Whether it’s action-packed obstacle courses, educational exhibitions, animal antics or outdoor adventures, there’s no shortage of fun activities to keep your little ones (and yourselves) entertained. Here are the best things to do in Cape Town with kids.
The Bike Park at Uitsig
Your little daredevils will adore biking over bridges and ramps, through tunnels, and along dirt paths at this expansive bike park (designed by Downhill World Champion, Chris Nixon). The park has a variety of pump tracks, some geared towards children (as young as two) and beginners, and others offering exhilarating drop-offs for more experienced bikers.
Why they’ll love it It’s like playing a video game… except in real-life! A chance for children to explore the great outdoors while honing their biking skills.
Opening times Daily, 8am – 6pm
Cost Day Pass: R65 per person (no charge for spectators)
Year Pass: R850 per person
Contact 081 833 4488, firstname.lastname@example.org
Location Constantia Uitsig Wine Estate, Spaanschemat River Road, Constantia, Cape Town
Dinosaur Exhibition at Kirstenbosch
This exhibition featuring life-sized dinosaur sculptures by David Huni can be found in the Cycad Amphitheatre, which is no coincidence, as the cycad is a plant species facing the threat of extinction. The exhibition seems all the more poignant in the wake of the sad passing of the world’s last white male rhino in March 2018.
Why they’ll love it The parents among us know that kids love dinosaurs.
While you’re there The flowery meadows of Kirstenbosch are great for picnics or a leisurely stroll in the park any time of the year. And, coupled with Lady Anne Barnard’s Bath, the resident ducks, fowls and Egyptian geese, Kirstenbosch is a wonderland for curious minds (and energetic adventurers). Here, children can unleash their abundant energy – or sit and observe the birds and insects at work if they’re in a more contemplative mood. There’s also the treetop canopy walkway, named The Boomslang (tree snake), which is so Jurassic, you almost expect a pack of Velociraptors to burst out of the bushes at any moment.
Opening times Daily, 8am – 7pm (September to March)
Daily, 8am – 6pm (April to August)
Daily, 9am – 5pm (conservatory)
Cost R65 (adults)
R15 (children, aged 6 –17)
Free (children under 6)
Pensioners have free access on Tuesdays, except on public holidays.
Contact 021 799 8783, Kirstenboschinfo@sanbi.org.za
Location Kirstenbosch Gardens, Rhodes Drive, Newlands, Cape Town
Ceramic Painting at Clay Cafe
Creativity and recreation are what make this a favourite among children and their parents. Little ones are given unfired bisque and colourful paints to create their own masterpieces.
Why they’ll love it Painting and sculpting flexes creative muscles, and is also loads of fun. And, once done with the painting, they can explore the garden and playground, while you relax with a cup of tea from the café.
Opening times Daily, 9am – 5pm
Cost Studio fee: R35 per person
Bisque item: R20 – R250 depending on shape and size
Please note Items need to be left at Clay Café after painting so it can be fired and glazed, which normally takes around three weeks.
Contact 076 810 5120, email@example.com
Location Clay Cafe Hout Bay, 4080 Main Road, Hout Bay
Hidden deep within the Constantia Nek forest (okay, fine, not that deep), in the shadow of the misty mountains (okay, fine, they’re not that misty), lies this treetop playground. The three obstacle courses – two of which are suitable for young children, while the third is geared towards teenagers – have all the ziplines, cargo nets, and elevated platforms a budding Indiana Jones could want. Assistants are available in case any of the kids need a helping hand, and there’s a restaurant onsite where parents can relax.
Why they’ll love it Kids no longer have to listen to their parents yapping on about how “in our day, we used to climb trees”, because at this park they get to take tree climbing to a whole new level, while getting a good workout and improving their coordination and planning in the process.
Opening times Wednesday – Sunday, 9am – 5pm
School holidays and public holidays
Cost Acro-Twigs: R110 per person
Monkey Moves: R160 per person
Swinging Tarzan: R220 per person
Booking online is essential
Contact 086 999 0369
Location 1 Hout Bay Main Road, Constantia Nek, Constantiaal
The Alpaca Loom
Travel and Leisure
What’s an alpaca, you ask? While they may look – at first glance – like some kind of mix between a giraffe and a goat, they are actually relatives of the bactrian and dromedary camels from Asia and Africa, although they originate in South America (mainly Peru). On this farm in southern Paarl, there’s a herd of alpacas, which children can feed (a bag of food costs R30) and interact with. There’s a coffee shop on the farm selling tea and cakes, as well as a loom, where you can purchase a variety of fabrics woven from alpaca wool.
Why they’ll love it Are you kidding? Look at that face, just look at it! In addition to alpacas, the farm has some donkeys and even a llama. There’s also petting zoo and a jungle gym, should they tire of the animals.
Opening times Daily, 10am – 6pm
Alpaca Barn Tours: Friday – Sunday, 3pm; OR by appointment
Contact 021 863 2495
084 793 3666 (Dietmar)
084 425 5535 (Kerstin)
Location The Alpaca Loom Coffee Shop and Weaving Studio, Suid-Agter-Paarl Road, Southern Paarl
Milkwood Maze at Imhoff Farm
Charming Imhoff Farm includes a number of kid-friendly activities, with this interactive 3D maze one of the prime attractions for young adventurers. Situated beside an 800-year-old milkwood tree, the maze is comprised of sections dedicated to various Southern African countries, including Namibia, Botswana and Mozambique. Each destination is marked by a flag, and includes information about the different animals in each region.
Why they’ll love it Exploring a maze is fun in itself. Add an African theme, and a large model elephant, and you have a winner. Other child-friendly attractions on the farm include Paintball and Lasertag, a snake park, petting zoo with farm animals, and camel rides.
Opening times Tuesday – Sunday, 9am – 4pm
Contact 084 880 85645, firstname.lastname@example.org
Location Imhoff Farm, Kommetjie Road, Kommetjie
The Olympic-sized skating rink is a winter wonderland experience for kids, and an ideal venue for hosting birthday parties. Children may be nervous about stepping onto the ice at first, but they’ll be slip-sliding around the rink in no time.
Why they’ll love it In a place like Cape Town, children don’t get many opportunities to experience the freedom of movement that ice-skating offers.
Opening times Monday & Tuesday, 10am – 12.30pm; 2pm – 4.30pm
Wednesday & Thursday; 10am – 12.30pm; 2pm – 4.30pm; 8pm – 10.30pm
Friday, 10am – 12.30pm; 2pm – 4.30pm; 6pm – 8.30pm; 9pm – 12am
Saturday, 9am – 11.30am; 12pm – 2.30pm; 3pm – 5.30pm; 6pm – 8.30pm; 9pm – 12am
Sunday, 12pm – 2.30pm; 3pm – 5.30pm; 6pm – 8.30pm
Cost R40 – R45 (per person, in a group of 10 or more)
R35 – R45 (with own ice skates)
R45 – R55 (including skates)
R15 – R35 (spectator)
Booking form for birthday parties
Contact 021 535 2260, email@example.com
Location The Ice Station, Grand West Casino & Entertainment World, 1 Jakes Gerwel Drive, Goodwoodpl
The Playstation Cafe and Adventure Park
We know what you’re thinking. “Playstation? No thanks, my kids get enough screentime already”. Well now, just hold on a second there, this isn’t the Playstation you’re thinking of. Very similar to Rush in Claremont, but aimed mainly at younger children (12 years and younger), this indoor amusement centre is a welcome arrival for children (and parents!) living in the deep south. There’s also a café with free wifi, wide-screen TVs and coffee.
Why they’ll love it It’s essentially an indoor playground with giant slides, climbing walls and other energy-busting activities, as well as puzzles and games that will provide your kids with mental stimulation to go with the physical workout. There’s also a dedicated play area for toddlers aged 2 and younger, with a fire engine, mini supermarket, hardware store, and bakery.
Opening times Daily, 9am – 5pm
Cost R60 – R85 per child for first hour, R40 – R65 per child for additional hour
Free entry for toddlers (under 2)
Drop and Go: R100 per child for first hour, R65 per child for additional hour
Free 1 hour session on your birthday (Valid ID required to qualify)
See Party Option Prices
Contact 087 470 0497, firstname.lastname@example.org
Location South Palms Shopping Centre, 333 Main Road, Retreat Tokaiocea
Two Oceans Aquarium
A world class aquarium, with over 3 000 species on display.
Why they’ll love it Tropical fish, an underwater tunnel and a rockhopper penguin colony? Are you kidding? Show up at the right time and your children will get to see the penguins being fed.
Good to know We all know what the kids really want to see: sharks! Well, the aquarium’s Predator Exhibit has recently been upgraded, and currently features nine new spotted ragged-tooth sharks – an iconic South African marine species and close relative of the great white.
Opening times Daily, 9.30am – 6pm
Feeding times I&J Ocean Exhibit: Daily, 12pm & 2pm
Predator Exhibit: Sundays, 3pm
Penguin Exhibit: Daily, 11.30am & 2.30pm
Cost R165 (adults)
R120 (children aged 14 – 17)
R80 (children aged 4 – 13)
Free (children under 4)
R120 (pensioners and students)
Contact 021 418 3823, email@example.com
Location Two Oceans Aquarium, Dock Road, V&A Waterfront
Iziko Planetarium and Digital Dome
In a world without iPads, the Planetarium’s projected night sky was one of the few things children deemed worthy of their absolute attention; and now, this old favourite has undergone a digital makeover. The revamped Iziko Planetarium boasts the most advanced digital facilities on the African continent, and is sure to keep children transfixed with mesmerising images of the night’s sky.
Why they’ll love it The planetarium takes youngsters on a cosmic adventure that entertains and educates – sure to open up young minds to the wonders of space and science.
Opening times Tuesday – Sunday
See what’s playing
Cost R60 (adults)
R30 (under 18s, students and pensioners)
Contact 021 481 3900, firstname.lastname@example.org
Location Iziko South African Museum, 25 Queen Victoria Street, Gardens
Tots n Pots Cooking Classes
Allow your little ones to get in touch with their inner Nigella (Lawson) or, heaven forbid, Gordon (Ramsay) at these cooking classes for different ages. The lesson for the two- and three-year-olds allows them to have fun while touching and tasting new food textures; for the three- to seven-year-olds, the class provides baking workshops where the kids can take home their creations; while the Master Class, for those over eight, is designed to teach kids how to make simple and nutritious meals all by themselves.
Why they’ll love it It’s a great sense of achievement when they manage to make their own baked goods and meals. They will learn about ingredients and develop a palate for healthy food. Best of all, next time they make you breakfast in bed, it might be rather nice.
Good to know Tots n Pots hosts birthday parties for kids, which can take the form of High Teas (for little ladies), Teddy Bear-themed picnics, miniature Master Chef competitions, or pizza-making classes.
Contact Constantia: (Deirdre Cargill): 076 816 3892, email@example.com
Northern Suburbs (Landi Van Niekerk): 082 666 6362, firstname.lastname@example.org
Location Contact Tots n Pots representatives for relevant information
Reviewer Nikki Benatar
Iziko South African Museum
Founded in 1825, the grand old museum is rich in history and atmosphere. It’s a fond childhood memory for many Capetonians, and one their own children are sure to enjoy.
Why they’ll love it Dinosaurs! What kid doesn’t love them? Not to mention the whale hall, where a blue whale skeleton hangs from the ceiling and a booth plays the haunting sounds of recorded whale song.
Opening times Daily, 10am – 5pm
Cost R30 (adults)
R15 (children, aged 6 – 18)
R15 (students and pensioners)
R75 (family ticket: 2 adults and 2 children)
Contact 021 481 3800, email@example.com
Location Iziko South African Museum, 25 Queen Victoria Street, Gardens
Art Classes at The Barn Artist’s Studio
When the weather’s miserable, and outside play is not an option, there’s no better way to get your little one’s creative juices flowing than with an art classes.
Why they’ll love it It’s fun and creative, plus they get to leave with their very own masterpiece.
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 11.30am – 5pm
Contact 021 863 5221 or 082 313 0712, firstname.lastname@example.org
Location Spice Route Destination, Suid Agter Paarl Road, Paarl
Rush Indoor Trampoline Park
Is your child the type who won’t stay still for a second? The type you can’t risk taking your eyes off lest they go running off into the sunset? They may have met their match in this spacious indoor playground, which offers a variety of fun activities for children to unleash their boundless energy.
Trained staff are on-hand to provide instruction and watch over the children. Also available is a coffee shop with free wifi and charging stations, so parents have somewhere to hang out (assuming they’re not going full Boris Johnson and shoving kids aside as they bulldoze their own way across the playground).
Why they’ll love it They’re free to explore this land of action and adventure, where they can emulate their favourite action heroes and video-game characters as they fly over a foam pit, bounce off wall-to-wall trampolines and engage in jousts upon the Battle Beam. Other activities include dodgeball, basketball and trampoline fitness classes.
Good to know Rush Indoor Trampoline Park can host birthday parties, school & university activities and corporate team building sessions. There’s also Cosmic Rush – a black light experience with music and disco lights, which takes place every Friday.
Opening times Monday – Thursday, 10am – 9pm
Friday & Saturday, 9am – 10pm
Sunday, 9am – 8pm
Cosmic Rush: Fridays, 8pm – 10pm
Cost 1-hour Jump sessions: R115 (excluding Rush Jump Socks)
Additional hour session: R110 (Second Hour)
Cosmic Rush: R150 for 2 hours (excluding Rush Jump Socks)
Non-slip Rush Socks: R30 a pair (compulsory)
For information on student and toddler sessions, Rush fitness classes and Dodgeball League, visit the Rush Indoor Trampoline Park website.
Contact 021 683 3841, email@example.com
Location 5th Floor, Stadium on Main, 109 Claremont Main Road, Claremont
The Duck Parade at Vergenoegd Wine Estate
Known for its Indian Runner Ducks that are nifty pest-control assistants, this picturesque wine estate is also a wonderful place to enjoy scenic walks through the vineyards, as well as bird-watching from hides.
Why they’ll love it The spectacle of hundreds of cute little ducks doing their daily parade across the historical farm werf will elicit squeals of excitement from the little ones. It’s a great chance to capture their joy on camera, as they run about on the lawns with their feathery friends.
Opening times Duck Parades: Monday – Sunday, 10.30am, 12.30pm & 3.30pm
Duck Tours: Monday – Friday, 9am – 10am
Cost Duck Tours: R20 (adult); R10 (children, under 12)
Contact 021 843 3248 or 063 629 3629, firstname.lastname@example.org
Location Vergenoegd Wine Estate, Baden Powell Road, Faure, Stellenbosch
World of Birds
With over 3 000 feathered friends (over 400 species) housed in the sanctuary, World of Birds is the largest bird park in Africa. It is also home to small animals such as tortoises, meerkats, monkeys, squirrels, porcupines, baboons and plenty more.
Why they’ll love it Kids can get up close with the birds during a landscaped walk through the aviaries. There’s also Monkey Jungle – a walk-through enclosure where children can enjoy contact with the occupants.
Opening times World of Birds: Daily, 9am – 5pm
Monkey Jungle: Daily, 11.30am – 1pm; 2pm – 3.30pm
Feeding times Penguins: 11.30am & 3.30pm
Birds of Prey: 4.15pm
Cost R95 (adults)
R65 (pensioners and students)
Contact 021 790 2730, email@example.com
Location World of Birds, Wildlife Sanctuary, Valley Road, Hout Bay
Kid’s Yoga at Lourensford Wine Estate
The picturesque Lourensford Wine Estate is where you’ll find the LELC (Live, Embrace, Love and Cherish) Studio, which offers yoga classes and health treatments amid the serene beauty of the vineyards. The Sunday morning sessions include special lessons for children, in addition to storytelling, nature walks, crafts, and other fun activities on offer at Lourensford’s Sunday Fundays.
Why they’ll love it The kids get to enjoy a host of fun activities amid the fresh air and vineyards, while adults are free to enjoy their own yoga session, the Lourensford Market, a coffee at the roastery, or breakfast at Millhouse.
Good to know Other fun children’s activities on offer at Lourensford include kid’s hooping, which takes place every Saturday at 9am.
Opening times Sundays, 9am – 10am
Contact 087 195 0629, firstname.lastname@example.org
Location Lourensford Wine Estate, Lourensford Avenue, Somerset West
Cape Town Science Centre
Science, technology, mathematics and engineering are the focus at this educational facility developed to help children learn and develop an interest in these areas – in a fun and enjoyable way.
Why they’ll love it From interactive exhibits, to mind-boggling puzzles, there’s loads to keep young minds occupied for hours.
Opening times Monday – Saturday, 9am – 4.30pm
Sundays and public holidays, 10am – 4.30pm
Cost R55 (adult)
R55 (children, aged 3 – 18)
R200 (family: 2 adults and 2 children)
R50 per person (groups of 10 or more)
Contact 021 300 3200, email@example.com
Location Cape Town Science Centre, 370B Main Road, Observatory
Tobagganing at Cool Runnings
This thrilling ride down a 1.2-kilometre sloping steel half-pipe is suitable for all ages, so you can join your kids on a whiz down the slopes.
Why they’ll love it The adrenaline-filled rides – at up to 40km/h – provide hours of fun. There are various ticket options: one, three, six or twelve rides.
Opening times Monday – Friday, 11am – 6pm
Weekends and public holidays, 9am – 6pm
Closed on rainy days
Cost R50 – R320 depending on number of rides (adults)
R40 – R290 depending on number of rides (children, aged 3 – 14)
Contact 021 949 4439, firstname.lastname@example.org
Location Cool Runnings, Carl Cronje Drive, Tygervalley
Drakenstein Lion Park
Located in the winelands, this sanctuary for lions in distress was established to give them a peaceful home, and help them recover before being taken to welfare organisations. It is the largest genuine sanctuary in the Western Cape and also home to the rare white lion.
Why they’ll love it Other than meeting the King of the Jungle, kids also have the opportunity to “adopt” a lion for a fee, and contribute towards his/her upkeep in the sanctuary. The lion feeding time – 4pm on Monday, Wednesday and Friday – is a visual experience.
Good to know A new addition worth checking out is the Chimp Haven – a facility that takes in chimps and other small animals affected by the closure of Tygerberg Zoo.
Opening times Lion Sanctuary: Daily, 9.30am – 5pm
Chimp Haven: Daily, 9.30am – 4.30pm
Cost R70 per facility, or R100 for both facilities (adults)
R40 per facility, or R60 for both facilities (children)
Group rates available on request
Contact 021 8633290, email@example.com
Location Drakenstein Lion Park, Old Paarl Road, R101, Suider-Paarl, Western Cape
Research Matthew Flax
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