If you live in Cape Town, you’re probably being driven completely nuts by the South Easter. It’s basically been blowing a gale for a week straight. While hiding in the MyCiti bus stop around the corner from the Civic Centre might provide hours of comedy, it’s not exactly constructive.
The wind is part and parcel of Cape Town’s summers and tourists have learned the hard way that it can pretty much ruin a holiday. The wind makes it impossible to go the beach, it means the cable way is closed and even just wandering through the city is a real pain in the backside. But worry not!
We’ve compiled a list of seven things you can do to get the hell away from the madness and still have fun.
- The Cape Town Science Centre
With over 250 interactive exhibits and exciting puzzles, Cape Town Science Centre is a popular destination for school groups. It’s open 363 days of the year and is the perfect way to keep the kids entertained while the parents sit and sip coffee and iCafe. Oh, there is also a gigantic chess board for you to get stuck into!
Where: 370B Main Road, Observatory
Cost: Youth and Adults: R50, Pensioners: R25, Family Package (four people): R180, Group (10 or more): R45pp
Hours: Monday to Saturday 9:00 – 16:30; Sundays & Public Holidays 10:00 – 16:30
- The wine farms
The wine farms out in Die Boland don’t get battered by the wind nearly as much. It’s pretty much part and parcel of any tourist guidebook, but even if you don’t drink, don’t fret. There’s plenty of good food, wine and cheese to keep you busy and taking a ride on the “wine tram” is quite an experience… provided you can put up with tipsy tourists.
- Visit the planetarium
The planetarium is perhaps one of the most under-utilised places in Cape Town. The bad news is it’s currently closed for refurbishment. The good news is it will open again in 2017. The celestial theatre will take you through the ultimate trip in armchair travel and teach you a thing or two while you’re there.
Where: 25 Queen Victoria Street
Cost: Adults (19 years and older) R40; Children, students and SA Pensioners R20
Hours: Closed on Workers’ Day, Christmas Day and the first Monday of every month (excluding school holidays
- The National Gallery
While you’re pottering about the planetarium, pop into the National Gallery for a whole host of art works, including the famous Butcher Boys sculpture. Since our aim here is to get away from the wind, maybe avoid packing the picnic for a sit down in the Company’s Garden this time.
Where: Government Avenue, Company’s Garden
Cost: Adults R30; 6-18 years R15; SA Students and pensioners R15; Family Ticket (2 adults & 2 children) R75; Under 5’s enter for free
Hours: Daily from 10h00 to 17h00
- Go bouncing
Rush is basically a gigantic bouncy castle. With wall-to-wall, interconnected trampolines, you can bounce around to your heart’s content without worrying about getting pinned on the springs.
Where: 5th Floor (Access to Rush from Parade Area), 109 on Main, Main Road, Claremont
Cost: The pricing varies widely, with discounts for open jump sessions for students and scholars starting from R95 per hour. There are also package deals available. All of which you can view on their website.
Hours: Monday – Thursday 10am – 9pm, Friday – Saturday 9am – 10pm, Sunday – 9am – 8pm
- Go ice skating
Escape the wind and the heat all in one go. Yes, the ice rink is very much still a thing and it’s still as much fun as it was when you were a kid and your parents left you to their own devices while they went gambling.
Where: Inside Grand West Casino, Vanguard Road
Cost: Prices vary depending on whether you have your own skates or not or whether you are going in a group. Expect to pay around R49 for a two and a half hour session. You can buy your tickets on webtickets.co.za
Hours: It depends on whether you’re going during term or during the holidays. Monday & Tuesday has sessions between 10:00 and 16:30 on Monday and Tuesday with extended sessions on Wednesday to Saturday with the late session starting at 21:00. Do check in ahead on 021 535 2260 as the rink does sometimes close for functions.
- Go rock climbing… inside
Clobbering up and down India Venster on Table Mountain might not be your thing, but that doesn’t mean clobbering should be completely out of the question. CityROCK will make you feel like a proper mountaineer and give you a bit of a work out while you’re at it.
Where: 21 Anson Street, Observatory
Cost: Day passes are available for adults (R105), students (R90) and children (R85). You’ll have to pay extra if you’re a first-timer and if you don’t have your own gear.
Hours: Monday & Wednesday: 9am – 9pm; Tuesday & Thursday: 9am – 10pm; Friday: 9am – 6pm; Saturday & Sunday: 9am – 6pm; Public Holidays: 9am-6pm; CLOSED: Christmas and New Year’s Day.