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When it rains stay indoors … but not at home

25+ ways to spend a winter’s day in Cape Town

Last updated: Tuesday, 7 May 2024

Sure, stay indoors when it’s cold and wet... but who says you have to stay home? From free and affordable to cosy and romantic, there’s lots to choose from. Visit a self-portrait photo studio, indoor skatepark, once-in-a-lifetime art exhibition, free toffee tasting and more.

CAPE TOWN’S FIRST ARCADE BAR 

It’s become one of Cape Town’s coolest bars. Why? Because it’s also an arcade. Barcadia has classic games like Rave Racer, Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter, Terminator 2, and Tekken 3. The games are free to play when you buy a drink. There’s popcorn, sodas on tap, beers, ciders and spirits. Find out more about retro Barcadia.  

Hours: Tuesdays to Saturdays, 1pm to 2am
Cost: From R15 for soda on tap


62 Hout Street | Cape Town | @barcadiaza | Image: Barcadia

SKATING FOR ALL AGES (AND WHEELS)

The Shred is an indoor skatepark for skaters, rollerbladers, bikers, and BMX riders of all ages. It’s the only public indoor skate park in Cape Town, making it great for a rainy day activity. It’s open daily and has special events like ladies night and half-price Mondays. You can also enjoy pizzas, burgers and more at The Shred

Hours: Monday, 8am to 6pm; Tuesday to Thursday, 8am to 9pm; Friday to Sunday, 8am to 6pm
Cost: From R50 for a three hour session


68 Auckland Street | Paarden Eiland | @the_shred_skatepark | Image: The Shred

100+ ARTWORKS FROM ESTHER MAHLANGU 

Globally acclaimed artist Esther Mahlangu is showcasing 100+ of her artworks at Iziko South African National Gallery until 11 August 2024. The once-in-a-lifetime exhibition “Then I Knew I Was Good at Painting”: Esther Mahlangu, A Retrospective includes iconic artworks like the BMW 525i Art Car. Read more about Esther Mahlangu’s art and career.

Hours: Daily, 9am - 5pm
Cost: R40 for SA citizens; R60 standard fee


25 Queen Victoria Street | Gardens | @esthermahlanguart | Image: Esther Mahlangu

THE CITY’S FIRST HAND CASTING EXPERIENCE

Looking for a date idea, or just want to try something fun and new with friends or family? This experience is a great way to spend a rainy day. Spend an afternoon making your very own hand statues. You get all the materials, plus you can spray paint it gold or silver. There's also drinks, snacks and games at the 2handsy experience

Hours: Saturdays & Sundays, from 12pm
Cost: Packages from R395 for adults and R195 for kids (under 12)


Various locations | @2handsyexperience | Image: 2handsy

FREE TOFFEE TASTINGS 

It’s a different kind of tasting experience. In this wildflower-filled town, you’ll find Darling Sweet. Here you can taste various toffees and see how they’re made and packaged, all for free. And the flavours are anything but traditional. There’s bird’s eye chili, rooibos chai, orange & cranberry, coffee and more to be tasted at this free toffee tasting.  

Hours: Monday - Friday, 8am to 5pm; Saturday, 10am to 2pm
Cost: Free


7A Lang Street | Darling | R315 | @_darling_sweet_  | Image: Darling Sweet

EVER HEARD OF KINTSUGI?

Kintsugi is the Japanese art of putting broken pottery pieces back together with gold. This Asian deli teaches guests the philosophy and practice of this ancient art form. All materials are included except the broken ceramic (you can bring your own or purchase from their collection). Plus, stick around for comfort food, from dimsum to bao buns. 

Hours: Daily, 9am to 6pm
Cost: R480 per person


35 Main Road | Hout Bay | @yescas_teahouse | Image: Yesca's Teahouse

KIDS CAN PLAY; PARENTS CAN WORK

It’s an indoor gem for the kids, found in the southern suburbs. Play Station by Rush is an indoor play park with an adventure maze, 4-metre high line course, bike pump track, rock climbing and a pitch for soccer and cricket. There’s also a fully-functioning restaurant and work areas with wifi for the parents needing to get things done. 

Hours: Sunday - Thursday, 9am to 6pm; Friday and Saturday, 9am to 10pm
Cost: R200pp


10 Honeywell Road | Retreat | @playstationrush | Image: Play Station

AN ELEVATED BRAAI EXPERIENCE

This restaurant plays on traditional flavours with an elegant flare. Cooking on an open flame, FYRE Dining's menu includes biltong-spiced lamb chops, truffle pap and braaibroodjies. There's also vegetarian options and desserts like melktert ice cream. From the roaming peacocks to the live jazz music, FYRE Dining is great for a cosy date night

Hours: Wednesday to Saturday, 12pm to 11pm; Sunday, 12pm to 8pm
Cost: Fyre bites start from R80


Olijvenkraal Olive and Wine Farm | 1-12 Contractorpad | Simondium | Paarl | @fyre_diningsa | Image: Marcelle Nel

SPEND A WINTER DAY PLAYING NINJA 

Be a kid again at the largest inflatable and obstacle course in Africa, according to Total Ninja. It's a supervised activity and fitness venue inspired by the global phenomenon Ninja Warrior. You can climb, balance, jump and swing across different obstacles using your ninja skills, plus there’s a dedicated section for mini warriors (five and under). 

Hours: Monday to Friday, 10am - 9pm; Saturday and Sunday, 9am - 9pm
Cost: R80 for mini warriors, R160 for adults


Black River Park | The Warehouse | 2 Fir Street | Observatory | @totalninjabrp | Image: Total Ninja

A PRIVATE PHOTOSHOOT

Ever wanted to do a professional photoshoot but felt too nervous? Instead of spending a cold day at home, spend it in a self-portrait photo studio. At Tru U it’s just you, the mirror and the remote. Plus, whoever you want to bring with you. It's a safe space whether you want to make memories with a significant other, friends or a solo shoot. 

Hours: Daily, 11am to 7pm
Cost: From R790 per session


Canterbury Studios | 35 Wesley Street | Gardens | @tru_u_photography | Image: Tru U

SECRETS WITHIN THE AQUARIUM

There’s just something about an aquarium that brings out the best in people. Adults get to be a kid again and kids get to experience a world of wonderment. The Two Oceans Aquarium is a beacon of joy for locals, and millions of ocean lovers around the world, and there’s so many secrets to unlock within (and beyond) the exhibits at Two Oceans

Hours: Monday to Friday, 9.30am - 6pm, Saturday and Sunday, 9am - 6pm
Cost: R235 for adults, R175 for pensioners and students, free for kids under 3


Dock Road (by the Watershed) | V&A Waterfront | @2OceansAquarium | Image: Lara van Zyl

COSY BISTRO FOR A COLD DAY

Chocolat Bistro in Durbanville is lavishly decorated with antique candelabras, mirrors, sculptures and rustic leather chairs. The inside has a moody setting with a toasty fireplace, perfect for rainy days. The menu has something for every taste (even the little ones), from croque madame and savoury pancakes to pizza and gourmet sandwiches. 

Hours: Monday, 7am - 5pm; Tuesday to Saturday, 7am - 10pm; Sunday, 8am - 3pm
Cost: From R59 for lunch


46 Oxford Street | Durbanville | @chocolatbistro | Image: Chocolat Bistro

LATE NIGHT FAVOURITE: KARAOKE

Let your inner star shine on this glimmering stage and sing your heart out. Bokeh Creative Studio hosts karaoke nights with a multitude of songs available. Enjoy cocktails and wine with friends. Plus, you can order food from Bokeh’s neighbours – Three Wise Monkeys, Una Mas and Only Fools – and it will be brought to your table. Over 23s only. 

Hours: Tuesday - Saturday, 8am - 2am; Monday and Sunday, 6pm - 2am
Cost: Free entrance 


84 Regent Road | Sea Point | @bokehvenue | Image: Bokeh

TASTE THE OLDEST (FERMENTED) BEVERAGE

Have you ever tasted mead? You can learn about the history of mead while tasting this ancient African beverage with a modern twist. The intimate tasting room can take up to 10 guests at a time. The tasting includes 10 different kinds of mead, including sparkling mead, gluhwein, lager and Viking-style all at Cape Town Meadery.

Hours: Daily, 11am - 1pm; 2.30pm - 4.30pm
Cost: R120pp


Unit 27 | The Old Timber Yard | 7th Avenue | Maitland | @cape_town_meadery | Image: Cape Town Meadery

INDOOR MOUNTAIN MARKET

This is farmers market has both standrard finds like homemade pancakes, ice-cream, fresh fruits and veggies, flowers and honey. But, you'll also find some sweet gems like fresh roosterkoek, homemade kombucha, and Micro Dairy products. The winter markets are held on the Retreat Guest Farm at the Farm Shed on Piket-Bo-Berg.

Hours: Last Saturday of every month; 9am - 12pm
Cost: Free entrance


Retreat Guest Farm | Piket-Bo-Berg | Piketberg | @piketbobergfarmersmarket | Image: Piket-Bo-Berg Farmers Market

HANG OUT AT A CANNABIS CLUB

Open 365 days, Cannibisters is an inviting space with couches, a pillow fort, board games, and The Serenity Room (filled with psychedelic art). There's bongs, edibles and 90+ strains of weed. Plus, if the munchies kick in, you can grab something at the fully stocked tuckshop or coffee bar. Here’s how you can become a Cannibisters member.

Hours: Daily, 10am to 11.30pm
Cost: R100 monthly membership fee


65 Regent Road | Sea Point | Website | Image: Cannibisters 

A TROVE OF ANTIQUES

Tucked away at the top of a long, narrow staircase in Simonstown is a treasure trove bursting with retro memorabilia. All with a sea view of Simonstown Harbour from the cafe deck. See a large red London phone booth, miniature cars, comic book memorabilia and an entire room dedicated to vintage clothing at Collectables Hub and Cafe

Hours: Friday to Monday, 10am - 5pm
Cost: Free entrance


98 St George’s Street | Simon's Town| @collectables_hub_and_cafe | Image: Collectable’s Hub and Cafe

CAN YOU ESCAPE?

Escape from prison or a villains lair, break a curse or launch a torpedo. You’ll be locked inside a themed room (2 to 6 players) with only 60 minutes to escape. Whether you’re a wannabe sleuth or logical thinker, you might enjoy the thrill of unlocking one clue after another to solve HintHunt’s escape-room games

Hours: Monday to Wednesday, 10am - 7pm; Thursday to Saturday, 10am - 8:30pm; Sunday, 10am - 5pm
Cost: From R315pp


Watershed | 17 Dock Road | V&A Waterfront | Cape Town | @hinthuntafrica | Image: HintHunt

TEA TASTING IN THE SOUTHERN SUBURBS

It’s all about the culture of tea making and drinking at Nigiro Teacafe. This Plumstead gem holds 130 varieties of tea, including Piña Coladas or French Kisses, and some favourites like Cederberg Highveld Rooibos. Learn the art of tea making, share a pot with the owner and enjoy the tea-inspired food menu at Nigiro

Hours: Monday to Sundays, 7am to 10pm
Cost: Varies depending on tea


71 Gabriel Road | Plumstead | @nigiroteacafe | Image: Nigiro Tea

MAKE YOUR OWN GIN

This working distillery in Woodstock offers a truly unique experience even non-gin drinkers will enjoy. You don’t only taste award-winning gins at this working distillery, you also get to create your very own. Choose the percentage of alcohol, flavour profile, colour and even design the label. There's also wood-fired pizzas at Distiller’s Union.

Hours: Wednesday and Thursday, 8am - 6pm; Friday and Saturday, 10am - 9pm
Cost: R595 for gin making experience


156 Victoria Road | Woodstock | 021 447 2517 | @distillersunion | Image: Distiller’s Union

CATCH A MOVIE IN AN OLD CINEMA

Think olden day knick knacks like vintage records, old books and a 60s-inspired diner with a candy counter. Romantiques in Hermanus has a range of items, including an entire section dedicated to period clothing. There’s also a coffee shop in the garden and an intimate old-world theatre where you can enjoy weekly afternoon movies. 

Hours: Monday to Friday, 9am - 4pm; Saturday, 9am - 3pm
Cost: Free entrance


14 Aberdeen Street | Hermanus | @romantiques_store | Image: Lara van Zyl

SILENT DISCO WINE PAIRING 

You won’t find traditional cheese-and-wine pairings here. Every Saturday this eccentric cellar offers a silent disco wine pairing to the sounds of rock ‘n roll. It’s held in the tasting room where the tables are wine barrels and the walls are painted with murals of iconic rock stars like Freddie Mercury, ACDC and more at Black Elephant Vintners.

Hours: Saturdays, from 11am
Cost: R150 - R300pp


40a Uitkyk Street | Franschhoek | @bevintners | Image: Tasting Cape Town

ROCK WALL CLIMBING

This one is for the adrenaline junkies. Get your climb on at CityROCK in Paarden Island, a huge indoor climbing gym and training spot. You can work on your strength, get fit or just climb for fun. Tip: There are good beginner options. Go with someone who has climbed before to give you some guidance. 

Hours: Monday to Thursday, 11am - 9pm; Friday - Sunday, 9am - 6pm
Cost: R180 day pass


9 Milner Street | Paarden Eiland | Website | @cityrock_cpt

A MARKET IN AN OLD APPLE WAREHOUSE

Everybody loves an old steam train...and most people love a market. Put those two things together and you’ve got the Elgin Railway Market. Set in an old apple warehouse, this converted steampunk, art deco market boasts local food and craft vendors and live music. If you’re lucky, you’ll see the steam train arrive. 

Hours: Monday - Friday, 8am - 4pm; Saturday and Sunday, 9am - 4pm
Cost: Free entrance


Oak Avenue | Elgin | @elginrailwaymarket | Image: Elgin Railway Market

CAVE PUTT PUTT FOR ALL AGES 

It’s raining, the kids are bored and you were hoping to play 18 holes. Kill all these birds with one stone at an indoor 18-hole putt putt haunt. Just next to the V&A Waterfront’s Scratch Patch, this venue is designed like a cosy cave, keeping players on their toes with tricky angles, uneven surfaces, steep hills and awkward obstacles.

Hours: Monday to Friday, 9am - 4.45pm; Saturday and Sunday, 9am - 5pm
Cost: R35 per player


1 Dock Road | V&A Waterfront | @scratchpatchsa | Image: Scratch Patch

A COSY BOOK NOOK

Spend a rainy day browsing through a cosy bookstore and add to your to-be-read list. From cosy book nooks and storytime sessions to shops with antiques and comics, here are some of the new, curious and quintessential bookstores in Cape Town.

Hours: Various
Cost: Free entry


Various locations | Image: @thegirlwhoatetheworld

WINE BARS: FROM FREE TO ROMANTIC

Ever tried a bar crawl? How about a wine bar crawl? We’ve found 13 of the city’s coolest picks. There’s free and blind tastings, a rooftop social, a coffee shop that turns into a wine bar at night, a cosy spot for a romantic date night, Neapolitan-style pizzas, a fashion store and more wine bars to visit on a rainy day

Hours: Various
Cost: From R45 by the glass


Various locations | Image: Bouchon Bistro

BEST BAKERIES, VOTED BY YOU

What’s better than a warm pastry or sweet treat on a cold day? We asked you to tell us your favourite bakeries and you didn’t hold back. There’s a pet-friendly café in Kalk Bay, coffee shop run by the deaf community, bread shop in Gugulethu and the viral ‘crookie’. These are some of the best bakeries in Cape Town

Hours: Various
Cost: From R20


Various locations | Image: Norfolk Deli

By Sarah Williams 

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MAKE MORE MEMORIES THIS WINTER

Explore all the places you never know with these hidden gems.

Even the parents can enjoy these indoor kids activities

Discover all of the city’s hot and new places

There’s always something to do in our weekend guide.

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Cape Town Events Calendar
June 2024
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