Things to do in Cape Town with kids

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!

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A night at Kuilfontein in the Karoo

On the way home to Johannesburg, we stopped over outside Colesburg at a guest farm called Kuilfontein Stable Cottages.

My parents have stayed there many times, so we were pleased that they had space and we could finally try the place my mom and dad have been talking about for years.

Well, we loved it, and we’ll definitely stay there again when we drive to the Cape. It was wonderful!

We got there at about 3pm, and Penny mentioned to the boys that there were planes parked at the back that they may want to have a look at. Silly question, of course they did! We walked around to the planes, only to get stopped in our tracks by a ground squirrel, who kept coming closer to us. We thought that we were disturbing his burrow until Patricia came out with other guests and introduced us to Jingles

Jingles is a tame squirrel that’s made his home in the ground behind the cottages, and comes for snacks. The boys LOVED it… although Bradley eventually had to get Jingles pried away from his fingers ‘cos they were getting nibbled a little too much.

 

I could have spent a few days taking photos there actually. It was so amazing.

I loved the tiny flowers in the Karoo veld.

The planes had a cool story. Before dinner, the guests mingle in the pub and in the gardens (the kids had a ball playing boules until it got too dark to see the balls). We got chatting with the 2 other groups of guests. The planes belonged to 4 couples who have an annual flying holiday together. They fly around the country stopping at private airfields and staying in B&B’s. This was their first night, and the next day they were flying to a game farm close to Kimberley.

I absolutely LOVED the landscape, the windmill was just the cherry on top for me! I’ve blogged some of these in black and white already… but the colour ones are just as nice.


Other than that,

  • the kids saw a brand new lamb which was amazing to see.
  • the food was spectacular… I had the lamb curry for supper which was amazing, and the boys enjoyed their lemon and herb chicken and veggies.
  • the wine selection was superb in the pub
  • the beds were uber comfy and it was so quiet!! We slept so well.
  • and breakfast the next morning was just perfect… with loads of fruit and cereals and egg and bacon muffins.

We can highly recommend the place.

 

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Dusky light at Gordons Bay harbour

I just loved the sunsets in the Cape. We all loved that it got darker so much later.

On the last evening, Daniella joined us for an early supper and some drinks at Berties Moorings at Gordons Bay old harbour… it was the perfect end to our Cape holiday.

Connor was watching a jelly fish that had got a little lost in the harbour… the poor dude was swimming aimlessly around the boats not seeming to know how to get back out to sea

I find the light so very different in the Cape, compared to Johannesburg. I end up editing the photos very differently, because the colour feels different. It’s been awesome to play around with the hundreds of photos I’ve taken.

One more post tomorrow though… another night in the Karoo on the way home, at a really special guest farm!

 

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Gorgeous views of False Bay from the Steenbras viewpoint

When we met up with friends in Gordons Bay, Fanie mentioned that we needed to drive up to the Steenbras Water Treatment plant that we could see from the harbour. I’d spotted a tiny sign when we travelled around the coast to Hermanus the week before, so I had a fair idea of how to get there.

On our last day at the coast, we spent the morning on the beach with my cousin Daniella, and then in the late afternoon we drove up to find the viewpoint. And my word, it was well worth it!

The highest viewpoint is right at the gates of the Water Treatment plant, and you can see the whole of False Bay. Because it’s close to sea, you can also see the whole of Gordons Bay, Strand and way on the way to Stellenbosch. It was a little misty on the other side of the bay, but we could make out the other end where Cape Point it too!

What an amazing amazing place! So of course, there are LOADS of photos ;)

Strand beachfront… where we’d spent most days with the kids swimming, and us lying on the beach or playing soccer.

Gordons Bay harbour and Strand in the distance

 

We’d spotted shadows that were travelling around the coast, and at first we thought it was a whale, but they eventually headed for a yacht and then we saw that it was dolphins!! So we dashed back into the car, and headed down the mountain to a coastal viewpoint so we could see them better. What a treat!! It must’ve been so magical on that yacht that evening with the school of dolphins swimming around!

What a gorgeous day it turned out to be! More on my blog tomorrow :)

 

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A walk through Kirstenbosch

On Tuesday last week, once I’d completely recovered from the race, we continued with our touristy trips around Cape Town. The morning was spent in town, and to be honest, we should have skipped that bit. We should’ve rather spent more time at Kirstenbosch. You see, we decided we wanted to show the kids the […]

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14/52 Black and white

The theme for the week on MyFourHens Photography’s 52 Project: Black and White My word, I struggled with this one. I had quite a few photos to choose from, that I think I’ll post on Flickr or something. In the end I chose this one from our touring day around the Cape coast, because it […]

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Running Two Oceans half marathon

We got back from our long Cape Town trip this afternoon… more of the travel photos will be posted tomorrow… but first I need to talk about the reason we travelled to Cape Town. I ran the Two Oceans half marathon!! Yes, there are 2 exclamations on purpose. This race was my goal… at first […]

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A roadtrip along the coast

We spent the day in the car yesterday… driving along the coast. The plan was to amble along, and eventually get to Cape Point, and then amble back… however, when we got to the Cape Point gate and saw the horrendous queue we decided to just carry on. We stopped the car in Simonstown for […]

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A lazy afternoon at Blaauwklippen Bistro

We met my aunt and uncle for lunch yesterday at Blaauwklippen Wine Farm outside Stellenbosch. What a mission to find a spot that wasn’t fully booked for Easter Sunday lunch?! I suppose I shouldn’t have thought about it at the last minute… but anyhoo, when I got hold of the Bistro and they said there […]

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Stormy Hermanus

We went to Hermanus on Thursday to visit my aunt and uncle. We really didn’t have much time after ambling along the coastal road and stopping quite a few times to take in the gorgeous views. We actually really need to spend more time in the town, now that the kids are older and can do […]

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