And just like that, the festive season is over, and it is almost time to get back to school and back to reality. But, before you do, why not treat yourself and the kids to a quick getaway to end off the holiday on the right note? Here is a roundup of some activities to enjoy together on a short, yet memorable visit to Stellenbosch.
Spier Wine Estate is every family’s go-to for a day out filled with adventure, laughter, and plenty of opportunities for bonding (and believe it or not, it’s not just about the wonderful wine!).
An eagle encounter
Grant the kids an up-close-and-personal interaction with a variety of majestic birds of prey, such as eagles, hawks, falcons and owls at Eagle Encounters, located on land donated by Spier Wine Estate. Everyone can take part in the heart-stopping falconry displays, where the birds fly directly to you.
The Elemental Garden
Found close to Spier Farm Café and Vadas Smokehouse & Bakery, two of the best-loved family-friendly eateries in Stellenbosch, is the beautiful Elemental Garden. It features stunning indigenous plants and flowers, along with a slide landscaped into earth mounds and a tunnel to crawl through for the littles. Let the kids play a bit while you enjoy a tranquil afternoon walk in the sunshine – the perfect way to stretch your legs following a hearty lunch.
Vineyard Segway Tour
If the kids are old enough, why not take a tour of the wine farm on board a two-wheeled, self-balancing, battery powered Segway? This personal transporter will have you soaring through the vineyards, past the River Garden, and around the yin-yang water recycling and re-energising plant.
A Classic Wine Tasting
You can choose between a Spier Tasting, a decadent chocolate and wine pairing, or a Winemaker Selection. While you sip on the estate’s finest, the kids can enjoy a glass or two of mouth-watering grape juice right alongside you. The kiddies’ grape juice tasting costs R40 per child and includes a tasting of two different grape juices, served with a selection of flavourful wine gums and an educational activity sheet to keep them occupied while mom and dad relax.
Villiera Wildlife Sanctuary
Explore 220 hectares of land brimming with protected mammals, birds and flora. Book a game drive to get a closer look at the sanctuary’s diverse inhabitants, including springbok, bush pig, giraffe, kudu, eland, wildebeest and gemsbok, to name a few. The Villiera Wildlife Sanctuary game drives last around two hours and cost R240 per adult and R120 for kids under the age of 15.
Similar to Spier, Hazendal Wine Estate has plenty of fun in store for families of all types and sizes. Here are a few highlights to expect during your visit.
The Babushka Deli offers an all-day dining experience that honours the spirit of generous hospitality that is at the heart of both Russian and South African cultures. Whether you will be tucking into a wholesome breakfast or a bistro-style lunch, the extensive à la carte menu is sure to impress even the fussiest of eaters. Once you have all had a good chat and enjoyed every bite of your lip-smacking meal, mom and dad can feel free to order an extra glass of wine – the Christoffel Hazenwinkel range is ideal for light, refreshing, ‘easy’ drinking – while the kids skip off to explore at the neighbouring Wonderdal.
Wonderdal promises the finest in edutainment in Stellenbosch, igniting a passion for science, nature, and nutrition in children between the ages of 5 – 13 through an array of thrilling indoor and outdoor activities. The lovable Amuki characters and trained WonderPals will be their guides as they learn and discover through play so that their parents can put their feet up, de-stress, and savour some time ‘off’.
Fun-filled family mealtimes
You will undoubtedly need to fill up those hungry tummies in between your daily adventures. So, which of the countless gastronomic establishments tick all of the boxes for families travelling with kids in tow?
The Farmers’ Pantry at Brenaissance, nestled within the heart of the Devon Valley, is a firm favourite, especially when the kids spot the Nutella toast, cheesy toasties, potato wedges, and creamy milkshakes on the menu! The restaurant also offers a fully equipped kiddies’ play area comprising a massive jungle gym, a trampoline, and a small pump track for riding bikes in the sunshine. There is no doubt that the entire family will enjoy strolling through the flourishing plum orchards after finishing a satisfying meal.
Longridge Restaurant is another wise choice, known for its breath-taking views of the Helderberg Mountains, the False Bay Peninsula, and Table Mountain, as well as for its brand-new children’s playground. The playground features a stunning jungle gym and lots of lush grass for the kiddies to run around on. The Little ones can tuck into the delicious faire offered on a dedicated kids’ menu, while mom and dad can feast on a burger sides combo with a glass of dripping with cheese, tasty sauces, and flavour that comes fresh from the farm!
The Blaauwklippen Deli’s play area is the main reason why families flock to the estate for a meal to remember. It features two jungle gyms with slides, swings, ladders, and more. The country-style menu is also overflowing with yummy options that the whole family will love, from open sandwiches to mezze platters to share.
So, be sure to inject a little bit more magic and memories into the holidays and treat the family to one last break-away before the children head back to school. It will definitely prove to be a positive way in which to kick-start the new year!