Cape Town is a fantastic destination for families, offering a diverse range of experiences that cater to all ages.

As well as all the amenities you’d expect from a major metropolis, Cape Town also has a spectacular coastline, with more than 70 beaches and numerous playgrounds, parks and picnic spots in and around the city. While there's a huge amount to do in town, this beautiful coastal city also makes a good base for exploring the wider Western Cape region.

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With a mix of exciting wildlife encounters, fun outdoor experiences and engaging cultural activities, Cape Town offers seemingly endless opportunities for a memorable family trip.

Is Cape Town good for kids?

Cape Town is very well equipped for traveling with children. You’ll find various family-friendly accommodations, including hotels, guesthouses and self-catering options, and local restaurants offering child-friendly menus and play areas. 

The weather can be unpredictable, so pack layers, sunscreen and raincoats. For transportation, consider renting a car for the most flexibility, although hop-on hop-off buses and Uber are also viable ways to get around. Be aware that while most attractions accommodate strollers, some areas may be a bit uneven or have stairs, so plan accordingly.

Where is best in Cape Town for kids

Cape Town is generally very child-friendly. The V&A Waterfront has a range of restaurants and several attractions kids will love, including the Two Oceans Aquarium, Hamsley Tourist Train and the Cape Wheel. There’s also a giant chess board, and you’ll often see street performers, boats and, if you’re lucky, seals in the harbour.

Another great options for families is Muizenberg Beach with warmer water, safe swimming and water slides. Closer to the city, Green Point Urban Park is a great place for kids to run around with several picnic areas, three playgrounds for different age groups, a biodiversity trail and lovely scenery.

Young girl in shallow water follows a little jackass penguin,  Boulders Beach National Park, Simon's Town, South Africa
Little ones will love watching penguins waddle and play at Boulders Beach © wanderluster / Getty Images

Best things to do in Cape Town with babies and toddlers

See the penguin colony on Boulders Beach

Introduce your toddler to the local wildlife at Boulders Beach, home to a thriving colony of African penguins. Little ones will love watching the creatures waddle and play in their natural habitat, just a few feet away. The well-maintained boardwalks offer safe, easy access for strollers, and the sheltered coves and calm waters are great for toddlers to play.

Go strawberry picking in Stellenbosch

Strawberry picking in Stellenbosch is a delightful outing for families with toddlers. The surroundings are beautiful, and your little one can pluck – and eat – the juicy berries straight from the vine. The fun doesn't stop there; many farms also have play areas, tractor rides and farm animals. 

Kids looking at a giant gold-colored fish at Two Oceans Aquarium on the Victoria and Albert Waterfront, Cape Town
Children can see a wide range of marine life at the Two Oceans Aquarium © Atlantide Phototravel / Getty Images

Best things to do in Cape Town with kids

Get handsy at the Two Oceans Aquarium

Discover a world of underwater wonders at the Two Oceans Aquarium, where children can see a wide range of marine life, including playful seals, vibrant tropical fish and, of course, various types of sharks. They can also gently touch starfish and sea urchins at the interactive touch pools – a hands-on learning experience. Check the feeding times before you go. 

Visit a wine estate in the Cape Winelands 

The Winelands are just an hour from Cape Town, and many of the wine estates have activities to keep the whole family entertained.

Playgrounds, picnics and expansive lawns are just the beginning. While parents try the local wine, Spier in Stellenbosch offers grape-juice adventures for kids, as well as Eagle Encounters sessions that give children the opportunity to see the majestic birds up close.

Nearby at Boschendal, you’ll find Boschendal Tree House with an organic garden, farm animals and natural play areas. Kids can join in workshops, go on nature walks or try out the pump track; parents can enjoy a glass of wine and explore the lovely estate.

Take a ride at the Cool Runnings tobogganing track 

Situated in Tygervalley, this exhilarating tobogganing experience lets kids (and their parents) zip down a stainless-steel track on a wheeled sled, reaching speeds of up to 40km/h. Even young children can join in the fun, either riding solo or with an adult. There are also arcade games, miniature golf and a café on-site. 

Wander through Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden

Spend an afternoon or more exploring Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden. The gardens are situated at the foot of Table Mountain, and kids will love wandering through the winding pathways and lush greenery.

The Boomslang Canopy Walkway extends high above the treetops (as a bonus, it’s also stroller-friendly), and the Sculpture Garden is a favorite with kids. Take a picnic or stop at one of the on-site cafes for lunch.

Young white girl looking out over Cape Town through binoculars at the top of Table Mountain, South Africa
Hike or take the cable car up Table Mountain for stunning panoramic views © Carson Ganci / Getty Images

Make it to the top of Table Mountain

A trip to Cape Town is not complete with going up Table Mountain. Regardless of how you get there – you can hike or take the cable car, depending on the ages and endurance levels of your kids – you’ll have panoramic views over the city.

At the top of the mountain, there are several walking trails where you can see wildflowers, more stunning views and the occasional small animal. There is also a popular kids’ treasure hunt and a café.

See birds and monkeys at the World of Birds wildlife sanctuary

More than 3000 bird species and many small mammals live at the largest bird park in Africa, the World of Birds wildlife sanctuary in Hout Bay.

Walk through the huge aviaries to see the birds up close, then visit the Monkey Jungle, where the squirrel monkeys' antics will delight the kids. You can also learn about the sanctuary’s conservation efforts when you visit.

Two Black teenagers on the beach in South Africa, walking toward the water holding surfboards and carrying wetsuits
Cape Town's coastline is a stunning playground for teenagers who enjoy water sports © davidf / Getty Images

Best things to do in Cape Town with teenagers and tweenagers

Learn about South Africa's history on Robben Island

A former prison that once held political prisoners, including Nelson Mandela, Robben Island is a Unesco World Heritage Site, accessible by a scenic ferry ride from Cape Town's waterfront

Visiting the island is an interesting way for young people to learn about South Africa’s history. Guided tours led by former inmates offer a unique firsthand perspective on life in the prison, which can lead to thought-provoking conversations with teenagers about resilience and human rights. The island also has diverse flowers and birds, including a penguin colony.

Head to the coast for water sports

Cape Town's coastline is a stunning playground for teenagers who enjoy water sports or want to have a go for the first time. Start with surfing and kiteboarding in Muizenberg, or try stand-up paddleboarding in Clifton. To see the marine life, go snorkeling or scuba diving at False Bay or Hout Bay. Alternatively, embark on a sea-kayaking tour to encounter seals, penguins and even dolphins up close.

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Family with two kids enjoying breathtaking views of Cape Town from top of Table mountain; Shutterstock ID 482052397; your: Claire Naylor; gl: 65050; netsuite: Online editorial; full: South Africa with kids


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