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Fun Holiday Things to do in Cape Town That Don’t Break the Bank

Whether you live in Cape Town or you are only here on holiday, if you’re alone or if you have kids, you do not have to break the bank to have fun exploring the city.

Aerial View of Cape Town - Image Tobias Reich on Unsplash

Sometimes when we see other people enjoying Cape Town and we are thinking they have loads of money; do not be fooled. Many of them are using all the special deals on offer from places that would otherwise be expensive. They also save money by eating at home or packing picnic baskets at home.

We all have to count our pennies; the year has been rough and the economy is killing us. We all need to be smart and spend wisely but we should still try to have some fun because it truly is the best therapy.
Alone, as a couple or as a family with kids, there are many places we can visit and things we can do for absolutely free, aside from the transport cost to get there, or that are not really as expensive as what we would tend to think it is.

I will give you a few short reviews on places I have visited and adventure experiences I have had with my kids and those are just some of the many things you could explore that don’t break the bank.
The aim is not to punt specific places over and above others, but to help you come up with your own ideas so that you can make your adventures your own.
Further below that are some ideas on how you can figure out exactly what suits your lifestyle, your interests and your pocket.
Let’s start adventuring.

Visit the Beach for a Day Picnic

Pick the beach closest to you and pack a picnic for the family. You don’t have to own a car to get to some of the beaches. With just a bit of planning, some beaches can be reached with public transport and even getting there can be a little adventure.
Don’t forget to pack your sunblock. The UV factor is high this summer but we need to be out in the sun for our bodies to produce Vitamin D.
Vitamin D is probably one of the most important vitamins your body needs and our kids spend so much time indoors on devices that they probably don’t get nearly enough. Make the day a device free day and enjoy the sun. Take an actual book and enjoy the fresh air and blue skies on offer.
Me-time and a clear mind can cure almost anything.

A view of the Sea Point Promenade – Image: Linley Rall on Unsplash

Do the Sea Point Promenade Walk with the Family
The Sea Point promenade is still one of the best walks to do. It’s an easy going 8km that I swear you won’t even feel. Get that cardio in with some fresh sea air and wonderful sun. The kids get to burn some energy and get some exercise. Nothing is as good for mental health as exercise. It is the cheapest medicine really.
Make this another device free day and you will be absolutely winning at life!

Take Your Dogs to the Beach
Most dogs absolutely love the beach. Many beaches are NOT dog friendly; why is beyond my understanding because dogs don’t litter and destroy beaches like people do, but okay that’s a discussion for another day.
You are most likely going to need your own car for this since public transport doesn’t allow pets, but here is a list of beaches that allow dogs.
Dog-friendly Beaches in Cape Town

Eating Out Options While Exploring

You deserve to spoil yourself at least once this holidays.
Instead of taking everyone in the family out to an expensive gourmet lunch or dinner, try going out for a breakfast or have a quick brunch, or grab something from a cafe while you are out exploring.
That way you’ll have the rest of the day to do whatever suits your fancy.

Try a Breakfast in Century City 
Breakfast at Square Café is a buffet and served from 6am till 10h30. The price starts at R130 for hot breakfast which includes all the continental breakfast favourites.
Unfortunately they are not Halaal, but for our family in Islam, there is the wonderful La Rocca in Canal Walk and many others options.
If R130 is a bit out of reach because some of us have kids, then do a Spur Breakfast for R56 as a treat.
Of course it does not have to specifically be Century City but do try a mall or an area that you do not regularly go to do your shopping at since you want it to be different from what you experience the rest of the year. Oh and do not suddenly allow yourself to be tempted to do all your shopping there and then on that day. Leave that for another day. You are supposed to be out having fun.

Take a Walk from Muizenberg to Fishhoek along the Main Road
There are some wonderful things to see including little cafes where you can grab a quick bite to eat and because there are so many, you can choose according to your budget.
There are also many curio stores where you might find something interesting, as well as clothing and book stores. There are even a few museums.
Gems can only be found if we stop to look.
Each time you walk that strip it will be a different and unique experience based on what you find interesting along the route.

Get a Seafood Platter from Fran’s Place in Simonstown

Do Fish and Chips
If you are looking for a wonderful affordable places to have some delicious fish and chips, Kalk Bay is the place to be but if you want to try something new and support a Brown-owned Business then definitely check out Fran’s Place on Jubilee Square in Simonstown .

She makes the most amazing food and in my opinion her Seafood Platter is the best you will find.
It is quite affordable at only R170 and believe me, from that you will most likely take home a doggie bag.

Get the Adrenaline Going

Whether with your friends or your family, sometimes getting together and playing an unconventional sport is just the right medicine to give you a new zest for life.

Cool Runnings Cape Town – Image: YouTube Screenshot

Tobogganing at Cool Runnings in Tygervalley
This is fun for the whole family. I don’t think these guys get enough press.
Cool Runnings Cape Town is an awesome experience and loads of fun.
Do you remember or have you ever heard of the movie Cool Runnings?
Now go live it!

Play Padel
Padel is the latest craze in sport. It’s kind of like a cross between tennis and squash if that makes any sense. It is loads of fun and a great workout for the whole family.
Its approximately R400 to book a court for one hour BUT you can book with friends and split the cost. Below is the link for Tokai’s courts, however there are padel courts around the city so just give it a Google if you are up for a good sweat.
Bay Padel Tokai

Play Putt-Putt in Sea Point
Something that requires a lot less energy, Putt-Putt is fun for the whole family and doesn’t cost an arm and a leg to do it.
Get that competitive spirit going and get some sun and beach air at the same time.
Starting prices are fairly reasonable.

Animal Adventures

Anthea Bissolati figuring out how close she wants to get to an actual cheetah – Image: Anthea Bissolati

Cheetah Outreach and Experiences
Go and check out Cheetah Outreach in Somerset West. I was astonished that it’s only R30 to get in and see the cheetahs and foxes and a few other animals. I paid about R120 for an up close and personal with a cheetah and it was a magical experience being so close to such awesome beauty.

Support Butterfly World now known as Exotic Animal World
Just off the Klapmuts turn off from the N1, this is a true gem and a big hit with the kids. Tickets start at R49 for kids and R88 for adults but they often have wonderful deals where kids get in free if you buy an adult ticket. You can just check ahead and plan accordingly.
You can see a range of indigenous and exotic animals including iguanas up close.
It really is worth a visit.

Le Bonheur Crocodile Farm & Eagle Encounters
If you are more adventurous then this is for you. I personally find crocs creepy but my kids loved it! They always have Wikideals for the family outing so go and check it out. The prices without a wikideal are just as cheap. If you buy your tickets directly from them, you get 10% off as a South African citizen. Tickets start at R98. They also offer snake experiences and croc cage diving.

Another gem not far from Le Bonheur, is Spier Wine Farm and they offer Eagle Encounters.
Do either one of the two or do both on the same day.

Children are allowed to handle baby crocodiles at Le Bonheur Crocodile Farm – Image: Anthea Bissolati

Create Your Own Adventure

If I were to continue on here writing about all the many things there are to do across Cape Town that don’t cost as much as you think, it would take all of December for me to finish, and that would be of no use to you or I because it would be too late.

Many more interesting places are not only fun and inexpensive but are also educational.
Our children will expand their horizons and we will be creating lasting memories with them.
Places like Noordhoek Farm Village is literally a small farm within the city, where visitors can interact with animals and learn about indigenous plants, and speaking of plants, there is also Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens.

Museums abound in and around the city and some of them that not just every South African child, but particularly every Brown Child needs to see are the Slave Lodge and the District Six Museum.

For those who are into astronomy the Iziko Planetarium and Digital Dome is a must see and of course a stroll in the Company Gardens is always worthwhile.

There is just so much to do, so here below is a list of more places of interest or adventure experiences in Cape Town that you can check out.
Just remember to always check out Daddy’s Deals, Hyperli and Wikideals for holiday bargains in Cape Town and all major other cities across South Africa.

You really can enjoy the holidays in Cape Town without breaking the bank.

Go on an adventure!

Click Image for Google Listings of Affordable Places in Cape Town to Visit During School Holidays

What do you think?

Written by Anthea Bissolati

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