Fun things to do in Cape Town this holiday for toddlers

Kids making pizza

With school holidays coming up it’s time to think about what we can do to keep our littles entertained. I’m lucky enough that J’s school offers a holiday programme for a few days but there’s still quite a few days I need to fill. Especially for those rainy days when we can’t go outside.

I know there are definitely a few firm favourites around Cape Town but I am finding that J is at a bit of an awkward age. He is just over 2 and a lot of activities or places are geared towards kids who are a bit older and more capable and independent. So I thought I’d do some research and find some things for us to do this holiday that would suit where we are right now. If you have a kidlet who is around the same age, maybe you’ll find these suggestions helpful.

Cafe Paradiso

Kids making pizza
Courtesy of Cafe Paradiso

I really like Cafe Paradiso. On a gorgeous day it’s the best thing to sit in their garden and enjoy a good plate of food. For the kids, they can hang out in a designated area and do a kid’s project. This can be making pizza, gingerbread men, cupcakes or chocolate chip cookies. This is not available for kids over 12 and even young ones are welcome as there are childminders who are on hand to help them out. It costs R57.

The Blue Train Park

Right by the promenade, the Blue Train Park has a mini train ride and a playground which includes the usual slides, seesaws and jungle gyms but also an obstacle course and a climbing rock. All in a beautiful setting. If the sun is shining this is definitely a win.

General access is R28 pp including one train ride.

The Duck Parade at Vergenoegd

If your kids are fans of the World of Birds or the Aquarium, this is a must on your holiday itinerary. The farm uses 1 200 Indian Runner Ducks to control the snail and pest problem in their vineyards. Every day you can see the ducks run through the farm as they get ready for their days’ work – the so-called duck parade. If it’s a little wet, don’t forget your wellies because there’s sure to be some muddy puddles around.

Every day at 10.30, 12.30 and 15.30

The Cape Town Science Centre

A new gem I’ve just discovered, the Cape Town Science Centre. There are loads of different cool science-y activities, even that young ones will enjoy – think human gyroscopes, telescopes, space shuttles, cool experiments, and – surely a favourite for all the littles – a building site.

R65 for youth and adults, R30 for pensioners

The Book Lounge

Situated on Roeland Street in the CBD, the Book Lounge is a great little bookshop. There’s a fabulous children’s section and every Saturday there is a free storytime at 11. Recommended for ages 3 to 8, but any age is welcome.

The Norval Foundation

The Norval Foundation is the new art gallery on the block. There is a restaurant and different exhibitions but the main attraction here is definitely the sculpture garden. There are a load of huge, really funky sculptures which any kid would appreciate climbing on. It costs R180 per person but is free for under 18s and every day (except Tuesday) there is a free tour at 2 o’clock. If you’re smart, entrance is free every first Thursday of the month. In June and July they are running a number of workshops for older kids, each at a different cost. For someone as young as J, my eye is on the Parent and Tots tour.

The Jolly Roger Pirate Ship

If you think your kid would like to hang out on a pirate ship, take a trip on the Jolly Roger. A one-hour trip out to sea costs R95 for kids and R190 for adults. If you want something a little shorter, a trip on Tommy the Tugboat around the harbour is 30 minutes and is R25 per child and R50 per adult.

Artjamming

Painting

If your kids love to get messy, then this is the one for you. Artjamming is the place to go for your kids to cover themselves in paint. Artjamming runs a holiday programme for kids over 4 but you can always go for a paintertainment session. You pay for the canvas and all the materials are supplied.

Or, if you’re a mom like me, you’ll probably enjoy an outing which includes a glass of wine or two but which is still fun for the kids. There are certainly tons of wine farms which satisfy these conditions, but there are three which stand out.

Mont Marie

Mont Marie
Courtesy of Jean Olivier aka Mommy Explores

Mont Marie is more of a restaurant than a wine tasting farm but it’s a restaurant with a difference. The surroundings are gorgeous, the food is awesome and there is a great enclosed play area. The tables are right by the play area – even in the play area if you want – so you can keep an eye on your kids while you eat and drink and you know they can’t escape.

Vredenheim

Vredenheim has a Big Cats Park with lions, tigers, cheetahs and caracals – need I say more? Vredenheim is really a farm with a difference. You can taste wine, but you can also go on a tractor game drive to view the big cats and other animals, and there is an Animal Farm for the kids to enjoy a bike track, jungle gym and sandpit. They can also mingle with the farm animals!

Big Cats Park: adults R75, kids R50

Animal Farm: kids 0 – 12 months free, children R40, adults R20

[For more rad wine farms, check out Mommy Explores – she’s done a lot more exploring than I have!]

So those are basically our plans for the holidays! Maybe I’ll see you there? Any others I’ve missed?

Photos: Painting by Steve Johnson on Unsplash

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