Somehow it’s April already, which means it’s almost that wonderful time of the year where South Africans are blessed with five public holidays in the span of four weeks. Some of you savvy planners out there made use of your leave days to create a mini holiday for yourself. Unfortunately for some, this time of year we’re also usually blessed with buckets of rain during this time — we aren’t nicknamed the Cape of Storms for nothing!

We’ve rounded up a few of our favourite things to do when the weather is bad below, whether you just want to stay home or venture out to the Winelands, Cape Town, or at home, we’ve got you covered!

Head Over to the Two Oceans Aquarium, V&A Waterfront

aquarium.co.za, R90 – R185

 

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The state-of-the-art Two Oceans Aquarium is an underwater treasure trove which is home to over 8 000 sea animals. And who doesn’t love marine life! Some of my best childhood memories were made in the aquarium. From the touch-pools to the shark tanks, there’s something for everyone! Make the best of your trip by planning your visit around their feeding times.

Head over to their website for more info and to book your tickets. Top tip: Entry is free on your birthday!

Escape the Weather with HintHunt, V&A Waterfront & Woodstock

hinthunt.com, R230pp

 

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Test your attention to detail (and your friendships) by attempting an escape room puzzle at Hinthunt. Never heard of an escape room before? Basically you get locked in a room with between two and five of your friends for 60 minutes, and in order to get out you need to solve a series of clues and puzzles within the time limit. Trust me, it’s great fun! They have locations in the Old Biscuit Mill in Woodstock and at the V&A Waterfront. You can also choose between different rooms with different stories and puzzles.

What’s stopping you? Head over to their website and book your escape!

Play Cave Gold and Find Gemstones at the Scratch Patch, V&A Waterfront & Simon’s Town

scratchpatch.co.za, R22 – R120 for the Scratch Patch and R25 pp for Cave Golf

 

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The original — and now world-famous — Scratch Patch was started in Simon’s Town in 1970. I have wonderful memories of going there as a little girl and spending hours searching through the gemstone-strewn cave for the perfect stones to take home. In the last few years, they expanded their offerings and opened a scratch patch in the V&A Waterfront, and both locations offer Cave Golf, which is a putt-putt course inside a cave — what’s not to love? Best of all, these activities are dirt cheap and will keep you entertained while the Cape of Storms does its thing outside.

Head over to their website for more info.

Play Board Games at the Big Box Boardgames Café, Gardens

thebigbox.co.za

 

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I LOVE board games, and what better way to while away the time on a rainy afternoon than with a games day? Best of all, if you’re like my family and only own Monopoly and Trivial Pursuit — ours is the Afrikaans version from the 80s, so it’s almost impossible to get a single answer correct — you can head over to Big Box Boardgames Café where you can play board games while enjoying a café lunch. When you’re done playing, you can also shop around for a game to take home!

Head over to their website for more info.

Explore Space at the Planetarium, Gardens

iziko.org.za, R30 – R60 pp

 

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I have fond memories of school outings and holidays spent at the planetarium learning more about the universe around us. And who doesn’t want to learn more about space? The Iziko Planetarium and Digital Dome is the most advanced digital planetarium on the African continent and is located right here in Cape Town! This world-class, multi-functional facility brings digital technology to Cape Town — creating a space of innovation and discovery — where art, science and entertainment meet.

Head over to their website to learn more about the programmes they offer and expand your mind!

Get Sciency at the Cape Town Science Centre, Observatory

ctsc.org.za, R30 – R65 pp

 

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Remember the MTN Science Centre in Canal Walk from our youth? They were given a facelift and a new location at the Cape Town Science Centre in Obs! If you, like me and many others, thought that the science centre was forced to be just a fond memory, think again! They have a wide variety of interactive displays, puzzles, games and fantastic exhibits to keep you entertained for hours on end.

Head over to their website for more info and to book your tickets.

Release your inner Ice Princess at the Ice Station, Grand West

icerink.co.za, R60pp

Embrace the cold weather at The Ice Station winter wonderland this winter. Glide on the ice and release your inner ice prince or princess. Even if you can’t skate, it’s pretty easy to learn, and even if you fall once or twice, no one will judge you (too harshly). Just remember to pack something warm and thick socks, those blisters can be an absolute bitch!

Head over to the Sun International website for more info.

Be Part of a Murder Mystery

bepartofthemystery.com, R425 – R570

Once a month, be part of a murder mystery at an ever-changing venue in Cape Town. You can either get a group of friends together and book a group table, or go alone and meet some new people! The fun is in dressing up and really living your character while interrogating the other diners.

Head over to their website to see if you can solve the mystery.

Get Adventurous at CityROCK, Paarden Eiland

cityrock.co.za

 

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Work up a sweat at CityROCK climbing gym and burn off some steam! They offer rock climbing, bouldering, yoga and more. You can either sign up for a membership, or pay day rates and spend the day there. They even rent out the necessary gear, so no need to stress.

Head over to their website to learn more.

Get Jumping, Table Bay, Claremont, Pinelands & Paarden Eiland

 

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Cape Town has a few different indoor trampoline parks, perfect for burning off extra energy on those rainy afternoons. Check out 23 Jump Street in Table Bay, Rush in Claremont, Be.Up in Pinelands, or Jump Around in Paarden Eiland the next time you have extra energy to burn off!

Knock Down Pins, Grand West & Claremont

 

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Ten Pin Bowling is fun for the whole family and easy to pick up, so grab your shoes and go knock down some pins at Let’s Go Bowling at Stadium on Main in Claremont or Ten Pin Bowling at Grand West.

Get Nostalgic at an Arcade

 

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For some, arcades bring back memories of wasting time after school or while your parents are shopping. When I think of arcades, I think of playing Spider Stompin’ Deluxe for hours on end after ice skating at Grand West. For some reason — probably the light violence and the fact that the spiders make a VERY satisfying squish when you stomp them — nothing could tear me away from this game. Relive whatever game it was you played for hours on end at an arcade near you the next time it’s raining! Wonderland has arcades at N1 City Mall (remember the giant octopus?), Canal Walk and Stadium on Main in Claremont, while The Magic Company has an arcade in Grand West. Some smaller arcades are also popping up in shopping malls everywhere, so find your closest one and go win some sticky hand toys that pick up dust, a whistle that only works to irritate you, or whatever else your heart desires!

Get the Giggles at a Comedy Show

 

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Stand-up comedy is making a comeback, and what better way to brighten up a dreary day than that? Cape Town is home to a few comedy clubs, so pick your poison! Pop in at the Cape Town Comedy Club in the V&A Waterfront’s Pumphouse, or head over to the first comedy venue in Mitchells Plain, Premium Sports Bar, or if you’re in Obs, the obvious place to go is the Obviouzly Armchair Theatre. Lots of bars and restaurants are offering comedy nights these days, so just keep an eye out for what’s on in your area and get those giggles in.

Fill your Bookshelf with Second-hand Treasures

 

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Everyone has a favourite bookstore (at least, I like to think so), so why not spend a rainy afternoon between the stacks looking for the next great adventure to fall into? If you don’t already have a favourite second-hand bookstore, try The Book Lounge on Roeland Street, or Select Books on Long Street. My favourites are Kalk Bay Books on Kalk Bay’s Main Road and Clarke’s Bookshop on Long Street. Or, if you’re a comic book lover, head over to the Readers Den Comic Shop at Stadium on Main and Tygervalley. The options are endless! Wander through your suburb or hop onto Google to find your new favourite book store.

Soak in some Culture at the Theatre

 

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Cape Town is the best place for theatre lovers, with 14 theatres I can think of off the top of my head. So next time you’re stuck at home because of the weather, check out what’s showing at the Artscape Theatre, The Fugard Theatre, Maynardville, The Baxter Theatre, The Labia, Gate 69 Cabaret Theatre, The Theatre on the Bay, The Barnyard, The Masque Theatre, The Kalk Bay Theatre, Alexander Bar, The Rainbow Puppet Theatre, or The Magnet Theatre. If you aren’t sold yet, check out my love letter to the theatre here.

Get Cultured at an Art Gallery or Museum

 

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Check out some local and international art at an art gallery, or learn more about South Africa’s history and culture at a local museum. Check out the Zeitz MOCAA at the V&A Waterfront, the Eclectica Contemporary in the Bo-Kaap, 34 Fine Art, or the Whatiftheworld gallery in Woodstock, or find your closest local gallery to wander around in. If you’re looking for some historical insight, look no further than the Iziko South African Museum in Gardens, the Bo-Kaap Museum in the Bo-Kaap, the South African Jewish Museum in the City Centre or the District Six Museum in Zonnebloem (previously known as District Six), or go further back in time and check out the Castle of Good Hope.

Hop on the Rails, Cape Town, Stellenbosch, Elgin

atlanticrail.co.za

 

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Kick it old school and hop on a train to explore Cape Town and its surrounds. If you’re feeling fancy, take the Atlantic Rail Steam Train and enjoy a ride to remember from Foreshore in Cape Town to Spier in Stellenbosch, or go all the way to the Elgin Railway Market and back if you’ve got the whole day to kill. Unfortunately, the railway line to Simon’s Town has been temporarily shut down due to maintenance on the tracks.

Head over to their website for more information.

Not seeing something you like? Check out our other articles for things to do in the Winelands and at home here.

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