Well since everybody insta bio identities themselves as an adventure lover and traveller these days. I thought you’d all want to know about this. Don’t worry, I fall partly into the adventure lover/ travel lover category myself. I am a travel blogger after all.
This wonderfully unplanned blog, however, came about spontaneously in the month that led to my birthday. I was on the verge of turning 27, out of funds (who isn’t in this post/mid Covid era with soaring petrol prices?) and equally out of ideas. A get-away was out of the question (thanks to the aforementioned petrol price) and honestly, I am done organising people. It’s exhausting. This year I wanted a birthday for me. And then, I reconnected with an old friend from high school, who swiftly became a new friend. And, call it serendipity, call it fate or just dumb good luck, turns out our birthdays are in the same month. DING! DING! DING!… incoming idea. Let’s do all the free things you can do in Cape Town in your birthday. Good old Cape Town hey. The mother that keeps on giving! So began our quest to find the most exciting, new and free things you can do with an SA ID in the Mother City.
I wanted to know how it all worked, what day you have to do what, and where, and how. I bet you do too. So, wanting to spare you the “yadde yadde yadde”… I went out and did it all, and now I am writing this blog, so you can share the experience. If you want to of course. The activities range from repeat visits to places that brought back some nostalgia, because it’s been that long since I have been there, done that, to new, exciting, adrenaline rushing fun.
So… here goes, in no particular order. Free things you can do in Cape Town in or around your birthday.
The Cape Wheel
Now I know the wheel has been in Cape Town at the V&A waterfront for a long time, but I had honestly never gotten around to riding it before. (And I have no idea why, so please don’t ask). It just never crossed my mind and I somehow assumed it was going to be way too expensive. Now, thanks to having a birthday, I have done it, so here’s how you do it right.
On the day of your birthday if you go to the wheel with you ID, they will let you ride for free. However, you must register on their website as a member, on this link.
You will receive an email with a ticket on the day of your birthday and you have up to 30 days after your birthday to redeem your ride. Don’t worry if they don’t send you the email, they forgot mine too! Make sure you have the email proving you registered with them, and your ID, and they will still let you ride free of charge. It’s a wonderful experience to view the Cape Town city bowl from a different viewpoint than from our beloved trails. (Also, great if you are the sedentary type and don’t do trails).
Zietz, SILO Hotel
Art. You either get it or you don’t! I love art and I love history so it’s a no brainer for me. But, even if it’s not your usual thing, why not take advantage of the free entry in your birthday month, why not take a trip to Zietz and discover for yourself? The architecture itself will make it worth your while. The Silo Hotel offers you a free pass into their museum. All you have to do is make sure you go within the calendar month of your birthday and take your ID with you. No sign up required. If it’s your first time visiting, be sure to take earphones for your cell phone. The free entry comes with an audio tour throughout the museum on your phone. I will let the art speak for itself but honestly, I was rather shocked that I have not yet visited this gorgeous gallery before, and I will definitely be visiting again soon to take in more of the bold, confrontational, challenging and thought-provoking pieces at the gallery.
The Cable Way
Table Mountain needs no introduction. After all, if Cape Town is the Mother City, then our iconic Table Mountain is surely the mother herself. I haven’t come across many, if any, Capetonians who have not been up Table Mountain either by foot or on the Cable Car and, if you are numbered among the few who haven’t ventured there, no more excuses about not affording it, or not being hiking fit. A ride in the cable car is absolutely free to you in the calendar month of your birthday. No hiking required but remember to take along your ID.
Okay, if you haven’t been to the Two Oceans Aquarium and you grew up in Cape Town, or you have something against the fish, now is the time, switch your browser because, I mean, really! We have this world-class facility right on our doorstep and entry is completely free to you on the day of, or within 6 days of, your birthday. So, take the plunge and see all the beautiful sea creatures that roam through our oceans, be educated on some ocean preservation, and fall in love with a penguin, all for free.
The Sky Hotel Skyride
Now I know some people are afraid of heights, but the thrill of this ride will drive you into another hemisphere. So, this is the freebie you don’t want to miss. I’m sure everyone who has been within the Cape Town city bowl has noticed the Sky hotel’s gravity drop ride on top of the skyscraper. And yes, you’ve got it, a ride on this monster in the calendar month of your birthday, is free. AMAZING! And they generously give you a whole month to redeem your free pass, so there really is no excuse.
Okay back to the ride, book a ticket on web tickets, choose birthday month at the checkout and you are all set. Just rock up at your booking time on the day and bring your courage, your adventurous spirit and… don’t forget that ID. They even offer the video of your experience at half price. Yes, you got it, because it’s your birthday! So, your entire family can see how ‘brave’ you were when you did the ride. You can choose to do the ride at night or at golden hour and get an even more beautiful view from above. I know I will be back to do the night ride soon. It’s totally worth it. I went into this one feeling super confident and macho, thinking I’ve been to The Universal Studios and ridden some of the biggest roller coasters in the world. Well, this one put me in my place, in the best of ways. It was insane and breath-taking. An absolute blast. A worthy addition to the “bucket list”.
So, there you have it. Birthday coming up soon, or not so soon. (There’s bound to be one in the next twelve months). Now, there is no excuse not to celebrate. You can turn your special day into a special month. For free! Whoop Whoop! Even if birthdays are just not your thing, you don’t like your birthday, the fuss the attention. I’ve got you boo. It’s okay. There is a place for all of us out here. If that’s you, just go by yourself. No need to tell anyone. These freebies are fun even if you’re just one. So, don’t miss out. Get out there are live it up solo. And those thinking, “that’s so sad”, don’t be so “judgarig”, (Cape Town slang for judgemental). Birthdays are made to be celebrated and Cape Town helps you celebrate by offering 5 fantastic freebies in your birthday month. Get out there and live the experience. Then, blast your journey all over Instagram and Facebook. After all, everyone loves a freebie.
Shout out to Cape Town. Making birthdays special for everyone.