Gordon’s Bay, located just 45 minutes from Cape Town central, where the shimmering blue seas of False Bay meet the mountain, is the ideal weekend or week-long escape. With so much to do and explore, this seaside destination is a favorite amongst families.

So just what can you do with kids in Gordon’s Bay and surrounds? Here are 11 of our favourite things to do as a family in Gordon’s Bay:

1. Shop at Aladdin’s cave

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Known as the best novelty shop in Gordon’s Bay, Aladdin’s cave is located at 37 Beach Road, Gordon’s Bay. This shop is filled with lots of treasures that kids will love, from shells and rocks to equipment and clothing.

2. See the Penguins in Betty’s Bay

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Visit the Stony Point Nature Reserve, located in the coastal town of Betty’s Bay, +/- 30 minutes’ drive from Gordon’s Bay. It is home to one of the largest successful breeding colonies of African Penguin in the world. A boardwalk through the colony allows the public to observe the penguins, without disturbing or disrupting them. See how these wonderful flightless birds go about their daily activities in their natural habitat.

3. Explore the rock pools

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Pack in some snacks and your swimming costumes to enjoy the lovely crystal pools and waterfalls in Gordon’s Bay. While the beaches around Gordon’s Bay have plenty of rock pools to discover, Steenbras Gorge and the Crystal Pools is a very popular and fairly easy hike to a series of mountain pools in a beautiful valley. Easy to do as a family, the hike follows the Palmiet River up the gorge. Just remember to bring your permit which can be purchased at the Pitstop Grill Shack.

Situated nearby in Stellenbosch, families will also love Jonkershoek Nature Reserve. Here you can enjoy either a lovely full-day hike and cooldown in a mountain stream or one of the shorter walks. There are also some magnificent waterfalls which you can swim underneath.

4. Take the kids for a walk

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Enjoy walking the Danie Miller walking trail. This trail is about 2.9km long and takes around 2 hours
to walk. It has spectacular views of Gordon’s Bay, False Bay, Helderberg Area, and the Gordon’s Bay harbor. Along the way, you will find a wide variety of indigenous plants and small streams. The Danie Miller hiking trail has no entry fee and can be accessed at any time.

5. Play putt-putt and visit the Strand Waterworld Fun park

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Just when you thought that summer couldn’t get any better, Waterworld brings you a day of slippery, slidey summertime family fun! This amazing park is situated in Beach Road, Strand, and has a Putt-Putt course right next to it!

6. Bubblemakers at Just Africa Scuba

Just Africa Scuba, located just around the corner from the Oceana Palms Guesthouse, offers Bubblemakers – an introductory Scuba Experience for kids. Children 8 years old or older can experience scuba diving under the supervision of a PADI Pro. Children will take their first breaths underwater in water shallower than 2 meters. No prior experience is necessary, but the kids must be comfortable in the water and parental approval is required. If you’re on holiday and it’s your kiddies’ birthday, why not have a water-themed party with Bubblemakers? Celebrate a birthday by throwing a memorable and exciting Bubblemaker event with friends and family.

7. See Seal Island

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Seal Island is a small landmass located almost 6 kilometers away from False Bay. The island got its name due to the large occupancy of Cape fur seals. It is home to approximately 70,000 seals as well as seabirds. The main breeding season for the Cape Fur Seal is November and December when almost 20, 000 pups are born. Experience a leisurely boat trip for 2- 8 people of approximately 4 hours to Seal Island.

8. Visit Monkey Town in Somerset West

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If your kids are nature-lovers, then this is one of those visits that you can’t leave off your to-do list. Cape Nature often makes use of Monkey Town as a haven for abandoned monkeys and other species of rescued animals. Monkey Town is currently home to 26 different species of primates alone. Alongside primates, you can also visit the reptile garden. There are also various activities you can enjoy, such as enjoying a relaxing picnic or braai with friends and family or swimming at one of the three swimming pools on-site, including a large pool with two waterslides. The slides are for kids 12 years and younger.

9. Eat at Mondeor Garden Restaurant in Somerset West

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Mondeor is a child-friendly family-style restaurant that has a huge outside play area, jungle gyms, shallow splash pool, jumping castle, and a slip and slide. There is also ample outside seating on the lawn on the veranda where you can watch your kiddies’ and feel at ease while enjoying a lovely lunch prepared by their qualified chef.

10. See some big cats

Cheetah-Outreach

Be one with nature and admire the beautiful cheetahs, small predators, and adorable dogs at Cheetah Outreach in Somerset West. A day here promised fun for the whole family, where you can watch these majestic predators and even have your picture taken with them.

From Gordon’s Bay, you can also enjoy a day trip to Vredenburg Big Cats Park and encounter a face to face with the big cats. Vredenheim’s goal is not to breed with these magnificent creatures, but merely be a place of sanctuary, striving to provide a safe environment where the public can view the big cats in
their spacious enclosures. This park is fully approved by Cape Nature and is currently home to 2 brown lions, 3 white lions, 1 leopard, 1 black leopard, 2 Bengal tigers, and 2 white tigers. You can also book a game drive on the farm, where you will see a wide variety of game, including sables, blue wildebeest, golden wildebeest, zebra, springbok, fallow deer, and eland. Birding enthusiasts can keep an eye out for white pelican, hadeda, blue crane, spur-winged geese, guineafowl, and – if you are lucky – fish eagle, jackal buzzard and yellow-billed kites.

11. Pick strawberries at Mooiberg Farm

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Located on the R44 between Stellenbosch and Somerset West, the iconic Mooiberg Farm Stall is a noted landmark in the Stellenbosch area. It has a collection of colorful scarecrows and is hard to miss.  Make Mooiberg a great family outing in summer. Visitors are able to collect a basket before heading out into the strawberry fields to pick their own strawberries. You can also pop into the farm stall to take a look at their wide variety of dried fruits and nuts. Maybe here you will find a souvenir or gift to take back home.