Fire and Ice, Capetown
Mount Nelson Hotel
Luxury family holidays abound in the city that sleeps and plays under the watchful eye of Table Mountain. Capetown is defined by its temperate climate, easy-on-the-eye Dutch colonial architecture and beautiful vistas at every turn. The city occupies a peninsula that juts out into the Atlantic Ocean, offering visitors plentiful beaches and water-based activities on both coastlines. The Cape Winelands are surprisingly family-friendly too, with a host of estates boasting play facilities, children’s menus and unique experiences that will certainly keep little guests entertained while parents sip on a delicious glass of the finest local offering.
Capetown’s One&Only was the first urban resort in Africa and it’s situated in the heart of Cape Town’s biggest tourist attraction, the V&A Waterfront.
The swanky One&Only Capetown is a five-star resort that boasts 131 suites each with harbour or mountain views, three lavish penthouses with panoramic views and each room comes with personalised butler service. The resort itself has two purpose-built islands, one of which plays host to an award-winning spa and is...Baby-friendly / Family-friendly Spa / Pre-Teen friendly / See this Hotel & Book »
Mount Nelson Hotel
Mount Nelson is the country’s oldest hotel (it dates back to 1899) Today, it is a genteel, salmon-pink Grand Dame situated in the heart of Capetown.
Protected from the city’s urban hubbub by sprawling Hydrangeas and century-old trees, the old-world charm coupled with discreet modern day service and facilities of The Mount Nelson makes it a true delight for families. There are 201 rooms situated in the original hotel building, as well as various wings dotted on...Baby-friendly / Family-friendly Spa / Pre-Teen friendly / See this Hotel & Book »
Situated in the Constantia Winelands, this bucolic escape is on a working wine estate with space aplenty for kids to roam, three excellent eateries (from relaxed to sophisticated) and a blissful spa.
The kind of destination where city kids can run free, visit the stables and throw pebbles in the farm dam, Constantia Uitsig is rustic, yet it oozes sophistication. Accommodation is in plush country cottages (16 in total) and, for families, the family suite with two bedrooms, a kitchenette and a cosy lounge is ideal....Baby-friendly / Family-friendly Spa / Pre-Teen friendly / See this Hotel & Book »
Fire & Ice Capetown
You’ll find Fire & Ice hotel on the fringes of the CBD – with views of the mountain and an extremely convenient location - ideal for busy families with plans to get lots done during their visit.
Describing itself as an ‘extreme’ hotel, the Fire & ice Capetown is an upbeat, multi storey property with 182 rooms is full of quirks that will appeal to fun-lovers of all ages. For families, the loft style suites with their mezzanine level are ideal and the hotel offers 500mb of free WiFi daily for teen...Baby-friendly / Pre-Teen friendly / Toddler-friendly / See this Hotel & Book »
Neighbour Goods Market
Old Biscuit Mill, 375 Albert Road, Woodstock
This Saturday morning institution is situated at The Old Biscuit Mill in Salt River on the outskirts of the city, and it is something of a hipster family spot (mind the Bugaboos). Yet, for a taste of Capetown’s artisan producers’ wares, it’s excellent. Kids will love the fascinating sights, sounds and tastes to be had – from Belgian waffles dripping with cream, baby ‘cinos at the coffee stalls and just-baked treats at every turn – as it’s a visual delight. If crowds are a concern then arrive before 9am. Otherwise, make a day of it and stay for a lunch of steak sandwiches, craft beers and homemade lemonade.
110 Kloof Street
When the kids have been on their best behaviour at restaurants that have been more about you than them, head for Café Paradiso in Kloof Street. This delightfully chaotic, trattoria-like eatery with an extensive Mediterranean menu to match is situated in a converted Victorian home and consists of numerous rooms and outside areas crammed with mismatched tables and chairs, hanging flower baskets, faded garden ornaments and the occasional discarded party hat. It’s a wonderful family destination since kids are encouraged to make their way to the open plan kitchen to roll out dough and make their own pizzas, all under the supervision of an enthusiastic minder. After lunch (there’s a dedicated kids menu,) they can go back and decorate cupcakes too.
Noordhoek Farm Village, 8 Chapmans Peak Drive, Noordhoek
Situated in the farmy, seaside suburb of Noordhoek, a 25-minute drive from the city, Cafe Roux is a family-run and oh-so-family-friendly eatery does a roaring weekend trade. Kids of all ages love it here. From the live music to the monitored play area, a wooden bandstand where kids activities are held and the grassy lawns for rolling on, there’s plenty to keep them occupied. The menu is contemporary Cape fare – from their famed gourmet burger to salads, curries and lovely line-caught fish. The kid’s menu is laden with tasty and nutritious offerings, too.
Spier Estate near Stellenbosch is home to a Raptor Park, which offers fascinating falconry demonstrations. There are also Segway tours through the vineyards, picnics to be bought at the Deli and had at the lake, wine and food pairings and farm-to-table lunch offerings at Eight, the contemporary-rustic alfresco eatery
Red City Bus Tours
The Red City Bus Tour is a must for all Capetown visitors. Kids love it (bring sunscreen and hats for sitting upstairs) and the “hop on and hop off” system lets you time things according to their age and attention span. There are 18 destinations including the top tourist sites.
Drive or catch the train to Boulders Beach in Simonstown, where South Africa’s most famous breeding colony of Jackass Penguins rule the roost. It is a safe beach that’s ideal for paddling so go early in the summer since space is limited.
Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden
In the lee of Table Mountain, you’ll find one of the impressive Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden. Playing host to hidden forests, magical streams, grassy slopes for rolling down and canopies of trees for lolling under with a picnic, a visit is undoubtedly an outing for the whole family to enjoy
Without a hire care, getting to the further flung sights can be trickier but it’s still doable. The MyCiTi bus services make getting in and around the city a cinch and their airport shuttle service is cheap and quick, too.
Capetown has a cosmopolitan sheen, but South Africa is still a third world country. The city has spent enormous amounts on making its streets safe with visible policing and monitoring. That said, as with any busy city, its important to keep your wits about you and your belongings discreetly stowed. Pick pocketing does happen on busy Long Street at night, but unless you’re flashing an iPhone, you should be fine.
Capetown has some of the best water in the world and it is safe to drink.
Planning to walk up the mountain? Take enough water, warm clothing (it gets cold) and, most importantly, tell your guesthouse or hotel your expected time of arrival. Save emergency numbers in your phone and take money for catching the cable car down.
When to go
Summer (November to February) is when the city wakes up and its residents come out to play in the heat, with street cafes and bars crammed with partygoers and sun seekers. This time of year can bring the wind but, for blissful wind-free beach days, head for any of the four Clifton beaches. Be warned though, the water is icy so swimmers should head for the warmer waters of False Bay. Winter is the ‘secret season’ with patches of glorious sunny days.
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