When you take the little ones on holiday to Cape Town, you'll never run out of things to do. This beautiful, buzzing city has a host of activities on offer for children of all ages, all within a short drive of the city centre. The only limit is the length of your stay.
THE GREAT OUTDOORS
Although Cape Town weather can be fickle (there's nothing but sea between the city and the Antarctic, after all), summers are generally sunny and dry, so slather on the sunscreen and head out. Boulders Beach, with its colony of endearing penguins, is a favourite with kids, and the water is usually warm enough for the tougher ones to brave a swim. Children who are less easily pleased by simple things will be won over by Ratanga Junction, a theme park with dozens of exciting rides and other activities. Junior buccaneers will love a cruise on board Cape Town's only pirate ship, the Jolly Roger - visit Robben Island, Table Bay, Camp's Bay or Clifton in the company of a suitably swashbuckling crew.
A LITTLE BIT OF LEARNING
The great thing about holidays is that you can sneak in educational activities without the kids even noticing! Take them to Scratch Patch for a real-life treasure hunt that will teach them more about mining and minerals than they'd learn in a long day in the classroom. Let them see the night sky as it appears in the Southern hemisphere with a visit to the Cape Town Planetarium , or discover the magical world beneath the sea at the Two Oceans Aquarium . Cape Town's economy was originally built around viniculture, and while drinking wine is obviously off-limits for the little ones, picking grapes isn't. Many vineyards offer pick-your-own days in season, and if you don't fancy grapes, you can pick cherries, figs or even roses instead!
A love of exercise instilled in childhood will keep your kids fit and healthy for life, and where better to start than in beautiful Cape Town? The walk to the top of Table Mountain is a surprisingly enjoyable one, and there's a cable car to get you down again - or do it the lazy way and get the cable car up and walk back! Sunscene Outdoor Adventures offers sandboarding, tightroping, foefie slides, paintball and a host of other exciting activities for older kids, while Cool Runnings is Cape Town's first purpose-built toboggan track.
Eating out is South Africa is amazingly affordable, and Cape Town is justly famed for the quality of its restaurants. But you don't necessarily want haute cuisine on a family holiday, and there are loads of low-key options for the kids to enjoy. A picnic in the beautiful Kirstenbosch botanic gardens is hard to beat, or take a drive to Hout Bay, where the world-renowned Wharfette Bistrohas dispensed delicious fish and chips to generations of hungry Capetonians, visitors and seagulls! And if Mum fancies a trawl around the city's finest designer boutiques, Dad and the kids have dozens of cafés, restaurants and takeaways to choose from at the V&A Waterfront.