Go on a camel ride at Imhoff Farm in Cape Town.
Go on a camel ride at Imhoff Farm in Cape Town.

What to do with children during holidays – Part 2

By Michelle Lorber Time of article published Nov 30, 2020

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With the academic year soon coming to an end here are a few places you can go to for kids’ entertainment.

Ipic Play (Durbanville)

Ipic Play in Durbanville is a large indoor adventure park with a cafe and bakery. Children between 0 and 2 can be entertained in the digital art room, toddler town and mini slide. There's a junior play zone created for children between the ages of three and five. The playground and obstacle course have adult supervision. Peak hours are Friday to Sunday and public and school holidays, off peak hours are from Monday to Thursday. During off peak hours, toddler play can be accessed between 9am and 11pm. Find Ipic at Aurora Shopping Centre in Durbanville. The park is open Monday to Saturday, from 9am to 6pm and on Sunday from 9am to 5pm.

Acrobranch Constantia

Acrobranch is an outdoor activity park situated in the Constantia Nek forest. The park offers two obstacle courses for younger children. The Acro-twigs course provides an adventure monitored by safety guides. Children between the ages of three and six get to tackle 18 obstacles testing their capabilities and sense of balance. The Monkey moves course is suitable for beginners and gives more cautious children an opportunity to move through 17 obstacles. The course gradually increases in height from 1.1m. Children are kept safe in harnesses which are hooked into secure lines throughout the course. From September to April, Acrobranch is open from Wednesday to Sunday, school holidays and public holidays. Find Acrobranch at 1 Hout Bay Road.

Winelands Light Railway (Stellenbosch)

Train rides and park facilities offer your child a fun experience. The miniature trains are a delight. There's a circular train track with a station, a bridge and a tunnel. There’s space for children to play and food vendors are present. There’s also a jungle gym and playhouse. You can pack a picnic and sit on the lawn. The railway park is open from Friday to Sunday, 9am to 5pm and it’s on the R304 in Stellenbosch.

Noordhoek Farm Village (Noordhoek)

Situated at the foot of Chapman’s Peak. Along with the variety of shops, the village offers a large outdoor playground. Slides, a see saw, tractor, jungle gyms and rocking zebras are scattered on the lawn. The village is open daily from 9am to 5pm. The Wednesday market is back. Find the village on the corner of Village Lane and Noordhoek Main Road.

Imhoff Farm (Kommetjie)

This farmstead offers animal encounters in the petting zoo and horseback beach rides through Imhoff Equestrian Centre, besides the shops and restaurants. Children can feed the animals at Higgledy Piggledy Farmyard in the morning. Then navigate the Milkwood Maze. Children can play Lasertag at Imhoff Farm’s bush field. Blue Water Cafe has a secure, child-friendly garden. It has a Faraway Tree with a tree house and slide for children to play in, and a jungle gym with swings and monkey bars for busy little ones. There’s also a 3D maze. The farm is open from 9am to 5pm daily.

The Company’s Garden (Cape Town)

In this public park and botanical garden, there’s a rose garden, bamboo plantation, Japanese garden, a fish pond and an aviary. Children can feed the squirrels and pigeons with peanuts and chase the resident Egyptian geese. There’s a cafe restaurant. Little ones love climbing in the human-sized weaver bird nests nearby. There are entrances in Queen Victoria Street.

Rush Trampoline Park (Claremont)

Situated in Claremont, the park has wall-to-wall trampolines. Children can bounce among foam cubes. There's a 'toddler time' session for those aged under four, so they don't get knocked over by over-enthusiastic older children (siblings are allowed in the session). Toddler time is from 9am to 10 am on Friday and Sunday. The equipment is padded and cushioned to prevent injuries. It's located in Stadium on Main, 25 Stegman Road, Claremont.

The Giraffe House (Muldersvlei)

Situated on the corner of the R304 and R101 in Muldersvlei. There are daily amphibian talks. These are interactive and allow children to meet and touch (with supervision) snakes, tortoises, spiders and lizards, among others. There are also zebras, springbok, ostriches, crocodiles, monkeys, goats, birds and meerkats. Kids might even be able to feed the giraffes, depending on how sociable the animals are feeling. There are jungle gyms, picnic spots and a food kiosk. (Note: Pack a picnic basket, lots of water and bring hats, it’s open and very sunny). The creepy crawly encounters take place at 11am, 1pm and 3pm on weekends and during school holidays. The facility is usually open from 9am to 5pm, but it’s best to check as it also hosts educational programmes.

Farm Sanctuary SA (Franschhoek)

Here, you'll find rescue animals from factory farms. The home to Pigcasso, the painting pig. You can interact with the animals and have a look at Pigcasso’s work on display in the gallery. The sanctuary is open to the public during weekends. It’s vegan, so meat and dairy are not allowed on the premises. It’s open from 11am to 3pm. Find the sanctuary at 59 Dirkie Uys Street in Franschhoek.

Cool Runnings Toboggan Family Park (Bellville)

This park in Bellville has wheeled toboggan rides along a twisting steel track for adventurous children. There’s a tunnel and a cable haul to take you to the start of the course so you don’t have to climb the hill. The track is downhill, spread over 1.25km, and you have brakes. There's a cafe serving boerewors rolls, burgers, chips, pizza and refreshments. Children need to be older than three and be accompanied by an adult. It’s open Monday to Friday from 11am to 6pm and on weekends from 9am to 6pm. Find Cool Runnings off Carl Cronje Drive in Tyger Valley.

Babylonstoren (Franschhoek)

Extensive fruit and vegetable gardens, a working farmyard with wandering livestock and a restaurant. Take river walks nearby and find the clivia garden. The Greenhouse Restaurant serves scones, and there is an ice lolly van. Children can feed donkeys and watch tortoises, ducks, geese, turkeys and chickens. There are also sheep, goats, pigs and milk cows. The gardens have water features. The hotel is open from Monday to Sunday, from 9am to 5pm. Find it off the Klapmuts-Simondium Road in Franschhoek.

Eagle Encounters (Stellenbosch)

This wildlife rehabilitation and education centre is based at Spier Wine Farm. Here, you can encounter the birds or enjoy a flying show. At 11pm, raptors are trained by falconers. At 2pm, with the falconry display, owls kits, buzzards, hawks are flown around, or to you. At 3pm you can meet the charming secretary bird. A hunt is simulated to show the accuracy of the secretary bird’s considerable kick. You can also encounter wood owls, barn owls, snakes, bearded dragons, tortoises, rabbits and guinea pigs. The centre is open from 9.30am to 5pm normally, and is open on public holidays. It’s closed on Mondays. On the estate, you can order and enjoy a picnic in the shade on the Werf lawn and watch ducks paddling in the stream. The Kids’ Clubhouse has holiday programmes. There’s also a bamboo forest for children to play in. Find Spier Wine Farm on Baden Powell Drive (R310) in Stellenbosch.

Monkey Town (Somerset West)

Situated in Somerset West, this is a centre for more than 250 primates and 26 species of exotic monkeys and apes. You can view the monkeys from caged walkways. There are also birds, fish, antelope, miniature donkeys, alpacas and hedgehogs. There's a guided tour and a reptile garden. You can braai or picnic at this location. There’s also a play, swim (3 pools, including one for toddlers) and supertube area. The toddlers corner has an inflatable pool and water slide, a jumping castle and synthetic grass. The venue is open from 8am to 5pm daily. Monkey Town is in Mondeor Road (off the N2 highway towards Sir Lowry’s Pass) in Somerset West.

Butterfly World Animal Sanctuary (Stellenbosch)

Based in Stellenbosch, this sanctuary has a big greenhouse showcasing a variety of birds, mammals, amphibians, insects and reptiles. There are not many butterflies at the moment due to import complications caused by Covid-19. Children will be enchanted with the chinchillas and degus. You can walk among the animals. There are koi, terrapins and birds inside the tropical garden. There’s a restaurant which also provides takeaway that can be eaten in the tropical garden. The venue is open from 9am to 4.30pm every day of the week. Find Butterfly World on the R44 in Stellenbosch.

Cape Town Ostrich Ranch (Philadelphia)

The ostrich ranch in Philadelphia is open on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and school holidays from 9am to 5pm. There are emus, rheas and peacocks, farm animals and various rescue animals. Apart from the ostrich tours, there are crocodiles, emus, tortoises, peacocks and goats. There’s a deli, scratch patch, museum and extensive play area. You can have a picture taken seated on an ostrich, try feeding them or try standing on an ostrich egg. The reptile sanctuary and rehabilitation centre which used to be at Imhoff Farm has moved here. The ranch is on the N7.

Be.Up Park (Pinelands)

This park has the largest indoor maze in South Africa with brightly coloured tubes, tunnels, ball ponds, trampolines and slides. Staff are available to assist at all times. Seating areas are available for parents. There’s also a dedicated soft-play area. Opening times are Monday to Thursday, 11am to 5pm. Friday, 11am to 6pm. Saturday, 9am to 6pm and Sunday, 9am to 5pm. Find it in Rose Innes Street in Pinelands.

Valley Farm in Hout Bay

This family-run business can be found in Valley Road. The farm is home to rescue animals including pot-bellied pigs, Cameroon dwarf goats, an African Grey parrot, cats, geese, chickens, ducks, turkeys, other assorted birds, rabbits and guinea pigs. If you buy a bag of pellets, children can feed the farm animals. Children can play on the jungle gym, explore the play area or use the splash pools. There’s a farm stall and coffee shop which are open Monday to Sunday, 9am to 5pm. Inside the deli, there’s a small play area. The nursery specialises in edible, water-wise and indigenous plants. Find the farmyard bistro in Valley Road in Hout Bay.

Montague Guano Cave (Klein Karoo)

This is situated at the bottom of the Langeberg Mountain Range in the Klein Karoo. Day visitors can frequent the restaurant and there are horse and pony rides. The animal farm has camels, lamas, alpacas and ponies. A rabbit world showcases six species of rabbits, as well as other exotic animals. There are four swimming pools (one of which is guests-only) and a large playground and jungle gym. It’s open from 8am until late.

Eseltjiesrus Donkey Sanctuary (Klein Karoo)

This sanctuary provides a home to rescue donkeys. There’s a restaurant overlooking the dam and paddocks. The sanctuary is open from Thursday to Sunday, 10am to 4pm. Visitor guides are available from 11am to 2pm on Saturdays and Sundays. Feeding time happens at around 4pm. Find the sanctuary 5km from McGregor on the road between Robertson and McGregor in the Klein Karoo.

Wiesenhof Adventure Park (Stellenbosch)

The extensive park has 49 trampolines, foam pits, an inflated air mountain, a general play area and eight water slides. You can pack a picnic, have a braai or order takeaways. Wild Waters is only open during weekends, school holidays and public holidays. Bring a floating device if your child is under 1.2m and pack an umbrella too. The trampolines (Jumpin Jax) are open all year. Find the venue at Wiesenhof Farm on the R44 in Stellenbosch. It's open from 9am to 5.30pm on Saturdays and Sundays.

Bloemendal’s Bike Park (Durvanville)

The Bloemendal Wine Estate has the Tygerberg Mountain Bike Club trail. There are tracks designed for young children. After entering the farm gates, the Bon Amis restaurant will be on your left, with mountain bike parking on the gravel road to your right. Just behind the pond at Bon Amis is a single track for children aged from four to eight. There’s also a YBike trail for children on push bikes with no pedals. Day permits are sold at Biosport on the estate and at the bike park (on Saturdays and Sundays from 7.30pm to 2pm). Don’t ride in groups of more than four. Bon Amis restaurant had a children’s menu with puzzles and fun games and there’s an outdoor playground. The play area is shaded and has a jungle gym, rabbit enclosure and running space. Find Bloemendal Wine Estate on the M13 Tyger Valley Centre service road in Durbanville.

The Alpaca Loom (Paarl)

On this farm, There’s a petting zoo with alpacas, llamas, camels, Angora goats and sheep. There are also free-roaming chickens, geese and peacocks. Feed is available. There are alpaca barn tours – if you take the tour to get closer to the alpacas, entry to the petting zoo is included. Barn tours happen daily, on the hour. There’s a coffee shop with hot and cold beverages, muffins, cakes and pies. Takeaways are available. There is outside seating. The farm is open daily from 10am to 5pm. Bookings are not necessary, unless it’s for a large group. Find the farm on Suid Agter Paarl Road in Paarl.

Weltevreden Carnival Area (Stellenbosch)

There are two big plastic jungle gyms with slides, a trampoline and a sandpit with a little house to play in. There is also a track around the jungle gyms for scooters. Wood-fired pizzas and burgers are on the menu. Children can build their own pizzas – there’s a designated area with a platform near the pizza oven for them to do so. The carnival is open Tuesday to Sunday, 9am to 5pm and the Lekke Neh restaurant (which serves casseroles, pies and green Thai curries, among other dishes) is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 6pm. Find Weltevreden Estate on Weltevreden Boulevard just outside Stellenbosch off the R304.

Vredenheim Animal Farm (Stellenbosch)

Children can play in the park which has a bike track, jungle gym, sandpit and slide. They can also meet farm animals and feed some of them. There are calves, sheep, goats, turkeys, chickens, fallow deer, rabbits and pigs. There are tractor rides on offer. There are also blue wildebeest, springbok, and zebra. The farm is open Monday to Sunday from 10am to 4pm. Bring a card as it's a cash-free facility. The farm is on the R310 in Stellenbosch.

Graceland Venues (Paarl)

You could make a day of it at this venue surrounded by the Boland mountains, but you’d need to pre-book as only a certain amount of people can enter per day for safety reasons. The entrance fee to the water slides and pool play park area includes unlimited rides on the slides and unlimited access to the beach pool. Children under the age of three get in free and there’s a separate toddlers’ pool. Besides the four 32m water slides, there’s a play park. There are shaded grassy areas and benches. Food can be purchased inside. Find Graceland Venues in Lustigan Road in Paarl. The park is open from 8am to 4pm, Tuesday to Saturday, 10am to 4pm on Sundays and closed on Monday.

The Farmyard Christian Recreation Park (Klapmuts)

A family-oriented picnic and braai resort with three pools. The supertube is open by discretion on busy days (R2.50 a ride). There’s a trampoline and you can visit the farm animals. There are also braai sites and a tuck shop. The venue is open every day in December during the school holidays (closed on December 24 and 31). Opening hours are 8am to 6pm on weekends and public holidays between October 17 and May 1; and 9am to 6pm on weekdays during December school holidays. Find it in Protea Road in Klapmuts.

Wiesenhof Adventure Park (Stellenbosch)

This park has braai facilities, a take-away coffee shop, pools, slides, Kidzplay, trampolines, a pump track and a climbing wall. Find the park off the R44, 12km north of Stellenbosch. Children under 1.2m need to have a floating device on certain slides and in certain pools. You can pack a picnic and umbrellas. It’s currently open between 9am and 5.50pm, Friday to Sunday.

Jump4Fun Indoor Trampoline Park (Strand)

This recreation centre is a great place to let children blow off some steam. Apart from the open jump area, there are slides, motorised rocking horses, an airbag drop zone, dodgeball and various other activities. There are jump sessions for toddlers (2-5 years) and sessions for ages 6 and over. There’s a pizzeria and cafe. It’s open from Tuesday to Friday, 10am to 6pm. On weekends: Saturday, from 9am to 9pm and Sunday from 9am to 5pm. On public and school holidays, it’s open from 9am to 6pm (extended Saturday, Sunday and public holiday hours dependent on online bookings). Find it at 30 Mynhardt Street in Gants Plaza.

Wild Wild West Kids Play Park (Strand)

Aside from a tactile toddler area with climbing obstacles and a mini maze, there are big slides, a bandit warrior run, climbing course and more. Toddler Town is for 0-3-year-olds, Kids Town is for 3-5-year-olds and the Bandit Run obstacle course is for children from the ages of 5 to 13. Children 6 and under need to be supervised by a parent. The decor and food from the restaurant are themed. The venue is open from Monday to Saturday, from 9am to 5pm, and on Sunday from 9am to 3pm. On public holidays, the park is open from 9am to 5pm. Find the park at 8 Garvin Circle, Gants Centre, Strand.

Blasters Family Entertainment Centre (Mossel Bay)

The centre on extensive premises is designed around family entertainment with a restaurant, black-light putt putt, arcade games and pool tables. The place gets its name from blasting machines in the soft-play indoors area. Children can blast soft balls with the blasters. There are machines that shoot soft foam balls into the air and others which release balls from a basket. There’s a large indoor jungle gym for children from 0-12. The centre is open from 11am to 8pm from Tuesday to Thursday, from 11am to 10pm on Friday, from 10 am to 10pm on Saturday and 10am to 5pm on Sunday. Find the centre at 23 Mascador Street in Voorbaai, Mossel Bay.

Foresters Arms Newlands

Other than the pub fare, it’s probably worth going for a Sunday carvery. There are two roasts available – slow-roasted leg of lamb and honey-glazed gammon. Choose from roasted vegetables as well – there are roast potatoes, creamed spinach, roasted butternut and a broccoli and cheese bake. You also get Yorkshire pudding and savoury rice. The children’s entertainment section is in a contained area and most of the tables overlook the sandpit with the swings, slides and jungle gym area so you can keep an eye on your children. Best avoided when there are sports game days if you’re wanting a quiet family meal. Opening times are Tuesday to Thursday from 12 to 10pm, Friday from noon to 11pm, Saturday from 11.30am to 10pm and Sunday from 11.30 to 6pm. Find it in Newlands Avenue, Newlands.

Die Damhuis (Melkbosstrand)

This restaurant, specialising in seafood and South African food, has a designated play area and children’s menu. There are various child-friendly apparatus in the sand at the back of the restaurant, where there are tables outside. A themed lighthouse overlooks a wooden sailing boat and a slide. Trees and umbrellas provide shade and there’s also a tent over the boat. There are different seating options – the terrace has a sea view, you can sit in the shaded fisherman’s tent or inside the restaurant. It is open from 9am to 9pm, Tuesday to Sunday. Find it at 32 Beach Road, Melkbosstrand.

Ridgeback Wines (Paarl)

The Deck Restaurant overlooks a willow-fringed dam. Children will enjoy watching the swans and ducks. There’s a jungle gym, children’s menu and a shaded outdoor play area. A home-style menu includes platters, hamburgers, steak and salads. Find it off the R44 in Windmeul, Paarl. Reservations are necessary. From Wednesday to Saturday, breakfast is available from 9am to 1.30am and lunch from noon to 4pm. On Sundays and public holidays, the last order is taken at 3pm.

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