By now, you’ll probably have taken our Boscher quiz, found out what type of Boscher you are, and taken full advantage of our perfect-for-you itinerary (or at least plan to in the near future). We’ve already highlighted what it means to be a foodie, wine, outdoorsy, arty, and culture Boscher… now it’s time to introduce a completely unique Boscher: the holiday Boscher! This is a person who can’t get enough of the festive season spirit that floods through the oak-lined streets of Stellenbosch every year and (almost) always plans to spend the December holidays soaking it all up.
Are you a holiday Boscher looking to make the most of your time here over the course of the next few weeks? Think mouth-watering food, award-winning wine, the great outdoors and endless opportunities to enjoy special family moments? Here are our top picks for planning an itinerary that ticks all these boxes – and more.
Looking for activities that every member of the family will love? Here are a few to keep in mind if you’re headed to Stellenbosch with the family in tow this festive season.
In the Winelands
Vredenheim Big Cat Park
Book a scenic game drive at Vredenheim Big Cat Park and keep your eyes peeled for an array of wildlife, including brown lion, white lion, black leopard, African leopard, Bengal tiger, golden and blue wildebeest, zebra, and more. There’s also an animal farm where the children can get to know the animals a bit better, followed by lots of fun playing on the bike track, jungle gym, and in the sandpit.
T: +27 21 881 3878
Spier Eagle Encounters/Segway
Spier has lots in store for families, big and small. Tuck into a delicious wine tasting or lunch at Vadas Smokehouse while the kids keep busy in the Elemental Garden. Next, head on over to Eagle Encounters, a rehabilitation centre for birds of prey where up-close encounters await. Those who enjoy the fresh air and getting active can also plan to embark on a Segway tour throughout the flourishing vineyards.
T: +27 21 809 1100
Hazendal Wonderdal Edutainment Centre / Kleine Hazen Putting Park
Bursting with Russian heritage, Hazendal is a fantastic destination for the whole family with amazing food, wine, and a bustling beer garden! Kids can keep busy for hours at Wonderdal – an interactive edutainment centre ideal for children between the ages of five and 13. There’s also the Kleine Hazen Putting Park, boasting 27 exciting holes of adventure golf, a kiddies’ playground, and an oversized chess set.
T: +27 21 903 5034
Villiera Game Drive
Visit Villiera for the chance to spot bushpig, springbok, bontebok, giraffe, and a host of other beautiful wildlife. The 220-hectare Wildlife Sanctuary is situated in Koelenhof and most game drives last approximately two hours.
T: +27 21 865 2002
Stellenbosch Village Museum
The Stellenbosch Village Museum is made up of four historical houses and perfectly manicured gardens. Each house represents a different period in Stellenbosch’s diverse architectural development – a great opportunity to give the littlies a history lesson amidst all the fun and excitement.
T: +27 21 887 2937
Toy & Miniature Museum
Little treasures for little people (and your own inner child) to admire, there’s no denying the enchantment of a morning or afternoon spent exploring the Toy & Miniature Museum. It’s home to an expansive collection of 1:12 scale miniatures, room boxes, antique dolls, dinky cars, and cuddly toys.
T: +27 21 882 8861
Let the blissful sunshine wash over you as you take in the botanical beauty for which Stellenbosch is so well-known at the Stellenbosch University Botanical Garden. Perhaps a picnic is also on the cards?
T: +27 808 3054
Adventure Shop – Bike Rentals and Tours
Pedal your way through the Stellenbosch streets for a fun, family-friendly way of experiencing all the best that the town has to offer. The Adventure Shop offers both mountain bike and e-bike rental options based on preferences. There are a few guided bike tours available too, promising a look at iconic historical sights, as well as incorporating a wine tasting and a wine and chocolate pairing into the experience.
T: +27 21 882 8112
Jonkershoek Nature Reserve & New Picnic Areas
The Jonkershoek Nature Reserve is one of the go-to spots to get active and savour breath-taking views of the great outdoors – and it’s now possible to settle down to a picnic to make the excursion even sweeter. The all-new picnic site is open from 8am – 8pm (entry closes at 5pm) with an entrance fee of R31 per person and R22,60 for pensioners. Kids under the age of five get in for free.
T: +27 87 087 4118
You can’t visit Stellenbosch without the intention of exploring the many gourmet offerings on the table. Of course, you’ll want to select restaurants that cater for the little ones’ tastes too, as well as those that promise easy access to entertainment facilities so the kids can have fun while the parents relax. With all that in mind, here are a few excellent establishments to consider.
Blaauwklippen Farm shop and Deli
Revel in that laid-back country feel at the Blaauwklippen Farm shop and Deli, known for its bistro-style breakfasts and diverse selection of light meals, salads, and mezze platters at attractive prices.
T: 021 880 0133
The Deli at Boschendal
Sit down to a scenic wine farm breakfast at the ever popular Deli at Boschendal. Farmer’s breakfasts are served all day long and the kids are sure to adore the cheesy wood-fired pizzas.
T: 021 870 4200
The Greenhouse at Babylonstoren
Hidden away between the oak trees is Babylonstoren’s Greenhouse, offering guests a wonderful refreshment station after their walk through the garden. The farm-fresh food is served picnic-style in wooden crates for a rustic look and feel.
T: 021 863 3852
Bursting with mouth-watering flavours and meaty masterpieces (the venison carpaccio and the seared tuna are both absolute musts!), De Volkskombuis is undoubtedly one of the most sought-after restaurants in Stellenbosch. There’s also crispy pizza and yummy desserts for the kids.
T: 021 741 0980
The Babushka Deli at Hazendal
Let your tastebuds look forward to Russian-inspired comfort food that a traditional babushka (grandmother) would make when stopping by Hazendal’s Babushka Deli. All items on the menu are inspired by the seasons.
T: 021 903 5034
Featuring seasonal menus, Head chef Garth Bedford draws inspiration from the tradition of simple, generous, informal bistro dining and strives to recreate the essence of unfussy, good food in everything that he and his team prepare at Joostenberg Bistro.
T: 021 884 4208
Jordan Wine Estate
Prefer to enjoy a picnic on the lush lawns as opposed to sitting down in a restaurant? Jordan Wine Estate always delivers on that authentic Winelands picnic experience. Both adults’ and kiddies’ picnic baskets are available – don’t forget to book in advance.
T: 021 881 3441
The children will have the chance to run free across the wine estate’s rolling lawns and will love munching on the rustic pizzas at Knorhoek Bistro. Adults, on the other hand, can savour every bite of their meal with a crisp glass of Knorhoek Chenin or a well-rounded Cabernet Sauvignon in hand.
T: 021 865 2114
Le Pommier Restaurant
Whether you’re popping in to Le Pommier for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, you’re bound to find something decadently satisfying on the restaurant’s menu. Let the kids’ creativity shine through by opting to build their own pizza. Alternatively, they can select a yummy dish from the dedicated kiddies’ menu.
T: 021 885 1269
Boerebraai Restaurant at Middelvlei
The whole family can get in on the fun at Middelvlei’s Boerebraai Restaurant where the resident braai expert will prepare chops, boerewors and chicken sosaties to perfection. And it’s not just meaty braai favourites to look forward to – the restaurant also serves up traditional potbrood, aromatic braaibroodjies, homemade pâté, and Ouma Annie’s pumpkin fritters.
T: 021 883 2565
Parents have their pick of classic South African dishes while the kids get to browse Skilpadvlei Restaurant’s diverse Little Turtle Menu where there’s even the opportunity for them to build their own indulgent waffle. There’s an indoor and outdoor play area too.
T: 021 881 3237
Family-friendly Wine Farms
We know that one of the many amazing things Stellenbosch has on offer is world-class wines – and there’s no need to forego a visit to a few picturesque wine farms for fear of the kids getting bored. The great news is that the majority of the local wineries promise a memorable outing for adults and children alike. Whether it’s through kiddies’ grape juice tastings or ample wide, open space for them to run around while mom and dad sip, sit back, and enjoy. Here’s our list of the best family-friendly wine farms in the area:
- Jordan Wine Estate, T: +27 21 858 1088, W: www.jordanwines.com
- Warwick Estate, T: +27 21 884 4410, W: www.warwickwine.com
- Blaauwklippen, T: +27 21 880 0133, W: www.blaauwklippen.com
- Delheim, T: +27 21 888 4600, W: www.delheim.com
- Hazendal Wine Estate, T: 021 881 3895, W: www.hazendal.co.za
- Dornier, T: +27 21 880 0557, W: www.dornier.co.za
- Knorhoek Wine Estate, T: +27 21 865 2114, W: www.knorhoek.co.za
- Muratie Wine Estate, T: +27 21 865 2300, W: www.muratie.co.za
- Hartenberg, T: +27 21 865 2541, W: www.hartenberg.com
- Zevenwacht Wine Estate, T: +27 21 900 5700, W: www.zevenwacht.co.za
Kiddies’ Pairings and Tastings available:
- Middelvlei, T: +27 883 2565, W: www.middelvlei.co.za
- Spier, T: +27 21 809 110, W: www.spier.co.za
- Vredenheim, T: +27 21 881 3878, W: www.vredenheim.co.za
- Skilpadvlei, T: +27 21 881 3237, W: www.skilpadvlei.co.za
- Le Pommier, T: +27 21 885 1269, W: www.lepommier.co.za
- Neethlingshof, T: +27 21 883 8988, W: www.neethlingshof.co.za
- Koelenhof, T: +27 21 865 2020, W: www.koelenhof.co.za
You can’t go wrong with a stay at Le Pommier if the goal is to ‘wine’ down in the Winelands! The intimate country lodge is small and quiet, offering a choice between six suites, seven country rooms, and two self-catering units.
T: 021 885 1269
Kunjani Wine Estate is ideal for families in search of private self-catering villas. There are four to choose from, all of which are synonymous with the Stellenbosch Winelands’ allure and classic boutique charm.
T: 087 630 0409
At Knorhoek, both bed and breakfast and self-catering units are available. The B&B Loft Family Unit is perfect for a family of four, while the Loft Family Room is a great choice for families with just one child.
T: 021 865 2114
Le Grand Jardin
The Villa at Le Grand Jardin is 100% family-centred appeal, welcoming both young and old into a relaxed, yet playfully energetic atmosphere. There’s plenty of wide, open spaces in which the kids can run wild, and endless luxury for parents to enjoy!
T: 082 803 9194
Nature lovers from far and wide find refuge in the guesthouses at Skilpadvlei. There are seven self-catering cottages along the dam and 11 bed & breakfast rooms at the manor house.
T: 021 881 3237
The Spier Hotel is a four-star establishment with village-style buildings, lush green lawns, and spacious rooms situated next to the calming Eerste River. There’s a total of 80 rooms clustered around six courtyards, with each courtyard boasting its own swimming pool.
T: 021 809 1100
Sanddrif Guest Farm
Choose between self-catering and B&B rooms when staying at Sanddrif Guest Farm. All rooms are small and cosy with spectacular views of the surrounding mountains and vineyards.
T: 082 739 1990
Hoping to save this festive season? Be sure to check out the Stay and Play Accommodation Specials!
Family-friendly events this festive season
Get out and about, make memories, and revel in your strong family bond this festive season by adding a few of these anticipated events to your itinerary:
Appel at Skilpadvlei Wine Farm
Afrikaans music sensation, Appel, will be taking to the stage at Skilpadvlei on 8 December at 7pm. Enjoy the hits while also sipping on a bottle of the farm’s finest and digging into a hearty snack platter.
Middelvlei Sunset Carols
Head to Middelvlei from 5pm on 12 December where the kids can get to know the farm animals, run around on the sprawling lawn, or take part in some fun traditional games. Parents and grandparents can sit back and relax whilst sipping on a glass of Middelvlei wine – all while singing along to Christmas carols at sunset.
Warwick Kids Christmas Carnival
There’s lots of Christmas fun to be had at Warwick Wine Estate on 17 December from 11am. Think writing a letter to Santa, opening gifts, and decorating some festive cookies. Other entertainment to look forward to includes a jumping castle, face painting, and petting zoo.
Christmas Eve Picnic under the stars at Jordan Wine Estate
Make Christmas Eve all the more special with a picnic under the stars at Jordan. The event starts at 6pm and tickets include a pre-backed picnic basket, courtesy of The Cellar Door. Live entertainment also awaits!
Christmas lunch at Kunjani Wines
A great way to spend Christmas Day! Kunjani’s new Executive Chef, Mike Huni will be pulling out all the stops to create a Christmas feast for the whole family.
Christmas picnic at Hazendal Wine Estate
Fancy a picnic out in the fresh air to celebrate Christmas this year? Hazendal has got you covered. You’ll dive right into a wicker basket overflowing with fresh delicacies, complemented by live music on the Werf and a fun play session for the little ones at Wonderdal.
Christmas Day lunch at The Cellar Door at Jordan Wine Estate
The Cellar Door is serving up a scrumptious Christmas Day lunch. Look forward to rolled pork neck, stuffed with spinach, feta, peppadew, chorizo, and pangritata, with a fennel and apple salad on the side as the main course.
‘Tis the season to spend time in Stellenbosch! Cheers to you, holiday ‘boscher.