Anyone traveling with children will know that planning kids’ entertainment and family activities in between tourist pursuits is a balancing act.
You want to make sure your children are well looked after, occupied, and happy, while you are kept entertained too.
Good news for all the parents visiting South Africa, Cape Town is a treasure trove of family fun. Whether you’re traveling with toddlers or teens, you’ll find plenty of kids’ activities in the Mother City.
Family fun at the V&A Waterfront
Two Oceans Aquarium
With sharks, turtles and penguins on view – not forgetting the other 3,000 marine creatures, and showcasing the aquatic life of Cape Town’s surrounding oceans (the cold Atlantic and warm Indian), the Two Oceans Aquarium at the V&A Waterfront is one of the best in the world. From wandering among tanks of neon-lit jellyfish to interactive and educational touch pools, the Two Oceans Aquarium promises entertainment for the whole family.
Set sail on the Jolly Roger Pirate Boat
What child doesn’t want to be a pirate for a day? The Jolly Roger Pirate Boat is the perfect port of call for your kids to play out their ultimate high seas adventure. Choose one of the morning, afternoon or sunset cruises and set sail for family fun.
A fun activity for kids (and the young at heart), spend a few hours painting a masterpiece. It’s all about being creative in the most fun way possible – no experience necessary!
Places to take kids in Cape Town central and surrounds
Table Mountain Cableway
Table Mountain is one of the best-known tourist attractions in South Africa and one of the must-do activities for families on holiday in Cape Town. Ride the rotating cable car to the summit of the flat-topped icon and take in the staggering views.
The Company’s Garden
Cape Town’s version of Central Park (a tiny tableau in comparison), the Company’s Garden is a great place to take kids, who will delight in feeding the famous squirrels. The Garden is also home to the South African National Gallery, which houses an impressive collection of art.
Green Point Urban Park
Another green space in the middle of busy Cape Town, the Green Point Urban Park is a fantastic, family-friendly place to enjoy a picnic while your children run free at the play park, adventure park, or outdoor labyrinth.
No family trip to Cape Town is complete without visiting the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens. Give yourself a few hours to stroll among the grassy hills and colorful blooms. Be sure to walk the tree canopy Boomslang (tree snake), a raised walkway that offers up some spectacular views.
Exploring the Southern Peninsula of Cape Town with kids
Family fun in Noordhoek
Saddle up for an outride on Long Beach, a 5-mile stretch of pure white sand between Chapman’s Peak and Kommetjie in the Southern Peninsula of Cape Town. Feel the wind in your hair as your horse gallops in the breaking waves, with some of the best views as your backdrop.
Cape Point Nature Reserve
The southernmost tip of Africa, Cape Point, is an excellent spot to spend the day with the family. Take the Flying Dutchman Funicular to the top for insane views, grab a bite to eat at the Two Ocean’s Restaurant and then walk it off along the Olifantsbos Shipwreck Trail.
Boulders Beach Penguins
Boulders Beach, located just outside of Simon’s Town, is a firm favorite with locals and visitors. It’s not every day you get the chance to swim or paddle with penguins!
Scratch Patch in Simons Town
Scratch Patch in the naval village of Simon’s Town is a great place to take the kids for a few hours. Thousands of tumble-polished gemstones cover the floor – and you get to scratch around for your favorites!
Family fun in the Cape Winelands
During the strawberry season from September to January, the Polkadraai Strawberry Farm in Stellenbosch is open to the public. Spend a few hours picking strawberries ‘‘in the wild’’ – watched over by colorful scarecrows. Your kids will love it!
Spier Wine Farm
A destination to impress both children and adults… Spier Wine Farm will keep you busy for hours with fun things to do as a family. From wine tastings – grape juice for the kids – and Eagle Encounters to Segway tours and self-guided walks, you’re guaranteed a jam-packed day.
A short drive from Cape Town, the coastal town of Hermanus offers the best shore-based whale watching in the world. During whale season (June to December), you can watch these majestic creatures roll and breach just offshore!
Anytime sunshine fun
If you find yourself in the unlikely event of running low on things to do with kids, take them to the beach. Cape Town is home to 72 beaches. Each of them has something different to offer, and you are guaranteed to find one that suits all your needs. For families, the warmer waters of False Bay are a great option. You can even take surfing and stand up paddleboarding lessons in Muizenberg.