What to do in Durban with toddlers

We spent a few whirlwind days in Durban last week and to be honest, I was slightly nervous about what to do with Aria.

We have taken her to Durbs a few times before but she was quite a bit younger and slept most of the time. This time, however, she is a complete busy body that runs around like a headless chicken.

I was so pleasantly surprised by the huge variety of options of things to do with our tot, and so I present to you: what to do in Durban with toddlers.

Sea World at uShaka Marine World

Okay, I will be the first to admit that this is a pretty darn expensive outing. It cost us R350 odd but the look of absolute amazement on Aria’s face made it so worth it. She was completely entranced by the fish and literally ran between all the different tanks pointing at them all. Your ticket also allows you to watch the seal and dolphin shows which are really great and interactive. Sea World is definitely something to work into the holiday budget.

WHAT TO DO IN DURBAN WITH TODDLERS - Sea World at uShaka Marine World
Toddler at aquarium in Shaka Marine World Durban
Toddler at aquarium in Shaka Marine World Durban

Pallet Jacks

Our friend Sandra suggested this restaurant in Hillcrest to us and oh my word, it is absolutely heaven for kids! The indoor play area is absolutely unreal with the most lovely assistants. It is also incredibly clean and is perfectly visible from where you sit and sip on your (much-needed) cappuccino.

There is also an amazing feeding lounge for those that need it as well as two spacious and hygienic changing rooms with mats. We only had coffee at Pallet Jacks but they also do wood-fired pizzas, grills and burgers. We will definitely go back here when we visit Durban again.

** Unfortunately Pallet Jacks is permanently closed.

Durban with toddlers - toddler playing on slide
What to do in Durban with toddlers - Toddler sitting on slide

The beach

I guess this is a fairly obvious suggestion, but it’s a good one nonetheless. Our favorite spot is in Umhlanga close to Cabana Beach Resort (super easy as we stay there every now and again) but we also went to Ballito this time and it was just as lovely.

Visit the beach in Durban with Toddlers
Toddler playing on the beach in Durban

The Umhlanga Ridge Children’s Playground

This playground is absolutely amazing! It’s situated in the heart of Umhlanga and is open to the public, free of charge. The grounds are in immaculate condition with not a speck of litter to be seen. There are so many jungle gyms and sandpits, your child won’t know where to run to first! There are also some shady spots with tables and benches if you’d like to share a meal, but my friends and I just sat on a picnic blanket and chatted away while our kids ran riot. Thanks to Monique (from Monrobe by Monique de Villiers) for this suggestion!

Umhlanga Ridge Children's Playground
Umhlanga Ridge Children's Playground

Cafe 66

Teri from Choose a Row suggested this restaurant in Botha’s Hill and I am so glad that we went! The food is insanely delicious and although the kids menu is small, it is perfectly adequate. There is a small play area, but it was more than enough to keep Aria occupied. And being outside, surrounded by trees, there is so much for them to scope out, that a lot of the time Aria was happy to just sit in her chair and have a good look around. If you are in the area, it’s well worth popping in.

Toddler Playing at Cafee 66 in Durban
Cafe 66 Durban

Durbs is such a gem of a place to visit and even though we go there often to see family, I feel like we are only starting to discover its magic now. If you have any suggestions of places that we absolutely must visit next time, please let me know in the comments, I will definitely make a note of them!

Also yes, my kid loves slides, as you can probably tell by all the pictures!

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South African Influencer Sarah Booyens

I’m Sarah, shameless coffee addict, brazen beauty fiend, mid-size style gal and the heart behind parentingbeauty and lifestyle blog, Mascara & Mimosas.


  1. Next time you are in the Ballito area, here are “a few” spots to go to: for the yummiest lunch the Delish Sisters at Litchi Orchard. Sage is also amazing for lunch and pizzas to die for. Burnedale is stunning for kids (sort of a little farm and play area), food is OK, but service is slow. Then the flag animal farm an absolute paradise for kids that love animals. Bring your own picnic… the crocodile creek is great for kids from 4 I would say. Then Sugar Rush has the most also awesome playground. Food is limited (pizzas are decent). Finally Waterberry café is delicious, with outdoor area and jungle gym…

  2. Awesome post. Ushaka is also one of our favourites. The last time we were in Durban was during the cyclone… not much to do when the weather is crappy.

  3. Great list of places and glad you had a great time in Durban. I am out of the loop on toddler places since I have teenagers but I do recommend Makaranga Garden Lodge in Kloof. Lovely gardens to walk in, restaurant and a jungle gym.


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