South Africa, Travel

Holiday Activities at The V&A Waterfront

September 26, 2017 | No Comments
Watershed at the V&A Waterfront

*Written in collaboration with V&A Waterfront*

School holidays are coming up Cape Town! I have a bit of mom guilt about the holidays actually, as other mothers always seem to plan these educational outings and nature walks and theatre visits and I’m all like:  “You’re coming with me to Pick ‘n Pay to buy toilet paper and milk – that’s your outing for the day!” or “Ooh I’m going to yoga, whooooo wants to go to to V-Club?!”.

Watershed at the V&A Waterfront

Anyway, if you’re as crap as planning holiday activities for your kids as I am, I thought I’d let you know a few things that are going on at the V&A Waterfront. They recently had us come and try out these activities for free, and what follows are my thoughts on our favourite bits, and which are worth your money…

We started out with lunch at Col’Cacchio. Apparently they have a new menu designed specially for the V&A but my children only really eat one thing when we go to Italian places and that is a margarita pizza with ham on it (with fresh avocado for Rachel). I didn’t make the best pasta choice but the one Gareth chose (gnocchi with blue cheese, crispy onions + bacon) was delicious. In retrospect I love their salads, so next time I visit, I’ll have one of those.

Then it was time for a trip up on The Cape Wheel and the kids were tripping over their tootsies with excitement. We’ve seen it a few times but have never been up it before, so Ben especially was super amped. Adult tickets are not cheap (R120 each) so I’d be tempted to send one adult up with the kids, as children only pay R60 each if they’re between the ages of 4-17 (it’s free for under 4s).

You get a pretty impressive view from up there but as I’m a bit scared of heights, it felt a bit hairy when we paused at the top – even though I know it’s perfectly safe. The kids found the whole experience very exciting and they couldn’t stop giggling and squealing. Just look at their little faces in these pics! Ben is still talking about going up The Cape Wheel again and they really enjoyed this part of the day. I’m not sure I’d do it again as an adult, it’s kind of like: been there, done that, but for the kids it was something quite special and memorable.

The Cape Wheel at the V&A Waterfront

Then it was off to Outdoor Ice Rink at Fantasy Skate. Now if you’re expecting something similar to a normal ice rink, you may be disappointed. This is not at all like ice skating on real ice, it’s a synthetic kind of plastic stuff and the rink is tiny, so you’re not going to be doing lots of jumps or anything on it. Still the kids really seemed to enjoy themselves as they tried to walk around on their skates and fell a thousand times! At R30 a pop it’s not going to break the bank, but this wouldn’t be the activity I’d recommend most out of all the things to do at the V&A Waterfront.

After a quick cuppa and some cake at Limnos, we decided to work off that chocolate mousse and walked around a bit. The kids played in the outdoor playground while I listened to the live music and smelt the sea air – there’s something very festive and touristy about being at the Waterfront, it kind of makes you go “I LIVE IN CAPE TOWN, I really do”. Then we took a walk down to the water’s edge where those four bronze statues of our Nobel prize winners are, and Rachel asked me about each one and it was a nice spot for a history lesson. Her and Ben kept going up and hugging the statue of Mandela and holding his hand.

Mandela statue at the Waterfront

After that it was time for the main event: the opening night of Future Park. On at the Watershed and brought to you by You, Huisgenoot + Drum, this is like nothing I’ve ever seen before: it’s simply magical!

Interactive digital technology brings your kids’ drawings to life, using very clever scanners and sensors. They can colour in fish, jellyfish or sharks and then once they’ve been scanned in, they’ll see them swimming across a giant floor-to-ceiling aquarium (and they can touch and interact with the creatures too!) They can do the same with rockets, cars and buildings, and the thrill they get out of seeing their little red car chugging down the road is immense. I even got terribly over-excited trying to locate “my” pink and green turtle!

There are all kinds of other activities at Future Park which we didn’t even get into (it had been a long day out!), such as interactive hopscotch, a lightball orchestra and sketch town papercraft. Future Park was by FAR their favourite activity of the day, and you get your money’s worth, as you can kind of stay in there as long as you want (listen you can’t camp there, but there’s no rush!). Single ticket prices are R130, with family of four tickets at R460 and students/pensioners at R115.

Here’s Ben’s picture he coloured in (with my help) and then a pic of his jellyfish on the screen:

And here’s a quick vid to show you a bit more on the aquarium idea:

Future Park was a complete highlight and certainly something I’d recommend as a special (and educational) treat for the upcoming school holidays – although it’s on until 31 January 2018.


P.S. My hugely popular Pesso giveaway closes tomorrow at 9am – last chance to enter!


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