When it comes to the winter holidays in Cape Town, many parents take leave too and find themselves having to keep their kids entertained for two full weeks while it rains and pours outdoors.
With our first child on the way, we too will have to start gearing our trips and holidays towards kid-friendly activities. So here’s our list of “what to do in Cape Town” with or without kids…
Indoor Rock Climbing
If you and your children have never tried rock climbing before, then join one of their introductory classes on Monday and Wednesday evenings. Else get harnessed up with the necessary climbing gear available for rental and get those limbs warm by challenging yourself to reach different heights and climbs of various skill levels.
All rides at Cool Runnings in Durbanville are safe for kids and highly enjoyable for adults. So hop on a blob-sled and fly down a hillside on 1.2 km track. All kids below the age of 8 will need to be accompanied by you so make sure you come dressed warmly and ready to bask in the winter sun.
Another way to get the blood pumping is go-karting in Kenilworth or Canal Walk. Don your helmets and challenge your kids to a race with exciting race options like the Grand Prix and Endurance options.
If you enjoyed outdoor walks and hikes before kids,chances are that you’ll want to introduce to this wonderful world of trails and mountains. When it’s not storming, winter is often a great time to head up the mountains thanks to the cool weather and flourishing fynbos. Your kids will most likely prove way fitter than you are and run up trails like Plattekilp Gorge (many kids have left me in the dust). But there are many easy-going trails up Table Mountain to choose from too. Take warm clothes with ample snacks and water. Keep to well marked trails and head back down when you see the weather changing for the worst.
If you’re a water baby and don’t mind the cold ocean of Muizenberg in Winter, your child may not mind either. As surfers we will encourage our kids to get in the water as often as we do and pop them on a surfboard from a young age. Many of our friends have found the tiniest of surfboards for the kids to use and many end of loving it and stand quite easily after a while.
Get those legs moving on a Harris Hawk walk which sets out from Eagle Encounters at Spier. Hike out into the Cape Fynbos bushveld with Harris Hawks following on and flying to you before you and the family enjoy refreshments at the end. If the weather is not playing along, your time will still be well spent at the Eagles Encounter Bird of prey rehabilitation centre where kids can enjoy falconry flying shows and personal encounters with the birds.
P.S. Visit facebook.com/CaltexSA if you’d like to stand a chance to win tickets to the Spier Eagle Encounters mentioned above!
Move to music and get creative on canvas. Pick from a selection of various paints, brushes, canvases, easels and let your imagination run wild. Kids love painting (and making a creative mess) so take them to any one of the Artjamming studios at Cavendish, the Cape Quarter, V&A Waterfront, Willowbridge Centre and The Paddocks. Kids parties are welcome too.
What could be better than spending the day decorating and painting crockery with your kids on a cold afternoon? You can choose whether you want to paint bowls, cups, plates and more and take home something special to use in your home and treasure for years to come. When the rain stops, there’s a garden and playground outside for the kids to stretch their legs.
Have fun with science and education at the Cape Town Science Centre. Enjoy hands-on workshops, science shows and lunch at the SciCafe. I’m pretty sure my husband would have more fun here than any children we take here.
This gem of a spot never gets old and I still have fond memories of visiting scratch patch and digging for mineral treasures to take home with me. They can scrounge around picking out gems of their choice until their bag is full. Visit the V&A Waterfront or the Simonstown branch.
Two Ocean’s Aquarium
When it comes to having underwater fun without actually being in the water, the aquarium is tops. Best become a member as your kids will no doubt want to return regularly to watch sharks being fed and marine life of all varieties swimming around. Look our for their special Winter programmes such as fish feeding, ray and turtle feeding, penguin feeding and puppet shows.
The Book Lounge in Roeland Street offers Saturday morning story telling sessions. So keep your 3-8 years olds enthralled with magical tales while you catch up on your own reading and coffee drinking downstairs.
Visit www.booklounge.co.za to book.