The Mother City is the place if you’re looking for family-friendly things to do over the festive season. While there’s no shortage of guides and lists to help you fill your diary, our selection includes a few favourites that should keep everyone happy, from toddlers and in-betweeners to tweens and teens (oh, and you too!).

kids holiday activities cape town

CITY – Explore Cape Town & surrounds with kids

If it’s culture you’re craving then you’re in the right place. The Zeitz Mocca Museum Of Contemporary Art Africa is an architectural show-stopper filled with extraordinary art in every medium thinkable. Check out the colourful Children’s Holiday Programme on until the 23rd of December and be sure not to miss the talented Igshaan Adams exhibition; you’ll get a peek into a body of work that has never been seen outside of his studio before.

The Norval Foundation in the southern suburbs is just as worthy of a visit with the family and has the bonus of wide-open outdoor spaces for children to gallivant. They’ve got a packed Summer Holiday Programme planned full of arts and crafts, and offer kid-friendly gallery tours. Admission is free on the first Thursday of every month and the restaurant serves excellent food with plenty to please the littles.

Another favourite that has stood the test of time is the Iziko South African Museum in the historic Company’s Gardens which houses one of Africa’s finest collections of natural and pre-historic ephemera, specialist exhibitions, rock art as well as an impressive Planetarium that features daily kid-friendly shows.

Instil a love of the performing arts in your children by treating them to a memorable show. The iconic Artscape Theatre is at the heart of cultural Cape Town and there’s a lovely holiday ballet geared to the younger crew these holidays: the acclaimed Cape Town City Ballet company are putting on a lavish production of The Nutcracker from Dec 7th to the 23rd

What could be better than popcorn and a movie… under the stars? The Galileo Open Air Cinema has an extensive holiday programme with a show almost every night of the week at various venues in and around Cape Town including Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens and the buzzing Battery Park at the V&A Waterfront. See classic kind-friendly films such as Grease, Home Alone and The Lady and the Tramp as well as contemporary blockbusters such as Ratatouille and Sing 2.

Speaking of Kirstenbosch, theirSummer Sunset Concerts 2022/2023 programme never disappoints. There’s a stellar line-up of diverse local and international performances including Mi Casa, the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra and the South African favourite, Mango Groove. A brilliant night out for the whole family.

kids holiday activities cape town and surrounds

SEA – Cape Town’s best beaches to visit with kids

Just a hop, skip and jump from the city centre is the picturesque and quaint strip that takes in Muizenberg, St James, Kalk Bay and Simon’s Town. One of our favourite ways to spend a day, there are myriad restaurants (the iconic Olympia Café and the Empire Café), safe tidal pools to swim in and rock pools to explore, whale-spotting opportunities, fishing off the Simon’s Town pier or at sea with a fishing charter (Outrageous Fishing are geared for honing young anglers’ skills), the colourful Kalk Bay harbour, quaint museums including the South African Naval Museum and the whimsical Warrior Toy Museum, the Scratch Patch where you can root around for semi-precious gemstones, antique stores, art galleries and specialist shops as well as the nearby Muizenberg Water Slides for some old-school waterslide fun. Sign up for Holiday Surf Camp with Surf Emporium or book yourself a once-off surfing, body boarding or SUPing (Stand Up Paddleboarding) lesson including optional wetsuit rental.

Psst… While we love an early-morning swim at Dalebrook Tidal Pool on the fringes of St James and Kalk Bay you’ll do well to avoid the holiday crowds at the hidden-away Wooley’s Tidal Pool a little further on. And if you really want to make a day of it, push through to the Cape Point Nature Reserve with a stop at the idyllically situated Black Marlin Restaurant, formerly a whaling station, for a seafood lunch. 

COUNTRYSIDE – The Cape Winelands with kids

A treat for littlies (and the big kid in you), the Franschhoek Wine Tram offers a unique way to visit some of the best-loved estates in the beautiful valley including, of course, our very own Babylonstoren. There are eight packages to choose from with transport being provided by a quaint double-decker tram as well as safari-style, open-sided buses.

kids holiday activities cape town and surrounds

Even for avowed city slickers, there’s something deeply affecting about watching your kids pick and eat fruit straight from a tree, splashing in shallow waterways (under your watchful eye, of course), reaching for the clouds on a giant tree swing and marvelling at the sight of ambling tortoises, preening turkeys, fussing hens, our resident (and rather indulged) donkeys and an adorable ‘gang’ of bug-munching ducks…

At Babylonstoren we genuinely delight in the experiences of children who visit our magical farm and make every effort to ensure our young guests leave happy and wanting to return. Conveniently located less than an hour from Cape Town (so you won’t need to listen to the beseeching cries of ‘are we there yet?’), our warm staff, child-friendly food options, wide-open spaces and the sheer beauty of Mother Nature makes this a paradise for kids. The only thing to concern them will be the question of what flavour homemade popsicle to choose.