The Garden Route has something to offer everyone, especially families. I have put together the ultimate list of activities for kids in the Garden Route to date. This comprehensive list of 55 family friendly activities includes attractions for all ages, interests and budgets. The Garden Route area in this list extends from Tsitsikamma to Mossel Bay and inland to Oudtshoorn. Please do let me know in the comments below how you enjoyed these activities or if you know of an activity that you think should be added to the list.
Activities for kids along the Garden Route
In and around Tsitsikamma
Explore deeper into the hidden world of the Storms River gorge with Untouched Adventures. Experience the long, bottomless pools, deep caves and ancient forests with nothing but the quiet noises of nature around you on their most popular kayak and lilo adventure.
The first of its kind in Africa, the Tsitsikamma Canopy Tour involves zip-lining from one platform to another along a steel cable suspended up to 30 meters above the forest floor. Discover the secrets of the spectacular and unique wilderness of Tsitsikamma Indigenous forest. Minimum age of 5 years.
Situated in Stormsriver Village and at Tsitsikamma Backpackers, Segway Tours offer 1 and 2 hour fully guided segway tours and ½ or full day mountain bike rentals. A Segway is a 2-wheeled, self-balancing, battery-powered, green personal transporter. Totally fun, addictive and the perfect family adventure.
In and around Plettenberg Bay
Experience the magic of the African bush with a two-hour game drive at Plettenberg Game Reserve at the foothills of the Tsitsikamma Mountains. Knowledgeable game rangers will enthrall you with interesting facts about the wildlife you will view on your safari. Now home to all five of Africa’s famous Big 5, as well as many species of antelope, giraffe, zebra, hippo and crocodiles.
Explore the river with AfriCanyon, navigate through the river shallows, jump, zip-line, swim through fresh-water mountain pools, slide down natural water slides and abseil in and around waterfalls as you dip down into the river gorge. From 8 years and older.
Birds of Eden’s unique two hectare dome (the world’s largest) spans over a gorge of indigenous forest. Currently it is home to over 3,500 birds from over 280 species, with the main focus being African birds. Visits to Birds of Eden are usually self-guided, however guided walks are offered on request. Situated next to Monkeyland.
Jukani Wildlife Sanctuary is home to big cats such as lions, cheetahs, tigers, leopard, jaguar, pumas, caracal, serval cats and other wildlife species such as zebra, wild dog, springbuck, zorilla, honey badger, raccoons and various snake species. At Jukani the focus is on conservation education and specifically the plight of large predators in captivity, in South Africa and all over the world.
Exercise your bodies and minds in an entertaining, educational and affordable way at Plett Puzzle Park. Their two main activities are the first life size 3D Maze in South Africa as well as an exciting and unique Forest Puzzle Walk. Activities designed for visitors of all ages. Children’s play area and coffee shop set in a tranquil garden setting with oversize garden games to keep you entertained.
Monkeyland is the worlds first free roaming multi-specie primate sanctuary. It’s mission is to educate and foster greater understanding of our primate cousins and the threats and challenges they are facing. Situated next to Birds of Eden.
Lawnwood Snake Sanctuary offers hourly informative, interactive tours for any ages with over 100 snakes and other reptiles to see. Open daily.
The Tenikwa Wildlife Centre is open daily to visitors for conservation-based wildlife tours and cheetah experiences. A window into Rehabilitation, visit their Marine Conservation Awareness area during your tour where they raise awareness of the significant issues affecting our marine species and especially the endangered African Penguin. Visit their meerkat meander, that Tenikwa has built especially for meerkat pets that have been confiscated by Cape Nature Conservation or became unwanted “pets”.
Radical Raptors is a rehabilitation centre that aims at community awareness and the rescue, rehabilitation and release of birds of prey. A variety of trained non-releasable birds of prey are free flown around and to you during their flying displays. This provides an opportunity for you to spectate, participate and photograph these magnificent birds in natural surroundings.
Elephant Sanctuary, The Crags, has African elephants and offers an interactive elephant experience and elephant back riding. They offer hands-on educational elephant interactions and an intimate experience with the elephants.
Get on the water and up close to dolphins and whales during an Ocean Blue Adventure. Don’t forget to pack sea sickness tablets if your little one (or you) gets motion sickness.
Set in a beautiful natural setting on a 24 hectare estate, Adventure Land offers a day never to forget. Relax on the large lawns or on one of the wooden decks. Enjoy a picnic or have a braai and watch your family and friends enjoy the water activities and playground.
The kids will love to feed the farm animals, play on the juggle gyms and see the wolves at the Wolf Sanctuary. Guided tours take you through the wolf enclosures or stroll between the enclosures in your own time. Coffee shop on premises.
Get into the water and on your surfboard with Learn to Surf Plett. Offering surfing and stand up paddle boarding lessons in group or individual sessions, children from 6 years old can ride the waves.
Plett Mountain Bike Park at Cairnbrogie offers a trail running park, pump track and coffee shop (open every day in school holidays and on Sat/Sun during term time). The pump track is great fun so bring your bike, scooters, and push bikes. Situated on Cairnbrogie Dairy farm on the Airport Road.
In and around Knysna
Take a ferry along the lagoon and see The Heads close up. The Featherbed Company offers various boating options to suit your family and the weather. Hope on board the Paddle Cruiser, John Benn, Three Legs or Heads Explorer.
Hit the beach at Buffalo Bay. Walk across to Brenton on Sea, surf the waves, play on the beach and enjoy an ice-cream at the cafe. Changing facilities, showers and toilets on site.
Ocean Odyssey offers unforgettable marine adventures with boat-based whale watching, marine tours and SUP hire. They offer three daily departures and a fleet of ocean going vessels. The kids will love getting up close to whales and the thrill of going out the Heads on a boat.
The Knysna Elephant Park was the first facility in South Africa to house and care for orphaned African elephants. Over the last twenty years, the park has cared for and raised more than forty elephants. These animals include relocated animals, orphaned calves, elephants rescued from culls and ex-circus animals.
Scootours offer a unique and true forest experience. Enjoy an exhilarating downhill on the Monster Mountain Scooter, descent through indigenous forest, sweepy bends and single track. A scenic minibus ride takes you into the heart of the forest to the best hills to start your descent in the Garden Route National Park. All of this while on the lookout for the our local wild life, the majestic Knysna loerie, the shy bushbuck and wild boar.
Kids can enjoy the open play area at Thesen Islands with jungle gym, swings, see saw and roundabout. Col’Cacchio and Tapas Restaurants overlook the play area. There are also a number of shops, restaurants and Motorcycle Museum in Thesen Harbour Town.
The name may lead you to think of horses, sheep and goats but The Farm is actually a bike track, play park and restaurant. Drive to the top of Simola Hill, where you will find two bike pump tracks for different skill levels, jungle gyms, playhouse, and outdoor restaurant area. No entry free.
Pack a picnic and visit Jubilee Creek in the Goudveld Forest (off the Rheenendal Road). The younger kids will love splashing in the stream in search for frogs, whilst older kids will enjoy the walk to the waterfall. Toilet and braai facilities available. SANParks fees.
Search for sea life in rock pools at the base of the Eastern Heads, preferably at low tide. There are sadly not as many sea creatures today as I remember growing up as a little girl, but you can still find fishes, sea anemones and crabs, as well as other exciting animals. Grab an ice-cream at the shop or pop in to the East Head Café for lunch.
On the Buffalo Bay road, you will find the RiverDeck along the relaxing and calm Goukamma River. Besides being a great spot to enjoy a cocktail or a meal, there are a number of activities to keep you busy. They have one man, two man canoes, hydro-bikes and paddle boats for hire. Catch and release fishing, horse riding, bird watching and spa treatments for mom. Just a word of warning, young children will need to be supervised near the river.
Grab the bikes, scooter or walk the Steenbok Nature Reserve on Leisure Isle. Stroll along the lagoon, admire the plant and bird life and climb the trees. Or if you prefer the beach, grab the buckets and towels and visit Bollard Bay for a dip.
Sandboard down the Knysna sand dunes for fun filled day for the whole family with Dune Adventures. Experience a day of adventure at Brenton-on-Sea beach sliding down dunes on sand boards. Get expert instruction by their guides to coach you from beginner to thrill seeker in no time at all. Open to all ages.
The Garden Route Trail Park is midway between George and Knysna, in the heart of the Garden Route. The carefully designed routes have been laid out to provide riders of all levels with an over supply of adrenalin, excitement, scenery and amazing views. Over 20km of hand built singletrack in the infamous farmer tradition, with flowing turns, burms, rollers and river crossings. Relax on the designated picnic area, spin around the never-ending loop system of the pumptrack or grab a bite to eat at the Trail Café.
In and around Wilderness
Whether you are tackling the course as an individual or as part of a group, Acrobranch will certainly get the adrenaline pumping. Kids between the ages of 4 and 8 can let loose on the Acro-twigs course. Ages 11 and up can challenge themselves to the exhilarating course that boasts an impressive 48 obstacles.
Next to the Acrobranch, is Timberlake Village where you can shop and eat organically, supporting local businesses. For the kids, there is a jungle gym, fairy garden and race track.
Have a picnic down by the lagoon at Ebb and Flow Rest Camp. Open to day visitors and overnight guests, enjoy a braai and walking trails to enjoy the beautiful outdoors.
In and around George
Take the kids for a walk/hike or mountain biking at the Garden Route Botanical Gardens. Enjoy the beautiful scenery and follow it up with a milkshake at the tea garden.
Strawberries are the theme for Redberry Farm near Blanco, George. Pick strawberries by the punnet, ride the Redberry Express, speed off on pedal go carts, bumper boats or on pony rides. There is plenty to keep the kids entertained, and you can also explore the largest hedge maze in the Southern Hemisphere.
Get on board the Outeniqua Powervan and take a trip up the Montague Pass, with a packed lunch. Enjoy the views and the experience of being transported a powervan. It’s best to book in advance for this popular attraction. You depart from the Outeniqua Transport Museum, which is filled with steam locomotives, model trains and plenty for train lovers to explore. Leave some time to explore the museum before/after your trip, or makes an fun outing on its own.
Build your adrenaline at Garden Route Paintball. They do serious paintball but also fun for the whole family. Choose between speedball and bush ball ranges.
Discover the intricate workings of a modern-day dairy farm in a beautiful country setting. The Valcor Farm Experience provides for hands-on opportunities for the visitor to observe a unique Outeniqualand farm. Individuals as well as tour groups are catered for under the guidance of well-trained and well-informed guides.
Elevate is a 1700 m2 building housing a 600m2 Trampoline Park and an indoor Go-Kart Track. Have fun on the 60 Trampolines, SODI Go-Karts, Gladiator beam and slam dunk hoops. Trampolines for four years and older and play area for small kids.
Happy Valley is a supervised children’s indoor play centre and party venue that offers a series of activities including indoor soft play structure for children aged 2 – 10, and a smaller play area for the younger 0 – 2 year olds. There is also alternative fun activities such as; wall climbing, trampoline, and art wall.
Kidz at Mountview offers children a great indoor soft play structure for the older kids and a separate kids play area for the little ones. Also a party venue and coffee shop. Ideal for those rainy days.
Older kids will enjoy Ten Pin Bowling at Let’s Go Bowling in the MountView Resort and Lifestyle Village. In the same centre, you will find Kidz at Mountview for younger kids.
Pack the buckets and spades, swimsuit and surfboards and go down to Herolds Bay for a swim. The rock pools will keep the kids entertained and if you are lucky, you may even spot whales out to sea.
In and around Oudtshoorn
Explore the finest dripstone caverns, with their vast halls and towering formations of the Cango Caves. For younger kids, there is a Heritage Tour which takes an hour and for the older and brave, the Adventure Tour which takes an hour and a half. The Adventure Tour consists of crawling through narrow passages and climbing up steep rock formations guided by small lights. Recommended to book your tour in advance.
Learn all about ostriches, feed one by hand, and even ride an ostrich at the Highgate Ostrich Show Farm. Restaurant and shop on site selling ostrich products and meat.
The Cango Wildlife Ranch offers once in a lifetime encounters with rare and endangered animals while incorporating conservation through education. An unforgettable outing for the whole family, open 365 days a year.
On a Safari Ostrich Farm guided tour you will learn and see all aspects of ostrich farming and ostriches. See all stages from incubation to adulthood and meet the ostrich up close in one their breeding camps. Includes a tractor tour.
A wide variety of interesting activities at Wilgewandel Holiday Farm including waterslides, camel rides, putt-putt, donkey cart rides, foefie slides, pedal cars, rowing boats, petting zoo and trampolines. Fun for all ages.
In and Around Mosselbay
Visit the Dias Museum Complex on a rainy day to explore the nautical history of Mossel Bay. Trace back history to the 1400s when Bartolomeu Dias landed his ships on the shores. Attractions include famous 500 year old Post office Tree, life-size replica of the Dias Caravel, Shell Museum and Aquarium, and Ethno-Botanical Garden.
All aboard the Diaz Express, a fun rail experience for the whole family run on the existing Transnet rail network between George and Mossel Bay. Depart from Hartenbos, with excursions to a variety of attractions including Santos Beach, Great Brak River, Glentana and Maalgate. All excursions have lovely views over the Indian Ocean, river estuaries and the indigenous plant life of the Cape Floral Kingdom.
At Blasters Centre, you can expect hours of fun for the entire family. They offer a friendly and safe environment for all ages. You will find the largest indoor jungle gym in the Garden Route, where kids aged 0-12 will have a blast. The older kids and adults can enjoy the blacklight putt-putt, arcade games, and pool tables. Blasters Mossel Bay is also a fully licensed family restaurant, with an excellent variety on our menu to choose from.
Sandboard the Dragon with Dragon Dune, the biggest and longest sandboard ride in South Africa. Although it’s the biggest dune, their focus is on having fun and cater for all age groups and levels. Stand, sit or belly board ride down these dunes.
Fanta Sea at the Point is a Restaurant and play area down by the water. Enjoy their restaurant, play park and putt-putt green with the family. Dogs also welcome.
Romanza Boat Trips offers Seal Island Trips (all year round), Eco Ocean Trips (all year round), Sunset Cruises (November to April) and Boat Based Whale Watching with permit (July to October). Take a camera, jacket and sea sickness tablets if needed.
This is not a sponsored post. All images are my own. This list has been compiled from my own experiences and information supplied on service provider website and social media platforms. Please let me know in the comments below if any of the above information for activities for kids is inaccurate or outdated.