Category Archives for Family

Ice Skating in Cape Town

Ice Skating in Cape Town

Every now and then one finds oneself a few days before payday on a Friday night. What to do? Well, here is an activity that costs less than R50 and will have you spinning with fun all night. The Ice Rink (called Ice Station) at Grand West Casino in Goodwood Cape Town has daily sessions ranging from R35 to R50 including your skate rental. The night sessions are extra cool as they turn the place into a disco on Ice from 10pm till midnight. We decided to do a little dress up because… why not?

Grand West has an array of other activities other than Ice skating, including the Casino, a multitude of restaurants, cinema, 10 pin bowling and arcade as well as a theatre for live entertainment. Check out whats going on at Grand West!

The South African Museum

 

The South African Museum

The South African Museum in Cape Town has a collection of more than one and a half million specimens of scientific importance.  The massive variety of exhibits range 700 million year old fossils to rock art and stone tools used 120 000 years ago by our ancestors. The 4-story building’s halls and passages meander through themed exhibits like the African mammals (whales, antelope, the big 5 etc), reptiles, birds, sharks, dinosaurs and the planetarium.

The South African Museum was founded in 1825 and has continued to collect and store items of importance right up until this present day. It wont be long before the old computers and our smart phones will be old hat on display here. I’m sure the Nokia 30210 has already earned its place.

If one just wants to take a walk through to see what is on display one needs at least an hour, but if you are interested in learning more about what’s on display we suggest you take at least half a day to carefully read up on your favorite exhibits. Each item has a story to tell that fits into the history of South Africa. We found it quite amazing to see how many dinosaurs are still being found in the Karoo today. There is so much of the world still undiscovered, and this is definitely the place to stay in the loop of new discoveries. The displays rotate to give others in storage a chance to be seen too. Be sure to visit the Museum at least once a year to see what may have changed.

The entrance fee is only R30 (or R40 including the planetarium show). So there is no excuse not to take the whole family to the Company Gardens for a day of squirrel feeding and exploring the great halls of the South African Museum.

Two Oceans Aquarium in Cape Town

The Two Oceans Aquarium

The Two Oceans Aquarium, located in the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town, is an absolute visual treat with over 3000 living sea animals. It is one of the biggest attractions in Cape Town and for good reason. The South African coastline is a meeting place of two major oceans. The tropical Indian Ocean and the cold Atlantic Ocean meet at Cape Agulhas, the most southern tip of Africa. This divide is almost smack bang in the middle leaving thousands of miles of coast on each side. The Two Oceans Aquarium is one of the only aquariums of its kind housing aquatic creatures from both sides. The exhibits are not limited to fish but also crustaceans, plants, sharks, turtles and penguins.

We met up with Katja Rockstroh, who fronts the education department of the aquarium (and also went to school with Dean), to hear a little more about what makes this place so unique as well as what’s going on at the Aquarium at the moment. They have recently opened their new exhibit… we will be sure to pop in to see what all the fuss is about.

The Two Oceans Aquarium prides itself in education, awareness and conservation and often has events and displays to help promote the longevity of our Seas. Be sure to stay long enough to see the feeding sessions. It’s quite a sight.

Guided tour around Kirstenbosch Gardens

Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden

We picked a rainy day to do some “family time” and headed out to explore some iconic spots on the south side of Cape Town. Accompanied by Dean’s cousin from Colorado and her bestie from North Carolina, we ventured towards the beautiful Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden.

The gardens are an important landmark for Cape Town as they put on an extraordinarily rich and diverse display of indigenous flora. The Cape Floral Kingdom is impressively unique as it covers the smallest area of land in comparison to the other floral kingdoms by far, but at the same time has the highest diversity of plant species by far. The Fynbos families make up for 80% of the Cape Floral Kingdom (there are about 8500 species of Fynbos) and 6000 of these are endemic to the area surrounding Cape Town. Fynbos means fine bush as it describes the thin leaves synonymous with the Fynbos species. There are so many fascinating facts about these plants, but we think it may be best that you come through and learn about it while you are here.

On entering the nature reserve, bordering Table Mountain National Park, we aimed our attention towards the Boomslang Tree Canopy Walk.
The dramatic clouds and views made it quite easy to admire this magnificent World Heritage Site.
We continued through open fields and dense foliage, discovering Proteas, cycads and the forest of centurions.
We climbed through trees and inhaled the wondrous scents in the herb garden… Regardless of rain, this is a must do if you plan on visiting Cape Town on holiday.
There are many breathtaking and engaging activities that you can find on your journey through the micro and macrocosm of the Botanical Gardens. Take your first step!

The next part of the day took us further south towards Kalk Bay.
We abandoned the car at St James, on account of a bit of road-works traffic, and walked the rest of the way.
There is a cool walk way between the railway line and the sea.
Our destination was the Brass Bell for fish and chips and a beer, the best way to catch up with family whilst overlooking the sea, with the Kalk bay harbor on the right, the Kalk bay surfers an the left and the Kalk Bay lighthouse under a beautiful rainbow dead ahead. All in all a fantastic day.

Music by Indigo Child, keep tabs on their FB page.

Giant Seal at Hout Bay Market

The other Hout Bay harbour market

We love those stupid tabloid headlines “Man almost get swallowed by giant seal at Hout Bay market”
Saturday afternoon drive to Hout Bay one the best coast drives in the world. We meant to go to the Bay Harbour Market, but ended up going to the old flea market instead. At least there was some entertainment with the seals. Bay Harbour Market, we coming for you next time.

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