Planning ahead for the school holidays is the trick to keeping yourself sane. Whether it’s fun activities at home or getting everyone out of the house to an event, playpark or activity centre. As long as they are not killing each other at home, tearing down the walls and driving you to Prozac, cos that would be the halaal version of alcohol of course. We’ve put together a few family friendly happenings in Cape Town that’s on this October that will hopefully keep you from turning grey before your time.
Whale watching (Jun – Nov)
Whale watching season begins in June and continues until November, head to Hermanus to watch these majestic creatures frolic in the coves of Walker Bay – it makes for an easy day trip or an ideal weekend getaway. Hermanus is a bustling coastal town and a perfect whale-watching destination. The town has restaurants, art galleries, shops and a very popular Saturday craft market. So there’s something for everyone. You’ll find a KFC and a Nando’s for halaal food but no other fully halaal restaurants. A great opportunity to a pack a picnic and enjoy the outdoors.
Enjoy a family outing with the Red Bus
Families always win with City Sightseeing and the red bus. Besides being the best way to explore Cape Town’s top attractions, it’s also a great activity for families on a budget. They have a 3-for-1 Kids’ Special, two kids (under 18) hop on for free with every adult on the one-day, open-top bus or Harbour Cruise tours. All family members will receive their own sets of earphones to listen to the commentary on board, which is available in 15 languages and includes a special channel for children. The 3-for-1 Kids’ Special is also valid for the Johannesburg City and Green Tours. Hop on this weekend!
Adult tickets cost R170.
Image source: citysightseeing website
Future Park Interactive Exhibition and the V&A Waterfront 23 Sep – 31 January
Learn and play in a digital universe at the Watershed/Jubilee Hall. Future Park is the dreamchild of teamLab which was formed in 2001 by a group of Tokyo University postgraduates. This “ultra-technologists” group consists of a wide range of specialists who blur the boundaries between art, science, technology and creativity. Activities include electronic and digital space installations like a Sketch and Aquarium, Hopscotch for geniuses, The story of time and more.
Tickets from R130 p/p.
Image source: Future Park
Cape Town Coffee and Chocolate Show 6 – 8 October
Coffee and Chocolate is back for its second year in Cape Town, and the public are invited to sample, taste and buy the many products on offer. There will be demos, workshops pairings and special offers to the public. This year the event is at Durbanville Race Course, Bowlers Ave, Durbanville, Cape Town
Tickets: Fri R80 | Sat & Sun R100 | U10s free
Mama magic baby expo (27 – 29 oct)
One of the country’s biggest parenting and baby exhibitions, the Mama Magic Baby Expo returns to parents and kiddos the latest goods, services and expert advice all under one roof at the CTICC from Friday, 27 to Sunday, 29 October 2017. As well as play areas and shows for the kids, the annual expo features more than 2000 brands, the latest in parenting, and mums and dads can also expect a hassle-free outing with breastfeeding and bottle warming stations, as well as nappy changing areas.
Mama Magic is on in Johannesburg from 30 Nov-3 Dec 2017 at the TicketPro Dome.
Cape town international kite festival (28 – 29 oct)
The Cape Town International Kite Festival comes to town from Saturday, 28 to Sunday, 29 October 2017 at the Zandvlei Nature Reserve in Muizenberg from 10am until 6pm daily. The festival is a fairly new one but has become a huge destination and is the biggest annual event of its kind in Africa. Expect loads of family-friendly activities and fun for kiddies, from kite-making, stunt kiting and kite-flying to food stalls and a market. The festival is hosted by Cape Mental Health and, aside from simply delighting and entertaining the crowd, the celebration aims to serve as an annual fundraising and awareness-raising affair.
Tickets cost R40 for adults and R15 for kids.
Stop and smell the flowers
By October the best of the flower season is usually past. You can still try the West Coast nature reserve, and the Citrusdal route on a bright, sunny day. But some great places to catch the variety of new blooms of the season are Kirstenbosch Gardens on the eastern slopes of Table Mountain, the Harold Porter Botanical Garden just outside Betty’s Bay and the Columbine nature reserve on the R27 about 2 hours out of Cape Town.
Image source: sanbi website
Reptile show in Canal Walk 7 October
Feeling brave? Whether you think they’re cute or creepy, these cold-blooded creatures have an important role to play in the natural world. Come get a closer look and you may just find yourself becoming their biggest fan. Stay on after the presentation for the chance to test your skills on the in-store climbing wall. Cape Union Mart’s experienced staff will be on hand to help out. Happening at the Cape Union Mart Adventure Centre
Date: Saturday 7 October 2017
Time: 10:00-11:00 (snake show), 11:00-12:00 (climbing wall open)
The Wizard of Oz
This classic kids play about Dorothy Gale from Kansas who is transported to another world where she meets the Tinman, Scarecrow and the Cowardly Lion is on at the Artscape Theatre in the CBD.
Tickets are from R150 to R375.
Ratanga Junction Spring Special
If you haven’t heard yet, Ratanga junction will be closing their gates in May 2018. So to give their fans a final farewell they have discounted their rates for 10 days. This means that from Friday, 29 September until Sunday, 8 October 2017, they will give the same fun at a fraction of the price. Ratanga Junction is offering a spectacular spring day special where visitors pay R95/p for entry instead of the R170/p standard rate.
Image source: Ratanga Junction Facebook Page
Open Streets Cape Town 1 October
Open Streets Cape Town presents Open Streets Main Road, where a 5km section of the city’s M4 (Main Road) is reserved for people, not cars. Closed to motorised vehicles, it becomes an open space for pedestrians, cyclists, skateboarders, wheelchair users and other non-motorised transport users to move in safety.
Open Street’s concept is to temporarily close down a street so that it becomes car-free. It’s a chance for people to reclaim streets as public space, for walking, cycling, skating, playing, exploring and general socialising. It also creates shared spaces that helps bridge social and spatial divides in Cape Town and encourages people to think differently about how we move around the city.
Main Rd between Observatory (Anzio Rd) & Cape Town CBD (Lower Plein St) from 10am to 3pm. Entry is free
Image source: Openstreets Website
Glow in the dark Mini Golf
Welcome to South Africa’s very first space themed Glow in the Dark 18-hole mini golf 3D space adventure. Glowing Rooms offers 18 exciting holes of mini golf played in the dark under UV lights whilst wearing their special 3D glasses. Great fun for the whole family. Cost is R130 per person including the 3D glasses. There are no kids discounts.
Canal Walk Gaming Expo 24 – 29 October
Want to win huge points with the kids. Take them to the gaming expo happening at Canal Walk. The Expo will boast the latest gaming releases, early festive season specials, news and insights from the gaming world; the Canal Walk Gaming Expo powered by BT Games will also stage exciting competitions and awesome prizes. PlayStation and Xbox fans will also have their share of the fun with the chance to be a part of the future of gaming, on site at Canal Walk. Gamers, their supporters, Cosplay artists, children (of all ages), parents, fans, shoppers and spectators are all welcome to attend. Entrance is free.
Bugz Playpark, Cape Town
This is a popular outdoor play park near Cape Gate just off the N1. You can take the kids here for a whole day of non stop rides and fun. Pricing is reasonable and many of the rides are free. I bought a VIP ticket which was a complete waste as my little guy was only interested in the free rides. They have an indoor play area as well with face painting and other activities. Their indoor snack shop is not halaal but they have a kiosk outside which serves only halaal food.
Please note: this kiosk is not certified halaal but stocks only halaal products. Their management tells me they have a separate kitchen area where they stock and prepare the halaal food but they are not halaal certified.