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Now showing at Iziko Museums
Affordable, insightful and accessible to all – toddlers, teens to pensioners alike
From the amazing Digital Dome at the Planetarium and the ginormous Whale Well at the South African Museum to the beautiful artworks at the National Gallery, there is so much to see and experience at the Iziko Museums of South Africa, many of which are open all of summer. The price (as little as R15 for kids), the accessibility (some open almost daily) and the wealth of art, history, culture and science make Iziko Museums a must-do experience.
Iziko Museums are spaces of connection between our shared history, our heritage and each other. Image Iziko South African Gallery
STEP INTO THE RICH HISTORY OF OUR NATURAL WORLD
Go see “Tata Madiba: Father of our democracy. Father of our Nation”, about the life of the icon, at the Iziko South African Museum. This museum is the oldest in South Africa (established in 1825) and houses more than one-and-a-half-million specimens of scientific importance, ranging from fossils almost 700-million years old to insects and fish caught last week.
Kids and adults alike will be enchanted by African Dinosaurs, the Whale Well, Marine, Megalodon Jaws exhibitions, Rock Art, among many exhibits.
Opening hours: Monday to Sunday from 9.30am until 3.30pm (closed on Christmas Day and Workers' Day)
Cost: 5 years & under R5. 6-17 R15. Adults R30
Find them: 25 Queen Victoria Street, Gardens, Cape Town, 021 481 3800. Read more: The Iziko South African Museum
View objects and artworks to stimulate conversation about Madiba’s life, struggles and legacy. Image Tata Madiba, on show at the Iziko South African Museum
WATCH: FAST FORWARD INTO THE DIGITAL WORLD
The Iziko Planetarium and Digital Dome is the most advanced digital planetarium on our continent. Children and young adults get to explore the wonders of the planet and stars or the mysteries of the human body through virtual voyage, animation and 360-degree cinema.
There are lots of shows. “Secrets of Gravity” is one of the kids' favourites, but there is also “Asteroid: Mission Extreme”, “Beyond the Sun” and “Accidental Astronauts”.
Opening hours: Monday to Sunday (until 11 January 2021) with shows at 10:30; 12:00 and 13:00. Closed Christmas Day, Workers' Day
Cost: Children, students and SA Pensioners R30. Adults (19 years and older) R60
Find them: 25 Queen Victoria Street, Cape Town, 021 481 3800. Read more: The Iziko Planetarium and Digital Dome
Why do things fall to the ground without magic? Find out when you watch Secrets of Gravity. Image: Iziko Planetarium and Digital Dome
SEE INTRIGUING SA ART BEFORE IT CHANGES
The Iziko South African National Gallery houses some of the most beautiful paintings, photography, sculpture, beadwork, textiles and architecture in the country.
The artwork changes regularly, so there’s always something new to see. Catch “Dreams as R-evolution”, a multimedia experience with sculptures, drawings, paintings, photographs and costumes. Most of the material used here is plastic collected from bins and dumpsites.
You can also see “Framing Landscape: ‘the Picturesque’ and ‘the Sublime’”, an of landscape paintings mostly made in Europe and South Africa between the 1600s and the 1800s.
Opening hours: Monday to Sunday from 9:30am until 3.30pm
Cost: 5 years & under R5. 6-17 years R15. Adults R30
Find them: Government Avenue, Company's Garden, Cape Town, 021 481 3970. Read more: The South African National Gallery
See a vast collection of historical, modern and contemporary artworks. Image: Iziko South African National Gallery
A short walk from the South African Museum, through the Company’s Gardens, is the Iziko Slave Lodge. “Unshackled History: the Wreck of the Slave Ship, São José, 1794”, on until 30 April 2022, is about the first known shipwreck with enslaved Africans on board to be identified, studied and dug out in the. It happened just off Clifton’s 4th Beach.
There are also permanent exhibitions, like the “Remembering Slavery” exhibition and the exhibition currently showing a selection of historical and contemporary clay works from African ceramicists from various regions of the continent.
Opening hours: Monday to Saturday from 9.30am to 3.30pm (closed on Christmas Day)
Cost: 5 years & under R5. 6-17 years R15. Adults R30
Find them: Corner Adderley and Wale Streets, Cape Town, 021 467 7229. Read more: The Slave Lodge
The Slave Lodge is one of the oldest buildings in Cape Town. Image Iziko Slave Lodge
DON’T OVERLOOK THIS FANTASTIC PIECE OF HISTORY
Then there’s the Iziko’s Koopmans-de Wet House, (next to Spur in Strand Street), which many walk past unaware of the rich history inside. The building is one of the few remaining 18th Century town houses in Cape Town. Inside are some of the best pieces of Cape furniture and silver in the country, in addition to a priceless collection of ceramics.
Opening hours: Thursday and Friday from 9:30am until 3:30pm (Closed on Christmas Day, Workers' Day)
Cost: 5 years & under R5. 6-17 years R10. SA pensioners and students (valid cards): R10.00/ Free entry on Fridays. Adults R20
Find them: 35 Strand Street, Cape Town, 021 481 3935. Read more: The Iziko Koopmans-de Wet House
Built by Cape artisans using local materials within a Cape architectural tradition. Image: Iziko’s Koopmans-de Wet House
Iziko museums closed due to renovations:
Iziko Bertram House Museum
Rust en Vreugd House Museum
Iziko Maritime Centre (at V&A Waterfront),
Iziko Michaelis Collection at the Old Town House
By Katleho Mohale
FOR FURTHER READING:
Discover other galleries open in Cape Town
See other bucket list things to do in the city