Popular activities for kids in the Winelands are strawberry picking and grape juice tastings. But these are just a few examples of what children can do in this stunning region. Who knew that there are plenty of activities and fun places to visit for the whole family?
Although not in the Winelands, we can certainly start our day at the Two Oceans Aquarium at Waterfront before proceeding to the Winelands. In this aquarium you can explore the wildlife of the Indian and Atlantic Ocean. Continue to the Giraffe House. This wildlife awareness centre hosts not just giraffes, but a lot of other animal species as well. Their animals include Vervet Monkeys, Meerkat, Crocodiles, Ostriches, parrots, Jackals and many more.
Visit the farm of Fairview. This wine estate, which was founded in 1693, organises wine tastings for the parents whilst the children can taste juice and visit the Goat Tower. Also visit their bakery, where you can taste their hand made pastries, baguettes and cakes.
Take one of the guided tours at the Cheetah Outreach, an education and community-based programme created to raise awareness of the plight of the cheetah and to campaign for its survival. You could also visit Drakenstein Lion Park, a lion rescue centre which is also home to the new Chimp Haven. This facility has been built to house the chimps that have been displaced by the closure of Tygerberg Zoo. If you want to see all the big cats at the same time, visit the BigCats Park at Vredenheim. Here you can see brown lions, white lions, leopards and Bengal tigers.
We also recommend to visit Eagle Encounters, a wildlife rehabilitation, conservation, education and eco-tourism centre. Also make sure you visit Le Bonheur Crocodile Farm, a kid-friendly destination near Cape Town which offers prime viewing of crocodiles. Take one of the guided tours that depart every 45 minutes. The crocodile farm is home to over a 1000 crocodiles and is opened 9 til 5, 7 days a week. Visit the Butterfly World to find a magical world of tropical butterflies. You will soon realise that this is not just a butterfly park, but that that it’s a sanctuary for exotic animals. They have reptiles, exotic birds and other small animals.
We can visit Vergenoegd Wine Estate to watch the morning “duck parade”. During this parade, the Vergenoegd farm utilises 1070 running ducks to assist in the control of the snail and pest population in the vineyards. They have a basic research and breeding programme to keep the ducks productive, healthy and happy. Take a tour of the duck pens and the breeding room with one of their friendly duck herders. Enjoy the parade with a glass of Runner Duck wine from 09:00-10:00am. on week days to see how they perform their eco-friendly duties of chemical-free pest control.
Also visit a choice of Saturday and/or Sunday farmers markets in Stellenbosch. The Slowfood Market, Root 44 and Blaauwklippen Family Market are just a few examples of the weekend markets in and around Stellenbosch. The Slowfood market takes its inspiration from the Slow food Movement. Their aim is to bring all food sourced, grown, raised, harvested, caught and preserved by the producers themselves. Root 44 market is, as the name suggests, situated on the Route 44 between Stellenbosch and Somerset. This market has dozens of food stands and is all about family fun. Furthermore, the market offers funky live entertainment, craft and homeware stalls. The Blaauwklippen Family Market is one of South Africa’s oldest markets, dating back to 1682. The market is situated on the slopes of Stellenbosch mountain, surrounded by vineyards. The Blaauwklippen Family Market facilitates a lot of activities for children, including a bouncing castle, pony rides, trampolines and more.
Another must-visit with your children is the DelVera agri-village. This agri-village in the Stellenbosch winelands is a true kids paradise. Children can play on the lawns and run around, they can feed and pet the donkeys, ride a go-kart, ride a bike on the kids bicycle trail and horseback riding. Visit one of the boutique shops with arts & crafts, restaurants and cafes. From DelVera, you can also go for a hike in the stunning surrounding area. Every month (September – April), the Dirtopia team organises a full-moon hike. On top of the Klapmutskop you can enjoy a picnic while watching the sunset and then see the full moon rise.