From restaurants on the beach and in malls to eateries with children's entertainment, Durban is a child-friendly destination when it comes to eating out.

Did you know?

The first Spur was opened in Newlands, Cape Town, in 1967. It now has 237 branches throughout South Africa, as well as a few international ones in the United Kingdom, Australia and Mauritius.

There are plenty of great places for families to eat out when visiting the coastal city of Durban, from coffee shops that cater for the little ones to steakhouses with play areas to keep the kids occupied.

uShaka Marine World is currently Durban’s top family attraction, and has some themed dining too. Kids will love the Centre Court restaurant, aboard the Phantom Ship flanked by open ocean exhibitions. In the stern of the same ship is the Cargo Hold restaurant, surrounded by the glass of a shark tank, where diners can see sub-adult silvertip sharks, black-tip reef sharks, guitarfish and barracudas (among others) while they eat.

There are over 35 food outlets at the sprawling Gateway World shopping centre in Umhlanga. Some are better than others, of course, but you won’t go hungry as the kids get to skate, action kart, watch movies or visit the ScienCentre.

Another delightful eatery is the Waterberry Coffee Shoppe in a forest setting in Ballito. The children will be entranced by the small antelope running around, the sand art area and the jungle gyms. Milkshakes, macaroni and cheese, French toast and spaghetti bolognaise are popular items on the kiddies’ menu.

Lucky Bean in Hillcrest, with a 60m bike track, jungle gym, swings, a gated outdoor play area and indoor play shed with equipment, is considered a great family outing. Light meals and cakes are also on offer.

La Spiaggia Trattoria on the Umhlanga promenade is easy to access if you are spending the day on the beach with kids. No need to dress up; you can rock up in your beach clothes. Pasta, pizza and line fish of the day are on the menu.

The Roma Revolving Restaurant, situated downtown in John Ross House, also welcomes children. Here the food is Italian, and kids are catered for with half portions.

Then there's the Spur chain of steakhouses in South Africa, which are ultra-family friendly. There are a number of branches in KwaZulu-Natal offering all sorts of deals to attract families, including loyalty cards, kids' specials, free meals for the under 12s on Wednesdays, a Secret Tribe Club and more. The Mustang Spur in Berea is a popular outlet of this chain.

Another restaurant chain that gives special attention to juniors is Primi Piatti, with five restaurants in the Durban area, including at the Pavilion and Gateway shopping centres. The Primi Pod concept seats children in a special area where they are shown how to make their own pizza and biscuits by dedicated caregivers.

Travel tips & Planning info

Who to contact

The Waterberry Coffee Shoppe
Leonora Drive Dolphin Coast 4399
Tel: +27 (0)31 946 2797

Primi Piatti
Shop 213, Musgrave Road, Musgrave
Tel: +27 (0)31 201 0158

uShaka Marine World
1 Bell Street Durban 4001
Tel: +27 (0)31 328 8000

Mustang Spur, Durban
115 Musgrave Road, Shop 300, Musgrave Centre
Tel: +27 (0) 31 202 8040

Best time to visit

Durban is a great destination all-year round. During the festive season it does get pretty crowded, so make sure you book long in advance. Durban is also warm during the South African winters (May to August) and a good place to soak up some sun.

Around the area

Durban has superb beaches, and the Funworld Amusement Park on the beachfront is a great place for kids to enjoy fun rides and entertainment. The Gateway Theatre of Shopping is great for older kids where the Wave House, Skate Park and Sports Arena offer hours of fun. For littlies, Mr Funtumbles Funfair has activities and fun games for smaller children.

Tours to do

For older children, a trip out to sea with the KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board is educational and informative. A tour of the Moses Mabhida stadium is another great outing for kids.

Get around

Having your own car to get around and see all the attractions is a good idea. Some of the hotels will have transport to the main attractions.

What will it cost

Most kiddies' meals are less than R50 per head.

Length of stay

Durban is an ideal destination for families. Spend a long weekend or even a week exploring the area.

What to pack

Wet wipes are always a good idea when travelling with kids, as is sunscreen if you are going to be outdoors.

Where to stay

There are superb holiday apartments in Umhlanga and Ballito, not too far from Durban (about a 30-minute drive). Durban also has a number of beachfront hotels that cater for families.

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