Toolkit » A Day with the Family
A Day with the Family
Cape Town is the ideal destination for kids: there’s plenty to do, whether you decide to play ball on one of our many pristine beaches, visit Simon’s Town to see the penguins, or take a walk in Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden. The trick is to enjoy each outing to the full, rather than packing too much into a day. Best of all, children will learn more about geography, history and biology on such a fun-filled family day than they ever would at a school desk. It’s worth bringing the kids when you travel to Cape Town on business … but they’ll never let you go away again on your own.
If the weather’s perfect, pack the beach umbrella, buckets, sunscreen and hats and head for your favourite beach. Kids are happier before it gets too hot, so make the most of the early morning. Local families love Bakoven, St James and Boulders for their smaller beaches and protected coves, as well as the tidal pool at St James. Take a picnic lunch if you go to Boulders, and afterwards visit the penguin breeding area.
Everyone loves the Two Oceans Aquarium at the V&A Waterfront – a perfect option for dad when mum wants to shop, or for the family to enjoy together. The predator exhibit feeding takes place at 15h00 daily and shark feeds are at 15h00 on Sundays. The African penguins are delightful to watch during feeding times (11h45 and 14h30 daily), as are the rockhopper penguins (11h30 daily).
If it’s cool or raining, the Scratch Patch is just across the road. Let the kids crawl around, filling buckets with pretty semi-precious stones or minerals. There’s also a fascinating range of unusual stones and gems on display.
Boat rides in the harbour are also great fun for kids when the sun is shining, but you might want to head for Newlands and explore Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, a haven for families on hot days. Find a spot where you can relax on the big lawn while the kids climb trees, spot guinea fowl and splash away in the streams. If they’re worn out after an active day, treat them to an early supper at the Silver Tree Restaurant in the garden.
Eating with kids is easiest at one of the many child-friendly restaurants at the V&A Waterfront or at the cafes along the Camps Bay beach promenade. Locals head for pizza with a view at Col’Cacchio’s. On hot summer evenings the windows are wide open to give you a full view of the sunset and the fresh sea air.
Wide-awake teens will enjoy stargazing in the suburb of Gardens at the Iziko Planetarium, a celestial theatre utilising the complex Minolta star machine and multiple projectors to transport you into the wonders of the universe. Recline in the comfy chairs and be prepared for a fascinating audio-visual experience. The Planetarium is also an excellent rainy day option for kids; they have family shows at 13h00, 14h00 or 14h30, depending on the day of the week.
A Trip to the Winelands
Believe it or not, you can enjoy a day of wine tasting and cellar tours with your kids in tow. Fairview goats provide endless laughs and Siedelberg restaurant has spectacular views and wide-open lawns for them to run around on.
The Dornier Bodega restaurant above Dornier’s cellars has a wooden castle in the play area adjacent to the verandah tables and La Motte has outdoor chess to play while parents enjoy lunch.
L’Ormarins offers the best car collection in the Franschhoek winelands for older families, Blaauwklippen has an antique carriage museum and does carriage rides and Spier offers picnics alongside the Eerste Rivier as well as an opportunity to see cheetahs, raptors and even spot its 21 historic gables.
Contact Cape Town Tourism for suggestions on what to see and do, where to eat, how to get around and where to stay. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org, call +27 (0)21 487 6800, or visit www.capetown.travel.