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Things to do when it rains in Cape Town
It’s raining, it’s pouring, but this city is far from snoring
It’s raining, it’s pouring, but this city is far from snoring
As soon as grey clouds appear on the horizon, most Cape Town locals subject themselves to voluntary house arrest; only the essential trips to the shop impede on their outdoor embargo. That said, even wintry clouds have a silver lining, and the redeeming factor attached to the poor weather months of June, July and August is that you’re entitled to due time to enjoy the endless array of the Mother City’s fabulous indoor activities (often forgotten when the sun doth shine).
So, don’t let the season’s dark clouds rain on your parade, and if you’re at a loss for what to do when the heavens have opened, have a look at our list below of things to do when it rains in Cape Town.
Things to do when it rains in Cape Town
For the adventurous at heart
Contrary to popular belief, physical activities are not necessarily constrained to the great outdoors. Cape Town offers a great selection of activities even when the weather is less than desirable:
- Surfing at Muizenberg
You’re going to get wet anyway, so why not enjoy it? Not to mention, the waves are best in winter. So, head out to the Surfer’s Corner at Muizenberg (or any of the city’s best surf spots) for a relaxing surf followed by a warm cup of coffee at one of the many restaurants along the beach’s promenade.
- Indoor climbing at City Rock
Get in touch with your inner Spiderman and tackle the climbing walls of City Rock. There is a range of different walls suited for various experience levels, and it is an excellent way to exercise body and mind.
Price: Day pass (without gear-hire): adults:R90; students: R70; children: R65. Day pass (with gear-hire): adults: R140; students: R120; children: R115.
Opening hours: Monday - Thursday: 9am - 9pm;Friday,Saturday, Sunday & Holidays: 10am - 6pm
Corner Collingwood & Anson Road |Observatory| Cape Town | +27 (0)21 447 1326
- Ten pin bowling at N1 City’s Wonderland
Why not try your hand at an internationally popular game which will test your concentration, stamina and skill - all in a safe, friendly environment. There is also a treasure trove of activities in the rest of the Wonderland arena for those with an arcade fetish.
Price: Mondays – Thursdays: R35 per person; Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays: R40 per person; corporate package (10 people or more): R50 per person between 9am and 3pm; R80 per person between 3pm and 12am.
Opening hours: Mondays - Sundays: 9am-12am.
Louwtjie Rothman Street | Goodwood | Cape Town |+27 (0) 21 595 2100
- Ice skating at Grand West casino
The Olympic-sized ice rink at Grand West Casino is a spectacle unto itself, but even if you or some other unfortunate soul end up being a second, and less promising, spectacle, you’re still bound to have fun at the Ice Station. Skates are available for hire, and make sure to dress warmly, as the air-conditioning unit is at full blast to ensure the ice stays frozen.
Price: From R25 if you have your own skates; from R35 if you hire skates. Prices vary depending on which session you skate.
Opening times: Mondays - Fridays: 10am – 12h30pm, 2pm - 4:30pm; Saturdays: 9am-11.30am, 12pm-2.30pm, 3pm-5.30pm, 6pm – 8.30pm; Sundays: 12pm -12am.
1 Vanguard Drive | Grand West Casino | Goodwood | +27 (0) 21 535 2260
For animal lovers
This is a great option for parents who are faced with the predicament of energetic children on the one side, and rainy weather on the other:
- The Two Oceans Aquarium
This underwater treasure trove is home to over 3,000 living sea animals such as sharks, fish, turtles and penguins. The aquarium raises environmental awareness through high-quality exhibits, conservation and education programs, and kids will have hours of fun exploring the wonders of our marine-rich waters.
Price: Adults: R112; pensioners and South African students: R87; children (between 4yrs and 13yrs): R55; children (between 14yrs and 17yrs): R87; children under the age of three: free.
Opening hours: Monday – Sunday: 9:30am – 6pm
Dock Road | V&A Waterfront | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 418 3823
- Butterfly World
Butterfly World is one of the more unique attractions of the Western Cape Winelands, and is located near the small Boland town of Klapmuts. Consisting of a tropical garden in an 1000 square metre greenhouse, this magnificent abode allows for all the free flying exotic butterflies to feel right at home. You can also expect spectacular displays of indigenous and exotic spiders and scorpions that are housed in locked glass terraria.
Price: R48 per adult; R28 for children over three; R125 per family (2 adults, 2 children); R41 for pensioners/students. Children under the age of three: free.
Opening times: Monday – Sunday: 9am to 5pm
Route 44| Klapmuts| Cape Winelands| +27 (0)21 875 5628
For those in the mood for some R & R
If you don’t want your mood (and your appearance for that matter) to reflect the gloomy weather outside, why not invest in some self-indulgence at one of these Mother City spas? They will have you feeling and looking like a million bucks in no time.
- Ways of Wellness
Ways of Wellness is the first organic beauty salon in Cape Town. The wellness centre prides itself on the use of environmentally-friendly, certified organic and natural products, as well as on one-of-a-kind treatments. Take their fish spa for example: it consists of hundreds of little toothless nibble fish that suck and gently nibble away at dry and dead skin, leaving your feet feeling silky and soft (price starts at R100). Plus, if the weather takes an unexpected turn for the worse, you can just pop in for a quick treatment – they work on a no appointment schedule.
11 Park Road | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 424 5503
- Librisa Spa at the Mount Nelson
The Librisa Spa is one of Cape Town’s leading holistic day spas, and care is taken to use only 100% natural and chemical free spa products. Each visit begins with a consultation, taking into account individual needs. Visitors can then choose from a wide range of face and body treatments, each of which is administered in a spacious Victorian room. After your treatment, further relaxation is available in the form of a Finnish sauna, steam bath and plunge pool. There is also a fully supervised children’s club that will make sure the young ones are well looked after while you get pampered.
76 Orange Street | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 483 1553/4
Cape Town boasts a variety of museums and educational centres geared towards exploring and informing individuals about our country’s rich history and diverse culture. What better way to spend a rainy day than by embarking on a stimulating visit to one of these institutions:
- Cape Town Museums
The musty smell of old photographs and historic artefacts in well-lit showrooms offers a welcome retreat from the rainy weather outside. Take a look at our list of museums in Cape Town for an informative blast from the past.
- The Planetarium
Inside the domed auditorium of the Iziko Museum, one can sit back and watch the beauty of a recreated night sky. Whatever the weather outside, the Planetarium sky is always clear, and the extraordinary audio-visual experience is a great astronomy teaching tool for old and young alike.
Price: Adults (19 years and older): R25; children, students and SA pensioners: R10. Closed on Worker’s Day, Christmas day and first Monday of every month (excluding school holidays).
Shows for the kids: Monday to Friday: 11am, 12pm and 3pm. Saturdays and Sundays: 12pm and 3:30 pm.
Shows for adults: Monday to Friday: 1pm and 2pm. Tuesdays: 8pm; Saturdays and Sundays: 1pm and 2:30pm
25 Queen Victoria Street | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 481 3900
- The Scratch Patch
The Scratch Patch at the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront houses a variety of South Africa’s precious- and semi-precious stones. It is regarded as one of the most popular and convenient places in Cape Town to buy gemstones, with a selection of stones like Tiger’s Eye, Rose Quartz, Amethyst, Jasper, Agates and Crystals. Purchase a small plastic bag or container (R15 to R90) and then fill it to the top.
Price: Entrance is free; but you’ll need to buy a bag to fill with stones: R15, R25, R50 or R90.
Opening times: Monday to Sunday (7 days a week) from 9am – 5:30pm
Dock Road | Victoria & Alfred Waterfront | Cape Town| +27 (0) 21 419 9429
- The Science Centre
A world of discovery under one roof, the Science Centre features a wide variety of interactive displays and exciting activities for your enjoyment. Build a house in the exclusive 'kids only' Murray & Roberts Building Site, challenge your mind with Puzzling Things, experience weightlessness similar to that of space with a spin on the Human Gyroscope, and much more.
Price: Youth (3 – 18), students and adults: R38; pensioners: R15; groups of ten or more: R33 per person; family package (4 persons): R132.
Opening times: Monday to Saturday 9am - 4:30pm; Sundays & Public Holidays 10am - 4:30pm
370B Main Road | Observatory | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 300 3200
Let’s face it, there are few things as satisfying as a glass of red wine in front of a roaring fireplace. Pancakes are usually the go-to meal for South Africans on a rainy day, but if you don’t feel like dirtying up the dishes, head out to one of these Mother City gems for a cosy meal time treat:
- La Colombe
Fancy cosying up at one of San Pellegrino’s World’s Best 50 Restaurants? The well-loved, multi-award winning La Colombe offers French fine dining with an Asian twist in the elegant surrounds of Constantia Uitsig. Their 2012 winter menu is available from 16 June to 31 October (dinner) or 15 November (lunch) and offers good value on multi-course meals.
Opening times: Monday - Saturday: 12:30pm - 2pm; 7pm - 8:45pm; Sunday: 12:30pm - 2pm.
Constantia Uitsig Wine Estate | Spaanschemat River Road | Constantia | Cape Town |+ 27 (0) 21 794 2390
With a charming indoor area that sports a fireplace and a small bar, Cafe Roux is a relaxed, family-style village restaurant. The menu offers anything from Durban curries and Asian duck salad to burgers and all-day breakfasts. As a quaint Noordhoek neighbourhood eatery, Café Roux is the perfect place to unwind.
Opening times: Monday – Saturday: 8.30am - 5pm; Sunday: 8.30am – 6pm
Noordhoek Farm Village | Cnr Main Road and Village Lane | Noordhoek | Cape Town |+27 (0)21 789 2538
See our list of otherrestaurants with fireplaces in Cape Town.
- The Square at Vineyard Hotel & Spa
The Vineyard Hotel & Spa is heralding the arrival of the colder months with a series of themed dishes. The set menu offers patrons a choice between two starters, mains and desserts, and each winter month the menu has a different focus (i.e. the focus in July is classic French, and August will showcase the creations of young chefs).
Price: R135 for two courses; R165 for three courses.
Colinton Road (off Protea Road) | Newlands | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 657 4500
Executive Chef Cheyne Morrisby will whip your taste buds into shape with a special winter menu inspired by the Pacific Rim. Though the estate’s farm kitchen hasn’t slashed prices or offered two-for-ones like so many Cape Town eateries, their attention to detail and innovative offering is, nonetheless, value for money. The Franschhoek Kitchen is open for lunch and dinner from Tuesdays to Saturdays, and Sundays for lunch.
3 Green Valley Road | Franschhoek | +27 (0)21 876 2729
See our list of other Cape Town winter specials.
If tedious board-games and puzzle building indoors aren’t your thing, the Mother City’s endless array of theatres will banish those blues with the drop of a curtain:
- Show and meal ticket at Die Boer in Durbanville
If you would like to see if the grass is greener on the other side, head out to the “boerewors-gordyn” in the Northern suburbs. Here lies one of the best dinner-theatre and live entertainment venues the Western Cape has to offer – Die Boer. At this restaurant-cum-theatre, you can experience the crème de la crème of South African music, comedy and theatre productions whilst having a great meal in a warm, comforting and superb acoustic environment. Acts include Koos Kombuis, Valiant Swart, The Charlie King Band, Van Coke Kartel and comedy with Melt Sieberhagen. At the restaurant you can order anything from traditional South African fare,to exotic dishes from the East.
Price: Show prices vary between R80 and R250; food prices are variable.
Opening times: Dinner runs between 6pm and 8pm; show starts at 8pm sharp. They are open on different days, so call in advance to make sure they’re open, and to book your ticket.
6 Chenoweth Street | Durbanville | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 979 1911
- Catch a show at the Artscape
Since 1971, the Artscape (formerly known as the Nico Malan Theatre Centre) has been entertaining crowds with its unique blend of theatre productions. The stage plays host to world-class acts, ranging from ballet to magic performances. Check out theatres in Cape Town for a round-up of the best theatres in town.
Opening times: box office: Mondays – Fridays: 9am to 5pm; Saturdays: 9am to 12:30pm.
DF Malan Street | Foreshore | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 410 9800