School holidays are upon us and kids all around Cape Town are itching to be kept busy and soak up the summer spirit. Most parents find it difficult to think of things to do with their youth so The Next 48hOURS has done your holiday homework for you. Here are some great entertaining places to take the kids this summer.
Experience flutters of paradise in the Western Cape Winelands at Butterfly World’s tropical garden, which houses butterflies from as far as Costa Rica and the Philippines, as well as free-roaming ducks, chickens and goats and enclosures with scorpions and spiders. Butterfly World is open all year round from 9am to 5pm, and entry costs R48p/p for adults and R28p/p for children.
* For more information www.butterflyworld.co.za, or call 021 875 5628.
South Africa’s first tobogganing track on the hillside opposite the Bellville Velodrome is the place to get your adrenaline up. The 1.2-km track at 40km per hour is an exhilarating experience for the whole family. Parents can ride with their children, or the kids can go it alone. A single ride for kids under 14 costs R30p/p. The track is open from Tuesdays to Fridays from 12pm to 6pm and on weekends from 9am to 6pm.
* Visit cool-runnings.co.za, or call 021 949 4439.
The Company’s Garden
The Company’s Garden is an ideal place for summer picnics and ball games. The city centre provides limitless space for kids to explore. The park is home to various small animals – the favourite being the squirrels, which can be fed. Entry into the gardens is free, and the grounds are open daily from 7.30am to 8.30pm in summer (December to February).
Drakenstein Lion Park
This 50-acre cat rehabilitation centre feature rare white lions and has grown to include a chimp haven for rescued primates. Drakenstein Lion Park features lion feedings as well and is open daily from 9.30 to 5pm; entry costs R25p/p for kids and R50p/p for adults just for the lion sanctuary, or you can get combo admission for the lion sanctuary and chimp haven for R40p/p for children and R80p/p for adults.
* Visit www.lionrescue.org.za, or call 021 863 3290.
Bugz Family Play Park
Bugz Family Play Park is a child’s dream. The kiddies can ride on rowing boats, quad bikes and a choo choo train. The indoor area’s jungle gyms, slides and two large sandpits are ideal for the more adventurous youngster. It’s R35p/p for children and R25p/p for adults and is open every day of the week from 9am to 5pm.
* Visit www.bugzplaypark.co.za, or call 021 988 8836.
Jolly Roger Pirate Boat
The Jolly Roger Pirate Boat sets sail every day in the late morning, at lunchtime and at sunset, includes a live pirate show that will have everyone in their element. The boat leaves from Quay 5 in the V&A Waterfront; a morning or afternoon ride costs R60p/p for kids and R120p/p for adults, and a sunset cruise costs R100p/p for kids and R200p/p for adults.
* Visit www.pirateboat.co.za, or call 021 421 0909.
World of Birds
World of Birds is the largest bird park in Africa. It has over 3000 birds and small animals, 400 different bird species and 100 walk-through aviaries; plus, there’s a playground and picnic area right next to the flamingos. The World of Birds is open all year from 9am to 5pm (keep an eye out for feeding times), and it costs R75p/p for adults and R40p/p for children.
* Visit www.worldofbirds.org.za, or call 021 790 2730.
Cave Golf at the V&A Waterfront
Cave golf, with its quick, yet deceptively difficult holes that may have vertical ramps, sharp corners or obstacles to challenge older children and future golfers, offers a trying indoor option for little tykes attached to a nine iron. It costs just R15p/p for one round, and the course is open all week from 9am to 5pm.
* Call 021 419 9429
Battlefield Live SA Cape Town
This outdoor interactive laser tag battle is as fun as paintball and is considerably safer – great for children aged between eight and 18 years. Battlefield Live Cape Town laser tag battles are held at various venues, including Stellenbosch, Constantia and Ratanga Junction.
* Visit www.battlefieldlive.co.za, or call 072 348 7079.
Intaka Island at Century City boasts 16ha of wetlands, rare and abundant birds and majestic flora. Take a ferry ride, a leisurely self-guided stroll along the 2km of foot paths, or choose to allow one of the experienced field rangers to lead you along the route.
Plus, the island has special programmes during the holidays. Entry into Intaka Island costs just R12.50p/p for adults and R7.50 for children under the age of 12. The reserve is open from 7:30am to 7pm during summer.
* Visit intaka.co.za, or call 021 552 6889.