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 in the Mother City. Here are the best things to do with kids in Cape Town.
Things to do with kids in your area
1. Ceres Steam Train to Elgin Railway Market
This family-friendly train departs from the Royal Cape Yacht Club, near the V&A Waterfront, and takes you on a three-and-a-half-hour train ride to Elgin, during which you can enjoy the breathtaking scenery of mountains, endless rolling hills – and even spot a few sheep and cows along the way.
Once the train pulls into the Elgin station, you will be able disembark, and explore the steampunk-themed Elgin Railway Market. With live music and a dazzling selection of clothing, accessories, ceramics and art stalls, you’ll be able to enjoy all that’s on offer while savouring tantalising street food and refreshments.
Why they’ll love it They get to ride a bona fide steam train, just like Thomas the Tank Engine, with smoke coming out of its chimney and all that good stuff. Plus, there’s loads to marvel at and eat at the market.
Opening times Saturdays & Sundays, 8am – 5.30pm
Cost R750 (adults, return); R500 (children 3 – 13 years, return); free (children 0 – 2 years)
Location Royal Cape Yacht Club, Duncan Road, Table Bay Harbour
2. The Big Box Café
Board games and card games line the shelves at this quaint café in Roeland Street – so many games that it almost feels like the walls are made of boards rather than bricks. And you’ll have your pick of the bunch – whether it’s intense strategy games like Catan, or light-hearted casual affairs like Dixit.
Also available: great coffee and hot chocolate, and a menu (that resembles a Monopoly board) offering breakfast options, toasted sandwiches and crêpes.
Why they’ll love it Kids will find plenty to stimulate their minds and their imaginations. Too young for Catan? The café’s massive selection ensures there’ll be something for all ages.
Opening times Monday – Wednesday, 8am – 5pm
Thursday & Friday, 8am – 10pm
Saturday, 10am – 10pm
Contact 071 314 9134, email@example.com
Location 18 Roeland Street, Cape Town City Centre, Cape Town
3. 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 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, 9am – 5pm
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
4. 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, 9am – 5pm
Cost R30 (adults); R15 (children 6 – 18 years); 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
You may have travelled these mountain paths many times before, but have you ever done it while freewheeling? Scootours’ eco-friendly, non-motorised scooters are a unique way of experiencing Cape Town’s iconic Table Mountain. Take in the breathtaking views as you ride the slopes into the city below during a one-and-a-half to two-hour tour.
Why they’ll love it The scooters are easy to control, and your children will be handling them under the watch of professional guides. Children younger than 10 can’t drive a scooter, but can still have a fun time doubling up with their parents.
Opening times Tuesday – Sunday, 9am; 12pm; 3pm
Cost R590 (driver’s ticket); R290 (passenger ticket)
Location Kloof Nek Parking Area, 209 Tafelberg Road, Table Mountain National Park, Cape Town
6. Battery Park
A new addition to the Waterfront, this urban park is a gateway from Cape Town’s CBD to the V&A. With loads of activities to keep the kids entertained – such as a scooter path, a high-quality skatepark and a multi-court for netball, basketball and soccer games, stand-up paddle boarding and canoeing in the canal – they won’t want to leave!
Why they’ll love it Your children will love the first-ever skatepark in Cape Town, built to world-class standards using lightweight construction. Features include: a bowl with a spine and pump hump, quarter pipes, layback banks, ledges and rails.
Opening times 6am – 6pm
Cost Free entrance, but you’ll need to pay for parking
Contact 021 408 7600, firstname.lastname@example.org
Location Battery Park, Between Cape Town CBD and The V & A Waterfront
7. Playdate Superpark
Situated at The Watershed at the V&A Waterfront, this indoor playground is a world of adventure for children, with attractions that include a 3D maze, obstacle course, submarine-themed puzzle rooms and a virtual-reality room. There’s also a café serving coffee and food, so that kids (and parents) can refuel.
Why they’ll love it With such a diverse range of games and activities on offer, there’s sure to be something to keep kids of all ages entertained. Being at the V&A Waterfront – a short walk from numerous other kid-friendly attractions, such as Two Oceans Aquarium and the Cape Wheel – is a bonus.
Opening times Daily, 10am – 7pm (April – August); 10am – 6pm (September – March)
10am – 7.30pm (16 December – 23 December)
Cost R85 per hour (children over 2 years)
Free (children 0 – 2 years)
Contact 067 028 0738
Location Jubilee Hall, Watershed, 17 Dock Road, V&A Waterfront
8. Two Oceans Aquarium
With live ocean exhibitions and a Touch Pool (where kids can get up close with sea anemones), this one-stop destination of all things aquatic is, unsurprisingly, one of Cape Town’s premier tourist destinations. The world-class aquarium has over 3,000 species on display, and standout exhibits include the Predator Exhibit (sharks!), the rockhopper penguin colony, and the underwater tunnel.
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 R175 (adults); R130 (children 14 – 17 years); R85 (children 4 – 13 years); free (children 0 – 4 years); R130 (pensioners and students)
Location Two Oceans Aquarium, Dock Road, V&A Waterfront
9. The Blue Train Park
Situated in picturesque Mouille Point, with views of Lion’s Head, Table Mountain and Signal Hill, the Blue Train has been choo-chooing its way along this route for more than 60 years. Kids can enjoy three laps around the park, through a tunnel and past the glistening Atlantic Ocean as their imaginations come alive. I had my fourth birthday at this park, 19 years ago, and still to this day I look back with fond memories and remember what a hit it was.
Why they’ll love it In addition to the train, the park features a half-pipe for skating, a dirt bike track, a cement push bike track, pedal push carts, a 30m zip-line, two eight-metre-long slides, seesaws, rock-climbing, two jungle gyms, an obstacle course, an Astro Turf soccer pitch, and a bunch of other wonderful play features. You’ll have to drag your little ones away…
Good to know The Blue Train Park hosts kids’ parties, which include a dedicated seating zone with tables, chairs and umbrellas. You may bring your own food and drink, but no alcohol or cooking is permitted on the premises.
Opening times Summer: Tuesday – Sunday, 9.30am – 6.30pm
Winter: Tuesday – Thursday,12pm – 6pm
Friday – Sunday, 9.30am – 6.30pm
Cost R28 (includes entrance to the park and one free train ride)
Contact 084 314 9200, email@example.com
Location Next to The Lighthouse, Beach Road, Mouille Point, Cape Town
Reviewer Annabel Short
10. 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 R65 (adults); R65 (children, 3 – 18 years); R30 (pensioners); R230 (family: 2 adults and 2 children)
Location Cape Town Science Centre, 370B Main Road, Observatory
1. Be Up
For adrenaline-loving, risking-taking little ones Be.Up has everything from trampolines, climbing walls and even a huge kids’ maze.
The trampoline zone offers bouncing fun to all those over 120cm tall (so measure up and jump high), while those who enjoy climbing can attempt South Africa’s very first Clip ’n Climb walls – there are 11 walls and the tallest is eight-metres-high! Or challenge yourself – and others – in the AltiGame zone with its elevated climbing net and suspended swing steps.
Why they’ll love it Little people will love the biggest indoor kids maze in South Africa for its brightly coloured tubes, tunnels, ball ponds, trampolines and slides.
Opening times Monday – Thursday, 11am – 6pm
Friday – Saturday, 9am – 10pm
Sunday, 9am – 7pm
Public and school holidays:
Monday – Thursday, 9am – 8pm
Friday – Saturday, 9am – 10pm
Sunday, 9am – 7pm
Cost Maze and Clip ’n Climb: R80, first hour; R65 second hour (children 3 – 17 years)
Trampolines, AltiGame and Maze: R120, first hour; R100, second hour
Trampolines and AltiGame: R95, first hour; R85, second hour (students)
R20 (Be.Up grip socks)
Contact 087 057 1400, firstname.lastname@example.org
Location Gardener Place, Rose Innes Street, Pinelands, Cape Town
2. Dinosaur Exhibition at Kirstenbosch
This exhibition featuring 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 and leisurely strolls 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, The Boomslang, which is so Jurassic, you almost expect a pack of Velociraptors to burst out of the bushes at any moment.
Opening times September to March: Daily, 8am – 7pm
April to August: Daily, 8am – 6pm
Daily, 9am – 5pm (conservatory)
Cost R70 (adults); R40 (students); R20 (children 6 –17 years); free (children 0 – 6 years; pensioners on Tuesdays)
Location Kirstenbosch Gardens, Rhodes Drive, Newlands, Cape Town
Are your kids looking for a mega-exciting, adrenaline-filled activity? Then take them to Go-Karting in Kenilworth where all their race-car-driving dreams will come true. The experience includes a fully race-tarred 310-metre track (replica of the Killarney race track); 160cc racing karts with hydraulic brakes and slick tyres, full safety briefings before every race, helmets and disposable hair nets for all drivers, computer printouts of time per lap after every race.
Why they’ll love it Kids love speed, and this gives them the opportunity to drive fast and compete in a safe area.
Opening times Sunday – Thursday, 9am – 9pm
Friday – Saturday, 9am–11pm
Cost R160 (15 laps); R220 (30 laps); R260 (45 laps); R450 (90 laps); R180 (two-seater, 15 laps); R240 (two seater, 30 laps)
Contact 021 683 2670, email@example.com
Location 10 Myhof Road, Claremont, Cape Town
4. 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 hosta birthday parties, student 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, 1pm – 9pm
Friday & Saturday, 9am – 10pm
Sunday, 9am – 7pm
Social Sundays: 5pm – 7pm
Cosmic Rush: Fridays, Saturday 8pm – 10pm
School holidays: Rush is open from 10am
Cost Jump sessions: R115 (one hour, excludes Rush Jump Socks); R110 (second hour)
Cosmic Rush: R150 (two hours, excludes Rush Jump Socks)
Non-slip Rush Socks: R30 a pair (compulsory)
Contact 021 683 3841, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com (for PR)
Location 5th Floor, Stadium on Main, 109 Claremont Main Road, Claremont
5. 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.
Cost R200 for Holiday classes (takes 2 hours and includes 2 recipes)
R300 (children under 6 accompanied by an adult)
Contact Constantia: (Deirdre Cargill): 076 816 3892, firstname.lastname@example.org
Northern Suburbs (Landi Van Niekerk): 082 666 6362, email@example.com
Location Bergvliet, contact Tots n Pots representatives for relevant information
6. 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 (and their limits), while honing their biking skills.
Opening times Daily, 8am – 6pm
Cost R65 (day pass); free (spectators); R40 (early bird special before 9am); R850 (annual fee)
Contact 081 833 4488, firstname.lastname@example.org
Location Constantia Uitsig Wine Estate, Spaanschemat River Road, Constantia, Cape Town
7. Acrobranch Constantia
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 four obstacle courses – two of which are suitable for young children, while the other two are geared towards teenagers and adults – 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
Please note Booking online is essential
Cost Acro-Twigs: R140
Monkey Moves: R180
Swinging Tarzan: R220
High Flying: R280
Contact 086 999 0369
Location 1 Hout Bay Main Road, Constantia Nek, Cape Town
1. Muizenberg Water Slides
If you’ve ever been to Surfer’s Corner at Muizenberg, you’ve likely seen the trio of water slides to the right of the beach. Muizenberg Water Slides is the ultimate summer fun for kids, aged three and up. Its main slide – featuring lots of twists and turns – is a big hit for novice and experienced sliders; the speed slide offers a fun-filled splash into the pool; and the junior slide is perfect for the little ones.
And once you’re done with the water fun, shaded seating means families can enjoy a homemade (or tuckshop-bought) picnic.
Why they’ll love it The pools are solar-heated, so the kids need not worry about the chill, and it uses an advanced water recycling system to eliminate wastage! We also love that it’s safe, with lifeguards on duty for everyone’s safety.
Opening times Weekdays: 1.30pm – 5.30pm
Weekends, public and school holidays: 9.30am – 5.30pm
Night slides, November – February: 6pm – 9pm
Please note Slides are closed from May until end-September. Call to find out about birthday bookings, corporate functions and specials.
Cost R55 (one hour); R95 (day pass); R75 (afternoon pass: 2pm – 5pm); R65 (night slides)
Contact 082 454 5023
Location Beach Road, Muizenberg, Cape Town
2. 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
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.
Cost Studio fee: R40 (includes facilities, x3 paints, firing and glazing); bisque item: R25 – R350 (depending on shape and size)
Contact 076 810 5120, email@example.com
Location Clay Cafe Hout Bay, 177 main road, Hout Bay
3. 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; Pelicans: 12.30pm; Cormorants: 1.30pm; Birds of Prey: 4.15pm
Cost R120 (adults); R45 (children 2 – 16 years); R75 (pensioners and students)
Contact 021 790 2730, firstname.lastname@example.org
Location World of Birds, Wildlife Sanctuary, Valley Road, Hout Bay
4. The Scratch Patch and Cave Golf
The Scratch Patch is located in naturally formed caves in Simon’s Town, making it all the more exciting and evocative. Some popular (and beautiful) semi-precious stones that can be found include the gorgeously brown-layered tiger’s eye; the love stone, rose quartz; healing gem amethyst, the striped water stone, agate; the patterned, sacred and mystical stone, jasper; and the all-powerful clear quartz crystal. In addition to finding wonderful gems, there is also an 18-hole mini golf course, which meanders underground to rock-wall features, caves, mine obstacles and ancient relics, two underground waterfalls, and fabulous mineral displays.
Why they’ll love it Kids love hunting for treasure! It’s also a great place to stimulate little imaginations, and for children to learn more about the variety of minerals found in our country.
Good to know There is a Scratch Patch and Cave Golf Course at the V&A Waterfront, too.
Opening times Weekdays: 8.30am – 4.45pm
Weekends, public and school holidays: 9am –5.30pm
Cost Scratch Patch: R22 (small bag); R38 (medium bag); R77 (cup); R120 (large bag)
Cave golf: R20 (refundable deposit)
R30 (per player)
R25 per player (groups of 10 or more)
Contact 021 786 2020, email@example.com
Location Dido Valley Road, Simon’s Town, Cape Town
5. The Playstation Café 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 Fun Central for children 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 (two years and younger), with a fire engine, mini supermarket, hardware store, and bakery.
Opening times Daily, 9am – 5pm
Cost R60 – R85 (first hour); R40 – R65 (each additional hour); free (children 0 – 2 years)
Drop and Go: R100 (first hour), R65 ( each additional hour)
Free 1 hour session on your birthday (Valid ID required to qualify)
Contact 087 470 0497, firstname.lastname@example.org
Location South Palms Shopping Centre, 333 Main Road, Retreat Tokai
6. Playground at Noordhoek Farm Village
Among numerous attractions to be found at this charming village setting is the playground, where children can keep themselves occupied while parents enjoy a meal at Franck Dangereux’s The Foodbarn, or Café Roux. It’s also dog-friendly, and close to Noordhoek Beach, making it the ideal family outing on lazy Sundays.
Why they’ll love it The tranquil outdoor setting, close to excellent restaurants and cafés, is appealing for all.
Contact 021 789 1390, email@example.com
Location Corner of Village Lane & Noordhoek Main Road, Cape Town
7. 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 an interactive 3D 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 082 333 6323, 072 991 7237, firstname.lastname@example.org
Location Imhoff Farm, Kommetjie Road, Kommetjie
1. City Rock
The new CityRock at Paarden Eiland is four times the size of the original gym, and 900 square metres larger than the Joburg gym. Its world-class facilities include a full fitness area with weight and cardio machines, and a double-lane speed wall where young athletes can train for the climbing Olympics in 2020.
Other attractions include a 16-metre-high rope-climbing wall; a 750-square-metre floor area of bouldering; a 100-square-metre yoga studio; a designated children’s climbing section; and a party area.
Why they’ll love it For kids who love climbing over every piece furniture in the house, they’ll get all the climbing they can handle here, under the supervision of CityRock’s well-trained staff.
Opening times Monday – Thursday, 9am – 10pm; Friday – Sunday & Public Holidays, 9am – 6pm (closed on Christmas and New Year’s Day)
Cost Day pass without gear rental: R110 (children); R150 (adults); R120 (students and pensioners)
Day Pass with gear rental: R220 (children); R270 (adults)
Contact 021 447 1326, email@example.com
Location 9 Milner Street, Unit 5 Table Bay Industrial Park, Paarden Eiland, Cape Town
2. Intaka Island
If you’ve not visited Intaka Island, you might think it’s a random patch of greenery surrounded by pseudo water next door to Canal Walk Shopping Centre. And, if so, you’re missing out. Because, actually, Intaka Island offers bird-watchers, couples, families and friends a wonderful educational outing. The 35-minute-long boat trips, which include a hop-on hop-off feature at Canal Walk and Crystal Towers, take you around Intaka Island, so you can enjoy the fresh air and views. There are two bird hides (with over 120 bird species on the island and an illusive water-mongoose) where you can stop to watch nature unfold. And when the birding and boating is done, take a gentle 2km stroll along the footpaths on the island.
Why they’ll love it Not only does Intaka Island offer an opportunity for spending time outdoors, it also has an educational lapa that can be used for school groups, sleepovers and birthday parties! And the lawns outside are perfect for picnicking.
Opening times October – April: Monday – Sunday, 7.30am – 7pm
May – September: Monday – Sunday, 7.30am – 5.30pm
Cost R20 (adults, day pass)
R12 (children 0 – 12 years, pensioners, day visitor)
R60 (adults, boat ride)
R50 (children 0 – 12 years, pensioners, boat ride)
R40 (adults, school group)
R35 (children 0 – 12 years, pensioners, school group)
Contact 021 552 6889, firstname.lastname@example.org
Location 1 Century City Drive, Century City, Cape Town
3. Glowing Rooms
Sure you could putt-putt in Mouille Point, with the ocean on your doorstep, but let’s be honest, you’ve probably done it a few times already – with your kid, your friend’s kids, your younger siblings, or whomever? So why not shake things up with 3D glow-in-the-dark putt-putt?
The 18-hole Space-themed mini course uses UV lights and 3D glasses to create fantastic space illusions where time stands still while everyone has fun.
There’s also a private-event room for special occasions and functions, a café offering beverages and snacks and a retail section filled with glow-in-the-dark accessories and paraphernalia.
Why they’ll love it The 3D glasses bring the colour red to the foreground, and sorts the remaining colours according to their position on the rainbow to create fantastic, whimsical effects. This means that once the glasses are on, you’re transported into a whole new world.
Opening times Friday, 1pm – 8pm
Saturday, 10am – 8pm
Sunday, 10am – 4pm
School Holidays: Tuesday – Thursday, 10am – 7pm
Friday, 1pm – 8pm
Saturdays, 10am – 8pm
Sundays, 10am – 4pm
Cost R130 (18-hole course with 3D glasses)
R230 (UV event room, 18-hole course with 3D glasses; minimum of 10 people)
R50 (pensioner non-player)
Contact 021 551 2244, email@example.com
Location The Gallery, Corner Koeberg Road and 1 Turf Club Drive, Milnerton, Cape Town
4. Ice Skating
I’m Bored Kids
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; 3pmice ska – 5.30pm; 6pm – 8.30pm; 9pm – 12am
Sunday, 12pm – 2.30pm; 3pm – 5.30pm; 6pm – 8.30pm
Cost R60 (includes skates); R50 (with own ice skates); R15 – R35 (spectators Friday, Saturday only, 6pm and 9pm sessions)
Location The Ice Station, Grand West Casino & Entertainment World, 1 Jakes Gerwel Drive, Goodwood
5. Tobogganing 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 as they 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, public and school holidays: 9am – 6pm
Cost R55 – R350 depending on number of rides (adults); R45 – R320 depending on number of rides (children 3 – 14 years)
Contact 021 949 4439, firstname.lastname@example.org
Location Cool Runnings, Carl Cronje Drive, Tygervalley
6. Bugz Play Park
aquBugz Play Park is a sensational indoor and outdoor kids’ universe. Their motto is “Learn through play the Bugz way,” and, as such, a wide variety of activities are geared to improving social skills, imagination and creativity, cognitive skills, fine- and gross-motor skills, and full-body exercise. Once you’ve paid your entrance fee, there is freeplay, as well as rides that require tokens. Freeplay activities include a red train ride, zip-lining, toddler tractors, sandpits, slides, modern monkey bars, a life-size doll’s house, a large wooden treehouse, mud kitchen, rainbow jungle gym and a very large splash pool.
But wait, it gets better… if the weather is not cooperating, Bugz has a huge indoor play area, complete with obstacle courses, seesaws, huge rainbow balls, and more.
Token rides at Bugz ensure endless hours of entertainment, and include swing horses, a wave slide, horse rides, pedal bikes, rowing boats, a speed waterslide, and worm train.
Why they’ll love it There’s all of that, and an amazing petting zoo, too, where kids can feed and spend time with tortoises, bunnies, geese, ducks, guinea pigs and parrots.
Good to know In summer, pack a bathing suit for the splash pool! Bugz also hosts kids’ parties, indoors and outside, and catering costs extra (you may not bring your own food).
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 9am – 5pm
Cost Weekdays: R60 (children); R40 (adults); R30 (pensioners); R20 (petting zoo)
Weekends, public and school holidays: R70 (children); R60 (adults); R45 (pensioners); R140; (VIP pass, children); free (children 0 – 2 years); R20 (petting zoo); R299 value card (freeplay for a year, can only be bought at Bugz Park, T&Cs apply)
Contact 021 988 8836, email@example.com
Location 56 Tarentaal Street, Joostenbergvlakte, Kraaifontein
1. World of Adventure
Situated at Root 44 Market, between Somerset West and Stellenbosch, a World of Adventure – literally – awaits. Think indoor and outdoor jungle gyms, an undercover mini golf course, a double slip-and-slide, a pedal cart track (and a mini one for younger kids), swings, mini zipline, climbing walls, mini soccer and cricket pitches, as well as a spray park to beat the summer heat, and more! Families can enjoy picnics on the grass or browse a variety of food stalls, while kids play.
Why they’ll love it Kids who love moving, grooving, running and jumping will play until their hearts are content.
Good to know Waterworld Strand and Waterworld Plettenberg Bay (World of Adventure’s sister branches) operate during summer. World of Adventure hosts kids’ parties, which include two hours of fun on all the attractions, as well as designated eating area (only cakes and party packs are allowed into the venue).
Opening times Saturday & Sunday 9am – 5pm
Cost R35 (children 1 – 2 years); R95 (children 3 – 12 years); R20 (adults); R35 (mini golf, all ages)
Contact 071 355 1502, firstname.lastname@example.org
Location Root 44 Market, between Somerset West and Stellenbosch
2. Butterfly World Animal Sanctuary
A free-flying sanctuary for exotic creatures, and a place where butterflies can show their true colours. Despite the name, butterflies are just one of many fascinating creatures that dwell within this tropical garden, where the sound of running water and birdsong creates a soothing atmosphere. Reptiles, birds and small mammals are also cared for here, making for a stimulating and highly educational experience. All the animals and birds here are previously owned pets, and have either been donated by their families, or have been confiscated by local authorities. Butterfly World’s motto is: Appreciate, don’t keep!
Why they’ll love it It’s a chance to see a diverse array of exotic creatures up close, including brightly coloured parrots and sly-looking iguanas – in some cases the children will be able to interact with them.
Good to know There’s a charming family restaurant where visitors can relax with coffee and cake, or enjoy a family lunch after seeing some of the animals.
Opening times Daily, 9am – 5pm
Cost R88 (adults); R49 (children); R79 (students and pensioners); R225 (2 adults and 2 children); free (children 0 – 3 years)
Contact 021 875 5628, email@example.com
Location Route 44, Stellenbosch (2 minutes off the Klapmuts turnoff)
3. The Duck Parade at Vergenoegd Löw Wine Estate
Known for its Indian Runner Ducks (who are actually 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
Contact 021 843 3248, firstname.lastname@example.org
Location Vergenoegd Löw Wine Estate, Baden Powell Drive, Faure, Stellenbosch
4. Wiesenhof Adventure Park
Situated on the R44 Road in Stellenbosch, Wiesenhof Adventure Park offers children the ultimate adventure-filled outing, complete with eight giant water slides, 49 trampolines, foam pits, a bubble mountain, pump track, mountain-biking trails, and more!
Why they’ll love it With so much on offer, your children will not be left sitting still for one second!
Weekends, public and school holidays: Daily, 10am – 6pm
Weekdays: Thursday & Friday, 1pm – 6pm (slides close at 5.30pm)
Please note Wild Waters is only open on weekends, school holidays and public holidays, and is closed from May to August. Jumpin Jax and Peddle Zone are open all-year-round
Cost Wild Waters: R150; Wild Waters after 2.30pm: R90; R100 (two-hour jump session or pump track and mountain biking); R20 (jump sox); R50 (one-hour bike and scooter hire)
Contact 065 820 2737, email@example.com
Location Wiesenhof Adventure Park, off the R44, North of Stellenbosch
5. Kid’s Yoga at Lourensford Wine Estate
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
6. Giraffe House
The tallest land mammals on earth, giraffes are an iconic denizen of the African continent, and their long necks are a great segue for introducing children to the subject of evolution. The Giraffe House Wildlife Awareness Centre at Stellenbosch is more of a farm than a house, populated by ostriches, antelope and even crocodiles, as well as giraffes. The animals are all kept in different camps, and visitors can follow the pathways between the various enclosures and view the animals at their own pace.
Why they’ll love it What’s not to love about giraffes? If they’re in a friendly mood, they may even stretch their neck over the fence to take a peek at your little ones. The children will find the many other animals at the farm intriguing as well, especially during the interactive creepy crawly encounters that take place at 11am, 1pm and 3pm on weekends.
Good to know Visitors are welcome to bring their own food and picnic baskets.
Opening times Daily, 9am – 5pm
9am – 2pm (24 December & 31 December)
Closed on Christmas Day
Cost R30 (children 2 – 15 years); R50 (adults); R35 (seniors)
Important note No credit card facilities are available at the location, so you’ll have to pay with cash.
Contact 021 884 4506, email@example.com
Location R101 (towards Paarl), via N1, R304
7. Le Bonheur Reptiles and Adventures
The mention of Franschhoek or Paarl conjures cheese platters, wine-tasting and rolling vineyards, all of which make for the perfect grown-up outing. But for the younger members of the family, winelands outings can get boring, unless it involves getting up close and personal with Nile crocodiles and exotic snakes! And should they tire of the reptiles, plenty of wholesome fun can be had at the spacious kiddies’ play area. Plus, there’s a lawn for enjoying picnics.
Why they’ll love it Children love watch reptiles wriggle and crawl. There’s also a catch-and-release fishing dam, as well as informative and interactive guided tours that occur every 45 minutes.
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 9am – 5pm
Cost View individual and group rates here.
Contact 021 863 1142, firstname.lastname@example.org
8. The Alpaca Loom
What’s an alpaca, you ask? While they may – at first glance – look 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: Daily 11am, 1pm, 3pm
Cost Tours: R60 (adults); R40 (children and pensioners)
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
9. 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 – 4.30pm
Please note Children must be seven years or older
Cost R140 per child (60 – 90 minutes canvas painting)
R40 Spin Art Card (15 – 30 minutes)
Contact 021 863 5221 or 082 313 0712, email@example.com
Location Fairview Wine Estate, Suid-Agter Paarl Road, Paarl
10. Drakenstein Lion Park
Located in the winelands, this sanctuary for lions in distress was established to give them a peaceful home for life, and help them recover. 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. The lion adoption fee is R1 000 a year. This amount is used for veterinary, housing and food costs.
Good to know Also 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 (adults); R100 for both facilities (adults); R40 per facility (children); R60 for both facilities (children)
Contact 021 8633290, firstname.lastname@example.org
Location Drakenstein Lion Park, Old Paarl Road, R101, Suider-Paarl, Western Cape
Research by Matthew Flax, Annabel Short, Nikki Benatar, and Alicia Chamaillé
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