Stellenbosch: A Stellenbosch experience for the whole family
The long school holidays are looming on the horizon and families are looking for fun, affordable ideas to keep boredom at bay. Whether you’re planning a night away, a weekend break or a longer holiday, head to the Winelands for a family-friendly experience in Stellenbosch – one that won’t break the bank!
Plan the perfect family-friendly experience in Stellenbosch
Day 1: Morning
Big cats and game drives at Vredenheim
Hop aboard Vredenheim’s open safari vehicle for a guided tour of the estate. This two-hour drive takes you into the heart of Vredenheim’s farming operations to learn more about game and cattle farming, wine and fruit production, and the estate’s Big Cats Park sanctuary.
The kids will love spotting a variety of game, including sable, blue wildebeest, golden wildebeest, zebra, springbok, fallow deer and eland, while eagle-eyed ‘twitchers’ can keep a look out for white pelican, blue crane, spur-winged geese, guinea-fowl and – if you are lucky – fish eagle, jackal buzzard and yellow-billed kite.
Vredenheim’s guide will keep you enthralled as you sit back with a glass of wine (or grape juice), tuck into some cheese, and watch life on the estate roll by. A family-friendly experience in Stellenbosch doesn’t get much better than this!
And there’s no need to rush off after your game drive either. Head to the Vredenheim Animal Farm, where youngsters can spend a happy, carefree couple of hours in the company of the estate’s adorable farm animals, or on the bike track, jungle gym or in the sandpit.
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Adventures at Spier
On the same road you will find Spier, a haven for the whole family. Grab a Segway (kids over 10) for a breezy lap of the farm (taking in the estate’s leafy vineyards, river garden and eco-friendly wastewater recycling plant), or head to Eagle Encounters where families of all ages will fall in love with the centre’s raptors and owls. Make sure to watch one of the falconry displays, meet their long-legged secretary bird, and listen closely as the passionate guides tell you more about the centre’s rehabilitation, conservation, education and eco-tourism goals.
Once you have worked up a thirst, join the team at Spier for a family-friendly wine and grape juice tasting. Kids are offered a tasting of two different grape juices, and are given a fun lucky packet and an educational activity sheet sure to keep them busy while the folks enjoy a tasting of Spier’s signature range.
No family-friendly experience in Stellenbosch is complete without a stroll around Spier’s new Elemental Play Garden. Located just a stone’s throw from Spier Farm Café and Vadas Smokehouse & Bakery (coffee and pastries anyone?), the garden boasts a unique slide, a tunnel to crawl through, a Charl Conradie wind sculpture and a swing bridge. The water in the Water Quadrant has been treated and is safe to splash about in – perfect for hot summer days. The Elemental Garden is open daily until sunset and entry is free!
Even better? The Elemental Garden is hosting a wonderful series of Saturday workshops for the kids in your life. Fun and educational – they’re a great idea for the 2020/2021 school holidays.
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Day 1: Lunch
After an action-packed morning, thoughts will turn to lunch and you can’t go wrong with a pot of drunken mussels or a plate of sticky ribs at Skilpadvlei!
Skilpadvlei’s relaxed deck looks out over Stellenbosch’s rolling hills and sun-kissed vineyards. Grab a table and relax as your brood scampers off to the outside play-area. Their menu includes traditional South African favourites such as Lamb curry, tripe and flame-grilled Pork ribs, while a simple kid’s menu will keep even the fussiest tot happy!
Or contact firstname.lastname@example.org or + 27 (21) 881 3237
Day 1: Afternoon
If you’ve still got energy in the tank, consider one more family-friendly activity before heading off to your accommodation.
Wine blending at Middelvlei
Up for something completely different? Learn about the art of wine blending at Middelvlei, before producing your own signature bottle of wine! Not only will you produce a wonderful memento of your family-friendly experience in Stellenbosch, but with Christmas around the corner it could be a personalised, thoughtful gift for someone special! And while you create the perfect blend, the kids can feed the estate’s menagerie of farm animals, play in the sandpit, ride kick bikes in the sun or enjoy a toasty marshmallow braai.
Alternatively, Middelvlei also offers a non-alcoholic tasting for children where they will learn to use and test their senses by identifying different flavours, textures, and tastes – just like the adults do in a grownup tasting! Remember, bookings are essential.
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Where to stay?
We’ve asked Stellenbosch locals to suggest their favourite family-friendly destinations, and these options will not disappoint!
Skilpadvlei Guest Cottages
Skilpadvlei’s delightfully named cottages – Padlopertjie, Suurpootjie en Rooipens – each offer two bedrooms, two en-suite bathrooms, a fully-equipped kitchen and a living room with additional twin beds, enough accommodation for the entire family! You can relax on your private patio and fire up the braai while the kids head off to the large communal swimming pool.
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The four-star Spier Hotel promises exceptional hospitality, while their ‘village-style’ accommodation clusters (all with their own pool) are perfect for families and friends looking to kick-back in a safe, warm and welcoming environment.
The Kids’ Clubhouse, for children aged 3-12 years, offers fun and secure childcare services for young hotel guests, which means parents can escape for a blissful afternoon at the spa, enjoy a wine tasting or laze at the pool safe in the knowledge that their children are being entertained and cared for!
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Sanddrif Guest Farm
With plenty of country charm, a range of outdoorsy activities and beautiful surroundings, Sanddrif Guest Farm will crawl into your heart! This home-away-from-home is the perfect spot for the whole family. There are 3 self-catering cottages to choose from, each with fully-equipped kitchens, large bathrooms and beautiful views of the vineyards. Sleeper couches and cots are available on request – and the kids will love the expansive lawns, pool, jungle gym and trampoline. Watch the sun set over the mountains, wake to birdsong at breakfast and revel in a new level of luxury, comfort and joy!
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Day 2: Exploring the great outdoors!
You can’t possibly leave Stellenbosch without heading out on a hike or hopping on a bike …
Jonkershoek Nature Reserve Waterfall Hike
One of the most iconic and beautiful hikes in Stellenbosch is the Jonkershoek Nature Reserve Waterfall Hike. Guided by the Adventureshop team, this hike is suited to kids of all ages – and perfect for all levels of fitness. It’s short (6.5 km) but adventurous, involving a little climbing and scrambling. However, don’t be deterred if you have limited climbing experience – the tricky sections are entirely optional and there is plenty to see without doing those! The trail takes in two beautiful waterfalls and you’ll be able to take a refreshing dip in the rock pools below. This guided walk is tailored to your pace and includes a permit for the Jonkershoek Nature Reserve, a snack pack and transport to and from the reserve the Adventureshop’s home base in Stellenbosch.
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Stellenbosch guided bike tour
Another family-friendly experience in Stellenbosch is Adventureshop’s guided bike tour. Choose a normal bike or a zooty E-Bike and join a tour that combines the beautiful scenery and sites of historic Stellenbosch (including a gentle meander through the Stellenbosch University campus) with some excellent wine pairings and a good dose of fresh air and exercise.
Children under 5 years are free – they’ll be strapped into a baby seat on a parent’s bike. Alternatively, you can hire a ‘half bike’ (attached to the parent’s bike) or a buggy (a side cart). Not to miss out on tasting in the Winelands, children enjoy a scrummy chocolate and iced tea pairing. At R600 per person, the outing includes a guide, bicycle and helmet rental, one wine tasting and one wine and chocolate pairing, a cellar tour and a snack pack.
Or contact firstname.lastname@example.org or +27 (21) 882 8112