Friday, December 2, 2011

Fun family things to do around Cape Town in December

In an effort to find some fun family activities to put into my advent calendar, I stumbled onto some great activities and events in December around Cape Town. I had to share - a lot of it courtesy of Cape Town Kids!

Any day fun things/ places:
  • The V & A Waterfront has some great Christmassy things on over this festive season. Things like Christmas carols every night, fun rides for the kids, giant Christmas tree, Santa's village, World record museum. Check their calendar out here
  • The Aquarium is always a great place to go if you're looking for somewhere to go. Especially if you have a membership - which allows you free access the whole year. Children under 4 go free anyways.
  • Bugs play park at Joostenberg on the way to Paarl is always great.
  • Talking about Joosenberg, there is a favourite restaurant of mine called Klein Joostenberg. It has a bistro and playground for the kids with a huge lawn to run around on. Bottomless coffee for moms is always a pleasure! There is also a nursery next door to pick up something on your way home.
  • Delvera estate has a great kiddies section, and on Sundays they have cart rides and shows for the kids. going to check that our soon!
  • The Crocodile farm at le Bonheur in Paarl
  • Giraffe House on the way to Stellenbosch
  • Spier is always great to take a blanket and have a picnic
  • Table Mountain - really want to try that with E going up the cable car
  • The Ostrich Ranch
  • Picnic at Kirstenbosch
Special events for December:
  • Whole of December - World of Records museum at the Waterfront
  • 9 December - the Spier Festival of White lights
  • 9 - 10 December - Paarl Monument full moon picnic. Meet Santa (who hands out gifts to your kids) and picnic under the stars. They also have a Carols by candlelight picnic on the 4th.
  • 15 December - Meet Santa at the Waterfront Santa's Village
  • 10 - 15 December - The Caretaker at the Zip Zap Circus
  • 15 - 17 December - Carols by Candlelight at Kirstenbosch
Hope this gives you some ideas for what to do as a family during December!

Homeade Advent Calendar

I know that it's after the 1 December but better late than never, right? I've been wanting to make an advent calendar for our family for some time now. And now that E is old enough to understand the concept more or less (and the fact that I'm on a mission to create some new Christmas traditions) I thought I would get to it!

What you need:
Colourful/ decorated paper like wrapping paper or scrap booking paper
Decorations and embellishments
Ribbon to string through and hang
Fun things to fill it with (I will talk about that later)

I tried to get E involved in the process of making it, but as he's a 2 year old boy he quickly lost interest and went to his bike :)

Step 1.
Cut and glue the paper pouches. You can make whatever size pouches suit you, but I cut an A4 in half (A5) and made them from that size.

Step 2.
Glue it together. I folded it over towards the middle, and then folded the bottom piece up and glued it down. Place something heavy on it while it dries.
Step 3.
Decorate and punch holes at the top. I used a normal punch and made 2 holes along the top, on the fold, to string the ribbon through. (My camera sucks by the way)

Step 4.
String the ribbon through and hang it somewhere the kids can't reach. Because they will catch the drift that there are yummy things in the and will want to get to it, lol. Also high enough that hubby's head doesn't bang it as he walks past. (We chose to hang ours on the arch walkway through to the kitchen)

What to fill it with:
I got some great ideas which I tweaked to suit our family.
There are small sweets each day - one for E and one for mommy. I used quality streets or whatever suits you fine.
I put a few small cars for E in about 3 days

This calendar is also heavily activity based because I feel that it is important to focus on family bonding time. Luckily there is a bunch of things going on this time of the year, and daddy will be home on his holiday as well during this time - so I'm taking the opportunity to get out the house and have a stay-cation. And this ties in very well with the calendar and doing fun things as a family each day.
Ideas include:
Baking Christmas cookies
Making wrapping paper
Treasure hunts
Outings to various fun places
Carols by Candlelight  visits
Milkshakes at his favourite restaurants
(I'm going to share a post of a bunch of fun family activities I found in Cape Town)

Let me know what your ideas were for an advent calendar!