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Family Activities For a Rainy Day in Cape Town

Ezine Article by Dennis Cook

Cape Town has a reputation for having cold winters, but there are many warm and windless days where the temperature rises to 70 degrees F. Cape Town enjoys mild winters, and the average daytime temperature usually ranges from 10 to 18 degrees C. There are many days and weeks with no rain and lovely, sunny days. Cape Town is however a winter rainfall area, so it can rain for several days on end.

Winter is the time of the annual whale migration, and many whales are to be seen in False Bay, Cape Town, from June to October. The experience of being able to see these huge creatures close up, makes a holiday in the so called Secret Season worthwhile. In September the whale capital of South Africa, which is Hermanus, hosts the eagerly anticipated annual Whales and Wheels festival - a weekend of festivities and carnival atmosphere.

Here are some ideas for child friendly activities to keep your family occupied when the sunny days are replaced by a cold, blustery, wet day.

The Warrior Toy Museum in Simonstown will be enjoyed by children as well as collectors of toys, especially model cars. There is a permanent exhibition of toys, dolls, Meccano sets, model cars, boats, trains, soldiers, airplanes and other toys. Kids enjoy watching the working model train display. The toy museum offers a wide range of die cast model cars and other toys for sale.

Scratch Patch, Dido Valley Road, Simonstown. This gemstone factory produces and offers for sale high quality semi-precious gem stones and artworks. The whole lower section comprises a garden stream and a huge cave, with the floor strewn with polished semi-precious gem stones. For a small cost your little one can fill a cup or a pail with gemstones to take home. Children can easily while away an hour or two scrabbling for real gems to take home. Parents can enjoy watching the kids from the restaurant & coffee shop which is adjacent to the scratch patch.

Castle of Good Hope: The Castle is a popular attraction for both children and adults on holiday in Cape Town. This impressive stone fort with its distinctive pentagram shape was built by the Dutch settlers between 1666 and 1679, who set up a provision station for passing ships. The attractions include the dungeons, military and nautical exhibits of past eras and a massive collection of historic art and artworks.

Cape Town has many museums. The most popular of which for chidren will be the South African Museum situated in the Company gardens at the top of the city. Kids are bound to be amazed by a huge skeleton of an herbivorous dinosaur, as well as the massive skull of a carnivorous one. The exhibition includes other dinosaur skeletons and crafted dinosaur scenes. There is a collection of whale skeletons, to be seen from all floors, which includes a 20 metre blue whale skeleton, and casts of Killer and other whales. The Shark World exhibit is one of the world's best exhibits. A key attraction is the life size, 2 meter high model of the jaws of a Megatooth Shark, which is probably the largest predator the world has ever known.

The Victoria and Alfred Waterfront (V&A Waterfront) is the most popular attraction of Cape Town. On a bright sunny day there is plenty for kids to see, do and eat. Activities include a trip on a pirate sailing ship. For the rainy days, however, there is a Scratch Patch here, but kids will be sure to enjoy a visit to the Two Oceans Aquarium. There are many fascinating and colourful fish and marine exhibits in tanks, but children enjoy watching the large fish and sharks swimming past the glass sides of the ocean tank. The penguin feedings and river walks dotted with frogs and other creatures are another enjoyable attraction.

The Cape Town Planetarium is an interesting place to visit when the day is rainy and cold. It is cheaper than a movie and more educational, in a fun way. There is a great show about Table Mountain. The show explores the geology of Table Mountain and the southern skies centered on its celestial counterpart. The show is on every day from 2 pm.

Canal Walk is just a short drive toward the West Coast highway from Cape Town, and a great place to spend the day for both kids and adults. The MTN Science Centre, which is the first world-class interactive science centre in South Africa, is an enjoyable venue for the family. This is a place where kids can have fun, while learning about scientific discoveries and technological innovations. It has over 300 interactive displays, and the Science centre at Canal Walk is great place for hands-on learning, where one does not have to keep saying 'do not touch' as everything is there for that very purpose.

Canal Walk is the largest regional shopping mall in Africa, with an enormous range of shops, restaurants and cinemas which can easily keep your family occupied for the whole day. Kids will enjoy the Place of Play, reputed to be the largest indoor and outdoor play park in South Africa. It has every fun thing under the sun, from a huge jungle gym and laser beam room, right down to a teddy bear stuffing machine, and all activities are compliant with international standards of safety, security and cleanliness.

Groot Constantia is another enjoyable place to take the family. This beautiful wine estate which includes a 300 year old manor house, presents occasional treasure hunts that give kids the opportunity to explore and learn more about the historical Estate, as well as popular Cellar Tours, with juice available for youngsters. Entrance to the manor house is inexpensive and will enable you to view this magnificent example of Cape Dutch architecture, housing a fine collection of period furniture and ceramics, with the emphasis on Cape Furniture.

By the time that your family has got through only half of these activities the sun will be shining again, and they can take to the wonderful outdoors. It is a local joke that Cape Town has no climate, just weather, and one can experience all 4 seasons in one day.

You will be sure to find holiday accommodation to suit your budget by taking advantage of low winter special rates offered by accommodation establishments in the winter season.


About the Author: Dennis is a guest house owner who grew up in Cape Town, and is passionate about promoting tourism in South Africa, and particularly in the Western Cape.
He is actively involved in the tourist industry, and also consults in the field of business logistics management.
Interests include:
Internet marketing and SEO.
Collector of classic British Sports cars- notably Triumphs and Classic Minis.
Other hobbies include blogging, classical music, Opera, and Asian cuisines.
His guest house offers affordable Cape Town holiday accommodation:
Barefoot in the sand is his blog offering news, views and information for visitors to Cape Town, South Africa:

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