From action-packed obstacle courses to educational exhibitions, animal antics and other 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.
Have you done any amazing things with your children in Cape Town? We’d love to hear about them in the comments below.
Things to do with kids in your area
1. Ceres Steam Train to Elgin Railway Market
This family-friendly train departs from the Harbour Bridge Hotel in the Foreshore district, 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 to disembark, and explore the steampunk-themed Elgin Railway Market. 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.
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, as well as a dedicated play area for kids, and climbing walls (R20 for 10 minutes). The climbing walls are safe for kids of all ages, with the experts from Cape Canopy Tour ensuring safety standards.
And if that wasn’t enough, there are also one-hour segway tours of the nearby Oak Valley Estate that depart from the market every hour (R295, suitable for children 12 years and older); and two-hour mountain-biking tours (R700, including bike hire, suitable for older children).
Opening times Saturday & Sunday, 8am – 5.30pm
Cost R750 (adults, return); R500 (children 3 – 13 years, return); free (children 0 – 2 years)
Where to find it Harbour Bridge Hotel, Dockrail Road, Foreshore, Cape Town
2. 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! So, bring a picnic basket and enjoy it on the lawn.
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 Daily, 6am – 6pm
Cost Free entrance, but you’ll need to pay for parking (parking is free on weekends)
Contact 021 408 7600, email@example.com
Where to find it Battery Park, Between Cape Town CBD and The V & A Waterfront
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 R650 (driver’s ticket); R290 (passenger ticket)
Where to find it Kloof Nek Parking Area, 209 Tafelberg Road, Table Mountain National Park, Cape Town
4. The Company’s Gardens
This historic garden, first made public in 1848, is home to some important South African landmarks including the Houses of Parliament, Iziko South African Museum and Planetarium, St George’s Cathedral, and the National Library of South Africa, to name a few.
In recent years it’s become a haven in the middle of the busy city, where tourists and locals can stroll, throw down a blanket, and feed the squirrels.
Why they’ll love it Lush lawns, giant Porky Hefer-designed birds’ nests they can climb into, and the ever-ravenous squirrels – not to mention close proximity to the museum and Planetarium.
Opening times Daily, 7am – 6pm (April – August); 7am – 7pm (September – March)
Cost Free entry
Contact 021 444 1901, Lindiwe.Mkhwanazi@capetown.gov.za
Where to find it 19 Queen Victoria Street, Cape Town City Centre, Cape Town
5. 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 8 000 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.
Opening times Daily, 9.30am – 6pm
Daily, 12pm (I&J Ocean Exhibit); Daily, 11.30am & 2.30pm (Penguin Exhibit); Sundays, 3pm (Predator Exhibit); Wednesdays, 1pm (Kelp Forest Exhibit)
Cost R185 (adults); R140 (pensioners, students, children 14 – 17 years); R95 (children 4 – 13 years); free (children 0 – 4 years)
Rates valid until March 2020
Where to find it Two Oceans Aquarium, Dock Road, V&A Waterfront
6. 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, zipline and more. 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)
Cost R85 (children over 2 years, one hour); R35 (children over 1 year, one hour); Free (children 0 – 1 years)
Contact 067 028 0738, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it Jubilee Hall, Watershed, 17 Dock Road, V&A Waterfront
7. 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, email@example.com
Where to find it Iziko South African Museum, 25 Queen Victoria Street, Gardens
8. The Rotary 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.
Good cause Proceeds from the park are donated to the Rotary Charity, which in turn uses these funds to drive community upliftment projects. So it’s nice to know that your kids are having fun at the park, and contributing to a good cause at the same time.
Opening times Tuesday – Sunday, 9.30am – 6.30pm (September – March)
Tuesday – Thursday,12pm – 6pm; Friday – Sunday, 9.30am – 6.30pm (April – August)
Cost R28 (includes entrance to the park and one free train ride)
Contact 084 314 9200, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it Next to The Lighthouse, Beach Road, Mouille Point, Cape Town
9. 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
Sunday and public holidays, 10am – 4.30pm
Cost R75 (adults + children); R35 (pensioners); R265 (family package: four people); R65 (per person, group of 10 or more)
Where to find it Cape Town Science Centre, 370B Main Road, Observatory
10. Kid’s chocolate making classes at Lindt
With a wide variety of indulgent chocolate creations, the Master Chocolatiers at Lindt work tirelessly and passionately to produce the world’s finest chocolates, using only the best ingredients to ensure irresistibly smooth masterpieces.
And now, Lindt offers various courses that allow you to witness first-hand what goes into the heavenly art of chocolate-making. These include special classes for children aged 12 and older, where they get to make their own Lindt chocolate teddies or bunnies (they can also participate in the adult classes, which focus on either chocolate cupcakes, macarons, or the ultimate Lindt chocolate cake).
Why they’ll love it They’ll get their own mini Master Chocolatier uniforms, complete with little baker’s hats. And at the end, they get to take home some of these chocolate treats.
Course duration Around one-and-a-half hours.
Good to know Classes can be booked for private functions and team-building events.
Cost R395 – R545
Contact 021 831 0360, email@example.com
Where to find it Shop No 2, Silo 2, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town
11. 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
Closed on Workers’ Day and Christmas Day
Cost R30 (adults); R15 (children 6 – 17 years); R15 (SA students and pensioners); R75 (family ticket: two adults + two children); Free (children 0 – 6 years, excludes Planetarium); free (SA senior citizens and students, Fridays only)
Contact 021 481 3800, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it Iziko South African Museum, 25 Queen Victoria Street, Gardens
12. Green Point Park
A little Eden in the middle of the Mother City, Green Point Park (managed by the City’s Strategic Assets Department) lies right below the Cape Town Stadium. Enjoy a spontaneous afternoon picnicking on the open lawn while the kids run free, or take a walk, run or cycle in the fresh air surrounded by the sounds of the ocean. Could an outdoor space tick more boxes?
Why they’ll love it There’s plenty of space to run around; a gated Tot Lot playground with swings, a jungle gym, slides and tunnels; and a bricked path along the water where they can cycle safely. Add to that, one of Cape Town’s favourite ice-cream parlours, The Creamery, is just a short walk away.
Good to know While the children play, adults can enjoy a bite at the popular Tea in the Park Café, whose spacious outdoor terrace offers wonderful views of Cape Town Stadium and Lion’s Head.
Opening times Daily, 7am – 6pm (the park opens at sunrise and closes at sunset)
Contact 021 444 4258, Nwabisa.email@example.com
Where to find it 1 Fritz Sonnenberg Road, Green Point, Cape Town
1. 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… 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); R950 (annual fee)
Contact 081 833 4488, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it Constantia Uitsig Wine Estate, Spaanschemat River Road, Constantia, Cape Town
2. 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
Booking is essential
Cost R140 (Acro-Twigs); R180 (Monkey Moves); R220 (Swinging Tarzan); R280 (High Flying)
Where to find it 1 Hout Bay Main Road, Constantia Nek, Cape Town
3. 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, 9am – 8pm
Cost R90 (be.Junior package, one hour in the kids’ maze)
R130 (be.Giant package, one hour including trampoline, AltiGame and kids’ maze)
R85 (be.Climbing package, 30 minutes on the climbing wall)
R20 (grip socks)
Good to know Groups of ten or more children receive a discount on each ticket for the be.Junior or be.Giant packages.
Contact 087 057 1400, email@example.com
Where to find it Gardener Place, Rose Innes Street, Pinelands, Cape Town
4. Dinosaur Exhibition at Kirstenbosch
Take a walk on the wild side, but tread carefully. Lurking behind the giant cycad trees are dinosaurs – life-size sculptures of the prehistoric creatures that have transformed these magnificent botanical gardens into a fun-filled adventure zone.
Through the exhibition of anatomically accurate dinosaur sculptures, Kirstenbosch aims to highlight the plight of South Africa’s cycad population, which is on the brink of extinction. Six tin dinosaur sculptures – created by talented Zimbabwean artist, David Huni – have been placed among the endangered species in the Garden’s Cycad Amphitheatre, making for an intriguing and fun adventure for young and old.
Why they’ll love it Um, because 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 Colonel Bird’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 tree-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 Daily, 8am – 6pm
Cost R75 (adults); R40 (students); R20 (children 6 –17 years); free (children 0 – 5 years; pensioners on Tuesdays)
Where to find it Kirstenbosch Gardens, Rhodes Drive, Newlands, Cape Town
5. 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 wi-fi 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 hosts 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.
Rush is open from 10pm on school holidays
Opening times Monday – Thursday, 1pm – 9pm (9am – 9pm on public holidays); Friday & Saturday, 9am – 10pm; Sunday, 9am – 7pm
Cost R110 – R115 (one hour, Jump sessions, excludes Rush Jump Socks)
R150 (two hours, excludes Rush Jump Socks)
R30 (non-slip Rush Jump Socks, compulsory)
Contact 087 094 0178 / 021 683 3841 / 021 671 1489, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it 5th Floor, Stadium on Main, 109 Claremont Main Road, Claremont
6. 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. The classes are home-based, and include a picnic break (fully supervised) at the park across the street.
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 (holiday classes, two hours and includes two recipes)
R300 (children under six accompanied by an adult)
Contact 076 816 3892, email@example.com
Where to find it Bergvliet, contact Tots n Pots representatives for relevant information
7. Ferndale Nurseries
The nursery responsible for “all the gardens in the Constantia Valley” has been open for over 75 years and has remained a consistent haven for those with green fingers. Luckily for garden geeks who have children, this is a family-friendly spot of note – with plenty of lawn and a play area for them to run free.
Why they’ll love it Ferndale is not only a boon in the flora department; the array of fauna here is pretty impressive, too – with ducks, fish, rabbits and birds all calling it home. Kids can also play in the wonderful play area which has a jungle gym, sandpit, swings and slide.
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 8am – 4.45pm
Good to know Dogs on leashes are welcome, too!
Contact 021 794 5175, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it Brommersvlei Road, Alphen, Cape Town
1. Ceramic Painting at Clay Cafe
Creativity and recreation are what make this family-run restaurant and ceramic painting venue in the Hout Bay Valley a favourite among “grown-ups” and kids alike. Founded in 1999, this well-oiled business spans two acres of land, and includes a 340-seater farm-to-table restaurant (which serves delicious casual meals, such as wraps, salads, pizza and pasta), a wonderful innovative kids’ playground, an outdoor terrace, and a huge firing studio.
Once seated, one of the friendly servers will explain the drill: you’ll be invited into the workshop, where you’ll choose your ceramics, paints, brushes, tools etc, after which you can return to your table and get creative, while enjoying a bite to eat or a glass of wine.
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.
Good to know Items need to be left at Clay Café after painting, so it can be fired and glazed, which normally takes around three to four weeks.
Opening times Daily, 9am – 5pm
Cost R40 (studio fee per person, includes facilities, x3 paints, tools, firing and glazing); Items range from R40 to R350 (depending on shape and size)
Contact 076 810 5120, email@example.com
Please note Booking through DinePlan is recommended over weekends, school holidays and public holidays.
Where to find it 177 Main Road, Hout Bay
Book through DinePlan
2. 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 Tuesday – Sunday, 9am – 5pm
Closed on Mondays except school and public holidays
Closed on Christmas and New Year’s Day
Cost R60 – R85 (first hour, depending on season); R60 (additional hour); R80 (all-day pass during off-peak)
R100 (Drop and Go, first hour); R65 (drop and go, additional hour)
Free (children 0 – 2 years, first hour)
Good to know You can get a free one hour session on your birthday (valid ID required to qualify)
Contact 087 470 0497, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it South Palms Shopping Centre, 333 Main Road, Retreat Tokai
3. 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
Whereto find it Corner of Village Lane & Noordhoek Main Road, Cape Town
4. 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 Saturday & Sunday, public & school holidays, 9am – 5pm
Contact 082 333 6323, 072 991 7237, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it Imhoff Farm, Kommetjie Road, Kommetjie
5. 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 Monday – Friday, 8.30am – 4.45pm; Saturday & Sunday, public and school holidays, 9am –5.30pm
Cost R22 (small bag); R38 (medium bag); R77 (cup); R120 (large bag); R30 (Cave Golf Simon’s Town); R25 (Cave Golf Simon’s Town, groups of 10 or more); R25 (Cave Golf V&A waterfront)
Rates valid until 30 September 2019
Please Note Cave Golf requires a refundable deposit of R20.
Contact 021 786 2020, email@example.com
Where to find it Dido Valley Road, Simon’s Town, Cape Town
6. The Riding Centre
On Hout Bay’s Main Road, The Riding Centre centre offers a host of equestrian activities for children of all ages. Whether you decide to sign up for regular riding lessons, a one-time pony ride or a birthday party of unicorn fantasies, The Riding Centre will have everyone horsing around.
Why they’ll love it It’s the closest they’ll get to unicorns – and there’s also a resident goat, pig and dog, plus a playground area open for all visitors.
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 7:30am – 6.30pm (except Monday mornings)
Pony Rides: Monday – Sunday, 9.30am – 11am; 2.30pm – 4pm (except Monday mornings)
Cost Pony rides: R50
Contact 021 790 5286, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it The Riding Centre, Main Road, Hout Bay
7. 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 Monday – Friday, 1.30pm – 5.30pm
Saturday & Sunday, public and school holidays, 9.30am – 5.30pm
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);
Contact 082 454 5023
Where to find it Beach Road, Muizenberg
1. Ice Skating
I’m Bored Kids
The Olympic-sized skating rink at Grand West is a winter wonderland experience for kids, and an ideal venue for birthday parties. Children may be nervous about stepping onto the ice at first, but they’ll be slip-sliding around the rink in no time.
Why they’ll love it In a place like Cape Town, children don’t get many opportunities to experience the freedom of movement that ice-skating offers.
Opening times Monday & Tuesday, 10am – 12.30pm; 2pm – 4.30pm
Wednesday & Thursday, 10am – 12.30pm; 2pm – 4.30pm; 8pm – 10.30pm
Friday, 10am – 12.30pm; 2pm – 4.30pm; 6pm – 8.30pm; 9pm – 12am
Saturday, 9am – 11.30am; 12pm – 2.30pm; 3pm – 5.30pm; 6pm – 8.30pm; 9pm – 12am
Sunday, 12pm – 2.30pm; 3pm – 5.30pm; 6pm – 8.30pm
Cost R60 (includes skates); R50 (with own ice skates); R15 – R35 (spectators Friday, Saturday only, 6pm and 9pm sessions)
Contact 021 535 2260, email@example.com
Where to find it The Ice Station, Grand West Casino & Entertainment World, 1 Jakes Gerwel Drive, Goodwood
2. City Rock
The world-class facilities CityRock at Paarden Eiland 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.
There’s also 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 of 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 R110 (children, day pass); R150 (adults, day pass); R120 (students and pensioners, day pass); R220 (children, day pass + gear rental); R270 (adults, day pass + gear rental)
Contact 021 447 1326, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it 9 Milner Street, Unit 5 Table Bay Industrial Park, Paarden Eiland, Cape Town
3. 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 going 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 elusive water mongoose) where you can stop to watch nature unfold. And when the birding and boating is done, take a gentle stroll along the two footpaths on the island, one being a natural one (2km) and the other, a man-made path (1.5km).
Why they’ll love it Not only does Intaka Island offer an opportunity to spend 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 Monday – Sunday, 7.30am – 7pm (October – April)
Monday – Sunday, 7.30am – 5.30pm (May – September)
Cost R22 (adults, day pass)
R13 (children 4 – 12 years, pensioners, day pass)
R65 (adults, boat ride)
R55 (children 4 – 12 years, pensioners, boat ride)
R40 (children 4 – 12 years, school group)
Free (children, 0 – 3 years)
Contact 021 552 6889, email@example.com
Where to find it 1 Century City Drive, Century City, Cape Town
4. 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-holes Space-themed mini course uses UV lights and 3D glasses to create fantastic illusions where time stands still and 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 sort the remaining colours according to their position on the rainbow to create fantastic, whimsical 3-D effects. This means that once the glasses are on, you’re transported into a whole new world.
Opening times Friday – Saturday, 10am – 8pm; Sunday, 10am – 4pm
Cost R100 for 18-hole course + R15 for glasses
R50 (pensioner non-player)
R230 (UV event room for 2.5 hours with a minimum of 10 people; 18-hole course with 3D glasses)
Contact 021 551 2244, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it The Gallery, Corner Koeberg Road and 1 Turf Club Drive, Milnerton, Cape Town
5. Tobogganing at Cool Runnings
This thrilling ride down a 1.25-kilometre sloping steel half-pipe is suitable for children and adults alike, 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 12 rides, as well as their bestselling Happy Family Combo, which offers 20 rides for R27 per ride.
Opening times Monday – Friday, 11am – 6pm; Saturday & Sunday, public and school holidays, 9am – 6pm
Cost R60 – R540 (adults, depends on number of rides, can be shared with children);
R50 – R545 (children 3 – 14 years, depends on number of rides)
Contact 021 949 4439, email@example.com
Where to find it Cool Runnings, Carl Cronje Drive, Tygervalley (opposite Bellville Velodrome)
6. Bugz Play Park
Bugz Play Park is a sensational indoor and outdoor kids’ universe, whose motto: “Learn through play the Bugz way,” encapsulates the experience, with a wide variety of activities geared towards 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. Token rides are only open on weekends, school holidays and public holidays.
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 Daily, 9am – 5pm
Cost Monday – Friday: R60 (children, 3 – 12 years); R40 (adults); R30 (pensioners)
Saturday – Sunday, school and public holidays (May – September 2019):
R70 (children, 3 – 12 years); R60 (adults); R45 (pensioners); R140 (VIP pass, children)
Saturday – Sunday, school and public holidays (October 2019 – April 2020):
R90 (children, 3 – 12 years); R70(adults); R55 (pensioners); R180 (VIP pass, children)
Free (children 0 – 2 years)
R399 (freeplay for a year, can only be bought at Bugz Park, T&Cs apply)
R20 (petting zoo)
Contact 021 988 8836, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it 56 Tarentaal Street, Joostenbergvlakte, Kraaifontein
7. Air Force Museum at Ysterplaat
Table Mountain provides the backdrop to this newly renovated museum that is also home to the last airworthy Shackleton Mk. III aircraft. With amazing aviation artefacts, photographs and artworks, this museum is perfect for aviation enthusiasts, young and old. Some helicopters and smaller aircraft are available for visitors to ogle, but as it is a working base the hangars with larger aircrafts are only open on Saturdays.
Why they’ll love it For kids who are interested in aeroplanes, this museum offers interesting facts as well as real-life planes. If you come on a Saturday, you may even see the Shackleton in flight!
Opening times Wednesday – Friday, 7am – 3pm
Saturday 8.30am – 12pm
Cost Free (donations welcome)
Contact 021 508 6561, email@example.com
Where to find it Ysterplaat Airforce Base, Piet Grobler Street, Cape Town
8. Ipic Play Park
You’ll find this colourful playground and obstacle course at the Aurora Centre in Durbanville, conveniently situated close to a Knead Bakery and fitness centre. Ipic Play Park caters to children of all ages, with a digital art room and miniature climbing wall for toddlers (ages 4 and under), and more acrobatic adventures for older kids. Adult supervisors are on-hand to watch the kids and ensure safety.
Why they’ll love it Exhilarating challenges include Lego Clip & Climb; Giant River Run (four slides running parallel to each other over a length of 18 meters); and Jump Zone (around 14 medium square-shaped trampolines). Sure to keep the little ones entertained while you enjoy a workout at the gym, or a coffee at Knead.
Good to know Ipic Play Park has an area on the first floor set aside for birthday parties, with an Atlantis Under the Sea theme to further engage your child’s inner adventurer.
Opening times Monday – Thursday, 9am – 6pm
Friday & Saturday, 9am – 7pm
Cost R60 (toddler play area, four-hour session); R75 (junior play area, one-hour session); R120 (junior play area, three-hour session); R90 (epic play area, one-hour session); R150 (epic play area, three-hour session)
Contact 021 205 3844, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it Aurora Shopping Centre, Corner of Burton and Aurora Street, Durbanville, Cape Town
9. Tygerberg Nature Reserve
Hidden among the hills in Cape Town’s northern suburbs, Tygerberg Nature Reserve offers an easy escape from Bellville’s urban sprawl. Blessed with a rich diversity of plant and bird life, his lush 388-hectare haven offers spectacular views of the city, sea and mountain.
Why they’ll love it The reserve has a rich variety of wildlife, including an estimated 137 bird species, 24 mammal species, 22 reptiles, seven types of frogs, and various types of butterflies. Kids should keep their eye out for interesting inhabitants like the Cape fox, mongoose and porcupine. The Kristo Pienaar Environmental Education Centre, situated within the reserve, offers valuable educational resources for those interested in learning about the rich biodiversity of the area.
Good to know Tygerberg Nature Reserve’s network of walking routes includes a wheelchair-friendly trail, close to the picnic area.
Please note Be sure to take plenty of water, as the more rigorous trails can be quite testing. You’ll want to pack warm clothing in winter, as it gets quite chilly up top.
Opening times Monday – Friday, 7.30am – 6pm
Saturday, Sunday & Public Holidays, 7.30am – 7pm
Cost R20 (adults); R10 (children 3 – 18 years, senior citizens, students) Free (children 0 – 3 years, Friends of the Reserve with proof of membership)
Contact 021 444 8971, email@example.com
Where to find it Tygerberg Nature Reserve, Totius Road, Welgemoed
10. Animal farm and playground at Stodels
The Bellville branch of the award-winning nursery, Stodels, is also the location of the Green Leaf Café, which has a playground and animal farm to keep children entertained while their parents enjoy a coffee. The café also has a great kiddies’ menu.
Why they’ll love it Children can pet the farm animals: rabbits, goats and even llamas. The café sells bags of raw vegetables that kids can use to feed them.
Opening times Monday, 10am – 6pm; Tuesday – Saturday, 9am – 6pm; Sunday & Public Holidays, 9am – 6pm
Please note The Green Leaf Café closes at 5pm on Sundays and public holidays, but the animal farm and garden centre remain open for an hour longer.
Cost Free entry
R10 (bag of raw vegetables to feed the animals)
Contact 021 919 1106, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it Stodels Garden Centre, Eversdal Road, Bellvillestodels
11. Blasters Family Restaurant
This arcade-style restaurant in the Northern Suburbs is great for parents who desperately want a spot to relax (and enjoy a meal), safe in the knowledge that their kids are being taken care of. The menu offers simple, family-friendly fare (such as burgers, steaks and pizzas) for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The upstairs section has a bar and some cool arcade games, while the downstairs area allows parents to glance over at their kids, having a ball.
Why they’ll love it The large indoor jungle gym will keep the little ones entertained, with slides, a climbing wall, and a special play area for toddlers. Birthday parties can he hosted here, and profesional attendants are on-hand to watch over the kids.
Good to know Children can wear special tags that go off just in case they wander a bit too far.
Opening times Tuesday – Friday, 10am – 10pm; Saturday, 9am – 10pm; Sunday, 10am – 6pm (kitchen closes 5pm)
Contact 021 981 7555, email@example.com
Where to find it Cape Gate Decor Centre, Nitida Avenue, Brackenfell, Cape Town
12. Cape Town Ostrich Ranch
If you’ve ever sat on an ostrich, you’ll know it feels like nothing else you’ve ever done. And now your children (and you) can get up-close with these bizarre birds at the Cape Town Ostrich Ranch. During a guided tour, children will get to sit on an ostrich, feed them, and maybe even see some babies. For those not so enamored with ostriches, there are playgrounds, craft areas and a restaurant. Also available for childrens parties, the Cape Town Ostrich Ranch is an unmissable day trip.
Why they’ll love it Getting to touch an ostrich is exciting enough, but your kids will also get to take a seat on the tallest bird in the world.
Opening times Daily, 9am – 5pm
Cost Guided tours R109 (adults), R98 (children 7 – 17 years), R55 (children 2– 6years), R65 (pensioners, students, disabled persons), Free (children 0– 2 years)
Contact 021 972 1955, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it Van Schoorsdrif Road, Philadelphia, N7, Cape Town
13. Zipzoom Adventures
Situated in an oak forest on Altydgedacht Wine Estate in the Northern Suburbs, Zipzoom Adventures offers ziplining obstacle courses for adventurers of all ages. Parents, don’t be afraid: Zipzoom’s number one priority is safety and they ensure participants are harnessed and hooked into the overhead safety line at all times. And if heights aren’t your thing, Zipzoom also has a mountain-biking trail.
Why they’ll love it As they zoom through the trees, your kids will feel like bona fide superheroes. And you’ll love it because it’s safe!
Opening times Wednesday – Sunday, 10am – 5pm
Cost R160 (Mini Course: children 4 – 7 years); R185 (Maxi Course adults; children over 7)
Contact 082 562 3615, email@example.com
Where to find it Altydgedacht Wine Estate, Tygerberg Valley Road, Cape Town
1. The Tree House at Boschendal
The Tree House is a wonderfully convenient setup that allows grown-ups to enjoy all that this luscious wine estate has to offer, while children are entertained, taken care of and educated. The nature-filled activities run daily; and children have the option of choosing which activities they would like to partake in from a list that includes farm foraging, outdoor fire cooking and upcycling.
Why they’ll love it In a technological era, playing and learning outdoors is gold.
Please note The Tree House is for hotel and Werf Restaurant guests only. Bookings must be made 24 hours in advance.
Opening times Sunday – Tuesday, 10am – 6pm; Wednesday – Saturday, 10am – 10pm
Cost Free (meals cost extra)
Contact 021 870 4211, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it Boschendal Estate, Pniel Road, Groot Drakenstein, Franschhoek, Western Cape
This one-of-a-kind, state-of-the-art edutainment centre for children between 5 and 13 years combines advanced technology with physical elements to create exciting and educational indoor and outdoor areas.
The 1 000-square-metre space has three equipped classrooms, an extensive library and technology-powered exhibits – sure to keep children occupied, while adults enjoy a meal at Hazendal’s boundary-pushing Avant-Garde Restaurant (or an authentic Russian tea ceremony in the Russian Tea Garden).
Why they’ll love it Not just a playground, but an exercise in immersive fantasy, Wonderdal is designed to make children feel part of a story. As they explore, they will be accompanied by the Amuki, the virtual inhabitants of Wonderdal. These friendly, quirky creatures will guide them through the experience, giving them tips on how to complete the various activities and tasks.
Opening times Tuesday – Sunday, 9am – 5pm
Cost R160 (two-hour session, Monday – Friday)
R220 (two-hour session, Saturday & Sunday; school & public holidays)
R30 (compulsory special socks)
Contact 021 205 5624, email@example.com
Where to find it Hazendal Wine Estate, Bottelary Road, Stellenbosch
3. Spice Route Destination
A mere 45-minute drive from the city, Spice Route’s delightful village setup is the perfect day-trip destination for the whole family. Aside from fabulous restaurants, there’s a smorgasbord of tempting things to do, see and taste, including a pump track, jungle gym and play area, chocolate-tasting and an ice-cream shop!
Why they’ll love it Whether its ice cream at DV Cottage Café, chocolates from De Villiers Chocolate, or the 100-metre Choc-o-Trail track at Hero Adventure Trails, there’s plenty to keep children entertained at this charming village in Paarl.
Opening times Daily, 9am – 5pm
Contact 021 863 5200, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it Suid Agter Paarl Road, Suider Paarl
For the perfect escape from the city that neither you or your children will want to leave, Babylonstoren ticks all the boxes. A gigantic garden, a working farmyard with roaming livestock such as donkeys and turkeys, an ultra-chic hotel, restaurant, shop and spa – all rolled into one stylishly packaged adventure.
Highlights include river walks, a hidden clivia garden, oversized nest-like swings, a greenhouse that serves tasty scones, and an ice-lolly van.
Why they’ll love it Apart from the endless selection of activities, kids love being immersed in nature.
Opening times Daily, 9am – 5pm (last entry at 4pm)
Cost Garden entrance: R10 (weekdays), R20 (weekends & public holidays), R10 (children 0 – 12 years, weekends & public holidays)
Contact 021 863 3852, email@example.com
Where to find it Babylonstoren, Klapmuts Simondium Road, Simondium
5. 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 the 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 World of Adventure is connected to Waterworld Strand, which operates during the summer months (September to April). Children’s parties can be booked on their website.
Opening times Saturday & Sunday, 9am – 5pm
Cost R95 (children 5 – 12 years); R45 (children 1 – 4 years); R20 (adults); R25 (mini-golf)
Contact 071 355 1502, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it Root 44 market, Corner R44 and Annandale Road (between Somerset West and Stellenbosch)
6. The Animal Sanctuary
Previously known as Butterfly World, this sanctuary on Route 44 is a haven for exotic creatures, such as spiders, snakes, monkeys, meerkats, scorpions, many species of birds, and much more.
All the animals have either been donated by owners, or have been confiscated by local authorities and handed over to the sanctuary’s care. Visitors can see over 700 amazing creatures, who are now all ambassadors for their species and carry the message: Appreciate, Don’t Keep.
Why they’ll love it It’s a chance to see a diverse array of exotic creatures up close, and in some cases, visitors will be able to interact with them.
Good to know There’s a family restaurant on-site, called The Green Lemur, where visitors can relax after viewing the animals.
Opening times Daily, 9am – 5pm
Cost R88 (adults); R49 (children); R79 (students and pensioners); R225 (two adults and two children); free (children 0 – 3 years)
Contact 021 875 5628, email@example.com
Where to find it Route 44, Stellenbosch (two minutes off the Klapmuts turnoff)
7. 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, and more!
Why they’ll love it With so much on offer, your children will not be left sitting still for one second!
Opening times Saturday & Sunday, public & school holidays, 10am – 6pm;
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 year-round
Cost R180 (Wild Waters) R110 (Wild Waters after 2.30pm); R125 (two-hour jump session or pump track and mountain-biking); R30 (jump sox); R50 (one-hour bike and scooter hire)
Contact 065 820 2737, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it Wiesenhof Adventure Park, off the R44, North of Stellenbosch
8. Kid’s Yoga at Lourensford Wine Estate
Picturesque Lourensford Wine Estate is where you’ll find the Life Retreat Studio, which offers yoga classes and health treatments amid the serene beauty of the vineyards. There are sessions for children between 6 and 12 years on Saturdays, and for children between 9 and 12 on Fridays.
Why they’ll love it The kids get to enjoy a host of fun activities amidst the fresh air and vineyards, while adults are free to enjoy their own yoga sessions, the Lourensford Market, a coffee at the roastery, or breakfast at Millhouse Kitchen.
Opening times Friday, 4pm – 5pm (children 9 – 12 years)
Saturday, 8am – 9am; 9.15am – 10.15am (children 6 – 12 years)
Contact 087 195 0629, email@example.com
Where to find it Lourensford Wine Estate, Lourensford Avenue, Somerset West
9. 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 and, of course, 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
Closed on Christmas Day and 31 December
Occasionally closes early on Boxing Day (phone ahead to confirm)
Cost R55 (adults); R35 (children, 2 – 15 years); R35 (seniors)
Please note Payment in cash only.
Contact 021 884 4506, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it R101 (towards Paarl), via N1, R304
10. 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 in the spacious kiddies’ play area. Plus, there’s a lawn for enjoying picnics.
Why they’ll love it Children love to watch reptiles wriggle and crawl. There’s also a catch-and-release fishing dam, as well as informative and interactive guided tours.
Opening times Daily, 9am – 5pm
Cost R66 (adults); R40 (children); R92 (adults, crocodile and snake park combo); R58 (children, crocodile and snake park combo)
Tours occur every 45 minutes
Contact 021 863 1142, email@example.com
Where to find it LeBonheur Adventures, Babylonstoren Road, Paarl
11. 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 R20) 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! In addition to alpacas, the farm has some donkeys and even a llama. There’s also a petting zoo and a jungle gym.
Good to know The alpaca Loom offers informative barn tours three times a day, as well as alpaca walks, where you can put a leash on an alpaca and take it on a stroll through the countryside. Note that the alpaca walks are by appointment only.
Opening times Daily, 10am – 6pm;
Daily 11am, 1pm, 3pm (alpaca Barn Tours)
R150 (alpaca walk, by appointment only)
Cost R80 (tours for adults); R60 (pensioners) R50 (children under 18); Free (children under 3)
Contact 021 863 2495 / 084 793 3666 (Dietmar) / 084 425 5535 (Kerstin), firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it The Alpaca Loom Coffee Shop and Weaving Studio, Suid-Agter-Paarl Road, Southern Paarl
12. 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 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.
Duck parade times Daily, 10.30am, 12.30pm & 3.30pm
R15 (bag of feed to feed the ducks)
Important note Vergenoegd is currently under renovation, so the duck parade is on pause for the time-being. It will return on 27 September 2019
Contact 021 843 3248, email@example.com
Where to find it Vergenoegd Löw Wine Estate, Baden Powell Drive, Faure, Stellenbosch
13. Art Classes at the Barn Artist’s Studio
There’s no better way to get your little one’s creative juices flowing than with an art class. This studio at Fairview is where trained artist, Fern Mocke, provides creative art sessions for kids, allowing them to express their imagination through the canvas.
Why they’ll love it It’s fun and creative, plus they get to leave with their very own masterpiece.
Opening times Daily, 11.30am – 4.30pm
Please note Suitable for children seven years and older.
Cost R140 (90-minute session with canvas or ceramics); R40 (create a spin art card)
Contact 021 863 2450 or 082 313 0712, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it Fairview Wine Estate, Suid-Agter Paarl Road, Paarl
14. Drakenstein Lion Park
Located in the winelands, this sanctuary for lions in distress was established to help them recover and give them a peaceful home for life. It is the largest genuine sanctuary in the Western Cape and also home to the rare white lion.
Why they’ll love itspi Other than meeting the King of the Jungle, kids also have the opportunity to “adopt” a lion for R84 per month (R1 000 per year), which is used for veterinary, housing and food costs. The lions’ feeding time – 4pm on Monday, Wednesday and Friday – is a visual experience.
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 Daily, 9.30am – 5pm (Lion Sanctuary)
Daily, 9.30am – 4.30pm (Chimp Haven)
Cost R70 (adults, one facility); R100 (adults, both facilities); R40 (children, one facility); R60 (children, both facilities)
Contact 021 8633290, email@example.com
Where to find it Drakenstein Lion Park, Old Paarl Road, R101, Suider-Paarl, Western Cape
15. Klondyke Cherry Farm
Cherry-picking on this working farm, where pears and apples are grown, too, happens during summer (November to January). Make a day of it by packing a picnic, or bringing along meat to braai (there’s a dedicated braai area).
Why they’ll love it They get to roam free in the great outdoors, then enjoy the “fruits of their labour” under the cool shade of a pine tree.
Good to know If you arrive before 10am, you’ll receive a R10 discount off your entrance fee. As if picking fresh cherries for breakfast wasn’t appealing enough already!
Opening times Daily, 8.30am – 4pm (November – end-December)
Cost R30 (adults, and children over 10)
R15 (children 5 – 10 years)
Free (children 0 – 5 years)
R60 per kilogram
Please note Rates for the 2019 season have not been confirmed yet.
Contact 023 312 1521, 087 550 0232, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it R46, Ceres, Western Cape
16. Carnival Area at Weltevreden Estate
The jungle gyms at the Carnival Area are described as mammoth, which is a fair assessment. Huge, brightly coloured gyms for kids to play as well as a two trampolines and a sandpit make it a kiddies’ haven. The Carnival Area also doubles as a restaurant, so parents can relax and enjoy a bite to eat while the little ones play.
Why they’ll love it Three words: build-a-pizza!
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 8am – 5pm
Where to find it Weltevreden Estate, Stellenbosch
17. Blue Rock
Blue Rock Lake in Somerset West used to be a quarry used for the building of many highways and roads up until the 1980s, until it closed and was turned into a beautiful lake. Now the perfect place for waterskiing, wakeboarding and Fufi-sliding, Blue Rock combines relaxation with fun for the whole family.
Why they’ll love it Kids will be spoilt for choice between the shallow waters on Badi Beach and the playground. They can also go Fufi-sliding, stand-up paddleboarding or canoeing (with the permission of their guardians).
Opening times Mid-September – November: Tuesday – Sunday, 8am – 6pm
December – January: Monday – Sunday, 8am – 6pm
Cost R55 (adults), R60 (adults December – January)
R45 (6 – 16), R50 (6 – 16, December – January)
R35 (0 – 6), R40 (0 – 6, December – January)
Contact 021 858 1330, email@example.com
Where to find it Blue Rock Resort, Sir Lowry’s Pass Road, Somerset West
18. Goatshed Restaurant at Fairview
This relaxed country-style eatery is ideal for family outings, especially laidback Sunday lunches. Adults can enjoy the farm-to-table offerings for breakfast and lunch, while kiddies can tuck into macaroni with Fairview cheese, and homemade chocolate-chip cookies with milk.
Why they’ll love it The nearby Goat Tower is home to Fairview’s furry mascots, who are responsible for the estate’s excellent cheeses. The goats are free to roam their spacious paddock, which includes the iconic tower, and a bridge that arches over the pathway leading to the restaurant. The goats do quite like to explore, and children are free to pet and hug them.
Opening times Daily, 9am – 5pm
Contact 021 863 3609, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find Fairview Wine and Cheese, Suid-Agter-Paarl Road, Suider-Paarl
Book through DinePlan
19. Spier Wine Farm
Ducks paddle along a peaceful stream surrounded by lush lawns on this family-friendly farm, making it perfect for a family outing. Enjoy a picnic in the shade on the Werf lawn, or a hearty country lunch at Vadas Smokehouse & Bakery.
Why they’ll love it Spier Wine Farm has a host of child-friendly activities, including Eagle Encounters, where these birds of prey are rehabilitated before being released back into the wild; and the segway tours, where kids explore the vineyards on two-wheeled battery powered vehicles.
Opening times Daily, 9am – 6pm (Spier Segway Tour)
Daily, 9.30am – 5pm (Eagle Encounters)
Cost R375 (1 Hour Segway Tour)
R575 (2 Hour Segway Tour)
R700 (Sunset Spier Segway Tour)
R65 – R80 (Eagle Encounters)
Contact 021 809 1100, email@example.com (Spier Wine Farm)
021 809 1157 (Spier Segway Tour); 021 858 1826 (Eagle Encounters)
Where to find it Baden Powell Drive (R310), Lynedoch, Stellenbosch
1 Hour Segway Tour
2 Hour Segway Tour
20. Bike Park at Bloemendal
Situated on the beautiful Bloemendal Wine Estate in Durbanville, this expansive bike park caters to all ages, with a network of mountain-biking trails suitable for professionals, and tracks specially designed for young children.
Why they’ll love it There’s even a YBike trail for kids on pedal bikes, and a party venue where Biosport provides boerewors rolls, hamburgers and drinks on request.
Good to know While you’re at Bloemendal, enjoy a meal at Bon Amis Restaurant, which has a great kiddies’ menu with puzzles and fun games to keep the little ones mentally stimulated, along with expansive lawns and an outdoor playground.
Opening times Daily, 8am – 5pm (closed on public holidays)
Cost R30 (children under 18); R50 (adults); free (Tygerberg Mountain Bike members)
Permits and bike rentals can be obtained Biosport in the bike park.
Contact 021 976 2682, Info@bonamis.co.za
Where to find it Bloemendal Wine Estate, M13 Tygervalley Road, Durbanville
Book through DinePlan
21. Blaauwklippen Market
Situated on the R44 between Stellenbosch and Somerset West, the Blaauwklippen Family Market is a wonderfully relaxing way to spend your Sunday. The small producers’ section, situated in an old farm building, is a great place to stock up on charcuterie, olives, cheese and freshly baked breads, while there are plenty of craft, fashion, jewellery and lifestyle stalls outdoors – and more food stalls.
Outdoors under the trees are long rows of tables, but seating is limited, so it’s advisable to get there early. If you don’t get a table, there is a large grassy spot with ample space for you to relax and enjoy a lazy Sunday picnic.
Why they’ll love it Your children will have loads to keep them entertained: pony rides, Zorb balls, soccer darts, jumping castles, pedal carts, and friendly goats to pet and feed. Add to that, the market is dog-friendly.
Opening times Sunday, 10am – 3pm (year-round)
Cost Free entry
Contact 084 608 6325, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it Blaauwklippen Wine Estate, Strand Road, Stellenbosch
Research by Matthew Flax, Hannah Littlewood, Bianca Hausle, Annabel Short
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