The only thing Capetonians look forward to as much as a long shower, is a long weekend. Thanks to Freedom Day and Workers’ Day (and a day between which we’ve all decided doesn’t really count) the Mother City gets to take a 5-day break from routine. If you’ve opted to stay home instead of booking a place in the Winelands or taking a trip down the West Coast, Benn van der Westhuizen has a few suggestions on how to make this long weekend count.
TAKE ONE LAST RIDE ON THE COBRA AT RATANGA JUNCTION
The “wildest place in Africa” is closing its doors after 19 years of providing white-knuckle thrills and spills (and wholesome family-friendly fun) to the residents of Cape Town. The 5 days of this weekend, 27 April to 1 May are the last few days to get one more adrenaline fix in before the popular establishment shuts down for good.
Since its inception in December 1998, the iconic theme park has cemented itself as a part of every Capetonian’s childhood. And for those looking to take one more nostalgic walk down memory lane, the park is offering a huge discount on ticket prices as a parting gift. With more than 30 attractions, Ratanga Junction has something to offer for everyone – from Kids Rides to keep the little ones occupied, and carnival games for the non-riders, to the Zipline or Bushwacker for the more tame adventurer and The Slingshot or Congo Queen for the thrill-seekers.
Get the adrenaline pumping this weekend with one more ride on the legendary Nashua Cape Cobra rollercoaster, or get soaked to the bone while plunging into the abyss down a 18.5m drop on the Monkey Falls log flume ride.
Address: Century Blvd, Century City, Cape Town
Operating hours: 27 April to 1 May 10am – 5pm
Cost: R50 – R95 for a Full Rider ticket (available via Webtickets or at park entrance)
STAND UP PADDLE BOARD DOWN THE WATERFRONT CANALS WITH SUP CAPE TOWN
Looking to try something new and exciting during the upcoming long weekend? Why not hop on a Stand Up Paddle (SUP) board and navigate the calm, flat waters of the V&A Waterfront’s private canals?
SUP Cape Town offers a fun learning experience that instills in its students comfort and confidence on the board. Each hourly session includes all the necessary equipment and an instructor who provides a short lesson on safety (water, wind knowledge and equipment specs), stability, position and balancing different paddling strokes. Thereafter, visitors are free to paddle on their own, or take a guided tour (at an extra cost). No experience, qualifications or level of fitness is required.
Due to low water levels, SUP Cape Town’s Intaka Island Experience is closed, and only services at the V&A Waterfront are in operation.
Address: Lower Long St, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town
Operating hours: Hourly timeslots available from 10am – 5pm
Cost: R220 / hr
SHARE A GOOD LAUGH OVER A FEW COLD ONES WITH FRIENDS AT OBVIOUZLY ARMCHAIR
Wind down in the evenings with a few drinks and some light-hearted entertainment at Obviouzly Armchair. Whether it’s laughing out loud at their Armchair Sundays Comedy Night, being amused at the on-the-spot antics of comedians at the Monday Improv Comedy Show, or discovering the hidden talent that Cape Town has to offer at their Open Mic Acoustic Night, the quaint pub-style establishment provides the perfect relaxed atmosphere for a night out with friends.
Armchair comedy started way back in 1999 with Mark Sampson and the Cape Comedy Collective, which produced the likes of Riaad Moosa, Loyiso Gola, Nik Rabinowitz, Marc Lottering, Stuart Taylor, Mel Jones, Kurt Schoonraad, Conrad Koch and many other names from South Africa’s much-loved comedy core. It provides a platform for the future of SA comedy – so be sure to catch the stars of tomorrow before they strike it big.
For those who prefer their comedy off-the-cuff and unpredictable, the popular Monday Improv Comedy Show showcases talent from all over, who specialise in improvisation. Hosted by Cape Town’s own The Long Shots, Improv Monday brings improvisers from Cape Town and abroad together to create pure, spontaneous theatre. And with the rapidly expanding improv scene in the Mother City, there is no better place to catch the best short and long form improv troupes.
Not in the mood for witty jokes and one-liners? The Open Mic Acoustic Night is on every Tuesday, and gives local hidden gems their chance in the spotlight. Or if you’re keen and brave enough – give it a shot yourself!
Address: 135 Lower Main Rd, Observatory, Cape Town
Operating hours: Mon – Wed from 4pm | Thu – Sun from 12pm | Armchair Sundays at 8.30pm | Improv Mondays at 8.30pm | Open Mic Acoustic at 9pm
Cost: Armchair Sundays R40 | Monday Improv Comedy Show & Open Mic Night free
MEET THE FRIENDLY INHABITANTS OF SEAL ISLAND WITH CIRCE LAUNCHES
The original Seal Island cruise operators pride themselves in offering passengers a professional, safe and memorable experience during their cruise to the seal and bird colony at Duiker Island, Hout Bay.
To enhance the experience, the vessel, M.V. Calypso, is the only real glass-bottomed passenger boat in South Africa. During good visibility, passengers get a great view of the sea life and sea bed in the shallow waters around the island during the 40 minute trip. With a highly qualified and experienced crew on board, as well as Calypso’s powerful engines and all-round bridge visibility, passengers are given the closest views of the fascinating Cape Fur seals in their natural environment.
Address: Departs from Circe Launches, Hout Bay Harbour, Hout Bay, Cape Town
Operating hours: Daily departures – booking essential
Cost: R75 | U13 R45
BE INSPIRED BY THE LATEST TRENDS IN HOME DÉCOR AND DESIGN AT DECOREX SA
Take the first step toward the dream kitchen you’ve always wanted at the 20th edition of Decorex SA – sponsored by Plascon – the décor and design industry’s leading and most trusted brand since 1994.
This well-entrenched exhibition is the ideal place for those looking to interact with leaders in the field of décor and design, while drawing on world-class inspired creations and sampling the latest in lifestyle products. Whether it’s seeking inspiration for home renovations, office refurbishments, setting up world-class boutique hotels – or anything in between – Decorex offers a range of unique and creative décor solutions, all in one setting.
Highlights at this year’s event include the Plascon concept stand which, in a beautiful installation that utilises a curved, ergonomic design finished in bold colours, has colour specialists on hand at its ‘colour café’ to disseminate the importance of colour on spatial perception and cognitive influence. Secondly, the holistic @home Trend Home demonstrates a number of cutting edge trends – including the comforting Hygge Trend, enlivened Mixed Metallics, Large Scale Art and Room Divider Trends – to create a home that is both chic and comfortable. And thirdly, the EGO Power Garden of the Future allows visitors to witness the high-technology capabilities of EGO Power gardening and landscape equipment. Launched for the first time in South Africa the EGO range is environmentally and user-friendly, requiring no petrol and thereby returning users to the blissful world of near-silent gardening.
Address: Cape Town International Convention Centre, Convention Square, 1 Lower Long St, Cape Town
Operating hours: 27 April to 1 May 10am – 6pm
Cost: Adults R110 | Student/Pensioners R100 | U12 R20 (tickets available via Computicket)
GRAB A BITE TO EAT AT JACK BLACK BREWERY’S FOOD TRUCK FRIDAY
Get the long weekend off to a good start with delicious food and even better craft beer at Jack Black’s ever-popular Food Truck Fridays.
On the last Friday of each month, Jack Black invites two of Cape Town’s favourite food trucks to park off in their courtyard and serve up some mouth-wateringly good treats. April sees shawarma specialists Syriana go up against chicken aficionados Eat Street Food. So grab a shawarma or a prego, a pint of fresh Jack Black beer, and settle in for some great live music – courtesy of Llevado.
Not keen on venturing out on Friday nights? Jack Black’s Taproom is open on Friday and Saturday for brewery tours and lunch. Brewery tours offer guests the chance to experience a behind-the-scenes look at all the various stages, processes and equipment that are used to brew the award-winning beers. Sip on a 300ml beer in their signature tour glass while enjoying the Jack Black story and learning about the ethos behind this friendly brand. And while having lunch, be sure to take advantage of the beer tastings on offer, where a highly-trained bar staff member talks you through their variety of beers, including limited edition and seasonal brews.
Address: 10 Brigid Rd, Diepriver, Cape Town
Food Truck Friday: 27 April 4pm – 10pm
Brewery tours: By appointment only
Cost: Free entry | Food prices start at R60