Families in Cape Town certainly have no shortage of things to do and see. But, parents with school children know the challenge of having something fun to do in the afternoon – when sport and homework are done and the kids are just hankering after something more exciting than the iPad. Times have changed, and heading out for a cycle around the block or a day in a nearby park just aren’t options anymore.
Instead, here are some fantastically fun options for children in the Mother City, all of which are open on weekday afternoons:
Cape Town Science Centre (Observatory)
Monday to Saturday: 09h00 – 16h30
Sunday: 10h00 – 16h30
Full of awesome experiments, cool exhibitions and around 250 interactive displays, the Cape Town Science Centre is the perfect place for an afternoon retreat. Incredible puzzles will keep little ones thinking for hours and dying to come back for more. During the school holidays, there are also workshops on offer.
Glowing Rooms SA (Milnerton)
Tuesday to Thursday: 10h00 – 19h00
Friday and Saturday: 10h00 – 20h00
Sunday: 10h00 – 16h00
This is the first 18-hole mini golf course in the country that is glow-in-the-dark with amazing 3-D features. It is fantastic for the whole family and perfect for something different. Modern technology is used for the 3-D glasses, which adds a new dimension to mini-golf. But, this isn’t just for children; adults will have a ball. There is a themed event room for parties and other occasions, and a retail store.
Intaka Island (Century City)
May to September: 07h30 to 17h30
October to April: 07h30 to 19h00
Right in the heart of the Century City complex is this little retreat, where an incredible variety of bird species live in their natural wetland environment. There is a 2km trail, which you can walk on your own or do with a guide. The ferry ride around the island is always a winner, though.
Rush Indoor Trampoline Park (Claremont)
Monday to Thursday: 10h00 – 21h00
Friday and Saturday: 09h00 – 22h00
Sunday: 09h00 – 20h00
With more than 1 700 square metres of trampolines, there is no better choice for an afternoon activity that is guaranteed to get rid of all the pent-up energy. This indoor trampoline park has slanted and high-dive boards, from where jumpers can leap into pits of soft sponges, as well as two dodge-ball courts, three basketball slam-dunk lanes, a battle beam, and an endless variety of trampoline options.
Clay Café (Hout Bay)
Monday to Sunday: 09h00 – 17h00
Let your kids go into a world of their own as they paint and decorate clay mugs, plates, vases and more. All of the necessary art and craft materials are available at Clay Café, while moms can enjoy a cuppa. These goodies are then glazed and fired for you to take home. There is also a garden and playground.
Planet Kids (Muizenberg)
Wednesday to Sunday: 10h00 to 18h00
This is every child’s dream – a massive space full of ziplines (foofie slides), jumping castles, intergalactic balls, slides that soar through space, and plenty more. With its cool space theme and a huge variety of exciting things to try, Planet Kids is an excellent afternoon option. An added bonus is that it’s wheelchair friendly for children with disabilities, and there are activities for toddlers too.
And a few more ideas…
- Go go-karting at the Kenilworth course
- Head to Two Oceans Aquarium at the V&A Waterfront
- Explore the stars at the Iziko Museum Planetarium
- Pack up a picnic basket and head to the Company’s Garden to enjoy the squirrels and the dappled shade of the trees (bonus: it’s free)
- Go to the top of Signal Hill and see how many dassies (rock hyraxes) you can count (also free)
- Walk around Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens with a camera and see who can take the most interesting pictures
Written by Amelia Meyer | Voxate Writing & Editing