Cape Town is arguably the most beautiful family-friendly holiday destination in all of South Africa for locals and international visitors alike. If you are on holiday with your family in the beautiful Mother City, you will find there are plenty of things to keep you busy. From a Secret Diamond Experience or a round of Cave Golf, to a Blue Train ride or a sand boarding adventure – leisure-seekers are spoilt for choice. Here are our top 10 family-friendly activities in Cape Town.
If you are in search of family-friendly activities in Cape Town, we invite you to visit a Shimansky showroom. Experience the magical world of diamonds and the beauty of South Africa’s most valuable treasure at one of the best engagement ring stores in the world.
Blue Train Park is a prime family-friendly outdoor experience in the city of Cape Town. Located in the picturesque seaside area of Mouille Point, less than 25m from the rolling Atlantic Ocean with Lion’s head, Signal Hill and Table Mountain as backdrop, the Blue Train Park is an iconic feature to Cape Town’s beautiful landscape. Having been in operation for more than 60 years, it is the only beachfront miniature railway that is still running in South Africa, making it a truly exceptional experience. Apart from the famous “Old Lady” Mini Blue Train that captivates both young and old, the park also has a Mini-Skate park with a cement push bike track, dirt bike track, a zip-line, slides, see-saws, a climbing rock, an obstacle course and an astro turf soccer pitch for the young ones to run wild.
Café Paradiso is a popular family-friendly restaurant located in trendy Kloof Street in Cape Town’s CBD. With its welcoming atmosphere and cozy setting, this rustic Italian establishment offers a welcome escape from a sometimes-bustling part of Cape Town. Café Paradiso not only welcomes children, they are specially invited. While adults savor a country-style Mediterranean dish from the farm-style kitchen, children can get their hands dirty in the kitchen with a unique cooking experience. Clad in chef’s hats and aprons, young patrons stay entertained making their own pizza and cookies, or icing cupcakes. It’s the perfect outing for both parents and the little ones.
Often considered the “gemstone capital of the world”, southern Africa is known for its amazing variety of precious stones. Almost half of the world’s gemstones are found on the southern tip of Africa. The Scratch Patch offers visitors the opportunity to experience the amazing beauty and variety of gemstones – mostly popular southern African stones such as Tiger’s Eye, Rose Quartz, Amethyst, Jasper, Agates and Crystals. Visitors purchase one of three sizes of plastic bags or cups, dig for their own beautiful tumble-polished gems from the mass of colorful stones that cover the floor and fill their bag with their favorites. Lucky diggers might find some exotic stones like Lapis Lazuli and Blue Lace Agate. The Scratch Patch and Mineral World rock shops are located at the V&A Waterfront and in Simon’s Town.
Another fun, family-friendly activity in Cape Town comes in the form of a mini-golf course in a cave-like setting. Cave Golf is a well-designed 18-hole putt-putt course with an assortment of tricky angles, steep hills, uneven surfaces, and awkward obstacles. Despite being compact, the course is challenging enough to be enjoyed even by regular golfers. There are three Cave Golf courses in Cape Town – one conveniently located next to the Scratch Patch at the V&A Waterfront and the other two at Simon’s Town and the West Coast Ostrich Farm. Playing time for this all-weather, indoor activity is approximately 30 minutes, leaving ample time for other fun things to do in and around Cape Town.
Young, inquisitive minds will find the Cape Town Science Centre very enlightening. Located in Observatory, this world-class educational facility is a brilliant way for kids to experience science in a fun, entertaining environment. Boasting over 250 interactive exhibits and mind-boggling puzzles, a science theatre, robotics workshops and a fun building site where kids can build houses, solve puzzles and gain insights into gravity and brainwaves, the Cape Town Science Centre is a world of discovery waiting to be explored.
Focusing on African wildlife, Giraffe House offers visitors the opportunity to experience and learn about animals in a tranquil outdoor environment, located approximately 35km outside of Cape Town close to Stellenbosch. Apart from having the opportunity to interact with the tallest land animal on earth, including the hand-reared giraffe, Gerry, visitors can also get up close to the largest African antelope – the eland, the largest living bird – the ostrich, and the smallest buck in Africa – the blue duiker. The wildlife center also houses a variety of birds and reptiles. Giraffe House is open daily and offers animal encounters at 11am, 1pm and 3pm on weekends and during school holidays. Visitors are invited to make a day of it by bringing their own picnic baskets.
HintHunt – the original live escape game – is an hour of focused problem solving fueled by adrenaline. The games are exciting yet challenging and have been perfectly designed for groups of two to six people, catering to all levels of knowledge and skill. Locked in a themed room, players must put together the hidden clues they find to overcome various mental tasks in order to escape the room before the 60 minutes lapse. HintHunt is a fun way for families with older children to bond and work as a team. There are two HintHunt locations to choose from in Cape Town – one in the V&A Waterfront and the other at the Old Biscuit Mill in Woodstock.
The epitome of family adventure in Cape Town is a day out on the white Atlantis Dunes. Located approximately 40 minutes from the Cape Town city center, the West Coast Atlantis Dunes offer adventurer-seekers the perfect playground to test their balance and skills with sand boarding. Cape Xtreme Adventure Tours offers exclusive private outings led by knowledgeable guides. The sand boarding tours are suitable even for those with no previous experience, which means that the whole family can enjoy the experience.
High-end visitors to the Mother City appreciate exclusive experiences and highly personalized attention. Shimansky’s Secret Diamond Chamber Experience at The Rockwell Hotel in Green Point has been specifically designed to provide such an elite experience. Most visitors at the Rockwell Hotel pass right by the artfully disguised entrance to the Secret Diamond Chamber. The doors will only be opened for a small group of visitors at a time, upon request. The unforgettable VIP encounter reveals the enigmas of the Earth’s most beautiful gemstone, a diamond. Imbued with mystique, this intimate setting provides an extraordinary atmosphere for sharing the rich and fascinating stories of South African diamonds. The journey of every single Shimansky diamond, which are all conflict-free and of South African origin, is one that is traced from mine to finger.
Experience the beauty of South Africa’s most valuable treasure in one of the most beautiful settings. Situated in the Clock Tower Precinct at Cape Town’s world-famous V&A Waterfront, The Shimansky Diamond Experience offers a glimpse of the fascinating world of diamonds. The complimentary guided tour starts at the Cape Town Diamond Museum where the three-billion-year journey of a diamond from deep inside the Earth to an iconic Shimansky jewelry creation is revealed. Visitors travel back in time as they learn about one of the most significant happenings in South African history: the discovery of diamonds in Kimberley, and the subsequent Kimberley Diamond Rush. Then, a behind-the-scenes peek at the Shimansky Diamond Cutting and Polishing Workshop unveils the magical process of a diamond or tanzanite jewelry creation taking shape in the hands of a Shimansky master diamond cutter and goldsmith. Finally, a stroll through the Shimansky Jewelry Showroom concludes the experience where a wide selection of exquisitely designed masterpieces is on display. Our knowledgeable consultants are on hand with interesting diamond facts and information – from the purpose of the engagement ring and how to choose an engagement ring to some handy insider’s thoughts on how to wear your wedding and engagement rings. You might even find out who has the most expensive engagement ring in the world or get to hold the most valuable diamond in Cape Town.
And while you are browsing our wide selection of hand-selected GIA certified, conflict-free diamonds and tanzanite, set in glamorous gold or perfect platinum, you might find the perfect opportunity to acquire a true African gem. We invite you to visit the Shimansky Clock Tower Showroom.