The holidays are here and you know the drill. If you fail to plan a list of fun things to do you’ll be stuck with sulky, bored offspring! Certainly the last thing any parent needs mixed into the already manic festive season.
But if you think back, holidays have created some of your best childhood memories, so besides wanting to safeguard your sanity - don’t miss out on the opportunity to give your children some happy, lifelong mementos.
If you’re in Cape Town this year, you can start by planning a daytrip to the Winelands. Remember the Mother City can be windy at times, so make this your go-to plan for when the grittiness of the beach just becomes too much.
Here’s our favourite seven to check-out in Stellenbosch.
1. Weltevreden Carnival
If they haven’t been to this delightful children's carnival and play area yet, prepare to receive a few parent-of-the-year hugs. Hide-and-seek takes on wonderland proportions with these interwoven play spaces - add to this a trampoline, sandpit and a scooter racing track. You can truly kickback as they even have child-minders on hand. Enjoy a bite to eat at the Lekker Ne’ restaurant and be sure to let the kids check out the adorable resident family of Yorkshire Terriers.
Times: Monday to Sunday 09:00 to 21:00
Contact details: Tel: +27(0)21 889 6588
2. Del Vera Villages
Your kids have really scored in the fun department when visiting here. Home to the Funky Monkey centre, let the kids tap into a creative wonderland of arts and crafts from painted and beaded treasures to mobiles and bouncy spiders. Best part is they get to take their creative offerings home with them. And what toddler doesn’t go through a train-loving phase? Turn it into a fun reality for them with the Village’s Marklin HO, with its five-tracks themed around a mountainous Germanic town. All aboard!
Contact details: Tel: +27 (0)21 884 4352
3. Vredenheim Wildlife and winery
When visiting Vredenheim you’ll find all the features expected of a wine farm, except it’s also home to a unique Big Cats Park. The CapeNature approved park will give them a personal encounter with its resident white and brown lions, caracal, cheetah, leopard and Bengal tigers. There is also the option to take a guided tour at no extra charge, to learn more about these creatures and their different lifestyles.
Times: Monday to Sunday 09:00 to 16:30
Contact details: Tel: +27 21 881 3878
A Segway tour of Spier will be the ultimate experience for the adventure-loving teens in your family (No kids under 10 allowed unfortunately). This will give them a different perspective of a working wine-farm as well as a behind the scenes look at Spier’s wastewater treatment plant which combines nature, art and technology.
Keep the momentum going by letting them enjoy their own juice tasting, a cute little innovation, that takes the edge off as you savour the latest vintage on offer. They’ll try three different juices and it comes replete with a fact sheet that lifts the lid on the role insects play in the vineyards.
Times: Tuesday to Sunday 10:00 to 16:30
Contact details: Tel: +27 (0)21 809 1100
5. Butterfly World
As the name suggests, your kids will be treated to a magical world of tropical butterflies - but the walkthrough experience also allows them to encounter smaller animals such as tortoise, guinea pigs. And they certainly won’t overlook the hair-raising display of reptiles. Afterwards they can entertain themselves in the play area while you enjoy a farm-styled afternoon tea.
Times: Monday to Sunday, public holidays excluding Christmas 9:00am to 5:00pm, last entry 4:00pm
Contact details: Tel: +27 21-8755628
6. Polkadraai Farm
Tis the season for strawberry picking. Treat the whole family to this fun day on the farm - where filling up a container means they’ll be actively out and about the entire day. And while the farm encourages visitors to bring along a picnic in order to chill on their lawns – you can also opt to fill-up at the Polkadraai Farm Stall with its yummy range of dried fruits, nuts, jams, preserves, biltong, sweets, estate wines and fresh fruit and vegetables.
October to December / 9am to 4pm (Daily) Closed Christmas Day
Contact details: Tel: +27 (0)21 881 3854
7. The Family Farm on the R44
Here the name says it all. This delightful farm with its on-site braai facilities, takes interactive animal fun up a few notches. The kids will be able to enjoy the petting zoo, along with pony and donkey car rides. But those who are especially adventurous can try out the farm’s zip sliding facilities for lots more fun.
Times: Friday 1pm till 4pm
Saturday and Sunday 11am till 17pm
Contact details: 0837089295