 10:00 and 11:15. Tickets are the same price for adults and children and can be purchased at the door. Recommended age is 4 plus. Email [email protected] for more information.
The Zip Zap Circus has occasional charity performances which are well worth it. Keep an eye on their website or your local media for details of their performances.
2. Create some Crafts
Frank Joubert Art School in Newlands are hosting a Holiday Art Fiesta where a series of 3 lessons from 4 – 6 July will focus drawing, three dimensional art, painting and mixed media. Classes are from 9:00 – 110:30 for Grades R – 2 and Grades 5 – 6 and from 11:00 – 12:30 for Grades 3 & 4 and 7 & 8. All materials are included in the R90 per lesson fee. Enquiries and Bookings: Grd R1, 2, 3 & 4: Victoria Sigalas 072543761 or [email protected]; Grd 5, 6, 7 & 8: Jane Weight 0724381314 or [email protected]
Artjamming at the V&A Waterfront has a great holiday programme running and is the perfect place to get your kid’s (and your own) creative juices flowing! The workshops take place daily from 10:00. See the poster below or email [email protected] for more information.
Kirstenbosch is running a Winter Wonders programme for kids aged 6 – 17 from Saturday 25 June through to Saturday 16 July. This 3-week programme of fun, learning, walking, creativity and story-telling will also include family focused activities for all to join in. Explore the most beautiful garden in Africa and learn more about the environment or watch a puppet show at Moyo restaurant retelling a San/African folktale followed by a guided walk with a botanist. Herpetologist, Johan Marais, will also be bringing in some of his reptilian friends for children to see and touch if they dare! Find the full programme on their website (link above) The bonus is that all under 18’s receive free entry into the Garden during the holidays.
Clay Cafe in Hout Bay, is a great spot for getting crafty! Choose a ceramic item to paint in a variety of colours and let your creative side run wild! Fun for all ages. Refreshments are available and there is a jungle gym and kids play area with jumping castles on weekends so the kids can burn off their physical energy in between painting. Their is usually a holiday special for kids wishing to paint 2 items and the price includes a juice and a muffin or biscuit.
The Book Lounge in Roeland Street holds regular ‘holiday crafternoons’ for children age 5+. Similar to their regular Saturday morning sessions where there is reading around a theme and then an activity these will take place every Wednesday afternoon at 14:30 during the school holidays.
3. Get Active
No need to trek out to Ceres to see the snow… all you need do is head out to Grand West these holidays to experience the magic of real snow at Snow World, Cape Town’s first ever multi-activity snow park. Open until 31 July, kids of all ages (adults too!) can experience the wonders of snow in a variety of snow fun rides and entertainment for the entire family from a snow play area with a real snow to a 3 ice slides. For the adventure junkies there’s even an icy “snow box” where you can enjoy snowboarding in -3 degrees! Sessions take place every 45 minutes starting from 10:00 every morning. Full Access tickets with a Snow Boarding pass cost R140/ session. A Snow and Ice Rider Pass costs R120/ session. A Mini Pass is R60/ session and a Non-Rider Pass is R50/ session. Tickets can be booked via Computicket
The Ice Station ice-skating rink (also at Grand West Casino) has four sessions open to the public everyday. The best time slots for kids are 10:00 – 12:30 and 14:00 – 16:30, Mon – Fri (For weekend times visit the website) There are also sessions at night. There is a mini rink for litle ones and skate is available for all foot sizes! Remember to dress warmly and wear thick socks! Snowman building competitions take place every Wednesday during school holidays and costs R5 per person to enter if you have not already paid to skate the session!
Ten Pin Bowling at Let’s Go Bowling at Stadium on Main in Claremont is good for a fun outing and a bit of friendly competition for kids aged five and up, plus, the folks at Let’s Go Bowling offer a safety rail for those colourful heavy balls to save a few bruised egos! You can also head out to Grand West’s The Magic Company to go bowling!
City Rock in Observatory is a great indoor activity for enthusiastic climbers and Spiderman-wannabes! The world class facilities include a large bouldering area (250m²) and 9 m high walls for lead and top roped climbing (650 m² ). There is also a relaxed coffee shop area with free Wi-Fi so moms can have a coffee, chat, or even work for a while.
Fit Kids in Fish Hoek is hosting a variety of fun filled outdoor activities in the South Peninsula. Send your kids off for 3 hours of outdoor fun where they will learn a new skill, a little bit about the environment, and make new friends! Activities include Kalk Bay Fishing Adventures, Hiking Adventure to Peers Cave and exploring the Rocky Shore Adventure at the Dalebrook pool. A maximum of 20 children per session (12 for Kalk Bay fishing) so booking in advance is essential. Obviously these adventures are weather dependent, but a indoor venue is available as back-up plans for an alternative activity if it’s too cold and wet.
Sign up to a Circus Holiday School, run by experts from The Silk Circus, from 27 June – 1 July. Kids aged 6 – 13 can learn a variety of circus skills from juggling to acrobatics and even silks!
Jump Around is an indoor trampoline park located in Paarden Eiland, Cape Town. The arena is filled with 1000 square meters of trampoline fun so you can literally come and bounce off the walls… Step through the doors and defy gravity as you bounce from wall to wall across 50 interconnected trampolines in our “Free Jump” zone. Jump across to one of the “Dodgeball courts” or practice your aerial skills and flip your way into the “Foam Pit”. Enjoy the freedom of flight landing into a pit of 7000 foam cubes.
RUSH Trampoline Park is located in Stadium on Main, Claremont and has 7 stations including Dodgeball, basketball, open trampolines and foam pits. Open for 1 hourly jump sessions from Monday to Sunday from 11:00am.
be.Up is a new indoor kids play park in Pinelands offering trampolines, climbing, maze – all round indoor family fun. Booking online in advance as sessions sell out. Open Mon – Sun from 09:00 – 22:00.
4. Pop in for a Play
An indoor play place might be just the ticket for those very wet days when kids seem to draw on their energy supplies more than usual and need to run wild for a few hours… some time to play in a different venue might be just what you need to stay sane on these occasions… Prices are usually charged per hour.
For more details on the opening times and prices of these play venues please check out their websites where you may also find more details on their special school holiday programmes. (If you know of any others let me know and I can update my list)
If you have a gym membership at Virgin Active their play areas are usually great and often they run a holiday programme that might be worth signing up for!
Another really fun option (although you can’t sit down and enjoy your coffee here) is The Magic Company located at Grand West. There are lots of activities and carnival rides for kids including carousel rides, mini rollercoasters and bumper cars. Next door there is also an arcade for the older kids filled with plenty of games to keep them happy. Be prepared for lots of noise, flashing lights and an endless request for more cash (unless you set a limit upfront!!)
5. Movie Magic!
A trip to the “big” movies is always a treat and if you’re on Discovery and have completed the Kids Health Assessment this is a very affordable option as kids watch movies before 7pm for FREE!
Look out for the following family-friendly titles coming to the big screen soon:
- Angry Birds (out now)
- Finding Dory (out now)
- The BFG (1 July 2016)
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Out of the Shadows (1 July 2016)
- Ice Age: Collision Course (8 July 2016)
6. Museum Meanderings
The Iziko group of museums includes some great options including the following:
The South African National Museum* offers plenty to discover on rainy days. Our favourites include the mammals section, the dinosaurs and the whale sound booth.
The Planetarium is also an Iziko museum and is located within The South African Museum.
The Castle of Good Hope opposite the Parade in the City Centre was built between 1666 and 1679 by the Dutch East India Company (VOC) as a maritime replenishment station and is the oldest surviving colonial building in South Africa. Today the Castle is the seat of the military in the Cape, and houses the Castle Military Museum and Iziko Museums of Cape Town (William Fehr Collection).
*Please note the Iziko group of museums offer free entry on certain museums on various commemorative days
Other options include:
Gold of Africa located in Strand Street, City Bowl
The Heart of Cape Town Museum at Groote Schuur Hospital which tells the story of the first heart transplant that took place here.
The Jewish Museum located in Gardens which tells of the original Jewish community in Cape Town as well as remembers the Holocaust.
Josephine Mill in Newlands is a fully operational mill with a massive waterwheel.
The District 6 Museum is worth a visit to learn more about South Africa’s recent history
Robben Island Museum is another historical site but might be better on fair weather days.
The South African Airforce Museum at Ysterplaat open on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 07:00 – 15:00 and on Saturdays from 08:30 – 12:00. Entrance is free but you need to bring your ID books or passports as it is an operational military base.
The South African Naval Museum in Simonstown is housed in, and around, the original Dockyard Magazine/Storehouse. The collection, which is continuously being expanded, includes: Ship and Submarine models; a life-size Ship’s Bridge; a life-size Submarine’s Operations and Control Room; Naval Guns; Torpedoes; an Anti-Submarine Mortar; Sea Mines; Mine-sweeping equipment; Diving equipment; Naval Small Craft; Naval Uniforms; Portraits of Naval Personnel;
The South African Training Ship ‘General Botha’ collection; and Much more.
For the first time in South Africa, the Underwater Photographer of the Year 2016 exhibition is being held at the Chavonnes Battery Museum until 30 September. 41 images in 8 categories from 55 countries including Britain, South Africa, UK, Mexico, Russia, Indonesia, Egypt, Jordan, Malta and Italy. These spectacular images explore fascinating perspectives and interesting insights into the underwater world and on land from underwater. Tickets cost R70 for Adults, R50 for Seniors/Students/Wild Card Holders/Red Bus Ticket Holders, R30 for Children and R200 for a family of 4. They can be purchased at the door or from Webtickets.
The Springbok Experience Rugby Museum is based at the Waterfront and is a modern rugby museum that is fun for the whole family. Aside from a whole floor of audio-visual exhibits that chart the development of the sport over time in a fascinating way, there’s also a Springbok Trials zone where kiddies can while away their time with Wii-like kicking, passing, fitness and reaction challenges that are led by a virtual coach on large screens. Upstairs a digital display is peppered with fun activities for children, like a rugby-themed Top Trumps game and an interactive installation that requires little tykes to complete sentences. So, while grown-ups immerse themselves in the proudly South African story, kids can find ample distraction.
7. Cook up a Storm
Cooking classes for kids seem to be super popular these days and there are classes located around the peninsula that you can sign your mini chefs up for!
A chocolate making course at Rococoa Chocolate Shop will teach children the history of chocolate and each child will receive a ball of chocolate dough in the chocolatier’s kitchen to create whatever they desire. Bookings essential.
The Lindt Chocolate Kids Cupcake Course is a fun class that allows kids to decorate their very won LINDT cupcakes under the expert guidance of the LINDT Master Chocolatiers and only using the finest LINDT chocolates. The Cupcakes will be boxed and taken home to be enjoyed with family and friends. The class is 1 hr and costs R245.00. Email [email protected] for more details.
Here are a few more options:
Nice Touch Cooking Club – Camps Bay
Kiddycooks holiday programme – Durbanville
For more information on prices, times and location please contact the various classes via their details listed above. (And feel free to update me if you know of any other options in your area)
8. Waterfront Wandering
The Reptile Garden features some of South Africa’s most fascinating reptiles and will be held at the Jubilee Hall. Watch live snake shows, educational short films and meet some of our experienced snake handlers. Running from 18 June to 18 July access to the Reptile Garden also includes sand art, LEGO tables and a PlayStation terminal to keep young ones occupied, while parents can visit the on-site cafeteria.
The new skill-building pumptrack offers fifty metres of free fun at the Waterfront – this is a continuous track where the rider uses an up and down ‘pumping’ motion to propel the bicycle/scooter forward instead of pedalling, providing the perfect tool to improve balance, learn skills and improve confidence on a bike. Helmets, bikes and scooters will be provided free of charge. Not entirely restricted to children, adults are also encouraged to explore the Pumptrack. Find this temporary installation at Quays Square (in front of the African Trading Port) from 25 June to 17 July, 10:30 to 15:30.
The Innovation Station will be offering high-energy creativity and playful fun workshops that focus on encouraging exploration and stimulating children’s imaginations and problem-solving skills as they tumble around in a safe and stimulating environment. Overseen by four engaging facilitators, this year’s workshop theme is ‘recycling’ and seeks to instil a positive, environmental appreciation message in young children’s minds. The daily workshops will focus on the processes of designing, making, prototyping and playing with recyclable materials. No bookings are required and entry can be paid for on arrival. Find it at the Centre Court inside Victoria Wharf Shopping Centre from 28 June to 10 July, 11:00 to 18:00.
Be among the first to see the brand new I&J Ocean Exhibit and the mesmerising Jelly Gallery at The Two Oceans Aquarium. The I&J Ocean Exhibit features yellowfin tuna and striped bonito – two species never displayed before in the Aquarium. Other animals include graceful rays and turtles. Daily feeds take place at 12:00 (hand-feeding by a diver) and at 14:00 (drop feed). Views onto this majestic exhibit include a 9m wide by 4m high seamless window and a 10m long full tunnel where you can get eye-to-eye with the animals. The Jelly Gallery forms the entrance to the I&J Ocean Exhibit and houses various jelly species in a novel and mesmerising way. Discover the magic of jellies and watch elegant moon, box and blue blubber jellies as they pulsate through the water. The beauty of these animals is heightened through the use of special effects in the Gallery. Be sure to visit the Ocean Basket Kelp Forest Exhibit before it closes for renovations. This exhibit, the only one of its kind in Africa, houses South Africa’s national fish – the galjoen – as well as red stumpnose and white steenbras. The usual puppet shows, sandpit, arts and crafts, feeding of the penguins, touch tank and frog show make this a full day outing! Feeding of the predators and sharks is at 15:00, and the African penguins at 11:45 and 14:30 daily. Puppet Shows happen at 10:00 and 13:00. The play area adjacent to the cafe is supervised which is a real win after a busy morning of chasing kids! Don’t miss “Cape Town’s Underwater Wilderness”, an underwater photography exhibition featuring spectacular images. Bringing together nine award-winning photographers and showcasing 90 photos, the exhibition not only shows the beauty found below the waves of the Western Cape shores, but also aims to promote diving opportunities around Cape Town. The Aquarium is open 365 days a year from 09:30 until 18:00. Buy your tickets in advance online via their website for slightly reduced prices or sign up for year round savings with the annual membership.
In partnership with Ocean Adventurer marine tours, the Two Oceans Aquarium hosts a 90 minute Table Bay Eco Safari boat trip around Table Bay where visitors can look out for dolphins, seals, sunfish and whales. A trained guide talks about the biodiversity of Cape Town’s waters, as well as the unique upwelling systems off the South African coastline. The ticket also includes entry into the Aquarium once the boat trip is complete. Cruise times are weather dependent, and should a trip be cancelled due to bad weather, tickets can be redeemed on another date within five days of purchase. Departure times are 11:00, 13:00, 15:00 & 17:00. Tickets cost R195 for kids and R400 for adults.
The world’s largest floating book fair, Logos Hope, will be docking in Cape Town, bringing with it a wealth of knowledge, help and hope! Visitors are welcome aboard the vessel to browse the wide book selection and meet the volunteer crew, who span 55 different nationalities. There are more than 5 000 book titles available for purchase and visitors can also treat themselves to a variety of sumptuous eats available from the on-board International Café. Logos Hope will be moored at Jetty 2 at the V&A Waterfront from 24 June to 11 July and opening hours are Sun to Tue 14:00 to 21:30 and Wed to Sat 10:00 to 21:30. Entry costs R5 per person.
9. Educate your Einstein (or Mozart)
The Cape Town Science Centre run daily hands-on workshops, bingo evenings, science games, maker workshops, Winter Science Camp, daily science shows and camera obscura tours. Open Monday – Sunday from 9:00 – 16:30, this is a great educational outing and always lots of fun. Purchase your tickets at the door or jump the queue and buy them in advance via Webtickets.
At the same venue there are also robotic and aviation workshops available for kids to sign up for. Options available for Grades 1 – 4 and 5 – 9) from 29 June – 1 July at R600 per child.
The College of Magic will host it’s annual Children’s Magic Festival for curious kids between 29 June and 2 July. This fantastical event features performances from the college’s budding Houdinis and experienced graduates as well as legions of professional clowns, mimes, magicians, escapologists, jugglers and more. Book tickets online at www.collegeofmagic.com/tickets
10. Hang out at a Holiday Club
Various churches are running holiday clubs these holidays…
Common Ground Church in Rondebosch
JoshGen Church in Sunningdale
Medway Church in Plumstead
Connect Church (formerly Meadowridge Baptist Church) in Meadowridge
St Martins Church in Bergvliet
St James Church in Kenilworth
Tokai Community Church in Tokai
The People’s Church in Constantia and Sun Valley
If you know of any others that should be on this list please drop me an email with the details. Thanks!
1. Take in the View
Table Mountain is once again running their Kidz Season Special which is that two kids under 18 years can ride the cable car for free when purchasing one adult return ticket over weekends, public holidays and during the school holidays until 30 Sep. Explore the natural beauty and grace of Table Mountain with your children and enjoy a day of fun, food and natural beauty, there’s even a kiddies’ treasure hunt and a few other treats for youngsters including something sweet when they hand in their voucher at both the Shop at the Top and the Café.
The Cableway will be closed from 25 July to 7 August 2016 for annual maintenance
Another amazing view you need to take in is the one from the tip of Africa… at Cape Point! This winter season kids Cape Point is running a Winter special that offers children a free ride on the Flying Dutchman Funicular when accompanied by a paying adult, and a free kids meal for every adult main course ordered in the Two Oceans Restaurant. Opening hours for the national park are 06:00 – 18:00 and from 09:00 – 17:30 for the Flying Dutchman Funicular and Two Oceans Restaurant.
Did you know about the Cape Town Green Card?
Visitors to Table Mountain National Park (TMNP) either pay a conservation fee to enter the Park at pay points or they may enter for free with their valid SANParks; All Parks; International All Parks Cluster Wild Cards; or the TMNP My Green Card. My Green Card is available exclusively to residents of Cape Town and provides the holder with 12 free entries into any of the TMNP’s pay points: Cape of Good Hope (Cape Point), Boulders Penguin Colony, Oudekraal and Silvermine, as well as to the braai and picnic areas at Tokai, Newlands and Perdekloof. It is great value! To apply you will need: R125 for the card; a South African ID document; 2 ID photographs and proof of residence. It can be purchased at Tokai Plantation Office, Tokai Road, Tokai on Mondays to Fridays from 08:00 – 16:00. Phone 021 712 7471 or visit www.sanparks.org for more information.
2. Do the Double Decker
See the city from a different perspective via a trip atop the City Sightseeing Bus. Places of interest that the bus passes include the Castle of Good Hope, the District Six and Jewish Museum as well as Table Mountain and many more.take advantage of their 3-for-1 Kids’ Special where two kids (under 18) can ride for free when you buy one adult one-day bus ticket or Harbour Cruise ticket. The special runs until 9 October 2016 and is only valid on weekends and South African public and school holidays.Tickets can be purchased at the City Sightseeing offices, on the bus or on www.citysightseeing.co.za/cape-town.
Grandparents might like to know that South African pensioners can get a 50% discount on 1-day tickets on Tuesdays and Fridays, which means you’ll pay R95 for a ticket that usually costs R190. You can hop on the bus at any stop, but remember to bring your barcoded South African ID along to qualify. (Pensioner Special tickets aren’t available online.) Pensioners also get a R20 discount on a Harbour Cruise ticket (usually R40) on these days. The Harbour Cruise departs from the Two Oceans Aquarium at the V&A Waterfront (Stop 1).
3. Set Sail
Another angle from which to view the city is from the water! The Jolly Roger Pirate Ship is hugely popular as is the cute Tommy the Tugboat or catch a ferry across to explore the historical Robben Island. All leave from the Waterfront.
4. Walk in the Wild
Getting out into nature is always one of the best ways to get kids active and there are so many amazing spots to do this around Cape Town. Places in Cape town where we enjoy taking a walk in the wild include Kirstenbosch, Constantia Nek, Rhodes Memorial, Silvermine, the boardwalk at Kommetjie, Rondebosch Common, The Alphen Greenbelt in Constantia, along most beaches such as Blouberg, Sunrise or Long Beach, the promenade in Sea Point and the catwalks at Fish Hoek and from Muizenberg to St James.
5. Fun in the Forest
An extension of a walk in the wild: there are some amazing forests in and around Cape Town that are worth exploring. The lower forest at Tokai has an amazing ring walk that winds between the trees and among the fynbos with plenty of natural fun to be had including a river and jungle gym – the perfect place for bike rides and dog walks. The Tokai Arboreteum is another amazing space to discover some of the oldest trees in the city. Find more fab forests at Newlands, Constantia Nek and Cecilia on Rhodes Drive.
6. Picnic in the Park
There are some great parks in Cape Town. You just need to know where they are! Here is a list of a few we like…
Deer Park in Vredehoek (a restaurant overlooks the park and it is fully enclosed),
Parish Road Park, Constantia (on the corner of Southern Cross Drive and Parish Road)
Liesbeeck River Park, Newlands,
Keurboom Park in Rondebosch/ Claremont,
Palmboom Park in Newlands,
Arderne Gardens in Claremont,
Maynardville Park in Wynberg,
Brocker Way Park in Tokai,
Seabreeze Park and greenbelt in Kirstenhof,
Kalk Bay Park,
Green Point Park is always a win…. this public space is fantastic!
Die Oog Bird Sanctuary in Bergvliet is a small well kept area situated in the suburbs there isn’t any children’s play equipment but rather a pond with plenty of water birds – remember to not only pack some sandwiches for yourself but bread for the ducks too.
Which is YOUR favourite park? Please leave a comment or send me an email so I can update this list!
If you prefer to be served coffee you might prefer to head to a child-friendly coffee shop or restaurant that has a playground and possibly even child-minders if you’re lucky! Some of my faves are:
Cafe Roux, Noordhoek
Blue Water Cafe, Imhoff Farm, Kommetjie
Little Streams, Constantia
Deer Park Cafe, Vredehoek
Earthworkx Nursery in Hout Bay
Thorfyn’s at MonkeyValley in Noordhoek
Oude Molen Eco Village in Pinelands
Green Beans/ Col’cacchio/ Ocean Basket in Westlake
Ferndale Nursery in Constantia
Stodels Nursery in Constantia & Belville
Which spots do you love going to with the kids while you have a bite to eat? Please leave a comment and I’ll be sure to add it to this list!
7. Adrenalin-inducing Adventure
So many amazing activities to get the adrenalin pumping… Try one of these options!
The cycle track at The Chris Nixon Cycle Academy at Constantia Uitsig offers a series of bicycle ramps suitable for various levels of ability.
Acrobranch is an obstacle course through the trees that involves zip lines, tarzan swings, nets and bridges. There are several courses to meet different levels of ability and age groups and is suitable for kids and adults. On the easiest courses kids from as young as 3 years old can take par. From there the courses get steadily higher and harder. Each course has its own set of age and courses restrictions to make sure no-one goes in for more than they can handle! The Cape Town “branch” is located at Constantia Nek in the same parking area as the restaurant.
Cool Runnings Tobogganing Park – This tobogganing may not be down a snowy slope, but that doesn’t mean it lacks any of the thrill. The 1.2-km steel tracks allow for speeds of up to 40km per hour! Open Tuesday – Friday from 11:00 – 18:00 and Saturday—Sunday from 09:00 – 18:00 this is fun for all ages!
Ratanga Junction has over 30 attractions for all ages and will be open for a few days during the Winter School Holidays from 8 – 17 July. Little ones will enjoy the fun kiddie rides which include carousels and a mini ferris wheel while older children and teens might like to brave the legendary Cobra and other bigger rides such as Monkey Falls.
Bugz Play Park is a great alternative to Ratanga for younger kids. Offering both indoor and outdoor entertainment it is the perfect place for kids aged 2 to 10. Entertainment includes indoor slides, sandpits, roundabouts, tree swings, outdoor trains, swing horses, rowing boats and jumping castles.
The Little Blue Train, located near the Mouille Point Lighthouse, is a miniature locomotive great for kiddies younger than 5. A firm family favourite in Cape Town for decades, the cost is minimal and it is open from 09:30 – 18:00 everyday except Mondays. Phone 021 434 4297 for more information.
In the same precinct is an Outdoor Ice-rink that is open Fridays – Sundays. Tickets need to be purchased at the park and ice skates available to hire. Bring along a clean pair of socks and your sunglasses or hire these too!
Paintball & Lasertag both at Imhoff Farm near Kommetjie are always hugely popular with boys, but you’ll need to arrange for a group of friends or a party. Please phone 021 790 7603 for more infomation.
A super cool spot for skaters is the Mill Street Skate Park in the CBD. This fenced-in concrete rink comes complete with everything from air wedges, stairs and a pipe jam to steep and gentle slopes, curved ramps and various other obstacles for practising tricks and showcasing talents. Both young, green beginners and serious riders training for competitions are welcome, and other subcultures, like scooter enthusiasts and BMX buffs, will find hours of entertainment at the venue too.
Signing your kids up for a sports programme might be another way to expend some of their energy. Sporting Chance offers many sports clinics or look out for private options at various schools and sports clubs across the city.
Graceland Venues is a little paradise located in Paarl in the Winelands. A family orientated indoor and outdoor venue, the fun activities on offer include waterslides, playparks, farm animal encounters, pony rides etc. Winter may not be the time to enjoy the 4 32 meter long waterslides but you’ll find the indoor playpark, jungle gym, swings, farm animal encounters, pony rides and ample space for the young ones to run around will keep you busy. An onsite restaurant offers refreshments and light meals and booking is essential! Open Tue – Sat: 09:00 – 16:00 and Sunday 10:00 – 16:00.
Berg Pedal Go Kartsat Delvera offer adults and children the chance to put-foot and burn some rubber around a custom-built track. Open Mon – Sat 09:00 – 17:00 and from 10:00 – 17:00 on Sundays and public holidays. For more info contact [email protected] or phone 082 952 0982
Next 3 Dates: Sat 25/06/2016, Sun 26/06/2016 and Sat 02/07/2016
For adrenalin of a different kind why not head up Signal Hill for the daily firing of the Noon-day Gun… Soon after the English occupation of the Cape in 1795, the Dutch guns were removed from Imoff at the castle and replaced by the latest English 18 pounders designed by Captain Thomas Blomefield. A time signal has been fired in Cape Town by one of these guns since 1806. The SA Navy, which owns the Lion Battery, does a free presentation from 11:30 on the history of the firing of the Noon Gun and visitors are welcome to observe the daily firing of the gun from the Lion Battery.
8. Admire the Animals
If your kids are anything like mine they adore animals so why not make their hearts happy with a trip to one of these animal sanctuaries…
Intaka Island lies in the heart of the bustling Century City development but boasts 16ha of wetlands, rare and abundant birds and majestic flora. Take a ferry ride, a leisurely self-guided stroll along the 2km of foot paths or choose to allow one of the experienced field rangers to lead you along the route. Plus, the island has special programmes during the holidays.
Reptiles & Insects
Imhoff Farm in Kommetjie is the place to head if your kids are looking to spend some time with animals. They have a lovely petting zoo area called the Higgeldy Piggeldy Farm where a variety of small farm animals roam free and kids can get up close and personal with rabbits, guinea pigs, chickens, ducks, pigs, goats, peacocks, geese, emus, sheep and alpacas. Families of the South Peninsula can sign up for the Higgeldy Piggeldy Farmyard locals card to get a reduced entry fee at Peek-a-Boo in the courtyard at Imhoff Farm.
The Imhoff Snake Park is a reptile sanctuary and rehabilitation centre that is home to fascinating snakes, like a 3.5-metre yellow anaconda, Mozambique spitting cobra and the African Rock Python, as well as a few other reptiles and birds. Open from Tuesday to Sunday from 09:00 to 17:00.
Camel rides at Imhoff Farm in Kommetjie are another “huge” animal attraction in this part of the world and this is the only place around Cape Town where you have the opportunity to ride a camel. This is quite a unique experience…. getting off the ground is interesting and then you’re two meters high making it very different to riding a horse! Rides can be booked at the hut by the entrance to the courtyard. Or put your name down when you arrive to take this trip on your way out.
Maze World is a new addition to Imhoff Farm where kids (and parents!) can break a sweat, have fun, and learn about the world of wildlife conservation at the same time. Built by former game ranger and conservation enthusiast Ian Pletzer, the double-storey installation features riddles that participants need to solve to complete the maze. Along the way mazers also get to learn about conservation efforts in Southern African countries like Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique. The maze is concluded with a fun and educational quiz. Open Tuesday – Sunday from 09:30 – 16:30.
Imhoff Farm also has an awesome child-friendly restaurant, Blue Water Café, located in a historical Cape farmstead manor house that offers stunning views, a great kids play area and first-rate food making this a really fun family day out. Don’t forget to spend some time browsing the many little shops that stock organic produce and quirky gifts before you leave! The Farm is open seven days a week with plenty of safe parking available.
9. Practice your Putting
One of our favourite family outings during the school holidays is Cave Golf in the Waterfront.
It’s located indoors just next door to the Scratch Patch. Games are affordable and it is open from 09:00 – 17:00 daily. Putt Putt courses are also situated at Muizenberg and Mouille Point and this fun activity can be enjoyed by the whole family although it’s probably best to prepare all members of the family (aka dads) that it’s not always about winning but how much you enjoyed the game…
Speaking of the The Scratch Patch – this is another affordable family outing. OK so no one will be uncovering any diamonds but it is still hugely exciting for kids! Kids LOVE collecting things and what’s better than a treasure of semi-precious stones? Opening hours are 09:00 – 18:00 daily. Please phone 021 419 9429 (Waterfront) or 021 786 2020 (Simonstown) for more information.
10. Bask on the Beach!
Yes Cape Town winter’s can be brutal but we also do often experience a glorious winter’s day when the sun shines and the wind is just a whisper so a trip to the beach in the winter school holidays might not be such a bad idea – you might want to give swimming a skip but you can still roam the rock-pools, eat an ice cream and build a sand-castle. Favourites include: Boulders Beach, Fish Hoek, St James, Muizenberg, Blouberg, Bakoven, Beta Beach, Noordhoek and Kommetjie. Which is your family’s fave?
And if you kids aren’t afraid of the cold water (or sharks) they might like to sign up to learn to surf at Muizenberg Beach… Surf board and wetsuit hire are usually included in the cost of lessons. Find out more at Surf Emporium. (and moms if you’re brave enough you could join them too!)
A wide variety of other holiday programmes are offered around Cape Town by various libraries, churches, schools, swim schools and sports academies but there are too many to mention here! Have a look in your local newspapers, school noticeboards as well as Cape Town’s Child magazine for more information on the locations of these.
And if you’re STILL stuck you might like to sign up to Adventure Clubs – a lifestyle group that makes an adventurous life easy for families with small children. Offering adventures six days a week, Adventure Clubs plan awesome child-focused “adventures” designed for parents to experience WITH their young children (ages 6 months – 6 years). Adventures are experienced in community with other young families (usually a group of 8 – 12 families at a time), bringing more fun and friends to everyone! They have partnerships with places like Art Jamming, Cape City Ballet, Rush SA, Cape Town Stadium, Vovo Telo Bakery, Little Maestros and many many more! Find out more on their website or phone 071 556 9169.
I hope I’ve given you a few new ideas of what to do with kids in Cape Town – it really is a wonderful place to raise kids! For your convenience I’ve created a printable PDF of this post which you can download and keep or print (just please note it’s 19 pages!!)
Here’s wishing you a happy (stress-free) holiday!!
P.S. If you’ve found this post of Things to do with Kids in Cape Town helpful to you please feel free to share it with your friends on social media or via email.
Images: Kathryn Rossiter