Whether you are considering a trip in the future or have already booked tickets, Cape Town, South Africa is an indescribable location for family get away. It is an amazing city, truly offering something for everyone. Beaches, mountains, culture and food. It is very kid-friendly and perfect for families who love the outdoors. After multiple trips to Cape Town and having most of our “must do” attractions check off our list, on this most recent trip we were able to step off the beaten path. Here are five outings for families of all ages to enjoy that you might not find in your guide books.
1. Muizenberg Beach
Located along the Indian Ocean side of the peninsula, you know you’ve made it by the bold painted bath houses. Muizenberg Beach is known for amateurs looking to try their hand at surfing. The gentle rolling waves are perfect and forgiving. Boards, wetsuits and lessons for the whole family are easily accessible and affordable. While most beaches are packed during the peak summer time, Muizenberg was manageable and the traffic to and from wasn’t stop and go. Even easier than driving, is taking the train from downtown or the suburbs to the stop located at the beach entrance. Add in a nice playground and a strip of open air restaurants and cafes, you can see why we made the trip twice during our stay.
2. Koeberg Nature Reserve
Koeberg Nature Reserve is way off the radar and located about 40 minutes north of Cape Town past Bloubergstrand. Even people living in Cape Town might look at you funny when you say you went to Koeberg, but it is well worth it. Koeberg is a nuclear power plant with an massive adjoining nature reserve open to the public. Zebra, Elon, Springbok and more roam through the nature reserve for up close viewing without fences or gates. There is a water area known for viewing many bird species. Biking and hiking trails are family friendly and will take you to amazing views of the ocean and Table Mountain. Make sure you bring your passport because they will record your information upon arriving.
3. Newlands Forest
Nestled into the base of Table Mountain around the University of Cape Town, Newlands Forest is a local “go to” starting point for hiking and we know why. Easily accessible, ample parking and many options of paths to walks for all ages (toddlers, elderly, dogs, etc).There is a stream to explore a short walk from parking and plenty of areas suited for picnicking. Shorter paths are perfect for those who want to stretch their legs around the forest or kids who aren’t old enough to endure a longer hike. Use it as a starting point for longer hikes and the paths will take you up to the Contour Path that circles around Table Mountain. From there you could spend an entire day exploring the mountain.
4. Boulders Beach
Located near Simon’s Town, Boulders Beach is famous for the adorable penguins that live there. Parking and the initial boardwalk area will be crowded, but venture a bit further beyond and there is an amazing beach. There your family can swim right along the penguins nestled in the large boulders giving this beach its name. The water in this cove is about as warm as you are going to get for Cape Town beaches. Get there early to claim your space, as the beach real estate varies with the tide. Pack a lunch, because once you get settled the food stands are not very close.
5. Green Point Park
Located in the Sea Point, Green Point Park is a perfect outdoor space for families of all ages. There are multiple play and climbing structures, varying in age ranges from 1-6 and 6+. Imagine ample open space, room to run and outdoor workout equipment available. Spend the day playing before making your way to the Sea Point area to explore. Great cafes, restaurants and a long promenade stretch along the seafront. It is an amazing place to take in those one of a kind Cape Town sunsets.
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About Stefanie Clutten
Stefanie is living and loving the active life with her husband and two children. Their passion is traveling and being outdoors together. This takes the form of running, biking, triathlons, open water swimming, CrossFit and just about any outdoor challenge that they can fit into their busy lives. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.
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