No more “I’m bored” days! There’s plenty to keep your family entertained.
From action-packed obstacle courses and educational exhibitions to animal antics and outdoor adventures, there’s no shortage of fun kids’ activities to keep your little ones (and the whole family) entertained in the Mother City and the Winelands.
Have you done any amazing things with your children in Cape Town? We’d love to hear about them in the comments below.
Discover kids activities in these areas
City Bowl + Atlantic Seaboard
The Little Optimist Sailing
Founded by big-wave surfer, sailor and ocean activist Greg Bertish, The Little Optimist Sailing Academy is where kids get to learn the ropes and sail their own Optimist dinghy. As the world’s first sailing-therapy programme, it’s mainly focused on giving vulnerable youngsters valuable life skills, but it’s also open to children of all ages for lessons and cool birthday parties, as well as school outings (Grades 2 to 8).
Why they’ll love it Being the captain of their own boat must be near the top of the bucket list of awesome adventures. Not only is it a healthy outdoor activity that comes with a built-in sense of achievement, they’ll also learn about ocean health, plastic pollution and water safety.
Good to know The fees paid for private lessons and parties go towards sponsoring a disadvantaged child to experience the joy of sailing, too.
Cost Sailing experience (20 mins): R100 (age 2 – 16)
Group sailing lesson (two hours): From R350 per child; from R500 (private lesson)
Sailing programme (9am – 2pm/4pm): R500 – R750
Learn to Sail Party (two hours): from R250 per child
Contact 060 750 5370, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it Battery Park, Dock Road, V&A Waterfront
Electrek Scooters on the Promenade
A battery-powered, fat-tyred scooter is just the thing for cruising Sea Point’s glorious seaside strip – you’ll cover more ground in less time, with less effort. Breeze past the dog-walkers, joggers and skaters while taking in the sights, sounds and smells. These electric scooters have a maximum speed of 25km/h and a range of around 25km, so you can travel the entire Promenade (from Granger Bay to Bantry Bay and beyond) or pop into the Green Point Park for a change of scenery. Anyone from age 5 upwards can hop on and go!
Why they’ll love it The novelty of a scooter that doesn’t need to be “scooted” will not wear off quickly. It’s almost grown-up… with brakes, a hooter, lights and all.
Good to know Electrek also offers children’s parties, and guided scooter tours in the Winelands with stops at three farms in the Helderberg.
Times Monday – Sunday, 9.15am – 6pm
Cost R200 (one hour); R300 (two hours)
Where to find it Queens Beach Circle, Beach Road, Sea Point (or their shop at Surrey Place in Mouille Point)
Table Mountain Cableway
A ride in our famous cable car is one of the very best ways to behold Cape Town and Table Mountain in all their majesty. It’s a lovely day out in the fresh air and nature, with rocks to clamber over, the chance to play “I Spy” spotting familiar landmarks, dassies and other creatures on three easy mountain walks – or head to Woodhead Dam to visit the quaint Waterworks Museum. The self-service cafe serves popular, kid-friendly foods like pizza slices.
Why they’ll love it Whether they’ve done it before or not, kids will be awestruck by the experience – you’re on top of the world, after all!
Good to know Afternoon visits are cheaper. For repeat visits, the Cable Card gives you access for a year (R1 050 for adults; R525 for children).
Times Until end April 2023: Monday – Sunday, 8am – 6.30pm (last car down 7.30pm)
May 2023 – August 2023: Monday – Sunday, 8.30am – 4pm (last car down 5pm)
Closed for annual maintenance: 24 July – 6 August 2023
Cost From R340 – R395 return (adults)
From R170 – R195 return (children 4 – 17 years)
R110 return (SA senior citizens)
Contact 021 424 0015
Where to find it Tafelberg Road, off Kloof Nek Road, Cape Town
In a world without iPads, the Planetarium’s projected night sky was one of the few things children deemed worthy of their absolute attention. This old favourite has undergone a 21st-century makeover with a Digital Dome, making it the most advanced planetarium on the continent, providing both multi-sensory edutainment and cutting-edge scientific research facilities. With its 360-degree screen, it makes virtual voyages of the entire universe possible.
Why they’ll love it The planetarium offers nine shows, three of them specifically for children. For example, this year they can join Tycho the space dog on his trip to the moon.
Good to know The Iziko SA Museum is right next door – filled with interesting exhibits ranging from fossils and dinosaurs to giant squids and enormous whale skeletons.
Times Tuesday – Sunday, 9am – 5pm
Shows: Tuesday – Friday, 3pm; Saturday + Sunday, 10.30am + 3.20pm
Note: The Planetarium cannot operate during load-shedding, so the schedule changes accordingly.
Cost R70 (adults)
R40 (children, students + pensioners)
Contact 021 481 3800, email@example.com
Where to find it 25 Queen Victoria Street, Cape Town
Green Point Park
A little Eden in the Mother City, the 10.5-hectare Green Point Park is spread out alongside the Cape Town Stadium. Enjoy a spontaneous afternoon picnicking on the lawns while the kids run free, or take a walk, run, skate or cycle along the waterside. There’s a labyrinth to explore, an interesting sundial to check out and lots more to see.
Why they’ll love it There’s plenty of space to run around and play games, and a gated Tot Lot playground with swings, jungle gym, slides and tunnels.
Good to know The park has disabled access and dogs are allowed. Pop into the Park Café (8am – 5pm) for a light bite, sweet treats, soft serve cone or coffee before or after your outing.
Times Monday – Sunday, 7am – 7pm
Contact 021 444 3903 / 073 302 5952, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it 1 Fritz Sonnenberg Road, Green Point
Waterfront Charters boat cruises
Head out to sea on board a schooner yacht, a sleek catamaran, a trawler-style boat or a rubber duck, for wonderful views of the city and a memorable family outing. From a quick half-hour seal cruise around the working harbour, or an hour-long sail across the bay to Robben Island, to an eco-themed marine safari or a three-hour journey along the Atlantic Seaboard to Clifton, it’ll be equal parts relaxing and thrilling. In the school holidays, a combo deal with Hamley’s offers a ride on a toy train and a boat trip around the harbour, with face painting and popcorn.
Why they’ll love it It feels like a real adventure.
Good to know Cruises are free for toddlers (under 5 years) but they are only allowed on motorised yachts; rubber-duck trips are for over-13s only (minimum height 1.2 metres).
Times Daily, 9.30am – 5pm (Winter), 9.30am – 7pm (Summer) (times vary depending on cruise and weather)
Cost Seal + Harbour Cruise: R130 (adult), R65 (child) Book Now
Sailing in the Bay: R310 (adult), R155 (child) Book Now
Clifton Cruise (minimum 10 passengers): From R750 (adult), R375 (child) Book Now
Ocean Safari: R940 (one hour) Book Now
Where to find it Quay 5, V&A Waterfront
Battery Park + Rollercade
If your kid loves whizzing around on wheels – be it two, four or eight wheels – this urban park at the Waterfront is the perfect safe space to do it. Apart from the world-class skatepark (with a pump hump, quarter pipes, layback banks, ledges and rails), it also has a scooter path and space to rollerblade. Plus, for old-school roller-skating (or when the weather’s bad), inside the parking garage is Rollercade – a spacious rink with a cafe, pool tables and games arcade (booking is essential to reserve your skates).
Why they’ll love it Whichever wheels they prefer, this is their unlimited 1.2-hectare space to freewheel and explore. The Rollercade is vibey, with music, flashing lights and glitter balls.
Good to know There is also a multi-court for basketball, netball or soccer games at Battery Park, a kiddies playground, as well as stand-up paddleboarding and canoeing in the canal – they won’t want to leave!
Times Park: Monday – Sunday, 6am – 6pm
Rollercade: Wednesday – Friday, 1pm – 6pm; Saturday + Sunday, 10am – 6pm
Note: Thursday – Saturday, 7pm – 9pm sessions for over-16s only.
Cost Park: free
Rollercade: R150 (two-hour session); R80 with own skates; R40 (spectators)
Contact 021 408 7600, email@example.com
072 064 3963, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it Dock Road, V&A Waterfront Rollercade: P3 (third floor), Battery Park Parking (off Alfred Road or Dock Road)
Two Oceans Aquarium
This world-class aquarium is home to more than 10 000 sea animals of all shapes, sizes and colours – including Nemo the clownfish! It’s an exciting peek into life off our shores, with a mesmerising swaying kelp forest, schools of shiny fish swimming in unison, gliding turtles and even sharks, which can also be viewed from within a 10-metre glass tunnel. There are more exotic fish too, such as jellies, octopus, seahorses, pufferfish and moray eels. The popular penguin exhibit is always a hit, plus look out for birds, amphibians and invertebrates.
Why they’ll love it It’s a fantastical underwater wonderland that’s constantly changing, plus they can get up close to anemones and starfish at the Touch Pool. There are also marine-themed puppet shows and arts and crafts for kids.
Good to know Children aged 10 and older can learn to scuba dive in the tanks (PADI Junior certification) or have a taste of it with the Discover Scuba introduction experience.
Times Monday – Sunday, 9.30am – 6pm
Cost R235 (adults); R175 (adults after 3pm)
R175 (teens, students, pensioners); R135 (after 3pm)
R110 (children 4 – 13 years); R85 (after 3pm)
Contact 021 418 3823, email@example.com
Where to find it Dock Road, V&A Waterfront
Scootours Table Mountain
You may have travelled these mountain paths many times before, but have you ever done it on a freewheeler? Scootours’ eco-friendly, nonmotorised scooters are a unique way of enjoying Table Mountain and Signal Hill. Take in the views and loads of fresh air, as you traverse the slopes during a 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. Kids younger than 10 can’t drive a scooter, but can still have a fun time doubling up with their parents (minimum age 4 years).
Times Tuesday – Sunday, 10am; 12.30pm; 3pm
Cost R750 (driver’s ticket)
R350 (passenger ticket)
Where to find it Kloof Nek Parking Area, Tafelberg Road, Cape Town
The Blue Train Park
In picturesque Mouille Point, with views of the sea and Signal Hill, the miniature Blue Train has been choo-chooing for more than 65 years. Kids can enjoy two laps around the park, through a tunnel and past the glistening Atlantic Ocean as their imaginations come alive.
Why they’ll love it In addition to the train, the park features a dirt-bike track, a cement push-bike track, a 30-metre zipline, two eight-metre-long slides, seesaws, rock-climbing, two jungle gyms, various obstacles, an astroturf soccer pitch, and a bunch of other wonderful play features. You’ll have to drag your little ones away…
Good to know A few metres away is a popular putt-putt course. Proceeds from the park are donated to Rotary, which uses these funds to drive community upliftment projects.
Times Tuesday – Sunday, 9.30am – 6.30pm (open Mondays during public + school holidays)
Winter: Tuesday – Thursday, 12pm – 6pm; Friday – Sunday, 9.30am – 6.30pm
Cost R35 (entrance to the park + one train ride)
R55 (entrance to the park + two train rides)
Contact 084 314 9200, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it Next to Green Point Lighthouse, Beach Road, Mouille Point
Kayaking in Sea Point
A paddling adventure awaits just off the Promenade… Hop into a kayak at Three Anchor Bay beach and head out into the wide blue ocean, to see wonderful views of the city, the mountains and marine life up close. Led by experienced guides, you can paddle up past the lighthouse to Granger Bay, or down the Atlantic Seaboard to Bantry Bay.
Why they’ll love it It’s a proper adventure, and pretty awesome to have penguins, seals, dolphins and sunfish swim alongside or under your kayak!
Good to know This activity is suitable for children 6 years and older, who will share a kayak with an adult. No paddling experience is required.
Times Monday – Sunday, 8am – 10am; 9am – 11am; 5.30pm – 7.30pm
Where to find it Cape Kayak Adventures, 179 Beach Road, Mouille Point
Kids activities in the Southern Suburbs
Cape Town Ziplines
Hidden in the forests of Hout Bay, around the back of the Table Mountain range, is a zipline canopy adventure – one of the longest in Africa, over 2.3km, with 12 platforms – that takes you down through a fynbos-covered canyon (at one point, 155 metres above the ground). No need to say it, but the views over the Cape Peninsula are spectacular. It starts with a Land-Rover trip up to the starting point, and ends with a tremendous feeling of exhilaration.
Why they’ll love it Soaring through the air like a superhero? Say no more.
Good to know The age limit is 6 years old, and the weight limit is 120kg. The experience takes around two hours, with groups of eight per time slot.
Times Monday – Sunday, 9.30am – 3.30pm (last slot)
Contact 021 795 0225, email@example.com
Where to find it Silvermist Wine Estate, La Colombe Road, off Hout Bay Main Road (M63), Constantia Nek
Bike Park at Constantia 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 3 years old) and beginners, and others offering exhilarating drop-offs for more experienced bikers.
Why they’ll love it It’s like playing a video game… in real life! A chance for children to explore the great outdoors (and their limits), while honing their biking skills.
Good to know Booking is no longer required. Bikes and safety gear can be hired. There is also the option of learning to unicycle.
Times Monday – Sunday, 9am – 5pm
Cost R50 per hour
From R950 (annual fee)
Bike hire: R50 – R120 per hour
Contact 081 833 4488, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it Constantia Uitsig Wine Estate, Spaanschemat River Road, Constantia
If you’ve ever watched the high-energy TV show Ninja Warrior, you’ll know what to expect at this indoor playpark. Not just a cool name, it also has the coolest combination of obstacles and inflatables to conquer. It will have children of all ages (even grown-up ones) climbing, swinging, jumping, balancing and negotiating everything from cargo nets, wonky ladders and bridges to the Warped Wall. The black-and-red colour scheme, industrial aesthetic and funky lighting sets the mood for some seriously fun action.
Why they’ll love it It’s like a jungle-gym playground on steroids. There is a special zone for the “mini ninjas” (under-5s), suitable for their level of ability. Plus the gear is rad: gloves, special socks, headbands and sweatbands (available to purchase).
Good to know The cafe, also the spectator viewing area, serves all the family favourites – from toasties, pizzas and burgers to ice cream and waffles. Plus there’s ample free parking.
Times Monday – Friday, 10am – 9pm
Saturday + Sunday, 9am – 9pm
Cost R160 (one hour); R240 (two hours)
Under-5s: R80 (one hour); R120 (two hours)
Contact 021 745 3089, email@example.com
Where to find it Black River Park (south entrance), Fir Street, Observatory
The 36-hectare Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden is a fun outing for the whole family. Pack a picnic, take a tree-top walk along the Boomslang (Tree Canopy Walkway), stop by the Kirstenbosch Tea Room for tea and scones (or milkshakes and waffles), or swing by the Kirstenbosch Garden Centre to stock up on some indigenous plants for your garden, and the Kirstenbosch Bookshop (which has some great reads for kids).
Why they’ll love it Freedom to roam, exploring streams, climbing rocks and enjoying the wide-open space. Get your hands on the Kirstenbosch Adventure Map from the Kirstenbosch Bookshop that makes exploring even more fun.
Good to know For extra fun, travel there on the City Sightseeing Cape Town red bus, which has a discount family ticket. Look out for special kids workshops in the school holidays.
Times April – September: 8am – 6pm
October – March: 8am – 7pm
Cost R100 (SA adults with ID); R140 (African adults); R220 (international adults)
R40 (children 6 – 17 years); free for children under 6
R60 (students with SA student card)
Free (SA senior citizens with ID on Tuesdays, except public holidays)
Contact 021 799 8782, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it Rhodes Drive, Newlands
Hidden deep within the Constantia Nek forest, in the shadow of the misty mountains, 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 wish for. 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 abilities.
Good to know There is also an outlet of Acrobranch in Stellenbosch, at Klein Joostenberg Farm, which also has a trampoline bungee for little kids.
Times September – April: Wednesday – Sunday, 9am – 6pm (last slot 4pm)
May – August: Wednesday – Sunday, 9am – 5pm (last slot 3pm)
Open during public school holidays + public holidays
Cost R160 (Acro-Twigs)
R200 (Monkey Moves)
R240 (Swinging Tarzan)
R300 (High Flying)
Where to find it 1 Hout Bay Main Road, Constantia Nek
Freedom Adventure Park
This indoor trampoline park (designed with fun and safety in mind) caters for children, from toddlers to 13-year-olds. Other activities include a 50-metre high-line rope course, multiple climbing walls, a dodgeball arena, Hi-Dive Leap of Faith and a foam pit. While the kids let off steam, adults can enjoy breakfast, lunch or supper (from the wood-burning pizza oven). Premium, fully themed birthday parties and UV glow-in-the-dark events are on offer, too.
Why they’ll love it It’s a soft-surfaced indoor playground that amplifies the joy of jumping on your bed to another level.
Good to know Arrive at least 10 minutes ahead of your pre-booked time slot. There are also four free-to-use private pods for adults needing to work while kids play.
Times Tuesday – Thursday, 11am – 7pm
Friday, 11am – 8pm
Saturday + holidays, 9am – 7pm
Sunday until 6pm
Cost One hour: R100 (children 3 – 13 years); R50 (toddlers 1 – 2 years)
Two hours: R185 (children 1 – 13 years)
Free (adults and babies under 1 year)
Sunday Special: kids play free (9am – 10am)
Contact 083 279 4453, email@example.com
Where to find it Unit 3A, 333 Main Road, Retreat
Playstation by Rush
We know what you’re thinking… “Playstation? No thanks, my kids get enough screen time already”. But this indoor amusement centre (similar to Rush in Claremont, but for younger kids) is all about real-life games and challenges, instead of digital ones. There are giant slides, climbing walls, an adventure maze with swing bridges, a bike track and other energy-busting activities, as well as puzzles and games for a mental workout – all supervised by trained staff so that the adults can relax in the café (free wifi, wide-screen TVs and coffee).
Why they’ll love it It’s “Fun Central”. They’ll come away feeling happy, strong, confident and courageous. The Mini Town for toddlers features a fire engine, supermarket, hardware store and bakery – it’s where future career dreams start.
Good to know This centre is for children aged 2 – 13 only. Spend R300 on food and beverages in the cafe to get an hour’s free play for your child.
Times Monday – Thursday, 10am – 6pm
Friday + Saturday, 9am – 10pm; Sunday until 6pm
Cost R130 (unlimited play)
Weekends: R90 (first hour) + R60 (per extra hour)
Toddlers (under 2 years): R30 (first hour); R20 (per extra hour)
Drop and Go: R110 per hour
Supervised Play: R125 (6 years and older)
Contact 021 683 3841, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it 10 Honeywell Road, Retreat
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 (and adults) to unleash their boundless energy. Trained staff are on-hand to provide instruction and watch over children.
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 on the Battle Beam or become a total ninja on their Ninja Warrior Course. Other activities include dodgeball, basketball and one-of-a-kind gymnastic-based classes.
Good to know Cosmic Rush – a neon-lit black-light experience with music and disco lights – takes place on Fridays from 6pm to 8pm. There is a coffee shop with free wi-fi and charging stations so parents have somewhere to hang out and grab a light snack.
Times Tuesday – Thursday, 11am – 7pm
Friday + Saturday, 9am – 8pm; Sunday until 6pm
Public + school holidays: Monday – Thursday, 9am – 7pm (Friday – Sunday as above)
Cost R150 (one hour); R100 (per extra hour)
R200 (parent + toddler, one hour)
R40 (non-slip socks, compulsory)
Contact 087 094 0178 / 021 683 3841 / 021 671 1489, email@example.com
Where to find it 25 Stegman Road, Claremont
For adrenaline-loving, risking-taking youngsters, Be.Up has everything – trampolines, climbing walls and even a huge maze. The trampoline zone offers nonstop bouncing fun, while those who enjoy climbing can attempt South Africa’s very first clip ’n climb walls – there are 11 and the tallest is eight metres high! Plus there’s the AltiGame zone, with its elevated climbing net and suspended swing steps. Little ones will love the biggest indoor kids’ maze in South Africa for its brightly coloured tubes, tunnels, ball ponds, trampolines and slides.
Why they’ll love it This place is one big fat adventure around every corner.
Good to know Kids must measure 120cm tall or more to use the trampoline zone. There is a three-hour session on Saturday nights, 7pm – 10pm.
Times Monday – Friday, 11am – 6pm
Saturday, 9am – 10pm; Sunday until 5pm
School holidays: 9am – 6pm
Cost R105 (be.Junior package, one hour in the kids’ maze)
R145 (be.Giant package, one hour including trampoline zone, AltiGame and kids’ maze)
R95 (be.Climbing package, 30 minutes on the climbing wall)
R190 (Saturday be.No Limit three-hour session)
R30 (compulsory grip socks)
Good to know Groups of 10 or more children receive a discount on each ticket for the be.Junior or be.Giant packages.
Contact 087 057 1400, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it Gardener Place, Rose Innes Street, Pinelands
Rainbow Puppet Theatre
South Africa’s only dedicated puppet theatre has been enchanting kids since 1992. In keeping with this age-old art form, the stories are traditional too – popular fairytales come to life here (think The Frog Prince, Little Red Riding Hood, Hansel and Gretel). The theatre itself was made by a Danish woodcrafter and all the puppets (some 300 different characters), props, costumes and backdrops hand-crafted by the puppeteers over the years. As Rudolf Steiner (founder of Waldorf Education) puts it: “Puppetry is a remedy against the damage of modern civilisation, unfolding and developing the fantasy of the child.”
Why they’ll love it Magical kingdoms peopled by charming and quirky characters – with all the atmospheric 3D attraction of live theatre, in miniature.
Times Check their social media updates for pop-up times
Cost R40 (cash at the door)
Contact 072 129 1061, email@example.com
Where to find it Constantia Waldorf School, Spaanschemat River Road, Constantia
Picnic in the Park
Far more than just a picnic, this is an activity-filled outing designed to spark children’s imagination (age 5 – 15 years). They can decorate giant cookies with icing and edible sparkles (choose from Disney princesses, superheroes, unicorns and more), and learn to make their own slime, before enjoying a picnic and the playground in the park. Parents book hourly slots for the workshops, and must remain on site to chaperone their children.
Why they’ll love it They can get messy and experimental – and proudly take home their work.
Good to know The offering will expand in the coming months to include other parks and art (painting on mini easels), craft and cooking sessions.
Times One Saturday a month, 11am – 4.30pm
(15 April, 13 May, 17 June, 15 July, 19 August 2023)
Cost From R170
R89 (snack box – fully halaal)
Contact 072 652 1424, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it Wynberg Park, 58th Avenue (corner of Trovato Link and Klaasens Road), Wynberg
Kids activities in the South Peninsula + Hout Bay
Ceramic painting at Clay Café
This spot has been a favourite among grown-ups and kids seeking a splash of creativity for more than 20 years. Once seated, your friendly server will explain the drill, after which you’ll choose your unfired ceramics (anything from mugs and bowls to figurines), paints, brushes, tools etc. Then simply get creative while enjoying a bite to eat. Once done with the painting, children can explore the gardens and playground while adults relax with a cup of tea or glass of wine. There’s a great kiddies menu, including chocolate bubble waffles and milkshakes.
Why they’ll love it Painting and decorating flexes creative muscles, and is also loads of fun. Plus they’ll love using their special customised cereal bowl or mug at home.
Good to know You’ll leave your objet d’art here to be fired and glazed, and collect it after four to five weeks (you’ll receive an email notification once items are ready). You can also buy ceramic-painting kits in-store to use at home.
There’s a new family venue in the Boland area, Clay Cafe Paarl at Groot Parys.
Times Monday – Sunday, 9am – 5pm
Bookings are essential over weekends, school holidays and public holidays
Cost R45 (studio fee per person, includes 3 paints, tools, firing and glazing)
Unfired ceramics priced from R55
Contact 076 810 5120, email@example.com
Where to find it Main Road, Hout Bay
Book through DinePlan
Learn to surf at Muizenberg
Riding the waves is a rush, no matter your age. To learn how, all you need to bring is a swimming costume, towel and a bucket of enthusiasm – Surf Emporium provides the wetsuits and boards. The clubhouse is at Surfers Corner, the best spot in Cape Town (and among the top 10 in the world) to learn the ropes because of the gentle rolling waves, sandy bottom and warmer water. The 90-minute sessions are suited to your skill level, proceed at your pace and can be booked as a private group session (a family, for example). Groms under 10 get special one-on-one “freezer” lessons.
Why they’ll love it Because surfing is cool, dude!
Good to know Rates for lessons depend on the number of people sharing a coach; maximum 1:5 coach-to-participant ratio.
Times Saturday + Sunday, 9am or 9.30am; 2pm (group)
Cost R300 – R450 per person
Four-lesson package: R900 – R1 350
Kids freezer lesson: R330 (one hour); R1 320 (package of 5 lessons)
Where to find it Surfers Corner, 70 Beach Road, Muizenberg
Visit the penguins at Boulders Beach
A 40-minute drive from Cape Town lies Boulders Beach, home to a famous penguin colony and one of the few places in the world where you can swim with these wonderful water birds. The colony falls under the protection of SANParks and requires a conservation fee to gain access. Once there, you can watch the penguins frolic in the waves and sea shore.
Why they’ll love it This will be a beach day your children won’t forget. Pack a picnic and bring the buckets and spades for some sandcastle building! It’s a great swimming beach for kids, too, as the boulders shelter it from strong currents.
Times Winter (April – September): Monday – Sunday, 8am – 5pm
Summer (October – March): 8am – 6.30pm
Good to know It’s open an hour earlier and closes an hour later in mid-summer (December + January). Cash-free payment at the gate.
Cost R44 (SA adults); R22 (SA children, age 2 – 11)
R88 (SADC adults); R44 (SADC children)
R176 (international adults); R88 (international children)
Contact 021 786 2329, TableM@sanparks.org
Where to find it Bellevue Road/Secluse Avenue, off Mcfarlane Road (M4), Simon’s Town
The Scratch Patch and Cave Golf
There’s a real-life Aladdin’s Cave in Simon’s Town, filled with sparkly things. The Scratch Patch Mineral World is an exciting and evocative experience that’s been delighting kids for over 50 years. Some beautiful semi-precious stones that can be found include tiger’s eye, agate, rose quartz (the love stone), healing amethyst, the sacred and mystical jasper and all-powerful clear quartz crystal. In addition, there is an underground 18-hole mini-golf course with rock features, caverns, mine obstacles, ancient relics, waterfalls, UV sections and fabulous mineral displays.
Why they’ll love it What kid doesn’t love hunting for treasure!
Good to know There is another Scratch Patch at the V&A Waterfront.
Times Monday – Friday, 8.30am – 4.45pm
Saturday, Sunday + holidays, 9am – 5.30pm
Cost R30 – R145 (depends on the size of the collection bag)
Cave Golf: R35 (R30 per person for groups of 10 or more)
Contact 021 786 2020, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it Dido Valley Road, Simon’s Town
The Riding Centre
For little kids that are moggy about all things horsey, this is heaven. Even if they’re not (yet), it’s a lovely country-style experience to visit Hout Bay’s Riding Centre. A ride on a Welsh pony is fun (only for children under 12 years old), plus there are resident goats, a pig, a sheep, bunnies, chickens and more, and an adventure playground with a treehouse, climbing wall, monkey ropes etc. The Stable Café serves breakfasts and light lunches, with great views.
Why they’ll love it Kids want to ride things – even better if it’s a cute, quirky pony.
Good to know The centre also offers riding lessons, a Pony Play Club (a fun way to learn the basics), holiday camps filled with fun activities, and fabulous themed birthday parties.
Times Tuesday – Friday, 8.30am – 5.15pm; Monday from 1.30pm; Saturday until 4pm
Pony rides: Monday – Saturday, 2.30pm – 3.45pm; Saturday, 9.30am – 10.45am
Cost R70 (pony ride)
Contact 021 790 5286, email@example.com
Where to find it Main Road, Hout Bay
World of Birds Wildlife Sanctuary
A cacophony of calls, squawks, chirps, whistles, screams and other sounds will greet you as you enter this four-hectare tropical garden, home to walk-through aviaries housing over 3 000 rescued birds and beasts. You’ll encounter birds of every feather – parrots, swans, owls, storks, emus, vultures and more – as well as serval (wild cats), hyrax (dassies), foxes, porcupines, tortoises and other small reptiles. There’s a special section of the jungle reserved for the cute but mischievous squirrel monkeys, who will clamber all over you given the chance.
Why they’ll love it It’s a meandering natural “treasure hunt” in a real jungle – and those squirrel monkeys will steal the show.
Good to know There is a café, but you can bring a picnic to enjoy on the Flamingo Terrace.
Times Monday – Sunday, 9am – 5pm (last entry 4pm)
Monkey Jungle: Monday – Sunday, 11.30am – 1pm; 2pm – 3.30pm (guided tours)
Feeding: 11.30am + 3.30pm (penguins); 12.30pm (pelicans)
Cost R130 (adults)
R50 (children 3 – 16 years)
R85 (students + pensioners)
Contact 021 790 2730, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it Valley Road, Hout Bay
Cuteness all around, in a scenic setting with views of mountains, vineyards and the sea, this neat farmyard in Kommetjie is a real taste of country life for city kids. They can feed and pet the goats, sheep, cows, rabbits, ponies and their feathered friends, including emus. There’s also a goat tower and a playground, with old farm machinery to clamber on. The farmyard is right alongside Blue Water Cafe, where parents can relax and enjoy a meal. The menu has good kids’ options, but they’ll also insist on a visit to The Ice Cream Silo.
Why they’ll love it The baby animals will steal their hearts, and there’s lots of space to play in the lovely garden.
Good to know Imhoff Farm has more to offer for a family day out, including the double-storey, 3D Milkwood Maze (around an 800-year-old tree), pony and horse rides, paintball, ceramic painting and, for grown-ups, a brewery, artisan and vintage shops and other eateries.
Times Monday – Sunday, 9am – 4pm
Contact 021 783 4545, email@example.com
Where to find it Imhoff Farm, Kommetjie Road, Kommetjie
The Scone Shack
This crooked little shack – straight out of a fairytale (made out of recycled windows and scraps of wood) – is a fabulous spot for sweet treats on the road to Cape Point. The land is also home to a succulent nursery, a rustic river setup (complete with rowboats) and a menagerie of friendly farm animals. The delicious scones are made in a wood-burning oven and served with jam, butter and cream. The cinnamony ice tea is also yummy, and there are a wide selection of teas as well as other cakes and puds (including gluten-free and vegan options), milkshakes, hot chocolate and fresh juices to enjoy.
Why they’ll love it The pigs like a good belly rub, the chickens like to share your cake, and there’s lots to explore.
Good to know It’s cash only. Note that the shack may close during winter (July to September).
Times Friday– Sunday, 9.30am – 6.30pm (sunset tea)
Cost R70 per dessert
Contact 079 045 1318, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it Lalaphanzi Farm, Plateau Road, near entrance to Cape Point
Kids activities in the Northern Suburbs
In an oak forest on Altydgedacht Wine Estate in Durbanville, you’ll find aerial obstacle courses with ziplines for adventurers of all ages. The Mini course is for 4 – 7 year olds; the Maxi course is suitable for anyone older than 7 years. If heights aren’t your thing, Zipzoom also has two forest mountain-biking tracks, and kids can also try out “swurfing” on a special suspended aerial swing.
Why they’ll love it As they zoom through the trees, your kids will feel like they’re flying.
Good to know Participants are harnessed and hooked into the overhead safety line at all times. The tuckshop sells snacks, drinks and coffee for parents.
Zipzoom offers separate team building activities and games for school groups.
Times Wednesday – Friday, 1pm – 5pm
Saturday + Sunday, 10am – 5pm
Contact 084 876 7582, email@example.com
Where to find it Altydgedacht Wine Estate, Tygerberg Valley Road (M31), Durbanville
At this indoor adventure park, kids can travel the world – with the destination determined by their age. Europe is a soft-padded zone for toddlers (up to 3 years old) decorated with a red London bus and Tower of Pisa. Africa (for 4 to 9 year olds) is home to Alex the lion, Alexa the giraffe, a jungle obstacle course and a Pyramid-themed sandpit (made of wheat seeds). Asia (for kids from 10 years up, including teens and adults) is a multi-level, “fun family challenge” adventure zone with a 55-metre, paragliding-style Sky Ride and 5D cinema, with moving chairs and water sprays.
Why they’ll love it It’s stuffed to the rafters with hands-on fun things to do, from push bikes, trampolines and slides to ball pits, netted mazes and obstacle courses, a climbing wall, an awesome see-through spiral slide, a foam pit and a Lego Lounge.
Good to know No booking is needed but entrants must be pre-registered on the website. Time slots run for an hour, on the hour. There are some attractions for grown-ups too, including a restaurant-café, cocktail bar, co-working space, golf simulator, and an in-house beauty salon.
Times Sunday – Thursday, 9am – 5pm
Friday + Saturday, 9am – 7pm
Cost R70 per hour (weekdays)
R140 per hour (weekends, public + school holidays)
R50 for safety socks (reusable)
Contact 087 138 7529, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it Shop 33, Haasendal Gables Shopping Centre, Kuils River
Tobogganing at Cool Runnings
This thrilling ride down a 1.25-kilometre twisting, curving steel half-pipe, perched on a bobsled with wheels, is suitable for children and adults, so you can join your kids (from age 3 upwards) as they whiz down the course. The toboggans are self-controlled, with a braking mechanism, so the rider determines just how fast they’ll go.
Why they’ll love it Same thrills as a really big slide – only better! The adrenaline-filled rides, at up to 40km/h, provide hours of “let’s go again” fun.
Good to know The cost depends on the number of rides you take, with various ticket options: one, three, six, 12 or 18 rides. There is a minimum height of 1.35m to ride alone. The course is closed when it rains.
Times Monday – Friday, 11am – 6pm
Saturday, Sunday, public + school holidays, 9am – 6pm
Cost From R85 (adults, can be shared with children)
From R75 (children 3 – 14 years)
R550 day pass (unlimited rides); R390 weekdays (excluding holidays)
Contact 021 949 4439, email@example.com
Where to find it Carl Cronje Drive (opposite Bellville Velodrome), Tygervalley
Skating at The Ice Station
The Olympic-sized skating rink at Grand West is a winter wonderland experience for kids. Even though they might be nervous about stepping onto the ice at first, in no time they’ll be gliding around the rink. There is also a supervised mini rink for the little ones (under 5 years old) and skating lessons on Saturdays, 8am – 10am, and Tuesdays, 6pm – 7.30pm.
Why they’ll love it The freedom of movement ice-skating offers is exhilarating, plus there’s the novelty of an ice-cold activity in sunny Africa.
Good to know Ice-skating sessions in school holidays are generally 90 minutes long, with a half-hour break between sessions. GrandWest also has 10-pin bowling, a games arcade and Lazer Tag.
Times Sunday – Tuesday, 10am – 11am; 11.15pm – 12.15pm; 2pm – 4pm
Wednesday + Thursday, above sessions plus 6pm – 7.30pm
Friday + Saturday, above sessions plus 6.30pm – 8.30pm; 9pm – 11.30pm
School holidays: Sunday – Thursday, 10am – 10.30pm
Friday + Saturday, 10am – 11.30pm
Cost R60 (one hour); R50 with own skates
R75 (two hours); R65 with own skates
R30 (mini rink, children under 1.3m tall)
Contact 021 535 2260, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it Grand West Casino & Entertainment World, 1 Jakes Gerwel Drive, Goodwood
Animal farm and playground at Stodels
The Bellville branch of the award-winning nursery is also the location of the Green Leaf Café, which has all you need to keep children entertained while you enjoy a coffee. The huge playground has a jumping castle, jungle gym, trampolines and sand-art station, plus a wooden train structure and rocking horses for smaller kids. What’s more, there’s an animal petting farm with sheep, goats, guinea pigs, rabbits and ponies waiting to be fed (the café sells bags of raw vegetables). The café also has a great kiddies’ menu, with requisite slushies and milkshakes.
Why they’ll love it Outdoors fun, lots of space to play, with cute animals. Tick, tick, tick.
Good to know The Stodels outlets in Milnerton and Bergvliet also have cafés with playgrounds.
Times Monday – Sunday, 9am – 5.30pm
Cost Free entry
R15 (bag of animal feed)
Contact 021 919 1106, email@example.com
Where to find it Stodels Garden Centre, Eversdal Road, Bellville
Cape Town Ostrich Ranch
Get up-close to these bizarre birds at the Ostrich Ranch. During a guided tour, children will get to touch and feed the ostriches, and maybe even see some babies. Afterwards, there’s a playground and gemstone scratch patch to explore, a shop filled with ostrichy products, and a deli and restaurant to refuel (how about scrambled ostrich egg for six, made at your table?).
Why they’ll love it Getting up close is exciting enough, but your kids will also get to sit on the tallest bird in the world.
Good to know Booking a time slot at the restaurant gives you free access to the other animal encounter experience, feeding goats, tortoises, lambs, turkeys and peacocks.
Times Monday – Sunday, 9am – 5pm
Cost Guided tours: R109 (adults)
R98 (children 7 – 17 years)
R55 (children 2 – 6 years)
R65 (pensioners + students)
Contact 021 972 1955, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it Van Schoorsdrif Road, Philadelphia (via the N7)
Sure, you could play putt-putt the usual way, but if you’ve done it a few times already – with your kid, your friend’s kids, your younger siblings – why not shake things up with 3D glow-in-the-dark putt-putt? This 18-hole space-themed mini-golf course uses UV lights and 3D glasses to create fantastic illusions while playing.
Why they’ll love it The 3D glasses transport them into a whole new world…
Good to know There’s a private-event room for special occasions and functions, a café for beverages and snacks, and a retail section where you can buy glow-in-the-dark accessories and paraphernalia.
Times Saturday, 10am – 8pm; Sunday, 10am – 4pm (subject to load-shedding)
School holidays: Tuesday – Sunday (same times as above)
Cost R130 (18-hole course); R70 (pensioners)
R15 (3D glasses, optional)
R70 (non-player); R50 (pensioner non-player)
R230 (UV event room for 2.5 hours with minimum 10 people + 1 game with 3D glasses)
Contact 021 551 2244, email@example.com
Where to find it The Gallery, corner Koeberg Road and Turf Club Drive, Milnerton
You might think it’s a random patch of greenery next to Canal Walk Mall, but you’re missing out. Intaka Island is a 16-hectare wetland offering a wonderful urban nature outing, as it’s home to more than 120 bird species (and an elusive mongoose). There are two bird hides where you can watch nature unfold; two pram-friendly footpaths to explore the island, stopping at info stations along the way (or you can take a guide with you); lawns for picnicking plus boat rides on the Grand Canal and around the island.
Why they’ll love it It’s an island! Plus an opportunity to spend time outdoors, and they’ll learn more about the natural world.
Times Monday – Sunday, 7.30am – 7pm (October – April)
Monday – Sunday, 7.30am – 5.30pm (May – September)
Boat rides: Saturday – Thursday, 9.30am – 3pm; Friday, 9.30am – 2pm
Cost R30 (adults, day pass); R90 (boat ride)
R20 (children 4 – 12 years + pensioners); R80 (boat ride)
Contact 021 552 6889, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it 2 Park Lane (off Century Way), Century City
Bugz Play Park
This fun indoor and outdoor kids’ universe has a dizzying variety of activities – from a choo-choo train ride and worm train, swing horses, ziplining, slides and monkey bars to pedal bikes, rowing boats, toddler tractors, sandpits, a large wooden treehouse, mud kitchen, doll’s houses, jungle gym and a very large splash pool (summer only). If the weather’s not playing nicely, Bugz also has a huge indoor play area, complete with obstacle courses, seesaws, huge rainbow balls and more. There’s also a petting zoo, where kids can feed and spend time with tortoises, bunnies, geese, ducks, guinea pigs and parrots.
Why they’ll love it It’s bright, colourful and magical, offering endless hours of entertainment.
Times Saturday, Sunday, public + school holidays, 10am – 4pm
Cost R160 (children 3 – 12 years, all rides); R100 (rainy day, no rides)
R55 (adults + teens, includes train)
R45 (pensioners, includes train)
Free (children 0 – 2 years)
Petting farm: R25 per person
Contact 021 988 8836, email@example.com
Where to find it 56 Tarentaal Street, Joostenbergvlakte, Kraaifontein
Ipic Play Park
You’ll find this colourful playground and obstacle course at the Aurora Centre in Durbanville (with a convenient coffee shop and fitness centre on site too). Ipic caters to children of all ages, with a digital art room and miniature climbing wall for younger kids, and more acrobatic adventures for older ones. Adult supervisors are on hand to watch the kids.
Why they’ll love it Exhilarating challenges include Lego Clip & Climb; the Giant River Run (four parallel slides 18 metres long); and the Jump Zone (around 14 different-sized trampolines).
Good to know Booking a time slot is essential as only a limited number of children are allowed in the park at one time. There are three ticket options, each valid for an hour: Epic Play (6 years and older), Junior Play (3 – 5 years) and Toddler Play (2 years and under).
Times Monday – Thursday + Saturday, 8am – 6pm
Friday, 8am – 9pm; Sunday, 8am – 7pm
Cost Epic Play: R90 (Monday – Thursday); R125 (Friday – Sunday + holidays)
Junior Play: R75 (Monday – Thursday); R90 (Friday – Sunday + holidays)
Toddler Play: R60 (Monday – Thursday); R75 for two hours play, 9am – 11am; R75 (Friday – Sunday + public holidays)
R30 (compulsory grip socks)
Contact 021 205 3844, firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Where to find it Aurora Shopping Centre, corner of Burton and Aurora Streets, Durbanville
Bloemendal Trail Park
Bloemendal Estate on the slopes of Tygerberg Hill is one of the largest wine farms in the Durbanville Valley – which is also renowned mountain-biking country. The expansive Bloemendal Trail Park caters for all ages, with routes suitable for beginners and young children. Bikes are rented out on site. Once you’ve all worked up an appetite, head to the café for some signature Bean Riding coffee, fruit smoothies, milkshakes, beer on tap, toasted sandwiches, burgers, boerie rolls and more.
Why they’ll love it Whizzing around on proper trails is a treat.
Good to know Bloemendal also has a great playground (huge slides, jungle gyms, treehouses) next to Bon Amis restaurant, and a kids’ juice and ice-cream pairing (plus wine-tasting and chocolate, nougat or ice-cream pairings for adults).
Times Monday – Friday, 8am – 6pm (9pm on Thursdays when they have a night ride)
Saturdays + Sundays, 7am – 5pm (Summer), 7am – 5pm (Winter)
Cost R60 (adults); R40 (children under 18)
Bike rentals Kids bikes: R125 per hour
Adult hardtails: R150 per hour
Adult dual-suspension: R350 per hour
Adult e-bikes: R350 per hour
Contact 060 657 6344, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it Tygerberg Valley Road (M13), Durbanville
Kids activities in Stellenbosch + the Winelands
Steam train to Elgin Railway Market
This family-friendly outing departs from the Foreshore district in Cape Town, 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 Elgin station, you’ll disembark to explore the steampunk-themed market for a few hours before the return trip. With live music and a dazzling selection of clothing, accessories, arts and craft stalls, you’ll be able to enjoy all that’s on offer while savouring tantalising street food and refreshments. The market building itself is an interesting old-fashioned space for kids to explore.
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.
Times Most Saturdays, 7.30am – 6pm
Cost R625 (daysitter booth seat); R450 child (17 and under), R500 pensioner (60 and over) Book Now
R860 (lounge car seat) Book Now
R975 (observation car seat – selected dates only) Book Now
R1 725 (family coupe: 2 adults + 2 kids, or 3 adults) Book Now
R3 350 (family compartment: 6 people) Book Now
Where to find it Harbour Bridge Hotel, Dockrail Road, Foreshore, Cape Town
While adults will be impressed by the designer gardens, children will appreciate them on a different level. Three play areas offer a series of spaces, specially designed for different age groups. Sand and waterplay will interest the little ones, while the Boombrug with its elevated canopy walk with ziplines and slides is suitable for the more energetic. Beyond the gardens there’s a working farm to explore, and wilder spaces on hiking trails where your family might encounter a giraffe or springbok. There are two restaurants, too – with smaller kids in tow, Spens has casual café-style food, farm picnic platters, milkshakes, lawns and a playground right beside it.
Why they’ll love it It’s an adventure of discovery akin to the storybook Secret Garden, and an epic place to play hide-and-seek.
Times Wednesday – Sunday, 8am – 4pm
Contact 023 004 0496, email@example.com
Where to find it Off the R43, between Worcester and Breerivier
Blaauwklippen Family Market
This Stellenbosch wine farm’s weekend market is a must-visit. Kids (and adults) can be introduced to a world of interesting flavours – from Dutch kroketten and Asian dumplings to French-German flammkuchen and bratwurst – plus there are waffles on sticks, ice creams and Belgian chocolate mallowsnaps. There are also clothing, accessory and artisanal produce stalls to browse, and live music to enjoy, so settle in for a happy family picnic.
Why they’ll love it The buzz – and fun activities such as a jumping castle, pedal-karts, pony rides, farm animals (goats, alpacas etc) and a jungle-gym playground.
Good to know The Specialized Experience Centre for mountain-biking is based at Blaauwklippen; it has a fantastic children’s play area with a pump track, bikes to rent and a massive jungle gym. Skateboarders are also welcome.
Times Market: Saturday + Sunday, 10am – 3pm
Bike Park: Wednesday – Friday, 11am – 5pm; Saturday + Sunday from 9am
Cost Market: free entry
Bike Park: R75
Contact 021 880 0133, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it Strand Road (R44), Stellenbosch
The Tree House & Outdoor Experience at Boschendal
It’s unadulterated free-range fun for children (5 to 14 years), with activities such as foraging, scavenger hunts, spoor-tracking, fire-making, survival skills and more. Not only do kids learn a lot from these nature- and eco-based activities, they’ll get their hands dirty and have good old-fashioned fun. An added (free) attraction in Boschendal’s Werf area is the big Tree House play area – probably the best and biggest “jungle gym” in the Cape. It includes acorn hideouts, slides, walkways, platforms, mushroom pods and pyramids as well as a pump track.
Why they’ll love it In a technological era, playing and learning outdoors is gold.
Good to know Each session caters for 10 kids (booking essential) and lasts two hours (morning, midday or afternoon). There are also half-day programmes in the school holidays for 20 kids.
Times Outdoor Experience: Monday – Sunday, 10am – 4.30pm
Tree House: Monday – Sunday, 9am – 8pm
Cost R180 – R265 per session (2 hours)
Holiday programme: R400 (including a light meal and snack)
Contact 021 870 4211, email@example.com
Where to find it Boschendal Wine Estate, R310/Pniel Road, Franschhoek
This rustic farm, famous for its deliciously sweet strawberries in summer, offers lots of open space for young and old to burn off energy. It’s a popular spot for mountain-biking and hiking, and youngsters can bring their scooters, push bikes and balls to take advantage of the lawns. For the less sporty – and specifically for families – there are 4×4 and viewpoint routes, a play park for toddlers, and paintball and Laser Quest for older kids (booking essential). Make a day of it, pack some braai stuff and head into Granny’s Forest, a magical spot for chilling and grilling (booking essential).
Why they’ll love it An exciting farm environment (bunnies, goats and ducks to be fed!) with so much to see and do, and space to play.
Good to know There’s a tea garden and a kiosk for barista-crafted coffee, and in winter Die Stal offers indoor seating with a cosy fireplace. Dogs are welcome (on a leash); register for a permit when you arrive.
Times Monday – Sunday, 8am – 5pm
Cost Braai/picnic spots: R50 per spot + R50 (adults), R25 (children and seniors)
Hiking permits: R35 (adults), R25 (children and seniors)
MTB permits: R60 (adults), R30 (children and seniors)
Viewpoint permits: R150 per vehicle (R200 key deposit; cash only)
Contact 021 855 4308, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it Klein Helderberg Road, off the R44, Somerset West
Wiesenhof Adventure Park
Situated just outside Stellenbosch, Wiesenhof Adventure Park offers children the ultimate action-filled outing in three zones: Wild Waters, Jumpin Jax and Peddle Zone. They’re spoiled for choice, with 50 trampolines, foam pits, an air mountain and aerial obstacle course, pump track, kids’ play area, eight water slides with tubes and the Duck Express (tractor ride). Pack a picnic, enjoy a braai, or order something from the takeaway menu.
Why they’ll love it With so much awesome stuff on offer, they won’t be bored for one second!
Good to know This is a cashless property.
Wild Waters is open only on weekends and holidays in summer.
Over winter (May to August), Jumpin Jax and Peddle Zone only open for booked birthday parties. Wild Waters is closed.
Times Summer: Friday, 1pm – 6pm; Saturday + Sunday, 8am – 6pm
School + public holidays: Friday – Sunday, 9am – 6pm
Winter: Open for birthday party bookings only
Cost From R165 (winter rates to be confirmed)
Contact 065 820 2737, email@example.com
Where to find it Wiesenhof Adventure Park, Adam Tas Street (off the R44), Stellenbosch
This one-of-a-kind, state-of-the-art edutainment centre blends creative design, award-winning educational resources and world-class technology in a 1 000-square-metre interactive space. Children aged 5 to 13 years learn through play as they journey through the world of science, nutrition and nature. It’s access-controlled and supervised at all times, so parents are free to go and enjoy Hazendal Wine Estate’s other attractions while the kids play.
Why they’ll love it As they explore, children will be accompanied by the Amuki, the virtual inhabitants of Wonderdal – friendly, quirky creatures who’ll give them tips on the various activities and tasks.
Good to know Also on the estate, the Kleine Hazen putting park is fun for all ages, with 27 holes of adventure golf (and a playground, jungle gym and giant outdoor chess).
Times Tuesday – Sunday, 9am – 5pm
Cost One hour: R85 (weekdays); R140 (Friday – Sunday)
Two hours: R125 (weekdays); R190 (Friday – Sunday)
R40 (compulsory safety socks, reusable for future visits)
Mini-golf: R60 (child 3 – 12 years); R80 (teens + adults)
Contact 021 205 5624, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it Hazendal Wine Estate, 60 Bottelary Road (M23), Stellenbosch
No, they (thankfully) don’t live in a house. This wildlife awareness centre in Stellenbosch is a farm that’s home to magnificent giraffes as well as zebras, warthogs, jackals, bat-eared foxes, meerkats, ostriches and other birds, antelope and crocodiles. The animals are kept in different camps, and visitors can follow the pathways between them to view the animals at their own pace. The on-site shop, Bananafontein, sells refreshments (and funky T-shirts). You are welcome to bring a picnic basket.
Why they’ll love it Whether you’re young or old, giraffes are fascinating to behold. If they’re in a friendly mood, they may even stretch their necks over the fence to say “hi” to your little ones.
Times Monday – Sunday, 9am – 5pm
Cost R85 (adults)
R55 (children 2 – 15 years)
Contact 073 609 2670 email@example.com
Where to find it Corner of R101 and R304, Muldersvlei, Stellenbosch
Le Bonheur Reptiles & Adventures
This scenic farm between Paarl and Franschhoek offers the double attraction of reptiles and fishing. Informative tours of the Nile crocodile ponds run every 45 minutes. Indoors, the snake exhibition is just as thrilling. Then spend the day angling for tilapia and bass (catch-and-release) – bring your own gear or rent it on site. There are also rowing boats and SUP boards to use on the dam (thankfully far removed from the croc ponds!), a “slinky snaky” cycle track for little ones (bikes for rent), croquet lawns, braai and picnic areas and a pizza restaurant.
Why they’ll love it Children love to watch things that wriggle and crawl. Plus they can flex their fishing muscles.
Good to know The Snake Show, where a handler supervises close-up encounters, is on Saturdays and Sundays at 12.10pm and 3pm. In summer, brave hearts (from age 9 upwards) can try out croc cage-diving.
Times Monday – Sunday, 9am – 5pm
Cost R105 (adults); R68 (child under 18 years); R72 (students + pensioners)
R330 (family rate: 2 adults, 2 children)
Reptile Combo + Snake Show: R145 (adults); R108 (children)
Fishing: R30 (one hour); R55 (three hours); R100 gear rental
Row boat: R35 per person (maximum 5 people)
SUP board: R60 per hour
Contact 021 863 1142, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it Babylonstoren Road, off the R45, Simondium, near Paarl
The Alpaca Loom
While they may look like a mix between a giraffe, goat and poodle, alpacas are actually South American relatives of camels. On this farm near Paarl, you can walk with alpacas on a halter, feed them, visit the barn where they sleep and tour the weaving studio that produces alpaca-wool products on hand-looms. In addition, there are also angora goats, donkeys, sheep, camels and even a llama. At the coffee shop, you’ll have a front-row seat of the whole herd and views of Table Mountain as you enjoy coffee or tea, cakes, pies or quiche.
Why they’ll love it Look at that face!
Good to know The alpaca walks are at 10am and 4pm, and alpaca barn tours every hour.
Cost Coffee shop + weaving studio: free
Petting zoo: R20
Serving of feed: R20
Alpaca barn tour: R100 for adults, R70 for children, under 3 is free
Alpaca walk: R150
Times Monday – Sunday, 9.30am – 5.30pm
Contact 084 793 3666, email@example.com
Where to find it Suid-Agter-Paarl Road, Paarl
Winelands Light Railway
Hop on board at Park Station, wait for the puffs of steam and whistles, then enjoy the seven-minute ride on a 760-metre stretch of track through a park that includes a bridge and a tunnel. The mini replica steam locomotives at Winelands Light Railway have all been lovingly hand-built by local enthusiasts, and truly are marvels to see up close. There’s also a playground, jungle gym, obstacle course and shady lawns (with balls and games supplied).
Why they’ll love it Kids love, love, love trains! The seating on the wagons takes kids, adults and even dogs, so the whole family can enjoy this outing.
Good to know You can pack your own picnic (no alcohol or braais), or buy snacks and treats from the kiosk. Train rides are weather dependent.
Times Saturday, Sunday, public + school holidays: 9am – 5pm
Cost R70 (one ride)
R120 (unlimited rides for the day)
R480 (annual pass)
Contact 060 586 5490, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it Winelands Light Railway Park, R304, Koelenhof, Stellenbosch
Carnival Area at Weltevreden Estate
Dress the kids in their favourite fairytale/superhero outfit – they’ll fit right in at this colourful, themed, fantasy playground for little kids (younger than 9 years old). There are plenty of attractions: two larger-than-life jungle gyms, trampolines, sandpits, water slides (on hot days), motorbike scooters, a sweets counter, slushies and milkshakes on tap, plus a pizza workshop where they can make their own.
Why they’ll love it Three words: build-a-pizza!
Good to know It’s right alongside the Jonkershuis restaurant, where adults can enjoy a meal, cocktails, wine tasting or wine pairing with macarons or small plates – Weltevreden 1692 is home to Bertha Wines. Alternatively, the family can have a pizza picnic on the scenic lawns.
Times Monday – Sunday, 8.30am – 7pm
Cost R10 (carnival area entry)
R50 kids make-your-own-pizza
R65 for wine tasting; R90 for macaron pairing; R200 small plates pairing
Contact 021 889 6588, email@example.com
Where to find it Welgevonden Boulevard, Cloetesville, Stellenbosch
Spier Wine Estate
With a peaceful river where ducks paddle, lush lawns and a secret play garden, this family-friendly wine farm has a host of activities that children will love (including their own grape-juice tasting). From a Mosaic Kraal, outdoor sculptures and craft market to seeing dancing barn owls at Eagle Encounters and a Segway tour (age 10 or older), it’s nonstop fun. Stop by the Farm Cafe for picnic fare or, enjoy a hearty country lunch at Vadas Smokehouse & Bakery (don’t forget to take some pastéis de nata home with you).
Why they’ll love it Never a dull moment – plus the Elemental Garden is like no other playground they’ve seen.
Times Monday – Sunday, 9am – 6pm
Segway tours: Wednesday – Sunday + public holidays, 9am – 3.30pm
Eagle Encounters shows: Monday – Sunday, 11am; 2pm (falconry); 3pm; 4pm
Cost Segway: R420 (one hour); R350 (early bird at 9am)
Eagle Encounters: R100 (adults); R75 (children 3 – 12 years); R80 (students + pensioners)
Kids grape-juice tasting: R50
Contact 021 809 1100, firstname.lastname@example.org
021 858 1826 (Eagle Encounters)
Where to find it Baden Powell Drive (R310), Stellenbosch
Book a Segway Tour
Exotic Animal World
Exotic Animal World (previously Butterfly World) is a haven for exotic creatures great and small, from lemurs, meerkats, ferrets, iguanas, chinchillas and pygmy hedgehogs to spiders, snakes and a porcupine, as well as colourful birds and a freshwater aquarium that holds piranhas and more. All of the animals are former pets, donated or confiscated and handed over to the sanctuary’s care. The sanctuary is mostly an enclosed tropical garden, so it’s good for rainy days too.
Why they’ll love it More than 500 amazing and rarely seen creatures!
Good to know There’s an on-site restaurant, Café Lemur, for refreshments and treats.
Times Monday – Sunday, 9am – 5pm
Cost R88 (adults)
R79 (students + pensioners)
R225 (two adults + two children)
Free (children 0 – 3 years)
Contact 060 646 1048, email@example.com
Where to find it R44, Klapmuts, Stellenbosch
Spice Route Destination
Spice Route’s delightful village setup is a wonderful daytrip for the whole family. Start with the “Spies Route” scavenger hunt clue-solving game that explores the whole property, and try out padel-tennis. Then they can head off on the kid-friendly bike trails, for ceramic painting at Môigoeters, to enjoy chocolate or ice-cream tastings at De Villiers Chocolate, and play in two big playgrounds, while the grownups enjoy various drinks pairings and browse the artisanal shops. Come together again for an Italian-inspired lunch at La Grapperia or Pasta Pasta.
Why they’ll love it A real-life spy game that’s heaps of fun – plus an actual chocolate factory!
Good to know The Spies Route game takes 45 minutes, and is most suited to older kids (age 12 up) or with adult supervision for younger ones.
Times Monday – Sunday, 9am – 5pm
Cost R70 (Spies Route game)
R30 – R75 (De Villiers tastings)
R50 – R80 (biking trails day permit)
Adult passport: R260 (five tastings)
Contact 021 863 5200, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it Suid Agter Paarl Road, Suider Paarl
Babylonstoren’s magnificent food garden is world-famous and the sophisticated farm offerings are a drawcard, but it offers endless fun for children too. A gigantic garden to explore and a working farmyard with roaming turkeys, ducks, geese, chickens and tortoises, and donkeys they can feed, plus riverside walks, giant bird’s nests to crawl in to, a greenhouse that serves tasty scones, an ice-lolly van and Old Bullfrog, a water feature with a splash spiral and water spouts.
Why they’ll love it Hide and seek in a massive garden? Unforgettable!
Times Monday – Sunday, 9am – 5pm
Cost R80 (adults)
Children under 18 enter free.
R80 (annual membership fee for adults)
Contact 021 863 3852, email@example.com
Where to find it Klapmuts-Simondium Road, Simondium, near Paarl
With its grand Cape Dutch Manor House (a national monument dating from 1800), beautiful vineyard and mountain views and vast lawns for picnics, this family-friendly wine estate in Paarl makes for a great introduction to our wine heritage for kids. There’s also a child-friendly breakfast and lunch menu at the restaurant.
Why they’ll love it While the adults do a wine tasting, they can decorate cupcakes and enjoy a flavoured milk and cookie pairing, plus there’s a play area with jungle gyms, ziplines, a treehouse, games and more.
Times Wednesday – Monday, 9am – 4pm
Cost R95 (milk + cookie pairing)
R110 (cupcake decorating)
R120 (kids’ picnic); R540 (adult picnic for two)
R70 (wine tasting)
Contact 021 862 3104, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it Sonstraal Road, Dal Josafat, Paarl
The dirt paths and slopes of Middelvlei wine estate are calling. Hop on a stable, nonmotorised mountain scooter and experience Stellenbosch differently – downhill with the wind in your hair. This family-friendly guided adventure features SA’s only flow trail for scooters, with berms, rollers and a bush tunnel. The experience ends with a complimentary glass of wine (or cooldrink for kids). Stay for a meal at the Boerebraai Restaurant – real SA cuisine cooked over the coals. Middelvlei also offers a juice tasting for kids and, for adults, wine-tasting pairings with tapas or braaibroodjies.
Why they’ll love it The same thrills of a BMX track, but on a scooter. Children 10 years and older can drive their own scooter.
Good to know Scootours also operates in Franschhoek – a trail on the gentle slopes of Chamonix Estate.
Times Monday – Saturday, 8.30am – 4pm
Cost R400 (adult); R290 (passenger: child 4 – 9 years)
Where to find it Middelvlei Wine Estate, Flamingo Street (off Distillery Road or Oude Libertas Road), Stellenbosch
To explore the stunning scenery of the Winelands, head to Rheboksloof, on the northern slopes of Paarl Mountain. It has 5km or 10km walking/hiking trails suited to families (dogs on a leash are welcome) that lead to the best viewpoints on the farm. Arrive early and enjoy breakfast afterwards; stay for lunch at the relaxed restaurant-pizzeria or pick up a picnic basket – there’s lots of space for kids to play on the lawns, as well as a jungle gym and jumping castle.
Why they’ll love it A fun outdoor adventure – with waffles, ice cream and milkshakes later.
Good to know There are also excellent mountain-biking trails, including a 3km route suitable for children, and the opportunity to enjoy a horse-and-carriage ride.
Times Monday – Sunday, 8am – 5pm
Trails open from 7am
Cost Trail permit: R80 – R100 (adults); R50 – R80 (children)
Contact 021 869 8386, email@example.com
Trails: 076 022 5141
Where to find it Off Noord-Agter-Paarl Road, Windmeul, Paarl
Discover all of the Cape’s hidden gems – subscribe to our weekly newsletter.