New Things to do in Winter in Cape Town and the Western Cape
One thing that is inarguable about Cape Town, is that we probably have the best climate in the world. We rarely go below 10C in winter daytime or over 32C in summer daytime. No snow, no sleet, no blizzards, no 45 degree sweltering. None of that. An occasional storm and good rain if we’re lucky.
So whatever time of the year you choose to be busy in Cape Town, it’s going to be pretty good nine times out of ten. What may be a great pastime in summer fits neatly into winter on most occasions: pubs, fine dining, shows, wine tasting, braais, diving in the marine-rich waters off the peninsula, etc.
But then, there are some truly innovative new things you can do in winter that are a little different to the expected coffee carnival around a warm fire. These are options that will move your body and motivate your mind and that are perfect for those wintery days, be they bright or rainy. Let’s explore!
In Cape Town
Imagine taking a slow paddle out on a winter-still ocean, away from the city lights and into the natural quiet of a shifting sea, to sit and absorb the rising moon. The kayaks are stable or you can use a Stand-Up Paddleboard or your own paddle craft, as you like. You don’t need to be an experienced paddler to enjoy this unusual and exciting trip to see the majestic rise of the moon on a winter night, and you will be accompanied by experienced guides. However, if ocean conditions are deemed too rough or unsafe on the day, the event may have to be cancelled. So be prepared for that. [email protected]
Wine Jamming, Greenpoint
This is your chance to get arty with wine! This exclusive event is held at the Rockwell Hotel in Greenpoint on the last Wednesday of every month. You’ll be given a welcoming glass of wine, an A3 canvas, the use of several paintbrushes, an easel and non-toxic acrylic paint. An instructor will take you through the basics of painting or you can do your own thing. Anything goes and you don’t have to prove any artistic talent whatsoever! As only 30 guests are allowed at a time, it’s important to book your space. [email protected]
Hop onto a Monster Mountain Scooter and freewheel into the city. Eco-friendly and gravity-propelled, anyone can ride them. You’ll begin with an adventurous off-road track down the side of Signal Hill into Bo-Kaap, then you’ll be taken to Table Mountain for a final run down an exhilarating single track. All adults and kids welcome. Kids can double with mom or dad. Remember to wear closed shoes and bring a windbreaker. Tel: 082 776 0557
Well, here’s a bit of fun for a rainy afternoon! Get yourself locked in a room, work out a whole lot of puzzles and mysteries, and find the clues to your escape! Hint Hunt is fun for the whole family, up to 6 people. The goal is simple – get out of the room within 60 minutes – or be trapped forever! Get your brains sharpened, learn some teamwork, and maybe even some bonding! You have one hour to save yourselves! Tel: 021 448 9864
Imagine a place where you (and your kids) can paint on anything, including the tables! And where you will be guided to actually make useful items like cups or vases. Situated on an old dairy farm in Hout Bay, this is the ideal spot when the weather is grim and it seems you have nowhere to go. Ceramic painting is a very satisfying pastime on a wintery day – and you get to take your creative wonders home. [email protected]
Out of Cape Town
Two hours drive from Cape Town will find these intriguing self-catering cabins in the middle of the beautiful, peaceful Kogelberg Nature Reserve. Wooden walkways connect the various cabins, creating a village effect, with a tranquil eco-pool at the centre. The cabins are designed to have as little impact as possible on the environment and present two bedrooms, a bathroom (shower only), lounge, dining area and a kitchen equipped with a fridge/freezer, microwave and toaster.
Each cabin has a courtyard with braai facilities. Bedding and towels are provided, and there are power points available for charging electrical appliances. And you will be warm! Solar and gas power ensures heated water for the shower, and electricity for the kitchen appliances, so you can have that coffee while watching the rain from the large, glass-fronted viewing wall.
Attractions include: Kogelberg Nature Reserve; White-water kayaking on the Palmiet River (available through outside providers); Hiking trails (such as the Palmiet River Walk and Kogelberg Trail); African Penguin Colony at Stony Point; and of course, amazing whale-watching along the nearby coast. [email protected]
Wacky Wine Weekend, Robertson
Every year this hugely popular festival grows. So make it a definite on your calendar for the next event. With over 40 wineries taking part, you are spoilt for choice with regard to wine tasting and things to do. Enjoy food pairings, educational wine presentations, boat cruises on the Breede River, and time to take in the breath-taking Robertson Wine Valley. Make the most of a winter weekend away by booking your accommodation early. Tel: 023 626 3167
Franschhoek Mystery Weekends, Franschhoek
Franschhoek Mystery Weekends are designed for those who want a winter escape into the country, but still want the comfort and sophistication of fine wines and world-class experiences. Plus the marvellous addition of surprise and mystery planned to entertain and engage you like never before! This special weekend includes two nights’ accommodation, breakfast daily, a surprise event on the Friday night, dinner on the Saturday night, a light lunch on the Sunday, and a selection of bespoke Franschhoek experiences which will only be revealed when you check-in. An annual happening in winter, the dates vary, so please check before booking. [email protected]
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