With music by Cyndi Lauper, several Tonys and a Laurence Olivier Award
Free and Cheap Things to Do with Kids in Cape Town
Fun family-friendly discoveries for mahala or less than R66
Update: 28 December 2018
A free birthday experience. A world of excellent street food at family prices. A maze to conquer at an animal farm in the deep Deep South. And free experiences, from skating to flower picking, for the whole family to enjoy.
SPLASH OUT AT MONDEOR IN SOMERSET WEST
Not only does this family-style restaurant serve delicious food, but there is also a huge kiddies play area, a slip ‘n slide slippery slide and a splash pool. You can also expect live music.
Price: Free entry but prices are according to the menu
Hours: Sun–Thur: 9am–5pm; Fri–Sat: 9am–6pm
22 Mondeor Street, Somerset West | email@example.com, +27(021) 858-1608
ANIMAL FARM AND FUN RIDES IN STELLENBOSCH
Situated on the well-known Vredenheim Wine Farm in Stellenbosch, this new addition offers a range of activities that will entertain the whole family. There are a variety of tame and friendly farm animals and the kids may feed them too if they wish. The kids can play in the park while mom and dad sit back and enjoy a glass of wine and a snack from the food court. Discover Vredenheim Animal Farm.
Price: 0–12 months: free; children R40, adults R20 (tractor rides cost an additional R20)
Hours: Sat–Sun: 10am–4pm
Vredenheim Farm, Baden Powell Drive | 083 391 5510
FREE AQUARIUM ENTRY ON BIRTHDAYS
Is it someone's birthday? Good news is all South African now get free entry into the Two Oceans Aquarium at the V&A Waterfront on their birthday (or the six days after). The aquarium is celebrating its 23rd birthday by giving you free access on yours. Get all the info on the Two Oceans Aquarium free birthday experience. Plus: Discover 15 exciting reasons to visit the Two Oceans Aquarium in Cape Town.
Hours: 9:30am - 6pm | 365 days a year
Dock Road, V&A Waterfront | +27 (0)21 418 3823 | firstname.lastname@example.org
At this new V&A Waterfront district called Battery Park, there's a public skate park that's free to use alongside a multi-purpose basketball court. Set with the picturesque Table Mountain in the background, it's a popular place to explore and hang out. Read more about Battery Park.
Price: Free entry
Hours: Daylight hours
GOOD FOOD AND MUSIC AT THE V&A FOOD MARKET
Let’s face it, the V&A Waterfront is the perfect place for a family outing. The V&A Food Market is a beautiful indoor market that offers a multitude of vendors serving quality artisanal street food at reasonable prices, seven days a week. From pizza and burgers to sushi, steak and Indian tapas, the market offers every style and cuisine you can imagine at a range of prices. It also offers free live music sessions on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays from 1pm-5pm, upstairs. There is also plenty of seating inside and out and even a play gym for the kids outside when the weather is good. The market is conveniently located in the Old Power Station building, next to the Watershed and Aquarium, on the walkway that snakes through all the main outside action on its way to the shopping mall. Read more about the V&A Food Market.
Hours: Sun–Thurs: 10am–8pm; Fri–Sat: 10am–9pm
Price: Free entry + prices according to vendor
Dock Road | V&A Waterfront | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 418 1605
IZIKO PLANETARIUM AND DIGITAL DOME
This world-class digital exhibition combines art and science and is sure to give kids a great learning experience while being thoroughly entertained. This newly upgraded facility showcases productions not only focusing on astronomy but includes exhibitions on anatomy, marine life and more. With the shows’ picture quality having a high resolution of projection (67.1 megapixels), it would feel as if you’re being transported into another dimension. Read more about the Iziko Planetarium and Digital Dome.
Price: Adults (19 years and older): R60; children, students and pensioners: R30
Hours: Tues–Sun: 9am - 5pm; closed on Mondays, Workers’ Day and Christmas Day. On Wednesday evenings, there are shows ar 7 and at 8 pm.
25 Queen Victoria Street | Cape Town City Centre | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 481 3900
MAZE WORLD AT IMHOFF FARM
The 3D interactive Maze World combines fun and education in one space. Both kids and parents can explore the maze while learning about wildlife conservation. The maze is filled with riddles, so just as it is a physically engaging activity, it does well to exercise the brain too! Read more about Maze World.
Price: Adults: R50; Children: R50
Hours: Tue–Sun: 9am–5pm and open on public holidays, weather permitting
Kommetjie Road | Kommetjie | Cape Town | +27 (0)83 495 4539 / +27(0)21 783 0082
If there’s one thing many kids love, it’s getting messy with art supplies. The Clay Cafe is situated in a picturesque setting in Hout Bay where kids can paint a range of ceramics such as bowls, mugs and plates, have it fired, glazed and take home. The venue has wide open lawns and trampolines for a break from all the active creativity. Although a great way to keep the kids occupied, the activity of painting pottery can be quite therapeutic for adults too. Read more about Clay Cafe.
Price: R40 studio fee + the value of the selected items (the ceramics prices vary depending on size and shape)
Hours: Open every day: 9am–5pm
4080 Main Road | Hout Bay | Cape Town | 076 810 5120
STELLENBOSCH TOY AND MINIATURE MUSEUM
There’s enough to enchant inquisitive kids for a solid hour or two at this captivating Cape Winelands museum. The affordable, family-friendly venue is home to an assortment of vintage playthings and a wonderland of tiny replicas. While fascinating for children, this gem is also a delight for parents, who can reminisce about their toys from the past and reconnect with a time before technology took over.
Price: R5 for children; R15 for adults
Hours: Mon–Fri: 9am–4:30pm; Sat and public holidays: 9am–2pm (times may vary over the Festive Season)
Market Street (behind the Information Bureau) | Stellenbosch | +27 (0)21 882 8861 / +27 (0)79 981 7067
LE BONHEUR CROCODILE FARM
Located just outside Paarl, this family-run farm gives little ones the rare chance to view hundreds of live Nile crocodiles. Le Bonheur runs regular guided tours to view these fascinating, toothy reptiles. Verdant lawns, an outdoor jungle gym and an indoor playpen are also on site for kids. Read more about Le Bonheur Crocodile Farm.
Price: Croc Pond Guided Tour: R66 for adults; R40 for persons under 18 years old.
Hours: Mon–Sun: 9am–5pm
Babylonstoren Road | R45 | Simondium | Western Cape | +27 (0)21 863 1142
GARDENS SKATE PARK
This kid-friendly skate park offers hours of mahala entertainment. Though it is also used by more serious athletes training for competitions, the park is open to inexperienced little ones too. As it’s well lit and completely fenced in, the arena is safe for younger kids, and there’s also space for adults to stand and watch. Be advised that the park is located right next to a busy intersection. Read more about the Gardens Skate Park.
Price: Free entrance
Hours: Opening times are flexible, but usually 8am–9pm
Under the Mill Street Bridge (Jutland Avenue Bridge) | Gardens | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 487 2025
STORY TIME AT THE BOOK LOUNGE
The Book Lounge in Cape Town’s East City offers a delightful event that keeps kids entertained. Storytime at The Book Lounge is most appropriate for children older than three but younger than eight, and parental supervision is required.
Session time: Every Saturday at 11am (times may vary over the Festive Season)
71 Roeland Street | East City | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 462 2425
ROSE PICKING AT CHART FARM
Picking your own roses at Wynberg’s charming Chart Farm is a fun activity for children. Between November and June every year, the property’s gardens are in full bloom and guests come to pick roses of their choice. The farm is also home to a quaint café that looks out over the rolling hills and vineyards of the Constantia Valley and serves delicious treats.
Price: R6 per rose
Hours: Mon–Sun: 9am–4:30pm
Klaassens Road | Wynberg | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 761 0434
WATCH THE FIRING OF SIGNAL HILL’S NOON GUN
The daily 12pm blast of the Noon Gun is a sound many Capetonians are accustomed to, and its story is interesting for kids and adults. View the noon firing, a few meters away from the detonation, for free and listen to a brief talk beforehand that explains the history of one of the Mother City’s oldest traditions. Read more about the Noon Gun.
Firing Time: Mon–Sat: 12 noon (arrive at 11:30am for the talk and build-up)
Lion Battery | Military Road (follow signs from corner of Bloem and Buitengracht streets) | Bo-Kaap | Cape Town
Intaka Island is a 16-hectare wetland and nature reserve a short drive from Cape Town’s CBD. You can either do a guided stroll along the 2km walkway that snakes around the isle or go at it yourself and, stop at various stations to read up about the plants, marine creatures and birds. There is also a ferry that takes you on a brief ride down the Grand Canal, but pre-booking is essential.
Price: Entrance fee to Intaka Island: R20 for adults and R12 for children. Boat Rides: R60 for adults and R50 for children and pensioners
Intaka: October to April: 7:30am–7pm; May to September: 7:30am–5:30pm
Boat: 9:30am–3:30pm (Festive Season hours may vary)
2 Park Lane | Grand Central Precinct | Century City | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 552 6889
A SHOW AT THE RAINBOW PUPPET THEATRE
This Constantia-based theatre is an absolute must-visit. Follow them on Facebook for the latest news. The team of puppeteers use the figures to tell fairy tales and stories such as The Frog Prince. Read more about the Rainbow Puppet Theatre.
Kindergarten Building | Constantia Waldorf School | Spaanschemat River Road | Constantia | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 783 2063
TAP INTO TIDAL POOLS
Beautifully clean, safe and uncrowded. Fed by the Atlantic and Indian Oceans in some of the most beautiful parts of the Western Cape. And – best of all – totally free to use. Get all the details about our fabulous tidal pools.
SWIM IN A PUBLIC POOL
Take your kids to the spectacular outdoor Sea Point Pavilion, or the indoor Long Street Baths or choose from a host of others. Read more about public pools in Cape Town.
Price: ±R23 for adults; R12 for kids
Hours: From ±7 am for daylight hours
LIFE'S A BEACH
Hidden gems, family-friendly beaches, beaches for sport-lovers, beaches for people-watchers. Dig your toes in the sand and catch some sun. Visit with family and friends to cool off while enjoying some sun at some of the most beautiful local beaches.
Head to the outdoor miniature golf course for family fun and maybe some competition. Your entry fee gets you a ball, club, pencil and scorecard and access to 18 holes.
Price: From R28
Hours: Mon–Sun 9am–9pm
Beach Road, Mouille Point | +27(0)21 434 6805, email@example.com
Muizenberg, False Bay Coast, The Pavilion, Beach Road | +27(0)21 788 8800, firstname.lastname@example.org
VISIT A LOCAL PARK
Cape Town is peppered with an assortment of public parks and considering entrance to all of them is free, visiting for the day is a great option. Fly a kite, explore, watch the dogs or walk yours (where allowed), or feed the squirrels. We have listed a few park options below – all are open every day during daylight hours.
- The Company’s Garden in the city centre (take along some nuts to feed the squirrels)
15 Queen Victoria Street | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 423 2919
- The Arderne Gardens' in Claremont (see a collection of remarkable and exotic trees. Entry is donation-based)
222 Main Road, Claremont | email@example.com
Green Point Urban Park (look out for the eco-friendly playground)
Fritz Sonnenberg | Green Point | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 417 0111
De Waal Park in Gardens (let the dogs come along too)
Molteno Road | CBD | Cape Town | +27 (0)84 888 8033
- Die Oog Conservation Area in Bergvliet (see how many birds, terrapins and tortoises you can spot – this sanctuary teems with flora and fauna)
6 Midwood Avenue | Bergvliet | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 712 3510
FAMILY TIME AT PLAY PARKS
When in doubt, pack the little ones into the car and head for a local play park – entrance fees are usually reasonable and children almost always have a tip-top time. Below you’ll find a couple of prime play park options to choose from:
- Planet Kids
Price: R40 for one hour and R70 for two hours for kids aged 2–13; R30 for kids under 2 years; free for adults
Hours: Thur–Sun: 10am–5pm
3 Wherry Road | Muizenberg | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 788 3070
- The Playshed
Price: Between R40 and R50 for the first hour for kids; free for babies under six months; free for parents
Hours: Tues–Sun: 9am–5pm
Oude Molen Eco Village | Pinelands | +27 (0)21 801 0141
- Fun House
Price: R40 day entrance for kids under 16; free for grown-ups
Hours: Fridays: 10am–3pm; Saturday and Sunday: 9am - 4pm
Donald’s Drive | Durbanville | +27 (0)82 770 3286
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A tribute to a woman who created magic behind the stove at the Halaal spot Cafe Zor in the Bo-Kaap.
Snoek, bokkoms and vetkoek at the Bergrivier Carnival on the West Coast.
Did you say waacking, popping, pantsula, breaking and locking? Catch it all at Cape Town’s Most Wanted.
South Africa's next TV star? Kids learn new acting and modelling skills at this on-camera workshop.
Tea drinking culture is changing. Come taste its new flavour at Royaltea Cape Town, a Tuesday treat to share with a friend at Royaltea’s Cape Town tea special and Free tasting of loose-leaf teas from China at Royaltea’s tea tastings.
On the Blouberg beachfront, for affordable prices and delicious food, bring your family to Our Place.
A new home-style authentic Italian restaurant in Woodstock where you can indulge with your family on the finest seasonal Italian food at Scarpetta.
Check out the all-new beach-style Folk Cafe in St James. Eyethu is an exciting new skatepark in Hout Bay. Treat the family to spectacular Sunday spitbraai funday at Old Mac Daddy.
Incredible Western Cape safari and family farm accommodation at Njalo-Njalo.
Keep the kids entertained with this enchanting family theatre festival.
Looking for something specific to do for your little one’s birthday bash? We’ve got a great overview of kids’ party venues in Cape Town. Take a walk on the wild side with this overview of animal encounters and petting zoos around Cape Town and surrounds. It may be a wine festival, but that doesn't mean there aren't spaces and activities for kids at the Cape Town Food and Wine Festival.
Time for adulting and maybe ticking something truly Capetonian off your bucket list? You’ve gotta try free diving with our friends at Ocean Experiences.
Use our events section for an up-to-date overview of what’s happening in the city, suburbs and dorpies. Join our newsletter and add us to your mobile home screen for the ultimate guide to discoveries in Cape Town.