8 exciting things to do with the family in Cape Town these holidays
From street art tours to movies under the stars, there's no shortage of fun to be hand in and around the Mother City this festive season
1. EXPLORE THE STREET ART IN SALT RIVER
This once-industrial area of Cape Town is fast being repainted as an art lover's paradise. Know what you're looking at with a tour. Tours can be booked up to 48 hours in advance, R650 per person. See Baz-art.co.za.
2. MOVIES UNDER THE STARS
The Galileo Open-Air Cinema at Kirstenbosch Gardens is screening a great selection of family-friendly and romantic fare throughout the festive season. Films include Love, Actually, The Secret Life of Pets, Mamma Mia and ET - but there's much more, so check the website. Tickets R109 - R195.
There's a special screening on the evening of December 25: How The Grinch Stole Christmas (R190).
3. SLIP OFF TO A 'SECRET BEACH'
The beaches are sure to be bursting with revellers this holiday season, so sneak off for some peace and quiet at Smitswinkel Bay, on the coastal road out of Simon's Town. It lies at the bottom of a cliff and you have to hike down along a steep, zig-zagging path for about 20 minutes. Your reward will be relative seclusion, fine sand, big boulders, rock pools and the warmer waters of False Bay.
4. GET YOUR ZEN ON
The Om Revolution offers yoga classes in several stunning outdoor spots, including on Clifton's 3rd Beach, in the Company's Gardens in the city, and at Mouille Point. R50 a class if you buy a package of four, R70 for one. See theomrevolution.co.za.
5. TEA AT THE MOUNT NELSON
Tea lovers take note: this legendary hotel takes its high tea so seriously, it even has its own eponymous blend, of Darjeeling, Kenya, Assam, Keemun, Yunnan, Ceylon and rose petals from its garden. Sip on that in the refined lounge or let SA's first tea sommelier, Craig Cupido, guide you through the hotel's 40 different tea varieties. Or book a tasting session, food pairing, masterclass or traditional tea ceremony. See belmond.com.
6. DIVE WITH SHARKS IN GANSBAAI
It's controversial, but shark-cage diving company Marine Dynamics says its tourism activities help to provide data and funding, both of which are crucial for great white conservation. A marine biologist is on board to lend some scientific clout while visitors - safe in a cage attached to the side of the boat - duck under water for close encounters with copper sharks and great whites. R2,250 per person. See sharkwatchsa.com.
7. RIDE THE FRANSCHHOEK WINE TRAM
Drink to your heart's content with no need to worry about driving between vineyards as you explore the beautiful valley on a vintage-style tram and open-air tram bus, stopping at some of SA's oldest and most celebrated wine estates. The price is R260 for adults. See winetram.co.za.
8. RIDE THE STEAM TRAIN TO ELGIN
Every weekend in December, the Ceres Railway Company steam train will make the 3.5-hour journey from Cape Town and over the marvellous Sir Lowry's Pass to the Elgin Railway Market, where you can spend a couple of hours eating great food, quaffing local wine and listening to live music. See ceresrail.co.za.