Looking for ideas on where to send your kiddies climbing, skating, playing and painting these autumn school holidays in Cape Town? We’ve got a great mix of creative, wheeled, ocean and outdoor experiences to keep them occupied and educated in the best of ways. 

Monkeying Around

Outdoors

Do your children insist on climbing everything? Give them a great Jane and Tarzan adventure with and an aerial treetop experience at Acrobranching adventure parks. Harnessed safely and under the supervision of a guide, children of all ages can zipline, navigate obstacles and balance through the treetops. The Constantia park has a course for kids from three years old. 

The Blue Train Park beside the ocean promenade in Mouille Point has been around for over 60 years. R35 pp will get you into the park for a ride on the iconic blue train, along with access to the jungle gym, zip-line, mini-skate park, astroturf mini-soccer pitch and climbing rock. If you’re looking for a free outdoor park, the park right beside it is open to the public and offers a toddler-friendly jungle gym and a bigger one for older children. The biking/scooting track is also a firm favourite.  

All smiles at Acrobranch | Image by Lauren Manuel McShane

Indoors

Both Playstation by Rush in Kirstenhof and the Playdate Superpark at the V&A Waterfront offer variations of a kiddies maze, high-line ropes course, rock climbing and restaurants for families to enjoy on cool rainy days when the outdoors is not an option.

Art and the City

Unleash your little people in an Artjamming room (that isn’t in your house) with an apron, paint, paintbrushes and a blank canvas to create their magic with. Young kids can go wild with messy play and older children can get tips from qualified artists. Or sign your children up for a workshop at the Zeitz MOCAA Centre for Art Education using wet and dry mediums in child-friendly classroom spaces. Parents can explore the museum while children between the ages of 6 and 12 years old can get creative with designed activities.

Wheels of Fun

Sit in the giant Cape Wheel with a view of the harbour and Table Mountain, or rent a bicycle and cycle along the promenade alongside joggers and other avid exercisers. Up Cycles have bikes with baby seats as well as covered carriages for smaller kids. Don some roller skates and head to Cape Town’s first indoor roller skating park, Rollercade. Pool tables, soccer tables and arcade games will keep the non-rollers entertained.

Ocean Adventures

In the Waves

There’s very little that compares to standing on a surfboard for the first time and riding that wave toward the shoreline! Sending them for a surf lesson with a professional at Surf Emporium is a great opportunity for them to learn the basics well, hone their skills and have tons of fun by themselves or in a group.

If you’re wanting to enjoy the ocean as a family without getting wet, the cartoon-themed Tommy Tugboat with crew members in their Mario brothers outfits, and Jolly Roger Pirate Boat will have children (and some adults) squealing in delight on their daily cruises. Some packages include a lunch box, fun activities and decor for groups. Families with older kids can book a leisure boat cruise at the Waterfront too.

Riding a wave at Muizenberg | Image by Lauren Manuel McShane

Below the Surface

We have a plethora of tidal pools all around our coastline waiting for little explorers to discover and learn. Grab a bucket and spade and visit the tidal pools at St. James Beach, Dalebrook or Woolley’s Pool (both in Kalk Bay).

Or you can embark on an educational, underwater adventure at the Two Oceans Aquarium with your children without being submerged in the ocean, Catch a feeding show, have a rockhopper penguin experience, visit the interactive exhibits and eye the tiniest ocean inhabitants beneath a microscope.

Lauren Manuel McShane