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Free and budget-friendly activities for kids

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Free and budget-friendly activities for kids

Plan something fun for the family every day without breaking your budget

Last Update: Tuesday, 17 May 2022

Explore urban parks, birthday experiences on the house, open-air movies, skate parks, garden tours and other budget-friendly experiences for the whole family. We give you kids’ activities that suit a range of age groups, from animated shows to fruit picking. 

TAKE THE KIDS TO A VINTAGE HAVEN

Let the kids play like it's the 90s. They can also see farm animals, like goats and chickens, roaming the grounds. Parents can take in all things vintage, from old petrol pumps and road signs to clothing and sewing machines from the 1900s, even what beauty products looked like way back then. There's a coffee shop that serves South African favourites, such as bobotie pies, “ouma se kerrie vetkoek”, jaffels. Plus, you can drink “moerkoffie” in a tin cup at Toeka Stoor.

Hours: Wed - Sun, 9am to 4pm
Price: Free entrance (show your support by visiting the coffee shop)  


Toeka Stoor & Coffee Shop | Domaine Brahms Wines | Paarl | Image: Simone Strydom

PLAY AND LEARN IN A GREEN URBAN PARK  

Green Point Urban Park has an expansive play area, including jungle gyms, water features and nests to climb in, plus an area where you can teach them about the region’s flora in the Biodiversity Garden or experience a thrilling walk through a labyrinth. Find more gems in the park.

Hours: Mon - Sun; 7am to 7pm
Price: Free entrance


1 Fritz Sonnenberg Road | Green Point | 021 444 4258  | Image: Lara van Zyl

WATCH BIRDS IN A SANCTUARY

Intaka Island is a kid-friendly nature reserve with 7 natural habitats, 120 bird species living in the park and 212 indigenous plants. Walk a 2-kilometre nature trail or take a  boat trip or guided tours. Intaka Island is like a treasure hunt with an educational twist.

Date: Monday to Sundays, 8am to 7pm
Cost: R26 for Adults, R16 for children (under 12) and R16 for pensioners


Grand Central Precinct | Century City | 021 552 6889 | Instagram | Image: @nature.calling.me

WATCH A KIDDIES’ SPACE SHOW

Take your little (and not so little) ones to an animated show at the digital dome at the planetarium – the most advanced one in Africa. Shows are an hour long and run Tuesday to Friday, with three shows on the weekend. Discover more that Iziko Museums have to offer.

Hours: Tue - Sun: 10am to 2:30pm; closed on Mondays, Worker’s Day & Christmas Day
Price: Kids 17 & under: R30; Adults: R60


Planetarium | 25 Queen Victoria St | Cape Town City Centre | 021 481 3800 | Instagram | Image: Iziko Museums

VISIT THE AQUARIUM FOR FREE ON YOUR BIRTHDAY

Enjoy a free visit to the Two Oceans Aquarium in the week of your birthday. Just bring your South African ID and experience the underwater wonder in Cape Town

Hours: Mon - Wed: 9:30am to 6pm; Thur + Friday: 9am to 7pm; Sat + Sun: 9am to 6pm
Price: Free on your birthday & for kids under 4


Dock Road | Victoria & Alfred Waterfront | Cape Town | 021 418 3823 | Instagram | Image: Two Oceans Aquarium

WANDER THROUGH 17 GORGEOUS GARDENS

Explore 17 themed gardens (focused on roses, a sundial, bamboo and more) at a World Heritage Site in Somerset West. Spending the day outdoors is magical and inspiring when it’s at Vergelegen Wine Estate

Hours: Daily at 9:30am
Price: R50, for Heritage & Garden Tour


Lourensford Road | Somerset West | 021 847 2111 | Instagram 

BROWSE THROUGH VINTAGE COLLECTIBLES AND TOYS

Romantiques in Hermanus has a vast range of items on display and for sale, from vintage toys, china and period clothing. There’s also a coffee shop in the garden and an intimate olde-worlde theatre in the store where you can enjoy Saturday movie afternoons at 15:00.

Hours: Mon-Fri 9am to 5pm, Sat 9am to 3pm. Closed Sundays.
Price: Free entrance

 
 
 
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PICK SOME FRESH FRUIT IN ROMANSRIVIER

Here’s a lovely outdoor activity: You can pick a wide variety of fruit during the summer months, including apples, nectarines, peaches and figs. Plus you can eat as much as you want while in the orchards at Hoogwater Farm.

Hours: 8 Jan - 5 Feb 2022; every Sat & Sun from 8am to 1pm
Price: R60 for adults, R30 for kids under 13; free for kids under 3


Hoogwater Farm | Romansrivier | 083 762 2803 | Instagram | Image: @hanglikealocal 

MEET AN ALPACA; THEY’RE SUPER CUTE

Play with and feed an alpaca at the Alpaca Loom in Paarl. You can take a tour of the barn (takes place daily every hour on the hour), enjoy a coffee (or milkshake for the kiddies) and interact with the adorable alpacas. There is also a jungle gym. 

Hours: Daily, 9:30am - 5:30pm (except 25 December)
Price for barn tour: Free for kids under 3; R70 for kids; R100 for adults (includes entry to the petting zoo. No need to book.) 


The Alpaca Loom Coffee Shop and Weaving Studio | Suid Agter Paarl Road | Paarl | 084 793 3666 | Instagram | Image: Inge du Plessis

WALK A BOTANICAL GARDEN + UP TO ITS WATERFALL

Harold Porter in Betty’s Bay is the perfect adventure for kids and adults alike. It is a riot of unrestrained coastal fynbos and beds of indigenous flowers, flowing between neatly manicured lawns. There are also walking trails that lead to a magnificent waterfall. 

Hours: Mon - Fri, 8am to 4:30pm; Sat + Sun, 8am to 5pm
Price: Adults R35, kids R15; students R22; pensioners R25


Cnr Clarence Drive & Broadwith Rd | Betty’s Bay | 028 272 9311 | Image: Sheri Haw

CYCLE THE PROMENADE FOR FREE ON YOUR BIRTHDAY 

Take advantage of a free bicycle ride on the Sea Point promenade. Up Cycles offers a one-hour, free ride on your birthday. Just bring along your South African ID. Child seats and kids bikes are also available. There is also a pensioner special: 20% discount on all rides at Up Cycles.

Hours: Mon - Sun; 8:30am to 7:45pm
Prices: Free on your birthday

 
 
 
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BEAT THE HEAT IN AN EASY-TO-REACH PUBLIC POOL

Most of Cape Town’s public pools come with splash pools and, in some cases, playgrounds too. If you’re looking for ways to beat the heat, check out these public pools in Cape Town.

Hours: Various
Price: From R2 for children and R6 for adults


Various locations

GO FRUIT PICKING IN A MAGICAL GARDEN

Celebrate sustainable living with a day of exploring the beautiful gardens of Babylonstoren. Book a garden tour where you can learn more about the biodiversity and you can pick and eat the fruit too! Book here.

Hours: Mon - Sun, 9am - 5pm; Garden tours start from 10am
Price: R20 entrance fee at the gate


Simondium Road | Klapmuts | Website | 021 863 3852 | Instagram | Image: Lara van Zyl 

TAKE A TRAIN RIDE WITH A SEA VIEW

Visit the Blue Train Park for a kiddies paradise by the seaside. Kids can take a ride on the “Old Lady” Mini Blue Train, make use of a mini-skate park, drive pedal push carts, whizz down a zip-line, and scramble over two jungle gyms and an obstacle course. There is also a small kiosk offering yummy treats.

Hours: Summer: Tue – Sun: 9:30am to 6:30pm (Closed Mondays). Winter: Tue – Thur: 12:00pm to 6:00pm; Fri - Sun: 9:30am to 6:30pm
Price: R35 pp (including 1 free train ride).

 

SAY HELLO TO THE TALLEST ANIMAL IN THE WORLD

As the name suggests, this is the place to visit to get up close to giraffes. That’s a great attraction, but you can also see antelope, monkeys, meerkats, zebra, reptiles and more at the Giraffe House. And while the kids play in the jungle gyms, you can unpack a picnic. 

Hours: Monday - Sunday, 9am–5pm (except 25 December)
Price: From R50


Giraffe House | Corner R304 and R101 | giraffehouse@gmail.com | 021 884 4506 | Instagram | Image: Giraffe House 

ESCAPE INTO A FAIRYTALE GARDEN FOR FREE

Take your kiddies to an enchanting garden with a river that runs through it, picnic tables and chairs made out of tree stumps and meandering trails. Enjoy a family outing (it’s pet-friendly) at the Upper Liesbeek River Garden.

Hours: Open all day, every day
Price: Free


Riverside Road | Newlands | Cape Town | info@rivergarden.org.za

GO STRAWBERRY PICKING

Take a drive to George and pick some fresh strawberries. Plus there’s a giant maze, a playground, go-carts and pony rides on offer at Redberry farm.

Hours: Mon - Sat; 9am - 4pm
Price: R25 for small container of strawberries; R40 for large container


Geelhoutboom Road | Blanco | George | 044 870 7123 | Website | Instagram 

DIVE INTO A WATER PARK IN STRAND 

Take your kids on a watery adventure in Strand. This park has all kinds of water slides, a pool, a dry play area and it’s right next to the beach. There is also a food court and other play areas at Water World Strand.

Hours: September – April; Tue - Sun from 9 AM – 6 PM (Closed on Mondays during term, open on Mondays during holidays).
Price: R99 Water-slider for a one hour pass; R55 for kids under 3; free for kids 0-12 months

 
 
 
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GET ACTIVE IN BATTERY PARK

This urban park is designed with fun in mind, from a free skate park, to a basketball court that doubles up as a soccer field and a BMX facility. Pack a picnic and make a day of it at Battery Park.

Hours: Daily from 7am - 7pm
Price: Free


19 Dock Rd | V&A Waterfront | Cape Town | 021 408 7600 | Image: Slava Iljin

GO FOR A PONY RIDE + OTHER ACTIVITIES

With an array of activities for kids, from the popular indoor and outdoor play area the Playshed, to pony rides and a community garden, there’s so much to experience at Oude Molen Eco Village

Hours: Mon - Thu, 8am - 6pm; Friday, 12:45pm - 8pm; Sun, 9am - 5pm
Price: Free entry to Oude Molen Eco Village 

 

TAKE A BOAT RIDE AROUND THE HARBOUR

Take a 30-minute guided tour around the Table Bay harbour. Tommy the tugboat, a cartoon-themed harbour cruise boat, does daily cruises and is the perfect day out for a family with young ones. You might even spot a few seals on your trip.

Hours: Monday -  Sunday, 10am - 7pm
Price: R50 for adults; R25 for kids 

 
 
 
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DISCOVER A HIDDEN PARK IN THE SUBURBS

This suburban hideaway in Newlands is home to a towering treehouse and plenty of things to set your child’s imagination alight. There’s a reason locals love Paradise Park

Hours: Open 24/7
Price: Free entrance


Paradise Road | Newlands | Cape Town | Image: Jamie Cette

TRY OUT NATURE’S POOLS: THEY’RE PUBLIC, TOO

What’s a visit to a coastal city without a visit to the seaside? If you’re not a fan of the waves, discover new swimming spots at one of these natural pools or tidal pools. 

Hours: Various
Price: Free and from R7 for children (from R14 for adults)



PLAY WITH THE FAIRIES IN SWELLENDAM

Go on a magical adventure and explore toadstools and fairy houses at Swellendam’s Fairy Sanctuary.

Hours: Open Wednesday to Sunday from 10am – 4pm
Price: Adults R30; Kids (under 13) & Pensioners R20

 

THE SEA IS A FREE-FOR-ALL

The Western Cape has kilometres of coastline and beaches to discover. Whether you visit the penguins at Boulders (where you will be charged a fee as it’s a protected area) or build sandcastles, explore one of these many Cape beaches.

Hours: Boulders, April - September, 7am - 5pm; December - January, 7am - 7:30pm; February - March, 8am - 6:30pm; October - November, 8am - 6:30pm
Price: Public beaches free. Boulders, with a South African ID: R20 per child (R40 per adult); with SADC passport: R42 per child R85 per adult; general conservation fee (foreigners): R85 per child, R170 per adult.


Kleintuin Road | Simon's Town | 021 786 2329 | Image: @alessandronovero

ENTER THE SPACE AGE(NCY)

The South African National Space Agency (SANSA) centre in Hermanus invites school groups to enjoy their interactive exhibits. It opens to the public on Wednesdays, when it offers fun tours of its observatory for “space cadets” of all ages. Make an appointment and arrive before 11am to join a group. Also check out the website to find out about its holiday programme for 6-12 year olds.

Hours: Wednesdays 11am–12 noon
Price: Free; best for kids age 10 and up


Hospital Street | Hermanus | events@sansa.org.za | 028 312 1196 | Image: SANSA Hermanus

SPEND THE DAY AT THE CARNIVAL

With a kids area, candy floss and build-a-pizza station, this wine farm is a haven for kids – did we mention entry is free to the carnival area at Weltevreden Estate?

Hours: Mondays to Sundays; 8:30am – 5pm
Price: Free entrance

 
 
 
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BROWSE A HUGE COLLECTION OF TINY THINGS

There’s enough to enchant inquisitive kids for a solid hour or two with an assortment of vintage playthings and a wonderland of tiny replicas at the Stellenbosch Miniature Toy Museum. 

Hours: Mon - Fri, 9am - 3:30pm; Sat, 9am - 2pm
Price: R5 for children 2-16 (R15 for 17yrs and older)


Market Street (behind the Information Bureau) | Stellenbosch | 021 887 2937 | Image: Miniature Toy Museum

  

Place

 

Entry fee

Address

Operating hours

Spice Route

A customised outdoor children’s play area and a mini bike track

Free

Paarl, email:info@spiceroute.co.za, Tel: +27(0)21 863 5200, website

Monday – Sunday 9am–5pm

Mondeor Restaurant

Children’s play area, jungle gym, slippery slide, splash pool.

Free entry for paying customers

Somerset West, info@mondeorrestaurant.co.za, +27(021) 858 1608, website

Sun–Thur: 9am–5pm; Fri–Sat: 9am–6pm

Imhoff Farm

There’s so much, including a farmyard with animals to pet.

Free entry and various prices from R20

Kommetjie, Info@imhofffarm.co.za, +27(0)21 783 4545, website

Sunday–Tuesday: 9am – 5pm; Wednesday–Saturday: 9am–10pm

Company’s Garden

Take along some nuts to feed the squirrels. 

Free

15 Queen Victoria Street, Cape Town 

Main section: all hours

Blue Train Park

Big and small play gyms, picnic area, bike track, soccer pitch, and a train.

R28

Mouille Point, info@thebluetrainpark.com, +27(0)84 314 9200, website 

Tues-Sun 9:30-6:30pm in summer; winter Tues-Thurs 12pm-6pm; Fri-Sun 9:30am-6:30pm

City Sightseeing bus
Hop-on-hop-off bus tours

 

Free on your birthday age 5-15yrs or from R130

+27(0)21 511 6000, website 

Daily: 8am–7:30pm

RIde the Cape wheel

Panoramic views of the city from above

Free on your birthday or from R75

V&A Waterfront, info@capewheel.co.za, +27(0)21 418 2502, website

Monday–Thursday 10am–10pm; Friday 10am–11pm; Saturday–Sunday 10am–10:30pm

Table Mountain Aerial Cableway

 

To see the iconic mountain and its beautiful flora and fauna.

Free on your birthday and various specials throughout the year, or from R100

info@tablemountain.net, +27 (0)21 424 0015, website

8am–8:30pm depending on the weather and the season

Putt Putt
Miniature golf course with 18 holes.

 

R32 per person

Mouille Point: puttputtsa@gmail.com, +27(0)21 434 6805, Muizenberg:+27(0)21 788 8800, website 


Monday–Sunday 9am–9pm

Chart Farm Rose Picking

October/November and May/June, the gardens are in full bloom.

R6.50 per stem

Wynberg, admin@chartfarm.co.za, +27 (0)21 761 0434 website 

Open every day 9am-4pm

Race World
Electric mini race track.

Best for ages four and up.

From R35/ pp for first 15 minutes

Table View, info@raceworld.co.za, +27(0)82 6344 150, website 

Thursday 10am–6pm; Friday 10am–4pm; Saturday 10am–4pm; Sunday 10am–2pm

Clay Cafe

 

Two locations offering ceramic painting  for kids. 

R40 plus the value of the chosen item/s (ranging from R20–R300)

Hout Bay, info@claycafe.co.za, +27(0)76 810 5120, website 

9am-5pm; Bree Street jade@claycafe.co.za, 061 917 4191, website

 

World of Birds

Home to 400 species of birds in 100 walk-through aviaries

From R50. 

Hout Bay, info@worldofbirds.org.za, +27(0)21 790 2730, website 


9am-5pm, 365 days a year

The Animal Sanctuary on Route 44

Exotic animals; from small mammals and birds to reptiles and insects.

From R49

R44, Klapmuts, education@butterflyworld.co.za, +27 (0)21 875 5628, website 

Monday– Sunday: 9am–4:30pm

Drakenstein Lion Park and Chimp Haven

Home to 28 lions. Also chimpanzees, capuchin monkeys, marmosets. 

Lion feeding times: Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 4pm.
From R40

Paarl, info@lionrescue.org.za, +27 (0)21 863 3290, website 

Lion Park: 09:30am–5pm; lion feeding times Mon, Wed, Fri at 4pm 

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DISOVER MORE OF WHAT CAPE TOWN HAS TO OFFER

Visit this jack-of-all-trades family market.

Read in a nook, fire truck or bus at Liberty Books.

Get bargains and local food at the Muizenberg Flea Market.

Cape Town is home to a host of activities both parents and kids will love.

Teach your kids about biodiversity and Khoi history at Green Point Urban Park. 

In Cape Town, you can celebrate for free when it’s your birthday

Take the family out to enjoy a host of budget-friendly activities for kids.

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