21 Nov 2014 | By Sun International
5 Activities in Cape Town that Cost Absolutely NOTHING!
Cape Town is proof that the best things in life are free.
With uninterrupted views and unspoiled beaches, you don't need to spend a fortune to enjoy the abundant wonders of the Mother City. There are loads of free family activities on offer to fill your days with quality fun. Here are a few things to do with kids in Cape Town:
1. The best views cost nothing
Drive up to the Rhodes Memorial for monumental views. The structure, designed by Sir Herbert Baker, was built in 1912 to honour Cecil John Rhodes. 49 steps (one for each of Rhodes' life) lead down from the Doric columns to the 'Statue of Energy'. Take your camera.
Pack a picnic basket and head to Signal Hill. Whoever is the first to spot your Cape Town accommodation at the Table Bay hotel gets dibs on the last koeksister. Besides the incredible views over the city bowl and harbour, you can get up close to Cape Town's latest public art installation: the SunStar. This installation was designed to inspire hope. Why not ask the kids what hope means to them? If you're there at midday, don't miss the firing of the Noon Gun (loading starts at 11h30).
Hike Lion's Head, it'll cost you energy, but it's a big pay-off at the end. The 360degree views of Table Mountain, the city, and the Atlantic seaboard change constantly as you follow the curling paths around the mountain.
2. Life's a beach
Cape Town has some of the best beaches on earth. On the one side there's the cold Atlantic with its white shores and black boulders; and on the other, the golden sandy stretches of the warm Indian Ocean beaches. For family fun, head to the False Bay Peninsula and let the little ones splash around in the extensive shallows.
Muizenberg's beach is famous for its multi-colored cloakrooms. The kids will love the amusement park, complete with water-slides and a miniature golf course, while the beach and tidal pools at St James offer safe swimming and fun explorations.
3. Take a walk through the city
Cape Town central is quite compact compared to other cities in the world, and many of its iconic sights can be explored on a walk. From the Castle of Good Hope (guided tours are available at a cost), walk to the Grand Parade (where Nelson Mandela made his first speech after being released from prison).
Stroll past the flower sellers on Adderley Street to the Company's Garden, where you can feed the squirrels and enjoy a picnic on the lawns. The Company's Gardens are also home to Cape Town’s Cultural History Museum (originally built as a slave lodge) and the South African National Art gallery. Entrance is free on public holidays. Coast-side, take a leisurely stroll down the Sea Point Promenade.
4. Go window shopping
If you want to spend the day people-watching or window-shopping, the V&A Waterfront is on your doorstep at The Table Bay Hotel. Stroll along the docks, peruse the markets, and take some photos at Nobel Square. In summer, buskers perform along the sidewalks and provide free entertainment, while the Amphitheatre often hosts larger events. Check out the free family activities and events at the V&A Waterfront here.
5. Pay it forward
Donate your time and walk a dog at the Emma Animal Rescue Society (TEARS). Just off Kommetjie Road on the M5, this non-profit organisation aims to rescue abandoned dogs and cats. You can get involved in their dog-walking programme, which won't cost you a cent but will raise your spirits.