Before we went on our Cape Town trip, I did an extensive search online working out a list of things to do while in Cape Town (and close to Somerset West) that were family friendly, and things that I thought we needed to see while we were there. As you know by now, we drove around a lot, and I had huge hopes of doing everything, but there was no way to get through the entire list… eventually the kids were begging for a few days to rest on a beach and swim in the sea.
Friends on Facebook and Twitter have asked for this list, so I’ve decided to blog it so that it can be shared with more people too.
First let me say, that I’m by no means an expert, and a lot of this list is reliant on the blogs that published the information. The ones we have actually visited have been marked and there’s a link to the related blog post. I found, during my research, that most blogs catered for little kids, so mentioned play areas and small kids menu’s, but with my kids being 8 and 11, I was looking for something more… where they wouldn’t be bored or they’d learn something… and they’d be able to eat from an extensive non-complex menu.
I’ve grouped the outings according to proximity or where there’s a nice drive involved.
Company gardens and restaurant – the boys loved the squirrels and the pathways. We got there really early in the morning and there were a lot of vagrants around. However, the restaurant is amazing. It’s been newly renovated, and has a gorgeous play area with wooden blocks and rattan massive swings for the kids to play on.
Houses of Parliament – I wanted the boys to see it… they were completely disinterested
Charlys Bakery – we walked there from Company Gardens because of the lack of parking in the city centre. It was very very busy, and unless you’re looking for something specific, don’t bother. We felt that the smaller coffee shops and delis were much more interesting.
The castle – we didn’t get there on this trip.
The Waterfront – there’s loads here.. we went on a harbour cruise (although we did choose the cheapest one), and visited the aquarium (which we felt wasn’t as good as Ushaka)… the last time we went to Cape Town we went on the wheel… it’s too expensive to do it all IMO.
Constantia – we didn’t get there, but heard that Jonkershuis restaurant at Groot Constantia caters for families, so my idea was to see the place on the way somewhere else, and stop there for lunch.
Kirstenbosch – amazing! Well worth the visit and you should spend hours here. The highlight for the kids was seeing an Eagle Owl sitting in a tree while we walked across the Canopy Walk http://www.therealjenty.com/2015/04/a-walk-through-kirstenbosch/
Rhodes Memorial – we didn’t get there, but from past trips I know it’s worthwhile, and the restaurant now has a play area for kids.
Table Mountain - the cable cars may be expensive, but with the kids now being 8 and 11, we thought they would be old enough to enjoy it and remember the experience. Again, check the website for the status of the queues and whether the cable cars are working, before driving there. http://www.therealjenty.com/2015/04/a-trip-to-table-mountain/
Signal Hill – always a nice drive. And now there’s the sun structure to look at too.
Hike up Lions Head – I was dying to do this, but eventually we decided that we weren’t sure if Connor would cope with the long trek.
Chapmans Peak drive – be sure to check the website to see whether the road is open, because of the fire recently, it’s been closing when there is high wind. http://www.therealjenty.com/2015/04/a-roadtrip-along-the-coast/
Simonstown – always fun to see a harbour with boats. We didn’t get to the toy museum though, that was recommended by a friend.
Penguin colony at Boulders… a must-see after spending time in Simonstown. Although we’ve also been to the Penguin colony at Betty’s Bay (when we’ve driven the coastal road to Hermanus) and that’s AMAZING!
Cape Point – the queues were far too long. We drove ALL the way there… but used the time to drive to Misty Cliffs and spend some time on the gorgeous beach before heading along Chapmans Peak drive to Hout Bay
Cape Point ostrich farm – didn’t get there although it seems to be good from the reviews.
Diaz beach walk 1 hour – apparently you can walk 1 hour to Diaz beach from Cape Point, and it’s an easy enough walk for kids.
Noordhoek – I wanted to walk on that looong beach
Lighthouse in Kommetjie – apparently you can get to the top of the lighthouse, and I thought that would be cool.
Camel rides in Kommetjie at Imhoff farm
Hout Bay beach and harbour – always worthwhile
Restaurants on my list that are apparently family friendly:
The Round House in Camps Bay
Dunes in Hout Bay – it was full when we tried to get there, so instead we went to a place in town that was gorgeous!
Spiros in Hout Bay
Fish on the Rocks in Hout Bay -we couldn’t even drive to the harbour to get to this place… the road was in a complete grid lock… so we parked on the other side of the beach and walked on the beach to the harbour after we had lunch.
Cafe Roux in noordhoek
In wine country, I found the following that appealed to me:
Wineroute.co.za has a great list and filter to find good wine farms that are family friendly…
Blacksmith’s Kitchen in Paarl – HIGHLY recommended. Their pizzas were perfect for kids, although there isn’t a play area http://www.therealjenty.com/2015/04/a-lunch-at-blacksmiths-kitchen-in-paarl/
Fairview wine estate – for the goats and for lunch… we didn’t get there
Babylonstoren – deli and lunch. I’ve devastated that we didn’t get there it’s been on my to-do list for months!
Warwick estate for a picnic
Middelvlei in Stellenbosch apparently does a braai instead of the usual picnic, and the kids get to make their own braai-breads
Lanzerac tasting caters for kids, and they taste grape juice with chocolates! And there’s a picnic option
Blaauwklippen… this wasn’t on my list, but we ended up there on Easter Sunday http://www.therealjenty.com/2015/04/a-lazy-afternoon-at-blaauwklippen-bistro/
And that’s the list… other than the beaches etc that we wanted to show the boys.
It’s quite ambitious isn’t it? LOL! We were only there for 10 days!