78 Things to do with your kids in Cape Town this winter

78 Things to do with your kids in Cape Town this winter

With the school holidays coming up, we know you’re going to be looking for things to keep the little ones busy. Here’s a list of 78 things to do. Why didn’t we just make it 80…or a 100? We like 78 – it has a nice ring to it and if we filled all the gaps, there won’t be place for your suggestions. If we added random things like ‘go to gym and leave your kids with the caregiver’ and ‘eat at so-and-so restaurant with a kids’ play area’, this list will go on forever. So this is a comprehensive guide to fun things to do with the kids over the school holidays that happens to be in winter.

1. Cape Point Kids’ Special
1 June – 31 July 2016
Obviously, before you do anything else, take advantage of the Cape Point kids’ winter deal. Two kids (aged 6 -16) ride free on the Flying Dutchman Funicular when an adult return ticket is bought, and if you pop into the Lighthouse 5 store or the Logo Store you’ll receive a free Cape Point placemat and coaster set with every purchase over R400.  At the Two Oceans Restaurant you can order any main meal and utter the phrase ‘Kids Meal Deal’ to the waiter and you’ll receive one free kiddies meal (sit-down only). Tickets for adults are R58pp.

2.Groot Constantia juice tasting
Take the whole family to the Groot Constantia Estate for a cellar tour where you can learn about the wine-making process, and kids can do juice tasting while you taste award-winning wines. R19 for 8 – 18 years old. More information on the Groot Constantia site.

3.Kirstenbosch winter programme
25 June – 17 July 2016
Children 17 and under get free access to the garden during the school holidays. There’s a winter programme that includes family treasure hunts and waste-art workshops. Email s.hey@sanbi.org.za to book. More information on the Sanbi site. Adults pay R55pp for entry

4.Cooking for kids
From 27 June 2016
Tots n Pots in Constantia offers themed holiday workshops created to teach kids baking, cooking and food preparation. It’s a hands-on experience that’s educational and entertaining at the same time. Kids can expect to make (depending on the class booked) apple Danishes, quiche, brownies and more. Classes are R90pp per class (1 hour) and R180 per workshop (2.5hours). For info visit the Tots n Pots page and for the programme and pricing see their Facebook page

5.Table Mountain winter special
1 May – 30 September 2016
Two kids ride the cableway for free with every adult who has purchased a return ticket. Kids also receive a treasure-hunt map and sweet treat at both the Shop at the Top and the Table Mountain Cafe. Return tickets for adults are R240pp. See more at Table Mountain’s site

6. Robin Hood at Canal Walk
24 June – 16 July 2016
The Centre Court at Canal Walk Shopping Centre will be transformed into Sherwood Forest and Nottingham Castle for an exciting Robin Hood Production by Fred Abrahamse and Marcel Meyer. Tickets are R75pp at Computicket

7.Dora the Explorer at Grand West
15 – 17 July 2016
It’s time, amigos! Join Dora and friends as they embark on a trip to Treasure Island where kids will use map-reading, counting, singing and other skills to help Dora find her destination. Tickets from R185pp and R525pp to meet and greet Dora. Book at Computicket

8.City Walk Saturdays
16 July 2016
You can do this walk whenever you feel like it but the Saturday walks are usually accompanied by interesting installations or performances so it’s a bit more interactive. It’s a fun way to get out and explore the city…and keep fit. The walks are free. For more information visit the Cape Town Partnership site.

9.Snow World Wonderland at Grand West
1 May – 31 July
There’s an indoor snow slope, toboggan slides, a snow play area and an ice bar and lounge. Kids will also enjoy the Ice Age exhibition and the Alpine-themed eating area. Tickets are from R50pp (non-rider) and go up to R140pp depending on the package you choose. The cheapest rider ticket is R60pp Book at Webtickets

10.Winter Wonderland in Gordons Bay
24 June – 18 July
Look out for the two carnivals (24-26 June and 1-3 July) during this festival of lights. There’ll be markets, a parade and events and specials at various locations in Gordons Bay, with the main events happening at the Carnival Park. There’s no entry fee. For more information, visit the Winter Wonderland site

11.Movies for kids
Finding Dory opens in theatres on 16 June and The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles starts 1 July. Also look out for The BFG (Big Friendly Giant) that day. Ticket prices vary but make use of discounts like half-price Tuesday, Wednesday deals, Edgars Club Card, Discovery, Clicks Clubcard and Momentum Multipy – all offering  discounts at Ster-Kinekor or NuMetro.

12.Disney on Ice at Grand West
6 – 10 July 2016
This family favourite brings kids’ favourite heroes back to town – there’s Buzz Lightyear and the Toy Story crew, the Frozen cast, Cars and loads more. Tickets from R150pp at Computicket

13.Live Action Escape Games
Hint Hunt in Woodstock and Escapetrix in Paarl offer a similar gaming experience. Basically, you and your team mates get trapped in a room filled with riddles, puzzles and mysteries and you have a certain amount of time to work your way through all of them so that you can get out of the room. It’s more suited to older kids and guaranteed to be fun for all. Tickets from R200pp (Hint Hunt) and from R130pp (Escapetrix)

14.Beach Cleanup
2 July 2016
This is a fun way to get the kids out and doing something good for the environment.  Beach cleanups happen on the first Saturday of every month. Check for a cleanup near you and look out for the blue or green banners on the beach. Dirt bags and gloves are provided. For more information visit cleanc.co.za

15.Noddy at the Artscape
27 June – 9 July 2016
Join in the fun as Noddy and friends take to the stage and have a series of adventures in Toyland. Before the show there will be face painting, puzzles, bike-riding, colouring and play tents. Tickets are R60pp at Computicket

16.Reptile Garden at the Waterfront
18 June – 18 July 2016
Apart from having a crazy picture taken with boa snakes, kids can learn about reptiles in the pop-up lab, films and live shows at the Watershed.
Tickets are R50pp at Webtickets or at the door.

17.Promenade Mondays
This is a weekly social gathering for sunset rollerskating, rollerblading, skateboarding and BMXing on Sea Point promenade. It’s a free event. Meet at the Queens Beach parking lot at 6pm on a Monday. See Promenade Mondays  for updates.

18.Children’s Magic Festival
29 June – 2 July 2016
An annual magic show by the students and graduates of the College of Magic where kids and parents are treated to juggling, magic, comedy miming and escapology – plus, everyone gets  a goody bag. Tickets are R80pp at Quicket

19. Fabric Painting Workshop
25 June 2016
A two-hour (8:45am – 10:45am) fabric painting class for kids and parents. Learn the art and leave with your masterpiece. R40pp includes the kit. Book at wendyadriaan@telkomsa.net

20.Ratanga Junction July Jol
8 – 17 July 2016
Prices are slashed for this limited period so make sure not to miss out on the winter madness. Tickets are R95 for a full rider (taller than 1.3m), R45 for a mini rider (less that 1.3m tall) or a fun pass (no rides). www.ratanga.co.za

Check your local library for their holiday programmes. Pinelands Library, for example, has a reading club, craft class, puppet shows and a regular story-telling session on Fridays from 2:30pm to 3:15pm. The Book Lounge in the CBD has a book launch and reading of Savannah’s Magical Tutu on 25 June at 11am, otherwise readings are usually every  Saturday at 11am. Readings are free at The Book Lounge but confirm your attendance on tel 021-462-2425

22.The floating bookfair at the Waterfront
24 June – 11 July 2016
The world’s largest floating book fair hits our shores with interactive events onboard and a chance to meet the volunteer crew  and browse  from a collection of over 5000 books. Entry is R5pp –  children under 12 enter for free, but must be accompanied by an adult. See more at the Logos Hope event page.

23.Butterfly World in Klapmuts
Not only can you see beautiful butterflies in this tropical garden, but also spiders and scorpions up close. There’s also a meerkat enclosure, free-range ducks, chicken and goats that kids can feed. Entry is R72pp for adults and R41pp for kids. Kids under three free and various discounts are available. See Butterfly World for more.

24.Clay Cafe in Hout Bay
Choose from a selection of unglazed clay items and spend the day painting your bowl, plate, mug, minion figurine or whichever item you chose. Once done, leave it at Clay Cafe for glazing and firing and collect your creation two weeks later. A standard studio fee of R35pp applies (this includes the use of three paints). Items to paint ranges from R20 to R250 depending on the shape and size. See more at Clay Cafe.

25.Rugbytots at the Waterfront
4 July – 15 July 2016
This is a great way to introduce your little one to the world of rugby – fun, informative play sessions teach the kids how to catch, pass, kick, run with the ball and be a part of a team. Classes are R60 pp or R300 per week. Check the Rugbytots site for more.

26.Go-karting at Kenilworth Karting
This is an indoor activity for older kids (taller than 1.6m), where they can race each other in a high-speed, safe environment. Adults are R120pp (10 laps) and kids are R110pp. See Kenilworth Karting’s site for more.

27.Scootours mountainbiking
Hop on a non-motorised scooter and free wheel a five-kilometre track from Signal Hill Into Bo-Kaap, then you’ll get taken to Table Mountain for a trek on a single track. Kids under 10 ride with mom or dad and older kids can ride on their own. Driver tickets are R450pp and junior passengers pay R250pp. scootours.co.za

28.Trampoline jumping
A fairly new craze in Cape Town has people jumping for joy. The trampoline park consists of wall-to-wall trampolines so you can bounce around pretty much all over. There are two venues in Cape Town – Rush SA in Claremont and Jump Around in Paarden Eiland – and they each have various pricing structures. Kids sessions from R100pp

29.Laser tag at Battlefield Live SA
The best way to do this is to get together a group of 20 kids and book a laser tag event. The winter special is R3300 for the group – that’s R135pp. It’s like paintball but without the pain. Kids over 7 can play and games go ahead in any weather (special ponchos provided if it’s raining). www.battlefieldlive.co.za

30.The Wizard of Oz at the Playhouse Theatre
15 June – 2 July 2016
Follow the yellow brick road to this entertaining interpretation of the all-time classic that features the Tin Man, Lion, Scarecrow, Dorothy and Toto. Tickets are R120pp at Computicket

31.Juice tasting at Spier
This is a clever way to keep the children busy while you do your own tasting. They get to taste three grape juices and get an educational activity sheet. Kids tasting is R35pp at Spier

32.Ten Pin Bowling
You can either play at Stadium on Main (closed for renovations at the time this was written), Grand West Casino or Canal Walk. This is a great activity for a group of friends.

33.Rainbow Puppet Theatre in Constantia
This is the only permanent puppet  theatre in South Africa and it’s been running shows every Saturday (10am to 11:15am) for 24 years. The June show features Mother Holle (OR Old Mother Frost). Tickets are R25 at the door. For more information visit their Facebook page.

34.Innovation Station at the Waterfront
25 June – 10 July 2016
Bring  the kids to the Centre Court where this pop-up area will encourage kids to explore, solve problems and exercise their inventive side. Entry is R20pp at the Innovation Station entrance.

35.The Planetarium
There are regular shows to introduce children of all ages to astronomy, like Davy Dragon’s Guide to the Night Sky and The Sky Tonight, and there’s also a permanent meteorite exhibition. Entry is R40pp and R20pp for children and pensioners. See more at the Planetarium site.

36.Cape Town Science Centre winter programme
24 June – 17 July 2016
The winter holiday programme consists of daily workshops, bingo evening, Let’s Play science games, maker workshops, winter science camp, daily science shows, camera obscura tours and loads more. Entry is R50pp and R180 for a family of four. Tickets at Webtickets

37.Cave Golf at the Waterfront
This is an indoor 18-hole putt-putt course inside a man-made cave and is a great alternative to the Moulle Point putt-putt course if the weather’s bad. Entry is R15pp.

38.World of Birds in Hout Bay
It’s the largest bird park in Africa, with over 400 bird species in 100 aviaries. There’s a playground for kids, a cafe for light meals and a curio shop. Entry is R95pp and R45 for kids. Visit the World of Birds site for more info.

39.Museum Night at the Waterfront
14 July 2016
A moonlit way to discover the museums of the Waterfront for free between 5pm and 9pm. What’s more, is that the Aquarium entry fee is slashed to half-price for the evening.
Free Entry. For more information visit the Museum Night page.

40.Two Oceans Aquarium
Apart from the usual exhibits, you can now also see the brand-new I&J Ocean Exhibits (opened 16 June 2016).  Plus here’s a nice-to-know for you: visit on the night of 14 July (Museum Night) and entry is half-price 5pm-9pm. Entry is R135pp, R100 for kids (14-17 years) and R65 for kids 4-13 years old. Visit the Aquarium online

41.Intaka Island
There are boat trips, self-guided hikes and events each month. For the school holidays, look out for the sleepovers. Day visitors pay R15pp, kids pay R9 – boat rides are R45pp or R35 for kids. Watch the Intaka site for updates on events.

42.Cool Runnings Taboggan
Go sledding (without the snow) in Durbanville on one of Africa’s only toboggan tracks. It’s a fun day out and it’ll get the little one’s adrenaline pumping with speeds of up to 40 kmph. Rides are from R40pp. Check out Cool Runnings for more.

43.Harbour Cruises at the Waterfront
Opt for either an educational cruise on Tommy the Tugboat or a fun ride on the Jolly Roger pirate boat.  The educational tour includes Break Water; Seals on Wheels; Victoria & Alfred basin and Port Control – contact for pricing. For the pirate boat, tickets are normally R150pp but the winter special sees adults paying R100pp and kids R40pp. Visit Yacoob Yachts for more info.

44.Scratch Patch
Kids can either dig for gemstones at the Waterfront or Simons Town branch and walk off with their own bag of polished stones. A small bag to fill is R17 and a big tub is R95. Visit the Scratch Patch site for more.

45.Robben Island
A tour of Robben Island includes a return trip across Table Bay, a visit to the maximum security prison where former president  Nelson Mandela spent 18 years confined in a cell. A bus tour of the island is also included. Adults are R320pp and kids are R180pp. Visit the Robben Island site for more.

46.Bugz Play Park
This is an indoor and outdoor play park that provides hours of fun for kids of all ages.  There are rides, slides, play kitchens, treehouses and more. Entry is from R30 (no rides), Kids R45pp. Rides average R10 each. Visit Bugz Play Park for more.

47.Art Jamming holiday workshops
27 June – 8 July 2016
At Art Jamming you get creative with your own canvas and an array of paint colours. There’s a holiday workshop that includes messy play and music; Crumbs & Cream and artjamming; and a colouring in workshop. From R165pp depending on the workshop.  See the Art Jamming site for details

48.Springbok Experience Rugby Museum
Kids don’t have to be rugby buffs to enjoy this experience. There are interactive games, audio visual displays and a shop with Springbok memorabilia. It’s suitable for al ages and even parents can learn a thing or two. Hot tip: go on Museum Night for free entry. Tickets are R65pp, kids (6-18) are R40, under 5s are free. Check the SA Rugby site for more.

49.Imhoff Farm
A firm favourite with loads for kids to do, Imhoff offers camel rides, cart rides, face painting, a farmyard, horseriding, a maze world, paintballing and a snake park. There are also coffee shops to keep the folks entertained while the kids have fun. Check the Imhoff site for rates and more info

50.Drakenstein Lion Park in Paarl
This sanctuary for captive-born predators has 32 lions, two Bengal tigers and there’s a Chimp haven with five chimpanzees. It’s a great way to teach kids about the reality of captive animals and why they shouldn’t pet lion cubs. They can watch while the animals get fed, and the chimpanzee feeding time can get quite exciting. There’s also an option to overnight in a tented camp. Entry to each sanctuary is R60pp and R35 per child or buy a combo ticket for R90pp and R50 per child. More information available on the Drakenstein Lion Park site.

51.Le Bonheur Crocodile Farm in Paarl
Make a day of it at this farm where you can have picnics, do guided tours, view some of over a 1000 crocs and try catch-and-release fishing (rods for hire). More information on the Le Bonheur site.

52.Acrobranch in Constantia Nek forest
This is an outdoor activity where you go from tree to tree balancing, ziplining and testing your capabilities in mid-air. Little ones as young as three years old are catered for as well, with a suitable course with nine obstacles. Courses are from R100pp to R180 pp depending on which one you choose. More information available on the Acrobranch site.

53.Cheetah Outreach in Somerset West
This is an educational community-based programme to raise awareness of cheetahs. There are cheetahs and other small predators and day visitors can visit the site and do encounters, walks and viewing. Entry is from R5pp. More information on the Cheetah Outreach site.

54.Pump Track at the Waterfront
25 June – 17 July 2016
This track is suitable for BMX-riders, cyclers, skateboards, inline skates and scooters. All you need to do is bring your wheels and ride the track that includes ramps and other terrain. Entry is free. For more information visit the V&A Waterfront site.

55.City Sightseeing kids’ special
1 May – 9 October 2016
Two kids under 18 ride for free when one adult one-day red City Sightseeing bus or Harbour Cruise is booked. The special is valid on weekends and SA public and school holidays – SCORE! Tickets for the bus are are R170pp if you book online or R190 at the kiosk and the harbour cruise is R35pp online and R40 at the kiosk. City Sightseeing also offers free city walks daily. For more info see the City Sightseeing site.

56.The Castle of Good Hope
It’s the oldest building in South Africa! What more motivation do you need. There are guided tours daily but a real treat is the key ceremony and firing of the signal cannon Mondays to Fridays at 10am and 12pm. On Saturdays the cannon is fired at 11am and 12pm with no key ceremony. Entry is R30pp and R15 for kids. Visit the Castle of Good Hope site.

57.The Blue Train Park
Apart from the famous mini blue train, there’s the first outdoor ice rink in South Africa, a zipline, dirt bike track, an obstacle course, park rides  and more at this open-air play park. Entry is from R20pp and includes one ride. The ice rink is R30 for 30 minutes. See the Blue Train Park site for more.

58.Atlantic Steam Train
3 July and 17 Juy 2016
This one’s for the whole family – hop on the steam locomotive and relax while you get taken to the Winelands. Upcoming trips  include Spier, Vredenheim and Stellenbosch. Tour prices vary but start at R300pp and from R200 for kids. See the Atlantic Rail site for more.

59.South African Museum
If your child has never been, make a plan to take them now. The permanent exhibitions include fossils, insects and animals. The June exhibition ends on 30 July and focuses on honeybees and their importance to the environment. Entry is R30pp and kids pay R15. Kids under 5 free. Check the Iziko Musems site for more.

60.Greenpoint Urban Park
If you’re lucky to get a spot of good weather this month, spend it at this park. Have a picnic while the kids play in the park or check out the Biodiversity Garden or Labyrinth. It’s an ideal place for a family get-together or a fun day out. And best of all, it’s free. More information is available on the City of Cape Town site.

61.Action Paintball
Unfortunately kids under 11 aren’t allowed to play, but for the rest, it’s an action-packed adventure game. For a milder version of this high-paced game, try lasertag for kids under 11 but older than six. Paintball is R140pp and lasertag is R120pp. Games are at Imhoff Farm, check the Action Pursuit site for more.

62.Gazoome Play Centre in Milnerton
It’s essentially a venue where kids can play all day long (or until parents get bored ). Folks can have a coffee while watching over the kids. There’s a special from Mondays to Fridays where you pay R45 and stay as long as you like. More details available on the Gazoome site.

63.Warrior Toy Museum
If you’re spending the day in Simonstown, pop in at this museum with its display of olden-day toys. There are over 4000 model cars and other toys from yesteryear. Entry is free. For more information call  021-786-1395

64.Indoor rock-climbing
City Rock in Observatory has walls suitable for kids to test their climbing abilities and adults can have a go as well. Hang Time Gym in Pinelands and Bellville offers kids parties as well. Prices from R80pp.

65.Learn to surf
It may be freezing, but with the right gear (provided) and good waves, it’ll be the most fun a kid’ll have in an hour (with time to practice after). There are various service providers at Muizenberg, including Gary’s Surf School and Surf Shack. Lessons from R250 per child depending on the number of kids (hour lesson)

66.Cycle the promenade
Hire a bike (helmet included) for an hour or more and cycle along the Atlantic Ocean with its memorable sunsets. Hot tip: if it’s your birthday your first hour is free (ID required). Child seats are available at R50 each. Or simply bring your own bike and enjoy the ride. Bike hire is R60 for an hour, R90 for two and R120 for three. More prices and specials on the Upcycle site.

67.Blue Rock
This one’s weather dependent but on a good day, it’s bound to be one fun day. There’s cableskiing, paintball, a fufi slide and various braai and picnic spots. Entrance is from R50pp, under 16s R40 and kids under six R30. Various activities charged separately – it can become costly so visit the Blue Rock site before going.

68.Monkey Town
This primate centre is home to more than 200 animals and there’s also a reptile garden. Kids are encouraged to bring veggies from home to feed some of the monkeys, and the weather’s good, kids can take a dip in the pool (charged separately). Entry is R85pp, Pensioners and teens R70pp, kids 3-12 years R50 and younger children R25 each. Reptile Park charged separately. Combo deals available. Check the Monkey Town site for more info.

69.Planet Kids
This play centre in Muizenberg has indoor and outdoor facilities for kids. These include jumping castles, fun ramps, ball walls and more. They cater for kids with special needs so everyone can have fun.  Parents are encouraged to stick around but a drop-off service is available (notify in advance, charged separately). Kids aged 2-13 pay R35 per hour (R60 for two). Kids under two pay R25 per hour. Parents enter free. More information at Planet Kids.

70.The Heart of Cape Town Museum
It may not sound like a fun day out, but it’s a really informative experience and if your little one’s planning to become a doctor, even better. This is where the first-ever heart transplant took place, and you can see the original surgery theatres used for this operation. Discounts are given for various group sizes so contact the Heart of Cape Town Museum for info.

When you visit Cape Point, make sure you try out some of the less strenuous walks with the kids. We’ve listed them in this blog about the Best Short Walks and Day Walks around Cape Point . Other favourites include Lion’s Head, Silvermine and Tokai Forest.

72.Dancing for kids
Miss Y Dance has kiddies dance classes every Saturday in Rondebosch East where toddlers (age 1-4) learn creative dance, kids aged 5-10 learn their own creative routine and teens do youth fusion dance. Class price vary so check their Facebook page for details.

73.Zip Zap Circus
16 July 2016
You can pop in at the training facility and have a look around or even better, attend one of their shows. The next ones will be at Seamount Primary and Imhoff Waldorf School. Check the Zip Zap Circus Academy site for details, and while you’re at it, see how you can help the academy get a new costume room.

74.Segway tour
Everyone wants to ride a segway. It comes at a price, but it’s super fun. Ride around Spier wine farm on the two-wheeler with views of vineyards and Table Mountain.
A one-hour tour is R274pp. No kids under 10 allowed. More information and other tours available on the Segway Tours site.

75.Muizenberg Moonlight Meander
It’s a free walk on the beach at night, under the full moon. Donations are encouraged as they go towards various projects in the area. Watch their Facebook page for details of the next walk.

76.Quadbiking Melkbos
If you want to do it yourself you’ll have to dig deep into your pockets (R350 per hour) but kids aged 6-12 get a 30-minute ride for R100pp or two hours for R200pp. This includes instructions and safety gear. There’s also archery if you rate yourself a bit of a Robin Hood. More information available on the Melkbos 4×4 site.

77.Swim indoors
At Long Street Baths kids and parents can swim without having to brave the cold Cape Town winter. There’s a huge lap pool and one for children. Entrance is R21pp and R10.50 for children. Find more information on the City of Cape Town site

78. Yoga for kids
Keep them fit and healthy this season with yoga for kids. Classes are Tuesdays 2-2:30pm (3-6 years) and 3-3:45pm (7-12 years) in Claremont. For more information visit the Wellness for Kids site.

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