When the school holidays pop up every couple of months, the kids are overjoyed (school’s out, scream and shout!) … but some parents might dread these times of the year because heading anywhere remotely fun can be a bit of a traffic nightmare, especially during the winter break.
The most common places that host events during the school holidays are more often than not near the V&A Waterfront and CBD area, which have traffic pretty much any time of any day. The journey to these areas become so tiring that you’d rather enjoy a day with the kids in front of the TV than bother going out.
Surely there should be fun activities closer to home? There definitely are, you might have overlooked them, so I’ve put together a Southern Suburbs holiday cheat-sheet for your convenience. It’s time to start exploring and become a tourist in your own city.
THE VINEYARD HOTEL, NEWLANDS
The Vineyard Hotel is set in a garden estate on the eastern slopes of Table Mountain. The Vineyard Hotel is five minutes away from the Newlands Stadium, Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden and Cavendish Square shopping centre.
NEWLANDS STADIUM, NEWLANDS
Newlands Stadium offers guided tours, where you can learn more about the history and traditions of three venues, and your kids can see where their sports heroes play their favourite games. Newlands Stadium is the oldest in South Africa and various sports teams use it as their home base, including the Stormers and the Cape Cobras.
WHEN Monday to Sunday, times vary
WHERE Newlands Stadium, 146 Campground Road, Newlands
COST According to rates (book here).
CONTACT +27 21 671 9772, [email protected], www.newlandstours.co.za
KIRSTENBOSCH NATIONAL BOTANICAL GARDEN, NEWLANDS
Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden has been referred to as one of the most beautiful gardens in the world. Kirstenbosch has introduced The Centenary Tree Canopy Walkway to its list of activities for kids, and even adults to take part.
The curved steel and timber bridge runs over the trees of the Arboretum. The bridge was inspired by a snake skeleton and is referred to as the boomslang (tree snake). This walkway is 130m long – perfect for adventurous kids.
WHEN Monday to Sunday, winter times are 8 am – 6 pm
WHERE Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, Rhodes Drive, Newlands
COST Walkway is free, but you must pay entrance to Kirstenbosch: adults R55, students R30, children aged 6–17 R15.
CONTACT +27 21 799 8783, [email protected], www.sanbi.org/gardens/kirstenbosch
CONSTANTIA WINE ROUTE, CONSTANTIA
On the winter days, when the sun makes an appearance, it’ll feel like a time to celebrate. Head over to the Klein Constantia Estate for a lovely winter wine tasting and soak up some sun.
WHEN Monday to Sunday, times vary
WHERE Klein Constantia Wine Estate, Klein Constantia Road
COST Tastings are R50 per person for a selection of good wine
CONTACT +27 21 794 5188, [email protected], www.kleinconstantia.com
CAPE POINT, CAPE PENINSULA
The Cape Floral Region is a World Heritage Site. It includes the Table Mountain chain, which stretches from Signal Hill to Cape Point, and the coastlines of the Cape Peninsula. The first lighthouse was built in 1859 and still stands strong at Cape Point at 249 metres above sea level. Take the family and explore your heritage. (The kids will be super impressed with the lighthouse too, I mean, who isn’t?).
WHEN Monday to Sunday, see opening times here
WHERE Cape Point, Cape Peninsula
COST Tickets to the Cape Point Nature Reserve: adults R125, kids (2–11 years old) R65