Cape Town is a fabulous city to visit with children. It has got great weather, cheap and easy transportation and lots of good dining options.
Here are my suggestions for 5 things to do in Cape Town that both children and their parents will enjoy. These ideas are in Cape Town itself which is a sprawling port city. If you leave Cape Town and head into the countryside or Cape Point, there are even more family-friendly activities.
See Cape Town from above
Both Table Mountain and Signal Hill offer magnificent views over Cape Town. Table Mountain has a cable car that runs regularly except when it is too windy (usually in the afternoons). It’s best to reserve tickets in advance because the lines are long. It is a very popular destination!
Signal Hill, on the other hand, is a simple drive up the mountain. At noon every day, there is a cannon shot from Signal Hill which in the old days used to signify lunchtime for the farmers in the areas surrounding Cape Town. The best part of the viewing area of Signal Hill is the fabulous view you get of Table Mountain.
Visit the Gardens
The beautiful Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens lie on the Eastern slopes of Table Mountain. On Sunday evenings, there are concerts in the park. It’s also just a great place to walk around and enjoy a nice picnic. We also liked the Boomslang which is a treetop canopy walkway. The Boomslang moves as people walk on it (freaked me out a bit but the kids loved it).
The Central Garden is smaller and a historical garden. It was where the Dutch used to grow crops for their settlement in historic times. This crop garden is being recreated slowly as pictured below. Nowadays, it also has beautiful paths, a giant chess set, a little cafe with great cakes and a charming playground.
The V&A Waterfront comprises of two harbours and a giant shopping, entertainment and restaurant area. We enjoyed taking a ride on the Cape Wheel (similar to the London Eye). There are also some excellent restaurants.
The waterfront area has a couple of exhibit options as well. The Two Oceans Aquarium is great for kids. The Aquarium ticket allows you to go in and out during the same day so that it’s useful for getting children out of the noonday sun. While we were walking around we saw The Art of the Brick exhibit which we had seen in New York and London was going to be in the exhibition centre through the first part of 2015.
Go to the beach
All the Cape Town beaches are public. There are some fantastic white sand beaches, both for swimming and surfing. About 10 minutes from the centre of Cape Town, our favourite beaches were Clifton Beach and Camps Bay, both next door to each other. They are popular with both locals and tourists.
Visit the Castle of Good Hope
The Castle of Good Hope has got a torture room which should spark the imagination of gory youngsters. It’s also got a military museum which will be a gentle introduction to South African history. There are lots of nooks and crannies to explore in the Castle of Good Hope as well as great views of the city from the castle walls.
As you can see, there’s a good mix of sightseeing, relaxation, walks and educational activities in Cape Town to keep everyone in the family happy and occupied.