This Cape Town hotspot’s a whole different sort of animal
Top kids parties in Cape Town
A selection of super spots to celebrate youngsters’ special occasions
A selection of super spots to celebrate youngsters’ special occasions
While heaps of fun for little ones, kids’ parties can require a whole lot of planning on the part of the parents. Everything from how to amuse the mini guests to what to feed them needs to be considered; not to mention, and perhaps most importantly, the birthday party venue needs to be given some serious thought. Though holding the celebration at home may seem like the most affordable choice, this also leaves moms and dads with the formidable task of doing all the decorating, catering, entertaining, arranging and cleaning up themselves. Needless to say, picking an external spot is often the easiest course of action.
So, to keep bambinos’ birthday bashes hassle free and out the house, we’ve gathered together a selection of fail-safe options for kids’ party venues in Cape Town. This overview covers it all, from expansive urban parks and colourful indoor playgrounds to bowling centres and pottery studios, and includes alternatives fitting for both boys and girls, youngsters of all ages and inclinations, and, of course, parents eager for a positive, stress-free experience.
KIDS’ PARTY VENUES IN CAPE TOWN
Battlefield Live SA Laser Tag
Boys and girls with a lot of energy to expend will go absolutely mad for a bout of laser tag with Battlefield Live SA. Suitable for kids aged seven years and older, the military simulation skirmish promises an action-packed, fun-filled session of battle scenarios played out using state-of-the-art infrared weaponry that looks and sounds cool. The best part is that this virtual outdoor game is much safer than paintballing (i.e. no pain and tears), but youngsters will still have a blood-pumping blast ducking, diving and working in teams to complete missions like ‘capture the flag’, ‘sniper’ and ‘VIP escort’. The highly reputable company hosts these Call of Duty-style parties at various venues, including Mofam River Lodge in the scenic Elgin Valley (the kids will get to ride a river cruiser that takes them to the battle site) and Little Stream Retreat & Conference Centre in Constantia, but the organisers can also make it out to ‘battlegrounds’ in Durbanville, Stellenbosch and Paarl, amongst others. Wherever the party is hosted, parents will definitely score some cool points for throwing the most awesome bash a young tyke could ask for.
Price: R165p/p – R185p/p, depending on the day of the week, and a R250 call-out fee is applicable for events hosted at certain venues. A minimum of 14 participants is required for a booking.
email@example.com | +27 (0) 84 364 9979
Two Oceans Aquarium
If your little one is something of a water baby or fish fanatic, the Two Oceans Aquarium at the V&A Waterfront is sure to be a veritable treat for their special occasion. Certainly one of the most popular kids’ party venues in Cape Town, this marine kingdom offers three differently priced, well-organised options for kiddies’ soirees, all of which include themed décor; a supervised, child-tailored tour of the aquarium and its various exciting exhibits; lunch and juice; and a party box for the mini guests (the more expensive packages feature extras like 3D birthday cakes, sticker books and a gift for the birthday boy or girl). Three different two-hour time slots are available Monday to Sunday, and depending on which is chosen, the little tykes will be treated to a puppet show, arts and crafts session or a chance to watch the penguins or fish being fed during the tour. Not to mention, there are a range of added plusses that can be pre-arranged, such as birthday posters, a meet-and-greet with a penguin and catering for the grown-ups (a special entrance price can be organised for adults attending). In essence, this is both a fun and educational choice for a kid’s bash, is appropriate even for tiny toddlers, and, as it’s all indoors, is suitable in all sorts of weather conditions.
Price: Between R135 per child and R385 per child (prices differ depending on packages and whether the party takes place during the week or on weekends).
Dock Road | V&A Waterfront | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 418 3823
Located out in vineyard country, the Paarl-based Graceland Venues promises little ones a right whale of a time. As part of the family-focused spot’s reasonably priced kids’ party package, children get access to a series of water slides, swings, a jungle gym and play area as well as to a farm animals’ enclosure, where they can enjoy pony rides and pet everything from goats and geese to tortoises and pot-bellied pigs. While these options are ideal for Cape Town’s warmer months, the setting also claims a number of indoor alternatives – an enclosed jumping castle, ball pond and more – for when the chilly season sets in. Each tiny tot attending the bash also receives a party pack containing chips, juice and sugary delights, and parents are welcome to bring along their own birthday cake too (though, no other food will be allowed in). Should the grown-ups – all adults attached to the party can enter for free – want to fill their bellies too, catering can be pre-arranged with the venue. A minimum of 10 kids is required, and booking is essential; all party slots are two hours in duration.
Price: R85 per child for two hours.
Klein Dennegeur Farm | Lustigan Road | Southern Paarl | +27 (0)21 863 4109/ +27 (0) 72 264 4009
Launched in early 2013 by single mother Natasha Potgieter, Fun House, a rustic kiddies’ play place and coffee shop resting on the pretty Durbanville wine route, is both a wonderland for little tykes and the perfect option for a youngster’s birthday bash. The charming recreation centre – it claims plenty of indoor and outdoor space – specialises in hosting hassle-free customised kids’ parties and offers two different packages: an R85 per child option for a simple colour theme and a R120 per child option for a specific all-out theme like ‘Batman’ or ‘Barbie’. Both offerings include party packs filled with sweet treats; hot dogs, ice cream and juice; and a whole host of fun, coordinated activities for the tots, like water balloon fights, sack races, treasure hunts, painting and arts and crafts. What’s more, the venue’s team organises every last detail of the tailor-made do, so parents can just relax, sit back and enjoy (grown-ups get in for free and can opt to order platters, pastries, coffee and tea from the on-site kitchen). Moms and dads should note, this setting is most appropriate for younger kids (although there’s a pamper party option for older girls), there must be at least 10 little ones attending the soiree and bookings should be made a month or more in advance.
Price: R85 – R120 per child.
Mountain View Farm (next to the Big Barrel Pub) | Tyger Valley Road | Durbanville | Cape Town | +27 (0) 82 770 3286
Let’s Go Bowling
Ideal for slightly older kids and those with a penchant for competitive activities, ten-pin bowling at Claremont’s Stadium on Main shopping mall is bound to make for one memorable party. Moms and pops exhausted for ideas will be pleased to know that the indoor Southern Suburbs centre’s Let’s Go Bowling has put together an offering especially for young’uns parties, so the hassle of organising is taken right out of parents’ hands. The bundle entitles each kiddie attending to one game of bowling (roughly 50 minutes in length), a voucher for a free future session, a goodie bag brimming with toys and sugary treats, and a beef or chicken burger with chips. A cake can also be arranged at an extra cost (though, families are also allowed to bring their own). At such action-packed bashes, the usual order of events is for youngsters – they must be six years or older – to first take to the bowling lanes before settling at a table that’s been decorated with balloons to tuck into their eats and continue with the merrymaking.
Price: R90 per child; optional birthday cake costs R130 (vanilla) or R150 (chocolate).
Stadium on Main | Main Road | Claremont | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 671 1893
Based out in Hout Bay, charming pottery studio and coffee shop Clay Café invites those of all ages to spend a few entertaining hours painting and decorating their own unfired ceramic pieces – think plates, mugs, ducks, ornaments and more – and essentially creating their own works of art to take home. This unique, interactive activity is an ideal party option for kiddies, especially those with a little creative edge, and the staff at the child-friendly venue are always on hand to help little ones along in the (sometimes messy) process, so the older folks can simply sit back and unwind (catering can be pre-arranged for adults and the café dishes up quality coffee, cakes and toasted sandwiches). There’s a handful of different packages available, which vary in price depending on the number of items painted and whether or not a party box for each child – it contains juice and tasty nibbles – is included. What’s more, when the painting, stencilling and scribbling is all over, the kids will find plenty of amusement outside in the large garden and dedicated play area that features jungle gyms, swings and a climbing wall (jumping castles can also be provided). Booking in advance is essential.
Price: Between R75 and R115 per child.
Oakhurst Farm | Main Road | Hout Bay | +27 (0) 21 790 3318
Green Point Urban Park
A verdant oasis in the heart of Green Point, this expansive, multi-functional outdoor park couldn’t be more ideal for a fun, nature-infused young’uns’ soiree (weather permitting, of course, as it’s all under open skies). For starters, entrance is entirely free, so the bank balance can be kept intact. Aside from this major bonus though, there’s also a range of options to keep kids busy, including an eco-friendly playground boasting all the usual equipment (swings, slides, roundabouts and more), an open-air amphitheatre and plenty of wide, open grassy stretches where the little cherubs can roam around and expend extra energy. Not to mention, the natural retreat also claims an educational biodiversity garden alongside a myriad of other highlights. Parents can bring snacks and drinks and settle down at one of the picnic tables; though, as these are rather few and far between, it’s important to arrive early to secure one. Otherwise, the park is within close walking distance of a number of restaurants, so the party could easily be moved to one of these once the tots are all played out.
Price: Free; the park is open daily from 7am to 6pm in winter and from 6am to 8:30pm.
Green Point | Cape Town
Bugz Family Playpark
Easily the biggest and most diverse children’s play centre in Cape Town, this colourful kids’ utopia is any little tot or tyke’s dream party setting. The Kraaifontein-based park has put together no less than nine different thrilling themed options for birthday bashes – think alternatives like science, baking, cooking, candyland and makeover parties – that are sure to appeal to little ones of all ages and inclinations (not to mention, parents can just relax while every last detail is arranged for them). Aside from inclusions like table décor, lunch, balloons and cone hats (this varies depending on the choice), the assortment of packages also allow kiddies access to all the open play areas – there are sandpits, jungle gyms, slides and climbing frames galore – as well as to the many rides (trains, toddler tractors, peddle carts, rowing boats and more) if the weather permits. The actual party will take place in one of several specific indoor or outdoor venues, with options like a princess ballroom, pirates cove, secret garden and knight’s castle on the bill. Adults can also pre-arrange platters for themselves, and can tailor-make the experience with a range of fun add-ons. Parties can be scheduled on Saturdays, Sundays, Friday afternoons and public holidays.
Price: BetweenR99 and R295 per child, depending on the theme chosen, plus a venue fee of R150 and R25p/p entrance fee for adults attending.
56 Tarentaal Street | Joostenbergvlakte | Kraaifontein | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 988 8836
A fine option for Cape Peninsula dwellers not keen to trek out to Kraaifontein for a play park experience, space-themed kids entertainment centre Planet Kids is well practiced at hosting memorable children’s get-togethers. The venue offers up a private room for use where the main birthday festivities take place, but kids also have access to the family-focused Muizenberg spot’s full range of activities and recreation equipment (think alien-themed jumping castles, fufi slides, a ball pond, puzzles and books and a building corner). Custom-made party bags are put together for each miniature guest, with three different options available: a toy pack, a mixed pack or a sweet pack. If the treats in these bags aren’t enough for the little lambs, hot dogs and mini pizzas can be arranged at an extra cost of R15 per child; similarly, platters can be organised for any adults attending (the venue does Halaal catering too). As an added plus, for a bit of extra cash, parents can also opt for a visiting magician, face painter or clown to entertain the tykes, as well as a themed 3D birthday cake. Parties are all two or three hours in length (the three-hour option applies every day except Saturdays) and a minimum of 10 kids must attend.
Price: A standard party costs R80 per child for two hours and R105 per child for three hours, and a bash with a theme of your choice costs R120 per child for two hours and R145 per child for three hours.
3 Wherry Road | Muizenberg | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 788 3070
Located at both Tyger Valley Centre and Somerset Mall, Build-a-Bear Workshop offers a one-of-a-kind party experience for young’uns that are fans of all things fluffy and furry. Guests at such bashes, which all happen in-store, each get the rare opportunity to create and personalise their own stuffed teddy for keeps in a fun and interactive environment. Kids are guided through various bear-making stations – ‘choose me’, ‘stuff me’, ‘fluff me’ and ‘name me’, for example – by a party coordinator, who will also keep the little tykes entertained with amusing activities and games (your classics, like musical chairs). Parents should bring their own snacks, birthday cakes and party favours, but the venue does provide the special little boy or girl of the hour with a unique gift (a bear signed by all the guests at the bash) and a photograph of the whole celebration. A highlight of this option is that there is no fee attached to the actual venue; rather, parents are only paying for the adorable stuffed animals that each guest gets to take home. What’s more, moms and pops can control how much they spend by setting a budget that determines which bears little ones get to make and whether or not they can embellish them in cute mini garments and accessories. A minimum of six children is required to schedule a party.
Price: From R89 to about R235 per child.
Tyger Valley Centre | C/o Bill Bezuidenhout and Willie van Schoor roads | Bellville | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 914 3719
Somerset Mall | Centenary Drive | Intersection of N2 and R44 | Somerset West | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 852 2338
Cape Town Science Centre
A delight for curious kids of all ages on any normal day, the Cape Town Science Centre is a great, and especially affordable option for children’s celebrations, particularly during the cold winter months when Cape Town’s weather is precarious at best. The indoor discovery-focused complex, which boasts floors full of exciting interactive displays and exhibits, also offers a room that can be hired for a two-hour period specifically for minors’ festivities; grown-ups need just bring the snacks, drinks and decorations. Kiddies then have access to all the interesting bits and bobs on show in the centre, and can spend hours on end building bridges and homes in the construction area, playing with colourful blocks in the Lego section, poring over mini train sets and giant chess boards and just generally experimenting and learning. There are a number of facilitators available on the floor, but parents should note that they’re responsible for supervising their own little guests. The party room can accommodate a maximum of 14 people.
Price: R180 for room hire (for two hours only), plus an entrance fee of R33 per child for groups of 10 or more or R38 per child for groups of less than 10 (this fee grants them access to the centre for a full day).
370B Main Road | Observatory | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 300 3200
Perfect for mini adrenaline junkies hungry for a party with a difference, aerial adventure centre Acrobranch in the Constantia Winelands takes birthday bashes up a notch, quite literally. The action-packed park boasts three fun obstacle courses of varying difficulty, all arranged high up in trees; kids from three years old and up (there’s a very basic course for the littlest ones) can have a whale of a time navigating everything from zip lines and rope bridges to narrow tunnels, trapezes and Tarzan swings. While fun is the key focus, the venue is also big on safety and makes sure all kids first receive clear instructions and are carefully harnessed in. Not to mention, experienced guides are present to monitor little ones for the full two hours they’re on the courses. Though the centre doesn’t offer any snacks or sweets for the tots, catering and party packs can be arranged with the on-site Constantia Nek Restaurant (this eatery is a separate entity to Acrobranch but is on the same property). While a wonderful party option in summer, parents should bear in mind that because the whole park is outdoors, it will not operate in poor winter weather (bookings already made can be rescheduled if need be).
Price: R80, R110 or R140 per child depending on courses chosen; during the week, one child is allowed free entry for every 10 people, and on the weekend, one child gets free entry for every 15.
Hout Bay Road (next to Constantia Nek Restaurant) | Constantia | Cape Town | +27 (0) 81 851 1765
Kids’ Party Service Providers
Those who already have a great venue available to them, but are hard up on ideas for food or entertainment can consider eliciting the help of one of several ventures in Cape Town that’ll come to any space to offer kids’ party-related services. What follows is a small selection of Mother City enterprises that specialise in providing amusement or eats at little one’s birthday bashes:
- Artee Parteez: This creative children’s events company will go to any venue in Cape Town to run arts and crafts workshops, puppet shows, Lego parties and recording studio sessions (kids get to make their own CDs) bound to keep young’uns entertained for hours (+27 (0) 84 207 0180).
- Picnic Company: These Cape Town-based snack specialists create and deliver a range of kiddies’ picnic baskets and boxes, filled with child-appropriate nibbles and goodies, to any outdoor spot (+27 (0) 21 706 8470) .
- Sporting Chance: Professional coaches from thisMother City foundation will visit any home or venue in the area to lead a range of action-packed sporting activities – rugby, soccer, cricket, hockey and more – at kids’ functions (+27 (0) 21 683 7299).
Keen to take your little one out for lunch for their special occasion? Consult our overview of kid-friendly restaurants in Cape Town.
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