If you couldn’t be less enthusiastic about spending the summer sitting around and waiting while your kids tear around a playground, then it’s time to rethink your holiday itinerary. Cape Town is bursting at the seams with fun attractions and activities that appeal to people of all ages and will keep the whole family (kids and parents) active, engaged, and having loads of fun. Let’s take a look…
Rush Indoor Trampoline Park, Claremont
Test the bounds of gravity without fear in this 30,000-square foot facility that features wall-to-wall, interconnected trampolines, a battle beam, a huge foam pit, three basketball slam dunk lanes, and, for the older kids, two dodge ball courts. Rush Indoor Trampoline Park is extreme fun and an incredible workout for the entire family. To keep toddlers safe, the park dedicates the hours between 10:00 and 11:00 (Monday to Thursday) and 9:00 and 10:00 (Fridays to Sundays) to the little ones and their siblings.
Where: Stadium on Main, 104 Main Road, Claremont, Cape Town
Opening Times: Monday to Thursday (10:00 to 21:00), Friday to Saturday (09:00 to 22:00), Sunday (9:00 to 20:00)
Cost: R115 for a standard, 1-hour jump session. See full pricing information.
Contact: 021 683 3841, 073 690 4766, email@example.com
The need for speed is an affliction that hits hard during childhood and while it might fade with age, it only takes one lap in a go-kart at the Kenilworth racetrack to bring it screaming back to life. A ticket gets racers 10 laps around the 310-meter course and a lifetime of adoration from your kids (and husband). There are lightweight 140cc vehicles and a junior track specifically for younger racers (shorter than 1.5 meters) so you can rest assured that they’ll be safe.
Where: 10 Myhoff Road, Claremont, Cape Town
Opening Times: Sunday to Thursday (09:00 to 21:00), Friday and Saturday (09:00 to 23:00)
Cost: Arrive and Drive pricing, Pre- and Group booking pricing
Contact: 021 683 2670, firstname.lastname@example.org
Two Oceans Aquarium, V&A Waterfront
Explore the diverse ocean life that proliferates in the fertile waters around the southern African coast. The Two Oceans Aquarium is home to a fantastic and colourful array of ocean fish, crustaceans, sharks, mammals, oddities, and sea squishies. Children will love the touch pool where they can feel and hold colourful ocean critters like starfish, hermit crabs, and anemones, while adults can enjoy the tranquillity and enchantment of the underwater worlds.
Where: Dock Road, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town
Opening Times: Monday to Sunday (09:30 to 18:00)
Cost: Purchased online, R149 for adults (special rate). See full pricing information here
Contact: 021 418 3823, email@example.com
Ratanga Junction, Century City
With over 25 exhilarating rides and attractions catering to every adrenalin tolerance level, Ratanga Junction has, for two decades, been the summertime go-to attraction for families. The theme park is huge and a full day’s worth of fun, games, adrenalin-spiking rides, and food (best enjoyed in that order). Sadly, Ratanga Junction has done its run and is set to close its doors for good in May 2018 so get in now to benefit from their closing specials!
Where: Century Blvd, Century City, Cape Town (you can’t miss it!)
Opening Times: Monday to Sunday (10:00 to 17:00)
Cost: Full adventurer ticket costs R179 but from 24th November 2017 to 16th January 2018 they’re running a closing special starting at R50.
Contact: 021 550 8504, firstname.lastname@example.org
Cape Town Science Centre, Observatory
Expose your children to the fascinating realm of science from an early age and open their minds to its fathomless fields of wonder. You might even learn something in the process too! The Cape Town Science Centre is a not-for-profit attraction that offers up a smorgasbord of exhibitions, awesome experiments, and interactive discoveries to keep the whole family delighted and engaged. They also run workshops and science camps over the school holidays and during winter.
Where: 370B Main Road, Observatory, Cape Town
Opening Times: Mondays to Saturdays (9:00 to 16:30), Sundays and public holidays (10:00 to 16:30)
Cost: R38 per person; R33 per person for groups of 10+ that pay in advance.
Contact: 021 300 3200, email@example.com
Iziko Museum Planetarium, City Centre
There’s nothing quite as magical as sitting underneath a canopy full of stars. Now, with the Iziko Planetarium having recently upgraded its celestial theatre, families can enjoy this spectacular show in all its high resolution, digital splendour! The new Digital Dome is the most advanced on the African continent and with a variety of shows about the constellations, planets, meteorites, solar system, zodiac, and more, it makes for an awesome educational experience for the whole family.
Where: 25 Queen Victoria Street, Cape Town
Opening Times: Shows take place daily (Monday to Friday) at 14:00 and on weekends at 12:00 (children), 13:00, and 14:30. The Planetarium is closed on the first Monday of every month (except on school holidays)
Cost: R60 for adults over 18; R30 for students, pensioners, and children
Contact: 021 481 3900
School of Rock Cape Town, Claremont
If there were one skill virtually no one would turn down, it would be the ability to make music. Now, with the School of Rock opening its doors in Cape Town, the entire family can sign up for a totally rockin’ adventure that will put an instrument in their hands and a stage under their feet to experience a thrill that very few ever get to. There are a variety of performance-based courses, programmes, and camps to choose from (depending on age and experience) but the goal is the same: “to inspire the world to rock on stage and in life.”
Where: Suite 202, 2nd Floor Standard Bank Galleria, 120 Main Road, Claremont
Opening Times: Monday to Friday (09:00 to 20:00); Saturday (09:00 to 15:00)
Cost: View course schedule and pricing here
Contact: 021 671 9580
Butterfly World, Cape Winelands
Butterfly World is a lush and tranquil sanctuary for a kaleidoscopic legion of butterflies from all over the world. This Cape Winelands attraction also maintains a bird sanctuary, a hair-raising arachnid exhibit (spiders and scorpions), the rather gruesome yet interesting Road Kill Skeleton Park, and daily animal shows. Afterwards, visitors can sit down at the delightful tea garden or stock up on padkos at their farm stall: you are in the Cape Winelands after all.
Where: R44, Klapmuts, Cape Town
Opening Times: Monday to Sunday (09:00 to 17:00)
Cost: R88 for adults; R49 for children; R79 for students and pensioners; R225 for two adults and two children
Contact: 021 875 5628
The Ice Station at Grand West Casino
It may be 30 degrees outside and the summertime southeaster might be giving the Cape one heck of a kicking, but inside the cool, grandiose interior of the Ice Station at Grand West Casino, it’s winter all year round! Here, people of all ages and levels of experience can rent skates and hit the ice. If you’re not up for it, being a spectator is extraordinarily entertaining given the number of first-timers on the ice on any given day. There’s also a mini-rink for very young kids, which keeps them safe and out of the way of those clumsy first-timers.
Where: Grand West Casino, 1 Jakes Gerwel Drive, Acacia Park, Cape Town
Cost: Depending on time, a single ticket price with skate rental is in the R45 to R55 price range. View the summer holiday schedule and pricing
Contact: 021 535 2260
The Scratch Patch, V&A Waterfront
The Scratch Patch is a total gem (pun intended) tucked away across the road from the V&A Waterfront’s revamped warehouse district, although the original is in Simon’s Town. With shimmering glass cases full of glittering crystals, colourful rock specimens, and jewellery and a veritable treasure of polished semi-precious stones on the floor of the Scratch Patch den, any self-respecting adventurer could keep busy for hours!
Where: 1 Dock Road, V & A Waterfront, Cape Town
Opening Times: Monday to Sunday (09:00 to 18:00)
Cost: Entry to Mineral World is free, but it costs between R17 and R95 to fill a small to large bag up with pebbles from the Scratch Patch
Contact: 021 419 9429; firstname.lastname@example.org
Cave Golf, V&A Waterfront
Literally right next door to the Scratch Patch is the aptly named Cave Golf: an 18-hole indoor putt-putt course located in a moodily-lit room that’s been elaborately done up as a cave, complete with running streams and low-hanging rock ceilings (in places). It’s deceptively tricky at times, making it a decent challenge for the whole family.
Where: 1 Dock Road, V & A Waterfront, Cape Town
Opening Times: Monday to Sunday (09:00 to 18:00). The last round of golf starts at 16:30
Cost: R20 per person with a R20 deposit for your club
Contact: 021 419 9429; email@example.com
The Company’s Garden, City Centre
Originally established in the 1600’s as a supply station for the Dutch East India Company ships that were travelling to Asia, the Company Gardens is one of the Cape’s most historic sites. Today it is a lush and manicured collection of lawns, rose gardens, garden walks, bird aviaries, fountains, historic statues, and tree-lined avenues right in the heart of Cape Town’s city centre. It’s a fantastic place to take the family for a walk and a picnic on one of the lawns. Bring peanuts for the squirrels: they’re tame and will eat right out of your hand!
Where: 19 Queen Victoria Street, Cape Town City Centre
Opening Times: Open daily from 07:30 to 20:30 in summer and 07:00 to 19:00 in winter.
Contact: 021 444 1901
World of Birds, Hout Bay
The World of Birds is a long-standing bird sanctuary in the charming valley suburb of Hout Bay. Families can quite easily whittle away a whole day perusing the extensive series of walk-through aviaries and enclosures that house an incredible variety of local and exotic bird species, including sleepy owls, magnificent raptors, quirky ostriches, raucous parrots, and a colourful flock of flamingos. There are also a collection of small mammals and monkeys. The World of Birds is dedicated to the rehabilitation of injured and sick birds, as well as conservation outside of the park so your entry fee goes towards a good cause!
Where: 4914 Valley Road, Hout Bay, Cape Town
Opening Times: Open all year round (09:00 to 17:00)
Cost: R120 for adults, R45 for children, and R75 for students and pensioners
Contact: 021 790 2730, firstname.lastname@example.org
Strawberry Picking at Mooiberge Farmstall, Stellenbosch
Located in the heart of the Stellenbosch Wine Route – and adjacent to a collection of wine farms – the Mooiberge Strawberry Farm is a lovely outdoor family destination. From October to December every year, the strawberries ripen and are available for picking by the public. After filling your box, you can head over to the restaurant and farmstall for lunch, or even swing by one of the neighbouring wine estates where mother can have a well-deserved glass of wine while dad plays designated driver.
Where: R44, Between Stellenbosch and Somerset West, Cape Winelands
Opening Times: December school holidays (09:30 and 16:30)
Cost: R10 per person; R35 per kilogram of strawberries picked
Contact: 021 881 3222