When It Rains Stay Indoors … But Not At Home
You can be an astronaut, take the family to the arcade and kids to a playpark
Last update: 29 July 2021
Sure, stay indoors when it’s cold and wet, but who says you have to stay home? You could pretend you’re Sherlock and solve a murder, or get to know the stars (in the sky), take the kids for a skating lesson or even learn to make your very own brand of gin.
TAKE THEM TO A LEARNING WONDERLAND
Wonderdal Edutainment Centre is where kids from five to 13 can explore seven learning zones. The experiences are designed to entertain, like climbing through the Tree of Light or tinkering with child-safe electric boards, but children can also nestle into a nook in the Story Cave and read. WonderPals supervise kids, and carers can take a break at Hazendal Wine Farm, which is where you’ll find Wonderdal.
Cost: From R125 for a day visit
Open: Monday – Sunday, 9am-5pm
Wonderdal | Hazendal Wine Estate | Bottelary Road | Stellenbosch | 021 205 5624
PLAY THE ORIGINAL ESCAPE ROOMS
Escape Game experiences have taken the world by storm. Essentially, you and a group of friends are locked in a themed (or virtual) room with some clues and a mystery to solve. Figure it out within the timeframe and you’ll be released. There are many different types of experiences and also virtual games, which means you don’t even have to leave the couch, at HintHunt Live Experiences.
Cost: From R149
Open: Thursday – Saturday, 9.30am – 7pm; Sunday, 9.30am – 5.30pm
WATCH A FAMOUS SCULPTOR CREATE
At the Donald Greig Gallery & Bronze Foundry you can watch how sculptures are created. It involves a “hot box” with a furnace that reaches temperatures of 1 200°C (phone ahead to make sure a pouring will take place that day). The gallery is also home to unique bronze sculptures, as well as silver and other metal works, including a mammoth 100kg life-sized elephant head. Time will pass more quickly than you realise at this gallery.
Open: Monday – Friday, 9.30am – 5.30pm; Saturday, 9.30am – 1pm
BOOGIE + PLAY POOL AT THE RINK
Everyone is welcome at the skating rink Rollercade. There’s the occasional themed night, featuring music from classics such as Dirty Dancing or The Rocky Horror Picture Show. It’s set in a parking garage and there’s plenty of space (2 000m2, to be exact), and with a live DJ booth and pool table. There’s always a great vibe at Rollercade.
Cost: R150 for 2 hours (incl. Gear hire); R80 if you have your own gear; R40 entry to arcade
Open: Tuesday – Sunday, 10am – 6pm; Thursday – Friday, 7pm – 9pm (please note: sessions need to be booked to comply with Covid regulations – please call to check)
EVERYBODY LOVES A TRAIN…
…and most people love a market. Put those two things together and you’ve got the Elgin Railway Market. You can sometimes watch the trains being loaded, but mostly you’ll go for the food and wine (when not under lockdown restrictions) and other delicacies and crafts. As reader Adriana Esterhuizen Joubert said, “It’s lovely during winter” at Elgin market.
Cost: Free entry
Open: Mondays – Fridays, 8am – 4pm (coffee shop only); Wednesday + Fridays, 4pm – 8.30pm (limited food vendors); Saturday + Sunday, 9am – 4pm.
WATCH THE STORMY WAVES FOR DINNER
Rainy weather can be the entertainment itself. Reader Natasja van den Berg says, “It’s awesome seeing the weather fighting it out with the waves, while sitting at arm’s length of the action!” She’s talking about the Brass Bell. The local institution and famous drinking hole is an iconic Kalk Bay restaurant.
Cost: Price of a main meal is around R120
Open: Monday – Thursday, 11.30am – 10pm; Friday, 11.30am – 11pm; Saturday, 8.30am – 11pm; Sunday, 8.30am – 10pm (note: closing times will adapt to Covid regulations and restrictions)
JUMP FOR JOY AND LAUGHS
CapeTownMag reader Monica de Beer says Jump4Fun Entertainment Centre in Strand has the best entertainment and pizza. There’s an indoor trampoline park and glow-in-the-dark golf course, among other offerings, plus the on-site restaurant, which offers a lot more besides pizza.
Cost: Trampolining from R60 per hour for 3-5; from R80 for 6+. Golfing from R60 for 3-5; from R80 for 6+
Open: Monday – Thursday, 10am – 6pm; Friday, 10am – 9pm; Saturday, 9am – 9pm; Sunday, 9am – 5pm (note: closing times may alter under lockdown regulations)
GO-KARTING IN A TRACK SET IN CAR PARK
Karting is still on the go at Century Karting, and it’s one of the most fun activities for the whole family (or a group of friends). Strict health protocols are in place, but up to 20 people can race at a time on this fantastic track set in an indoor car park. Book ahead if you’re a group of 12 or more.
Cost: From R160pp
Open: 9am – 9pm (note: closing times may alter under lockdown regulations)
Century Karting | Mezzanine Level | Canal Walk Parking | 064 978 0862 | [email protected]
LEARN TO SHOOT LIKE A PRO
This is the sole indoor shooting range in Cape Town city centre. The owners believe that guns don’t need to be a violent macho experience and have made the range welcoming and unthreatening. There are six packages to choose from; one package is adapted for children 12 and over. Safety is paramount and you may not drink alcohol before an excursion to Gun Fun.
Cost: From R695, but most are from R1 295
Open: Monday – Friday, 9am – 4pm; Saturday, 9am – 12pm
CLIMB AN INDOOR MOUNTAIN
CityROCK in Paarden Island is huge, and you can do many other exercises there that will add to your strength, like cardio for fitness and yoga for flexibility. There are good beginner options, as well as climbs for adrenaline junkies.
Cost: Day passes from R130 (children); R170 adults. Does not include gear.
Open: Monday – Thursday, 11am – 8pm; Friday – Sunday + most public holidays, 9am – 6pm
CityROCK | 9 Milner Street | Paarden Eiland | Cape Town | 021 447 1326
EAT FOOD MADE BY EMERGING CHEFS
We’re not sure why, but this seems to be a broad truth. A good place to try out is Makers Landing, a food community that has been set up for young local talent. It’s a market at the V&A Waterfront, and there you can buy and sample the freshest local flavours in the country, from delicious samosas and shisanyama to exquisite cakes. Plus there’s a good harbour view at Makers Landing.
Cost: Free entry
Open: Friday – Sunday, 8am – 9pm (note: closing times may alter under lockdown regulations)
Makers Landing | Cruise Terminal | V&A Waterfront | www.makerslanding.co.za|Image courtesy of Indikaap by Ashleigh
TAKE A TRIP UNDER THE SEA
The Two Oceans Aquarium is one of the best in the world, with over 200 southern African species. There are ragged-tooth sharks, giant yellowtail and turtles, as well as cute penguins and clown fish. It’s fantastic for children. Definitely take them past the crabs as big as a dog – it’s a thoroughly enchanting world at the Two Oceans Aquarium.
Cost: Adults, from R210; children, from R100 (children under 4, free)
Open: Monday – Friday, 9.30am – 6pm; weekends, public and school holidays, 9am – 6pm
CLAY TODAY, MASTERPIECE TOMORROW
Bring your kids to a place where they’re allowed to paint on tables. There are two Clay Cafés, one in the city and the other in Hout Bay. Parents can also enjoy ceramic painting, creating art to take home. There are three time slots daily, so book ahead at the Clay Café.
Cost: R40 studio fee plus cost of item (R20-R300)
Open: Daily, 9am – 6.60pm (note: times may alter under lockdown regulations)
TRAMPOLINES + DODGEBALL PLAY PARK
So you think jump parks are just for kids? Well here the jumps are big and include performance trampolines for experienced jumpers, big bags to launch yourself into and a casual dodgeball game. There are also other facilities. Be sure to book ahead. There is also a café at Be.Up Park.
Cost: Prices range from R65 – R130 per hour
Open: Monday – Friday + Sunday, 9am – 5pm; Saturday, 9am – 6pm (note: some restrictions may be in place under lockdown regulations)
PLAY PUTT PUTT IN A CAVE
It’s raining, the kids are bored and you were hoping to play 18 holes. Kill all these birds with one stone at an indoor 18-hole putt putt haunt. Just next to the V&A Waterfront’s Scratch Patch, this venue is designed like a cosy cave, keeping players on their toes with tricky angles, uneven surfaces, steep hills and awkward obstacles.
Cost: R35pp for a game. R30pp for group of 10.
Open: Monday – Sunday: 9am – 4:30pm
V&A Waterfront | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 419 9429
WATCH A COSMIC BALLET
Forget about the grey clouds and focus on the stars instead. Take in the beauty of the night sky recreated to educate you about the universe with kids’ productions incorporating playful characters, and adult presentations covering many topics. Each show is a multimedia experience, and the line-up updates regularly at the Iziko Planetarium.
Cost: Adults: R60; children, students and SA pensioners: R30
Open: Times vary depending on the day of the week and show content. For updated info, visit the Iziko Museum site.
25 Queen Victoria Street | City Centre | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 481 3900
A MARKET OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK
Reader Owen Crowie says Mojo Market has “good food, live music and good vibes”. There are loads of food stalls and four bars (when times allow), retail shops and more. Plus there’s always some entertainment happening at Mojo Market.
Cost: Free entry
Open: 11am – 8pm (note: times may alter under lockdown regulations)
Mojo Market | 30 Regent Road | Sea Point | [email protected]
PLAY DODGEBALL, EXPLORE A FOAM PIT
The Freedom Adventure Park in Tokai was designed with both children (2 – 13) and parents in mind. Kids can explore the park while parents can book a work pod (for free), and still be close at hand. Action spots include climbing walls, a foam pit, and a Trampoline Dodgeball Arena that has been specially designed for kids. Plus, there’s a pizza oven.
Cost: Pricing starts at R45 for under 2s; 3+ pricing for first hour is R100, R85 for next hour
Open: Wednesday – Friday, 11am – 8pm; Saturday, 9am – 8pm; Sunday, 9am – 6pm; school and public holidays (including Mondays + Tuesday), 9am – 8pm (note: closing times may alter under lockdown regulations.
Freedom Adventure Park | South Palms Shopping Centre | Unit 3A | Retreat | 083 279 4453
LEARN TO MAKE SLIME OR MAGIC WORMS
There’s always something interesting happening at the Cape Town Science Centre (CTSC), in reality and virtually. At the centre there are fantastic and interactive exhibitions and displays. The online programme has virtual experimental workshops, like growing coral crystals. Kits can be picked up or couriered to your home from the CTSC.
Cost: Virtual holiday programmes from R50
Open: The CTSC is currently closed for real-time visits. Check on the site for updates.
CTSC | 370B Main Road | Observatory | Cape Town | 021 300 3200 | www.ctsc.org.za
GIFT THE KIDS SOME SKATE SKILLS
If the kids need to expend some energy, book them in at The Shred in Paarden Eiland, an indoor skate park. Experienced skaters offer lessons, preferably one on one, but small groups can be booked. Only a certain number of skaters are allowed in at a time, so book first. There’s a coffee shop and eatery there, too.
Cost: From R40 (note: Mondays are half-price)
Open: Daily, 8am – 11am, 11.30am – 2.30pm, 3pm – 6pm, 6pm – 8pm (note: closing times may 076 366 1936alter under lockdown regulations)
THEY’LL LOVE THIS GAMING ARCADE
You may have a home console, but when most of your games are age-restricted to 18 and your other half doesn’t want to race cars, you need a better option. Get the whole family to Cape Town’s biggest arcade. Play anything from classics like Pacman, Street Fighter, Gunsmoke and Donkey Kong among a host of other arcade titles at Wonderland N1 City.
Cost: Tokens go for R1 each, and it costs between one and four tokens to use most rides and machines.
Open: Monday – Sunday: 6am-midnight (note: closing times may alter under lockdown regulations)
N1 City Mall | Louwtjie Rothman Street | Goodwood | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 595 1725
SCRATCH FOR JEWELS AND TREASURE
Children become absorbed in this wonderful and somewhat meditative activity, plus they (and you) can learn about the types of precious stones that exist in the world. There’s a Scratch Patch in Simon’s Town (the original one), and also one at the V&A Waterfront. Plus you can purchase the precious things you rooted out at the Scratch Patch.
Cost: From R25
Open: V&A Waterfront daily, 9am – 4.30pm; Simon’s Town Monday – Friday, 8.30am – 4.45pm; Saturday, Sunday + public holidays, 9am – 4.30pm
Scratch Patch | Dock Road, V&A Waterfront | Dido Valley Road, Simon’s Town | www.scratchpatch.co.za
LEARN TO MAKE YOUR OWN GIN
Gin is a wonderfully adaptive spirit that can be appreciated on its own, or used in a cocktail. At Distillers & Union, you can learn to make a gin to your exact tastes using from fragrant spices to botanic sprigs or citrus cuttings. Plus, you can design a logo for the bottle at the working distillery at Distillers & Union.
Cost: R450 – R600, includes the bottle of gin you made
Open: Thursday – Saturday, check here as times vary (note: this activity is dependent on lockdown restrictions; please call to check)
WATCH (OR HIRE) A MOVIE + KEEP AN ICON ALIVE
The Labia Theatre on Orange Street in the city centre is an institution where you can watch art-house and indie movies that you won’t ordinarily find. Plus it’s a vibe (and you can drink wine in your seat). And did you know it offers a streaming service, too? A good option if you have to stay at home but are desperate for a bit of Labia Theatre.
Cost: R70 per ticket, R60 to rent
Open: Daily, 11am – 11pm (note: closing times may alter under lockdown regulations); book here
The Labia Theatre | 68 Orange Street | Gardens | 021 424 4313 | [email protected]
LAUGH AWAY WINTER GLOOM
Nothing makes you forget dreary weather like a barrel of laughs. The Cape Town Comedy Club is now offering pop-ups featuring some of the best in the biz (think Nik Rabinowitz, KG, Martin Evans). It’s best to follow its Facebook page to see when the next one is coming up – we all need a laugh and the artists need our support.
Cost: These vary depending on the venue
Open: Check out Cape Town Comedy Club on Facebook
SEE ART WORTHY OF THE LOUVRE
Muizenberg’s Casa Labia is a national monument and home to a body of work that features a number of 18th- to 20th-century European oil paintings, including priceless Boucher pieces, the kind only seen in institutions like the Louvre Museum in Paris. There’s also an on-site café serving traditional Italian meals at Casa Labia.
Cost: Free – there is no entrance fee to view the artworks.
Open: Monday – Sunday, 8am – 5pm
192 Main Road (a short walk from the train station) | Muizenberg | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 788 6068
THEN THERE’S ALWAYS IZIKO MUSEUMS
There are 14 museums under the Iziko Museums banner, including the Planetarium mentioned above, and this suite alone can keep you permanently entertained with the many exhibitions and events throughout the year. Besides offering wonderful experiences, it’s reasonable to go to one of the Iziko Museums.
Cost: From R5 – R40 pp
Open: Times vary, so check on the website www.iziko.org.za