Cape Town Activities for Families with Children
Everyone loves to go to the beach on sunny days - so get out early before the heat and the crowds build up so you can secure a good spot. There are many options to choose from but smaller bays such as Bakoven, Boulders and St James are local family favourites. There is also a tidal pool at St James.
Boulders Beach Picnic and Penguin Colony
Situated near Simon's Town, Boulders Beach is a protected spot with coves and interesting stone boulders. Kids love the gentle movement of the water and parents love the scenic surroundings. You can also view the wonderful Penguin Colony in the next cove along and pop in to the visitor centre.
Oude Molen Horse-Riding
Oude Molen is an eco-village on the fringes of the city. There is a lovely cafe with locally grown organic produce that you can purchase, arts and crafts to look at plus horse-riding and pony rides at the stables. The rides take place within the Two Rivers Urban Park in Pinelands.
Enjoy snow free tobogganing on a 1.25km winding metal track and reach speeds of up to 40km per hour - it's a hit with kids and adults alike. There all sorts of ticket options including family combos and unlimited ride passes. This is the only track of its kind in South Africa and you'll find it in Tyger Valley.
Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens is a spectacular setting for picnics, sumptuous teas and mouth-watering meals. Your kids will have the time of their lives running off some energy on the grass, pottering around in the streams and climbing trees. There is also a lovely shop selling all kinds of interesting items to beautify your home or those of family and friends.
Family Quad Biking
There are a number of options to choose from. You could go quading in the winelands or in a forest, through a wildlife area or on the sand dunes. You'll get instruction and gear and the tours are led by experienced field guides. The bikes are user friendly and comfortable for all ages.
For those who long for a day out with children in the winelands, a top favourite is Spier Wine Estate in Stellenbosch which offers picnic areas by the river and dam, delectable farm foods, wine tasting and walks, a Cheetah and Raptor centre, a restaurant and an arts and craft market.
This theme park next to Canal Walk Shopping Centre is a major attraction during South African school holidays and over long weekends. There are 30 attractions in all and 23 types of rides to enjoy from thrill seeking to the less adventurous. Non-riders can relax on boat and train rides and investigate the live entertainment.
Two Oceans Aquarium
This family favourite is located in the V&A Waterfront, so a great day out can be had enjoying all the attractions here. The aquarium has many interesting displays including a touch pond and an underwater passage. Penguin feeding starts at 11h30 and predator feeding times occur at 15h00 on a daily basis.
There is a Scratch Patch with Cave Golf in the V&A Waterfront opposite the aquarium, and another venue located in historic Simon's Town. Let your kids sit amongst the pretty stones and sort through a huge array of tumble polished minerals and semi-precious stones for their take-away bags, while you browse in the shop for stunning mementos, jewellery and art pieces.
MTN Science Centre
This excellent centre in Observatory is a revelation for curious kids. There are many exciting and interactive displays for all ages. There is an indoor and outdoor area, a cafe and various changing exhibits. Holiday programmes are a treat and there is always something new and interesting to investigate.
Indoor Rock Climbing
CityROCK in Observatory has excellent facilities and is a great spot for active kids and adults. You can get geared up and receive qualified instruction on climbing while in a safety harness - it's a lot of fun for children 5 years and older. Non-climbers can enjoy a yoga session instead.
Toys and Teddy Bears
Simon's town is the place to go in order to visit the Warrior Toy Museum for excellent displays of model boats, ships, trains (also functioning tracks), aeroplanes, Meccano and Dinky toys. There are also about 500 teddy bears and dolls as well as dolls houses.
The iziko Planetarium at the South African Museum in Gardens is an interesting attraction for your family including the teenagers. Sound and light shows suited to different ages and interests are offered all year with additional features during the South African school holidays. You recline in comfortable armchairs and look up at the domed ceiling during the show - afterwards you can visit the cafe.