Exciting things for children to do in Cape Town
“I’m bored”: the dreaded words that every parent fears. Luckily, for your own sense of sanity, we’ve rounded up 10 of our favourite kids’ adventure activities to inject a bit of action and distraction into little ones’ lives. Here are some of Cape Town’s best adventures for children, from swinging through the trees at the zip line in Ceres to sailing the open seas on a pirate ship.
Struggling to drag your kids away from their computer games? A trip to Imhoff Farm’s paintball arena might be a good way to go about replacing their 2-D characters with real life interaction – well, almost. Teamwork, stealth and strategy are all part of what makes paintball so exciting. Hiding behind trees, belly crawling through the grass and strategising with team members will soon make pre-teens and young adults forget about the digital world. Not for the easily bruised, this is ideal for older children (age minimum is 11 years). All the necessary equipment is included in the single session rate, such as the gun, protective gear, bush jacket and first 100 paintballs. Extra paintballs cost R35 per 100 paintballs (an average player uses about 200-300). Younger children (5 and up) can play laser tag, which is also on offer at the arena. And while there are countless places to play paintball, Imhoff Farm’s offering is especially tempting because there is also an amazing array of other activities on site.
Price: paintball: R130 per person, laser tag: R95 per person.
Opening times: Monday – Sunday: 9:30am – 1pm, 1:30pm – 5 pm
Area 51 | Imhoff Farm | Kommetjie Road (M65) | Kommetjie | +27 (0)21 790 7603
2. Camel Riding
If paintball sounds a bit too hectic, then why not take your kids for a camel ride at Imhoff Farm (next door to the paintball grounds). There are five camels available, and though the jerky two-metre ascent onto the animal’s back keeps things exciting, the experience is gentle and enjoyable. There are differing ride lengths (one around the farm and another longer bush ride), so both adults and the little ones can enjoy a ride best suited to them. Book your camel riding experience at the hut by the entrance when you arrive, and then have a look around the farmyard or the shops while you wait your turn.
Price: Short rides: R50p/p for adults, R30p/p for children under 12; Scenic ride to a lookout point above Noordhoek Beach (40 minutes): R200p/p
Opening times: Tuesdays – Sundays and public holidays: 12pm – 4pm
Imhoff Farm | Kommetjie Road (M65) | Kommetjie | +27 (0)21 789 1711
3. Ratanga Junction
With over 30 attractions, ranked from “super thrill” to “family”, Ratanga Junction is a great place to take the family for amusement park fun. Little ones will enjoy the more sedate carousels and boat rides while older children and teens brave the legendary Cobra, among other thrill rides. Those who’ve worked up an appetite will also be happy to hear that Ratanga offers theme park-style food (including pizzas, burgers, and coffees), most of which is Halaal. In short, the park caters to any age group; pricing is worked out according to height (over or under 1.3 metres).
Prices: Adults and children over 1.3m pay R172p/p while children under 1.3m pay R90. Entry with no rides costs 65p/p.
Opening Times: Open daily until Saturday, 12 April 2015, 24 April 2015 to 3 May 2015, and rides will be up and running from 10 to 19 July 2015. Though not confirmed, Ratanga will also be open from 27 November 2015 until 12 January 2016 (closed on Christmas Day).
Century City | Milnerton | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 550 8504
4. Zip Line
Take a scenic break from the city and head out Ceres, roughly a 90-minute drive from Cape Town, to conquer the local zip line. Your kids will love channelling their inner Tarzan on the ‘foefie slides’ while you enjoy the picturesque backdrop of the Skurweberg Mountains. The Zip Slide Tour includes eight slides and covers 1.4 km in total distance, making this the longest zip slide in Africa. Moreover, even though the highest point of the slide is at 40m, state-of-the-art harnesses ensure the safest thrill for your children. This adrenaline-filled tour can be enjoyed by children over the age of three (any child under seven years old must be accompanied by an adult)
Opening times: Monday – Sunday: 8am – 3pm (8am – 4pm in the summer)
1 Voortrekker Street | Ceres | Western Cape | +27 (0)79 242 0354
5. Pirate Boat
Craving adventure on the high seas? Set sail aboard the V&A Waterfront’s Jolly Roger and enjoy a live pirate show out on the open water. There are three daily cruises leaving from the Waterfront, or if a private tour is more your thing, you can choose to book kids’ parties or rent out the boat for private charter (for a maximum of 70 passengers). Children will love the authentic looking pirate ship and the sense of adventure that the crew creates. Start practicing your ‘arrrrghhs’ beforehand, and teach your kids some pirate lingo so they can get into character for the trip.
Price: Morning and afternoon daily cruises cost R120p/p for adults and R60p/p for children (under 12 years); the Sunset daily cruise costs R200p/p for adults and R100p/p for children (under 12 years).
Opening times: Subject to weather conditions
Quay 5 | V&A Waterfront Harbour | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 421 0909
6. Go-karting at Kenilworth Karting
Have kids with a need for speed? Let them race each other around the 310-m mini-replica of the Killarney racetrack, complete with twists and turns to keep their adrenaline pumping. The 160cc carts have hydraulic brakes and slick tyres to keep them safe. Please note that there is a 1.6-m height restriction, so this is an activity for older children only. A perfect indoor distraction for the colder season, grab your kids and a few of their friends and turn even the chilliest of winter days into an action-packed driving adventure.
Price: adults 10 laps: R80p/p, 15 laps: R100p/p, 20 laps: R120; children (under 16): 10 laps R70p/p, 15 laps R85p/p, 20 laps: R100p/p
Opening times: All days but Tuesday 10am–11pm.
10 Myhof | Claremont | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 683 2670
7. Cool Runnings Tobogganing Park
We’ve swapped sunshine and beaches for snow here in Cape Town, but that doesn’t mean we have to miss out on the winter sports they get to enjoy elsewhere. This tobogganing may not be down a slippery winter slope, but that doesn’t mean it lacks any of the thrill. The 1.2-km steel tracks allow for speeds of up to 40km per hour; little ones can race down the wiggly hill without the fear of falling into icy snow banks! There’s also no trudging back up to the top; the steel cables take the work out of this fun-filled day.
Price: adults (over 14 years) pay R35p/p for one ride, R240p/p for unlimited rides; children (under 14 years) pay R30p/p for one ride, R220p/p for unlimited rides. Adults pay R120p/p for a Happy Hours Working Day Pass (unlimited rides, Monday – Friday except holidays) while children pay R110p/p.
Opening times: Tuesday – Friday: 11am-6pm, Saturday—Sunday: 9am-6pm
Off Carl Cronje Drive opposite the Bellville Velodrome| Bellville | Western Cape | +27 (0)21 949 4439
Do the kids want the surfing feel, but you’re a little hesitant to allow them out onto the open water? Sandboarding lessons led by professionals from Gary’s Surf School may be just the exciting yet safe option for your little ones. Kids of five years and up can participate in a morning lesson for beginners, and once they’ve mastered the art of standing on the board as they glide down the dunes, they can attempt some of the more advanced moves and tricks. As a side note, make sure to bring water and sunblock and a sunhat if the sky is cloudless. Equipment and wax is included in the price.
Price: R300 per person for a morning lesson
Opening times: On appointment
Fish Hoek Sports Club | Fish Hoek | Cape Town | Matthew: +27 (0)83 274 3549 / Gary: +27 (0)83 324 5110
9. SunScene Outdoor Adventure Course
Located along the Cape Point route in Scarborough, the SunScene Outdoor Adventure Course is a two-hour high ropes activity course for both adults and children older than the age of seven. While this event is much more suited to a kids’ party rather than a single child’s adventure, it makes for an exciting day out for families with many children or a group of young friends. Highlights of the adventure course include balancing beams, a giant cargo net, suspension bridge, bosuns chairs, paintball shooting, live wire, a climbing tree, spider’s web and zip line, all of which are meant to encourage communication and team-building skills in a fun, non-threatening environment.
Price: R80p/p – R150p/p depending on group size
Opening times: By appointment only
7 Rubbi Road | Scarborough | Cape Town | Tamarin: +27 (0)21 783 0203
10. Water World
When the sun comes out and the heat comes in waves, there is nothing like a waterslide to cool the kids down and get them laughing. Water World in Strand – it’s open between September and March – is just the place. Complete with a handful of rides, pools, jungle gyms, grass for tanning, play parks and cafés, this fun in the sun adventure boasts something to entertain every member of the family. Plunging down the twists and turns of high slides and straight into the solar-heated pools is sure to have your little ones’ adrenaline punching, eyes alight and faces smiling. What’s more, fully trained lifeguards ensure the safety and security of your children.
Price: Prices range from R45p/p for one hour to R80p/p for a full day pass; adults accompanying riders pay from R10p/p for one hour to R25p/p for a day
Opening times: Saturday-Sunday: 10am – 6pm; Tuesday-Friday: 2pm – 6pm
Beach Road | Strand | Western Cape | +27 (0)21 854 4702
SIX MORE ADVENTURE ACTIVITIES FOR KIDS IN CAPE TOWN
Green Point Urban Park
Just adjacent to the Cape Town Stadium and a mere hop, skip and a jump away from the waves of the Atlantic Ocean, the 10-hectare Green Point Urban Park provides both fun for the little ones and a relaxing outing for you too. The venue’s picnic areas and sprawling green lawns are perfect for spreading out a blanket and tucking into seasonal bites. Although there are several parks to choose from in Cape Town, we’ve chosen this new addition for its variety of swings, slides and other play structures as well as its location just outside the CBD: the oasis is a convenient reminder to urbanites of what the outdoors is truly like. While the Green Point Urban Park is much more low key than our normal adventuresome picks, we feel this is the perfect place to spend an active day outside — no money required.
Opening times: 7am to 7pm daily
Entrances on Beach Road and Bay Road | Green Point | Cape Town | firstname.lastname@example.org
CityROCK Indoor Climbing
If clinging onto rocks high above the ground and leaping from one lofty foothold to the next sounds like something your little ones would go bonkers for, then head on over to CityROCK Indoor Climbing for a safe and kid-friendly rock climbing adventure. The Observatory-based centre features both climbing walls (up to 8m high with rope supports) and bouldering areas (up to 2m high with no rope supports) suitable for any climbing skill levels your children possess. Children six years and up are welcome to climb in a “test drive”, a day of unlimited climbing to see how he or she fares. If your children decide they love climbing after this day, there are also gym memberships and day passes that can be subsequently purchased.
Price: R115p/p for “Test Drive” day
Opening times: Must book for the beginners session
Cnr of Collingwood and Anson | Observatory | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 447 1326
Devonvale “Squirrels” Golf Tournament
Is your little one the next Tiger Woods or Annika Sörenstam? If your child finds swinging a golf club and hitting a golf ball gripping, he or she may want to participate in Devonvale’s “Squirrels” Golf Tournaments. These seasonal events are 3-to-9 hole golf tournaments for 4 to 12-year-old children, but please be aware your child must have some previous knowledge of golf to participate. The kid-friendly tournaments, played on Sunday afternoons, can accommodate up to 30 children and aim to bring youthful enthusiasm to the otherwise elderly world of golf.
Price: R30p/p for 3-6 holes and R50p/p for 9 holes
Opening times: Must contact to book
Bottelary Road | Stellenbosch | Western Cape | +27 (0)21 888 4737
Bugz Play Park
If you are looking for a place to take your 2 to 10-year-old on a rainy day, look no further than Bugz Play Park in the Northern Suburbs. Aside from indoor slides, sandpits, roundabouts, and tree swings, to name only a few, the entertainment world also features outdoor choo-choo trains, swing horses, rowing boats, jumping castles and more perfect for the summer season. Not to mention, The Bugz Tent Kitchen and Bugz Too Restaurant are great stops for some nibbles before you hit the road. Bugz Play Park hosts kids’ parties and magic shows, as well. The entertainment world is broken up into free play areas (areas that your entry ticket price covers) and token ride areas (token rides cost extra, on top of the entry price).
Price: Kids prices are R35p/p on weekends and R25p/p on weekdays; Adult prices are R25p/p; Tokens cost R5 each, and rides cost between one and four tokens
Opening times: 9am to 5pm everyday
Adjacent to Cape Garden Centre Nursery on Tarentaal Road | between Kraaifontein and Paarl | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 988 8836
Shark Cage Diving
If you’re keen to seriously get your kid’s adrenaline going, there is nothing better than shark cage diving off the coast of Gansbaai, South Africa’s great white capital (roughly two hours from Cape Town). This activity is safer than it sounds as a steel cage allows you to share the water with these frightening sea creatures without the fear of a real attack. A minimum age of 12 years is required to dive; however, anyone younger or simply unwilling to get in the water can view from the boat—making this a fun activity for the whole family. Whether you’re in the water or out of it, the sight of great white shark is sure to set your heart racing. You’ll pay a hefty price for this once-in-a-lifetime adventure, but we think it is certainly worth it. Dive gear and breakfast is provided, and transfers from Cape Town can be purchased for an additional fee.
Price: R1350p/p and R900p/p under 12 years
Opening times: Must book in advance
Kleinbaai Harbour | Gansbaai | Western Cape | +27 (0)28 384 1418
Little Blue Train
If shark cage diving is a bit too extreme, the long-running Little Blue Train may be the perfect small adventure for the youngest of your kids. The miniature locomotive in Cape Town is the only one of its kind in the city, and has been towing delighted boys and girls around its circular Mouille Point promenade route for nearly 50 years. You and your children (of one year and up) can spend a leisurely afternoon taking in picturesque views of the sea, passing ships and Robben Island, and after, the nearby jungle gyms and climbing rock offer little ones an ample opportunity to expend excess energy. Fares go to the Rotary Club of Sea Point’s projects.
Opening times: 9am until sunset everyday
Mouille Point Beachfront | Mouille Point | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 434 4297