The V&A Waterfront is the kind of place where you can easily spend an entire day and still not see everything. Starting with your weekly fruit and vegetable shop at the Oranjezicht City Market, where you can stop off for a delicious breakfast and a fragrant cup of coffee, to sitting down near the Amphitheatre while you kids run off some of their energy in the play area, there is something for everyone.
The Oranjezicht City Market takes place from 9am to 2pm every Saturday, rain or shine. This the ideal place to meet friends for breakfast or brunch and then shop for your favourite organic, seasonal produce. Think of things like pomergranates, dragon fruit and fresh herbs. Stall holders are friendly and approachable and are more than happy to answer any questions you may have about their produce.
As everyone knows, kids are not generally the type to sit still for any length of time, so families will be pleased to know that this particular Cape Town Big 7 attraction is VERY family friendly. Parking at Portswood or Granger Bay parkades are ideal if you want to start your outing with a trip to the market and there are sidewalks and walkways that will take you on a lovely walk all the way to the mall itself.
The 123 hectare size property boasts four shopping precincts namely; Victoria Wharf Shopping Centre, Alfred Mall, Clock Tower Shopping Centre and Watershed. You’ll be able to find an array of products from high end fashion, to African craft and design and top South African departments stores.
Walking through the doors of Victoria Wharf, you are treated to spectacular views as you look down onto the Amphitheatre, Cape Wheel and across to Table Mountain. You may find yourself stopping quite often to take pictures of the breaktaking sights.
The kids play area outside the Food Court is an unmissable delight for kids of all ages, and it gives parents an opportunity to find a seat nearby and finish their coffee There are additional two Playgrounds’, one at Clock Tower Square, a five minute walk away and across the Swing Bridge and the last one can be found outside Watershed closest to the Two Oceans Aquarium.
You can find the play area opposite the amphitheatre, which is adjacent to the Cape Wheel. Older kids will love the play frames and slides and this well maintained piece of kiddy heaven is the best place to rest for a bit, as you will have a hard time dragging your children away when it’s time to move on and explore the Waterfront some more.
Another site that is popular with older kids is watching the swing bridge open and close as large boats leave the dock near the Clock Tower. You will notice that a few brightly coloured statues have been added lately. These works of art were created by Belgium born William Sweetlove who wants to draw our attention to the environmental issues threatening our planet, like the lack of drinkable water and rising sea levels.
Of course, few kids can resist boats so the walk naturally progresses past the very popular Table Mountain picture frame where a veritable queue forms as locals and tourists alike, line up to take their picture with Cape Town’s favourite rock.
Again, the beautiful scenery will quickly make you forget about how far you’ve walked already and, if you know about the Crumbs and Cream ice cream van parked just outside the Aquarium, you will have more than enough incentive to keep going. Let your nose lead you through the deliciousness that is the Food Market and pick up a few treats for the week like StroopWaffels and biltong before moving on to the Watershed. You may feel a bit thirsty at this point so why not grab some Bubble Tea or a freshly squeezed green juice before you go?
If shopping is your favourite hobby, and you are looking for Cape Town inspired gifts for family and friends, the Watershed is where you will find everything you need to keep everyone happy. From homemade toys to African inspired clothing and jewellery, the Watershed is your oyster (even if it does make your credit card cry).
While you may find it hard to resist snacking while you walk, I would highly recommend you save your appetite for the ice cream sandwich to come at Crumbs and Cream. It is the stuff dreams are made of. (I can highly recommend the Candy Crush cookie sandwich filled with Ferrero Rocher Ice cream and a choc chip cookie sandwich filled with cookie ice cream. )
On your walk back towards the car, stop off at Nobel Square where you can proudly introduce your kids to South Africa’s Nobel Laureates. Older kids will be interested in the details while younger kids might prefer running around the statues while you enjoy yet another breathtaking view of Table Mountain.
There are so many things to do at the V&A Waterfront and not all of them cost an arm and a leg. It’s a great way to enjoy our gorgeous city and tire the kids out sufficiently to pretty much guarantee an early night and a solid night’s sleep for the whole family.
What are your favourite things to do at the V&A Waterfront?
Let us know on our Cape Town Big 7 Facebook or Twitter page. Better yet, snap an Instagram shot of your favourite V&A Waterfront moment and tag @CapeTownBig7 #CTBig7
One Destination, 7 Unbelievable Experiences
There is no one way to explore all of the Cape Town Big 7, and much of what makes each of them so special is the variety of things to see and do at each. So if possible, take your time to explore each of the city’s most visited tourist attractions in as much depth as possible – as any local will tell you, you can spend a lifetime at each of the Big 7 and still not tire of them. Find the 3 and 4 day itineraries and tips here.