Cape Town with Kids
There is nothing “mystical” or scary about traveling with kids. It doesnt have to take much extra planning and you don’t have to have less fun as you would by yourself – maybe just different kind of fun.
One of my childhood heroes was Phileas Fogg, the well organised character in the 1873 Jules Verne novel Around the World in Eighty Days.
Most articles I am reading about traveling with kids make it sound, though, although we all have to be as minutely well prepared as this awesome creature of fiction (whom I thought was stunningly portrayed by Pierce Brosnan in the 1989 TV adaption).
Definitely rather overspend on the accommodation, depending on your families’ and childs needs. We can always save on other things – but nothing can make up for a good nights rest, especially when the children are small. Who needs expensive restaurants anyway, where you just feel out-of-place with a fussy toddler – and haven’t we all ditched the designer gowns for no-name washables? When you are young and in love (or old and romantic) any of the countless beautiful B&B’s and Boutique Hotels in Cape Town will be fine. With kids and no rental car however you want to be somewhere central, safe and instantly happy! Most South African B&B’s have a “whimsical” feel to them, nicely overstuffed with antiques and ornaments – no fun with kiddos. And Hotels with elegant breakfast rooms cause mommy to get a panic attack considering her oats throwing, on top of his voice singing champion. So an apartment is always a very happy solution.
Most South Africans might want to brave the journey to Cape Town by car, we did too, but not when we came with a 18 months old. We flew down, meeting my mom and a friend at the airport, and went with a taxi to our accommodation of choice, a beautiful apartment at Waterfront Village. Perfect, if you don’t want to rent a car and still have easy access to all Cape Town has to offer. When you come off season there are often great deals for a good price.
Arriving by air plane is great because it prevents you from packing too much stuff. Some people seriously have to bring their own meat along – still can’t get my head around this. In Cape Town you can easily hire a pram and cot if your holiday apartment doesnt have these things. Most hotels will have. We hired from Baby Exchange and a perfect MacLaren pram and Cot were delivered right at our door for 13 Rand a day. What more do you want.
I found the stay at Waterfront Village perfect because I love having fun things within walking distance. The whole V&A waterfront with the Two Oceans Aquarium, life music, restaurants, mall, boat trips etc is within a few scenic walking minutes from the apartment. There is a public bus stop at the Waterfront as well as the classic sight-seeing Hop on Hop off red busses taking you to all of classic Cape Town’s tourism stops. What’s nice is that you can get off the bus and do your thing and get on again afterwards.
Our apartment was stunning, serviced and very comfortable yet “unbreakable” which is important with a toddler. Doing a “walking” holiday is much more fun for the little ones, than constantly being squeezed into a car seat. If you need to be somewhere, you can easily use the taxis that wait for passengers on all the important spots.
Table Mountain will always be windy, but if you are at the ocean you most certainly have a hat and wind jacket for your baby wherever you go.
For the last three days we did rent a car since we wanted to see the Penguins at Boulders Beach and the Cape Point.
Cape Town is very child friendly and laid back. The Company Gardens provide enough running space for tired little sight seers, Steven’s highlight of the day were definitely the other kids feeding the squirrels with him.
Have a little trip on Cape Town’s only miniature train with a view of the sea, passing ships and Robben Island.
Riding the Blue Train is a fun activity for children from one year old and up. Have a little trip on Cape Town’s only miniature train with a view of the sea, passing ships and Robben Island.
Train tickets are R 10 per person a ride.
Proceeds generate funds for the Rotary Club of Sea Point’s projects, so this is not only fun, but good causes benefit as well. You can also spend quality time in the upgraded safe park, playing on a climbing rock, a jumping castle or the jungle gym as well as ride on our new tricycle track. Group bookings for rides are available. A nominal fee is charged for children to use the park facilities. This is also a great place to celebrate a birthday.
I personally didn’t enjoy going along in this very small train especially after the engineer launched into a 5th round – Steven enjoyed it thoroughly though. I got a thing about space – don’t squeeze me into a small box please. All in good fun.
For more tips on parks, kid friendly tea gardens and great playgrounds please check into Capetownkids, we did most of the stuff they advertised and it was all great.
On top of Table Mountain I find that little ones are less impressed with the classic view, but much more with the little plants growing everywhere and the strange pictures the moss is painting on the rocks. Here is a clear “rock art” of a klipspringer done entirely by the tiny little moss.