Travelling with kids (especially a very active, energetic toddler) is a whole new ball game. It brings new challenges, but also new opportunities.
Instead of researching the “Best Cocktail Bars for Sunset”, or “Top 10 Restaurants in Cape Town”, I spent my days researching things to do with toddlers, and unfortunately, sipping a mojito on a rooftop watching the sun go down, wasn’t one of them! What a shame…
Below, I have compiled a list of my favourite activities to do with Hugo who was 15 months at the time of this post. These places range in distance but the furthest from Cape Town would be a 35-minute drive.
Map of Best Things to Do in Cape Town with Children
Top Things to do in Cape Town with a Toddler / Kids / Children
- Blue Train Park (Mouille Point)
- V&A Waterfront
- PlayDate Super Park (The Watershed, V&A Waterfront)
- The Play Shed (Pinelands)
- Bugz PlayPark (Joostenberg Vlakte)
- Giraffe House (Muldersvlei)
- Green Point Park (Green Point)
- The Little Gym (Seapoint)
- World of Adventure (Root 44 Markets, Stellenbosch)
- Bounce world (Plumstead)
- Camps Bay Tidal Pool (Camps Bay)
- Clifton Beach (Clifton)
- Two Oceans Aquarium (V&A Waterfront)
- Boulders Beach (Simon’s Town)
- Deer Park Cafe (Vredehoek)
- Dunes (Hout Bay)
- The Base at Presidents Bay Hotel (Bantry Bay)
- Tea in the Park (Green Point)
1. Blue Train Park (Mouille Point)
Blue Train Park located in Mouille Point is one of my favourites in the city! Located at the start of the Seapoint Promenade, this park has gorgeous ocean views and tons to do to keep the little ones entertained.
There is also a very old rotary blue train that does 2 laps around the outskirts of the park which was always a hit for Hugo. There are multiple play gyms, a mini soccer field, a jumping castle, slides, swings and picnic tables. Pack your lunch and you could spend a solid 2 hours exploring this park.
Located just outside of the Blue Train Park park, there are another 2 playgrounds which are free. They have a little race track where you can bring a small bike, swings and 2 large jungle gyms, one of which is suitable for children of 1 and up.
2. V&A Waterfront
The V&A Waterfront is one of Africa’s most visited cultural and historical hubs. Filled with both tourists and locals, there is plenty to do to keep the children (& parents) entertained. On the weekends, the atmosphere is buzzing with live music, jungle gyms, face painters, balloons, The Cape Wheel and The Hamleys Thomas Train which does a circuit around the waterfront.
There are a plethora of restaurants to eat at but if you’re looking for somewhere for the kids to play whilst you have a meal and listen to live music, pop into the Ferryman’s Tavern or head over to the food markets and listen to the live music. There is also a small playground there.
3. PlayDate SuperPark (The Watershed, V&A Waterfront)
The PlayDate SuperPark is located inside The Watershed Markets. The bulk of the park is quite advanced and tiered towards older children. It includes a zipline, a high ropes course and a 3D maze.
They also offer a dedicated toddler area (0-6 years) which includes large building blocks, a small maze, slippery slide & pretend grocery shopping complete with small shopping trolleys. It was enough to keep Hugo entertained for the hour that we had our pass.
Once you exit The Watershed, there is also a free outdoor enclosed playground just outside to the left.
Cost: Prices range from R95 – R220 depending on the age of the child and how long you stay. Full details here.
4. The Play Shed (Pinelands)
A colourful toddlers paradise! There are so many things to do at The Play Shed, Hugo wasn’t sure what to do first. There are puzzles, toys, a kitchenette, fruit & veg shop, workshop, dress-up, dolls, bikes, building blocks, cars and games as well as a large indoor double story soft jungle gym and a ball pit.
Head outside to the treehouse, where there is a race track to ride around toy cars and diggers (all of which are provided). Across the road is a paddock full of horses and chickens which, in itself was entertaining enough for my Hugo boy. You could easily spend hours at The Play Shed.
Cost: Prices start at R40 and change based on the age of the child and how long you stay. Full details here.
5. Bugz Playpark (Joostenberg Vlakte)
Bugz Playpark is the largest kids playpark in the Western Cape. It’s more like a mini theme park with an overwhelming choice of things to do. Unfortunately, the rides and the waterpark only run on school holidays and weekends but aside from that, you can do plenty of other things. There is an indoor play centre as well as plenty of outdoor space. Inside, you can find a small cafe for something to eat or drink.
Cost: R70 for kids and R60 for adults. Subject to change for different times of the year and day. Extra for rides. Full details here.
6. Giraffe House (Muldersvlei)
Does your child love animals as much as Hugo? If the answer is yes, and they’re too little to go on a real safari, visit the Giraffe House. There are a large number of animals at Giraffe House, from farm animals to reptiles and a ton of birds. They offer well maintained interactive animal experiences that teach conservation and respect for wildlife. It’s very hot during the summer months so prepare accordingly and expect to walk quite a bit. There is no restaurant on site so pack your lunch if you plan to spend a few hours here.
- The play area consists of 3 jungle gyms and a lawn area.
Cost: Adults R55, Seniors R40, Children (2-15 yrs) R35. Cash only.
7. Green Point Park (Green Point)
Green Point Park is one for the whole family. The lush green grass with views of Lions Head and Signal Hill are enough to make this park worth the visit! There are 2 separate playgrounds broken up for 2 different age groups, toddlers and big kids! The toddler park is fully enclosed and inside you’ll find play equipment, slides, swings and patches of green grass to sit and relax (if that’s even possible!).
Aside from the play equipment, there are large areas of grass for your kiddies to burn off some energy, play ball or follow the countless ducks that take residence in the park. Public toilets, with changing facilities, are also available.
8. The Little Gym (Seapoint)
Depending on how long and where you’re staying in Cape Town, The Little Gym is a brilliant option if you’re here longer than a month. This colourful little gym specialises in unique, active, age-appropriate classes that revolve around active play. It’s a very safe, indoor gym with structured 45-minute parent/child classes. Classes start with babies as young as 4 months old up until 12 years old. The staff are fantastic with the kids and we looked forward to our “gym days”.
Cost: It all depends on if you sign up for a term or not. You can’t pay per class.
9. World of Adventure (Root 44 Markets, Stellenbosch)
Every Saturday from 9 am onwards Root 44 Markets puts on quite a show. There are food stalls, pop up shops, live music, beverage options and the best part; World of Adventure, a very large play area for kids!
For the little ones, there is a padded ball pit and a double story indoor soft play centre and for the older kids, there are small waterslides (open mid-September to end April only), jumping castles, jungle gyms and putt-putt golf. Fun for the whole family!
Cost: Child (1-2 yrs) R35, Child (3-12yrs) R95, Adults R20
10. Bounce World (Plumstead)
Bounce World is recommended for children aged 1 – 9 years old. Inside you’ll find a series of jumping castles. There is a small section for toddlers with some rocking horses, a jungle gym, a ball pit and a mini jumping castle. Plenty of space to burn off some energy in a safe environment. They are only open on weekends and holidays.
11. Camps Bay Tidal Pool (Camps Bay)
For anyone that doesn’t know Cape Town beaches, unfortunately, I hate to be the one to break the news, but the water is bitterly cold. 11 degrees kind of cold. Now, this is no fun for little ones (or adults!) but the tidal pool at Camps Bay is somewhat more tolerable due to its shallow calm waters. Bring along your shovel and bucket and enjoy sitting on the water’s edge of this magnificent little gem.
Just above the beach is another type of playground (which isn’t great for toddlers) but there is plenty of green space for them to run around after a swim or dig in the sand.
12. Clifton Beach (Clifton)
Clifton Beach is broken up into 4 beaches which can be found all alongside one another. Clifton 1 being the most accessible, therefore the most popular. The best part about Clifton Beaches is the total protection from the wind! During the hot summer months, the wind can be very unbearable in Cape Town but if you’re still desperate to get outside, Clifton Beach has you sorted! The little ones can splash in the small pools, shaded by the boulders and you can enjoy a summers day out, wind-free!
13. Two Oceans Aquarium (V&A Waterfront)
Now that Hugo is more observant of the world, especially animals, visiting the aquarium was so much fun. His excitement was second to none as he roamed around imitating all of the fish he saw. As well as seeing all of the animals of the underwater world, they also have a small jungle gym as well as daily puppet shows, drawing tables, sandbox and interactive animal feedings.
Cost: Adults R185, Child (14-17yrs) R140, Child (4-13yrs) R90, Children (< 4) Free.
14. Boulders Beach (Simons Town)
Boulders Beach is an absolute must when visiting Cape Town, with or without a toddler! About an hours drive from the centre of Cape Town, Boulder’s Beach has some very special residents – The African Penguins. Aside from these awesome animals that roam the beach freely, Boulders Beach is a popular family-friendly swimming beach where kids can climb over the boulders, explore the rock pools, or swim in the cool, clear waters.
During the summer months, this beach is packed by 10:00 am so arrive early!
If you’re looking for an off the beaten path tour around Boulders Beach, check out this fantastic Airbnb experience with a true SA local.
Cost: R152 and Child R76
Cafe’s with Play Grounds
1. Deer Park Cafe (Vredehoek)
Deer Park Cafe is very popular with families. The large playground attached to the cafe hosts’ entertainment for all ages including swings, slides, plenty of grass and multiple jungle gyms. The best part about this cafe is the play area is relatively in the shade, which isn’t as common as we would have thought in Cape Town.
The menu is versatile, with adult and child-size portions available on most dishes and the bustling ambience is the perfect spot for weekend breakfasts and brunches. There isn’t a separate set dinner menu but the cafe is open until 8:00 pm.
2. Dunes (Hout Bay)
Hout Bay is generally very family-friendly and Dunes restaurant is the perfect place to take any child of any age! There is a playground directly on the sand so you can supervise your child as you enjoy your meal and sip a cold glass of wine. Dunes have an extensive menu for both adults and children, along with quick service and decent food.
3. The Base at Presidents Bay Hotel (Bantry Bay)
Who doesn’t love a good pizza, a cocktail and a dip in a pool? This restaurant offers wood fire pizzas as well as a full menu directly next to the hotel’s swimming pool and play area for kids. They had a kiddies pool which was perfect for Hugo. As a non-hotel guest, you pay 100 ZAR per adult to use the pool and then 200 zar per adult which goes towards any food and drink. It was totally worth it.
4. Tea in The Park (Green Point)
Tea in the Park is located inside the beautiful grounds of Green Point Park. Directly in front of one of the largest jungle gyms, there is a cafe which serves hot drinks, light lunches, snacks and a few sweet treats. You can choose to sit inside or outside on the terrace in front of the large grassy area where the children to let loose and chase the birds. They have a very decent play corner inside the cafe too with books, dolls, cars and ample toys.
Here is an updated list of plenty more restaurants to visit with kids!
Good to Know Tips
- Unfortunately, due to water restrictions, none of the beaches provide showers to rinse off the sand so come prepared and expect your car to be full of sand at the end of a beach adventure! It’s all part of the fun, isn’t it?
- The play equipment at most of the local parks to me are very unsafe for little ones due to open edges and big drops (shown above). It’s much easier if you have 2 adults supervising, especially if you have a child as adventurous as Hugo! Just be careful!
- During the summer months, the sun is hot and strong and not a lot of the outdoor playgrounds have shade. Avoid the middle of the day or make sure you and your child have a hat and sunscreen.
Is there anything else you would add to this list? I’m sure we’ll be back!