Kids in Cape Town are rarely at a loss for entertainment or distraction, and parents will find that it doesn't take a lot of effort to keep their little expats occupied. There is an abundance of open space and natural attractions, as well as all the trappings of Western mall culture for rainy days or those difficult teen years.
Expats moving to Cape Town with children will be mercifully free of the drastic adjustments required in many other destinations. Provided they speak English, expat families will be understood by the locals. There are also many international schools and excellent English-speaking local schools to help minimise disruptions to an expat child’s education.
Activities for kids in Cape Town
Families in Cape Town can hike on Table Mountain or take the cable car to the top for one of the world’s best views. Areas such as False Bay, Silvermine and Cape Point at various points around the base of the mountain are perfect for a splendid day out in nature, offering long walks with a wealth of wildlife to appreciate. There are also many gradual bicycle tracks on the mountain and at Cape Point.
For hot summer days, there are the city's scenic, clean and free beaches as well as the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens with its breathtaking scenery and safe, expansive lawns for children to run around on. Families can also take in their surroundings in the comfort of one of Cape Town's open-air sightseeing buses.
If it’s too windy or wet, go to the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront where craft markets, boat rides and restaurants will keep the kids entertained. The world-class Two Oceans Aquarium is also found here and provides a fascinating and educational experience for the whole family.
Recommended attractions for kids in Cape Town
Boulders Beach (Simonstown)
Share the boulder-strewn beach with a giant colony of curious Jackass penguins.
Ratanga Junction (Century City)
Cape Town's only theme park has some exciting rides headlined by the Cobra rollercoaster and some water-themed chutes that provide a welcome dousing in summer.
Butterfly World (Klapmuts)
This enormous tropical greenhouse is home to thousands of exotic butterflies flying freely in the humid interior. There is also a spider room, a collection of anacondas and a reptile room.
Scratch Patch (Simonstown and V&A Waterfront)
Let the kids loose to search for precious stones, minerals and gems – they get to keep what they find.
World of Birds and Monkey Park (Hout Bay)
Africa's biggest (and loudest) collection of birds and primates proves a reliable delight for young children. A well-equipped play area and good tearoom completes the experience.
Seal Island (Hout Bay)
Head out to Duiker Island for astounding views and a close-up experience of a large seal colony; also popular with the Great White sharks which patrol the waters.
Grand West Casino and Entertainment World
With ice-skating, ten-pin bowling, an arcade and more, the kids won't be bored. Parents often enjoy a meal or try their luck at the casino while the children occupy themselves.