The weekend is upon us, and that means quality time with friends and family. What better way to do just that than to be surrounded by the colourful hues of one of the Cape’s many family-friendly vineyards, where both parents and kids can have a great time.
Explore these five destinations that provide drinks, good food, and great fun for the whole family.
1. Neethlingshof Estate
This charming farm offers an assortment of wine tastings and food. Choose between five different wine tasting options or, if you feel peckish, you can also try one of its three wine-and-snack pairings.
Neethlingshof also houses a deli and wine garden for those who are hungrier. Visit Salt Deli at Neethlingshof for breakfast or lunch, or enjoy a fantastic pizza accompanied by a wide range of wines at the wine garden.
Kids can also join in on the experience by taking part in their very own “wine tasting”. Neethlingshof offers an accompanying “Kids Pairing” that includes three bite-sized dishes paired with three types of drinks.
- Location: Polkadraai Rd, Stellenbosch, 7600
- Website: neethlingshof.co.za
2. Hazendal Wine Estate
This gem is a kid’s paradise and a great choice for a family outing. Visitors can choose between three wine tasting options.
If you’re not in the mood for wine, Hazendal is still a great option for eating out. They have multiple eateries on the estate, including a food truck, beer garden, picnics and a Russian tea room. Make sure to check the website for trading hours, since these spots aren’t all open at the same time during the weekend.
While the parents relax with their wine, the kids can have their own adventures. Wonderdal at Hazendal is a fully supervised edutainment centre on the estate for kids aged five to thirteen.
If this doesn’t tickle the kids’ fancy, there is also a putting park where the whole family can join in on the fun. And finally, for the youngest guests, the play area close to Babushka deli is the ideal spot for toddlers. Mom and Dad can grab a bite to eat and sit down at the deli seating area, where they can keep a close eye on the little ones playing.
- Location: Bottelary Road, Stellenbosch, 7599
- Website: hazendal.co.za
3. Spier Wine Farm
Spier Wine Farm is a long-time family favourite. The estate offers four different wine tasting options, one which includes a highly-recommended chocolate and wine pairing.
Family and friends can also grab a bite to eat at Vadas Smokehouse & Bakery or build their own picnic at the Farm Café, lay down a blanket on the “Werf” or any of the farm’s other outdoor spaces, and enjoy the sunshine.
The kids will have a lot of space to run about on the green lawns of Spier. They can also join the grown-ups for a tasting with Spier’s Grape Juice Tasting. While tasting two different grape juices, youngsters can also keep busy with an educational activity sheet that highlights the role insects play in the vineyards.
Or take the kids to the Eagle Encounters, where the whole family can learn more about our country’s birds of prey and even enjoy some up-close-and-personal interactions with them. Something that might also interest the older kids (aged 10+) is the Spier Segway Tour, where family members can glide through the vineyards on these two-wheeled, self-balancing, battery-powered vehicles.
- Location: Annandale Road, Stellenbosch, 7600
- Website: spier.co.za
4. Spice Route Destination
Another big must for family fun is Paarl’s Spice Route Destination. Just like the name suggests, this is a place packed with flavour and adventure – visitors will find a variety of food, drinks and shops to explore.
Spice Route offers a unique tasting experience in the form of their Spice Route Destination passport: a pocket-sized booklet that includes a curated collection of five diverse tastings of drinks and snacks.
Spice Route actually has about 12 different tastings in total, consisting of various wines, chocolates, craft beers and spirits, so guests truly are spoiled for choice. Hungry visitors can also head to any of the three restaurants on site: Barley & Biltong Emporium, Jewell’s Restaurant and La Grapperia Bistro & Pizzeria.
The kids can enjoy themselves in the customised play areas. There are jungle-gyms, swings, a mini bike track, and a sandpit to ensure that all the little ones are engaged. The rolling lawns next to the restaurants also make for a great play area for those who want more room for activities.
- Location: Suid-Agter-Paarl Rd, Southern Paarl, Paarl, 7646
- Website: spiceroute.co.za
A little bit further out, but definitely worth the drive, is Boschendal in Franschhoek. This is the ultimate destination for families who love to be active outdoors. Parents who are looking for a wine tasting experience have several options to choose from, including a wine and chocolate pairing. The Werf Restaurant is also ready to feed hungry customers, or there’s also the option to book a picnic online and relax on the beautiful Pavilion lawns.
For the more adventurous guests, Boschendal has many great outdoor activities on offer. Family members who love mountain biking or hiking can explore the beautiful farm scenery on any of the available routes; however, mountain bikers must first obtain a permit to gain access to the trails.
If you’re feeling truly brave, leave the bicycle at home and experience the farm on horseback instead. Boschendal offers one-hour horseback outrides for riders of all levels. Children are also welcome, but only from ages seven and upwards.
Kids between the ages of four and seven don’t have to feel left out, since there is the option of pony rides. If horses, hikes and bikes sound too adventurous, definitely visit the Tree House, a beautifully designed outdoor playground.
And finally, kids between the ages of five and fourteen are also welcome to have a fun learning experience with Boschendal’s Outdoor Experience. In this captivating eco-edutainment centre, kids will be guided through a two-hour programme that unpacks the joys of farm life.
- Location: Boschendal Estate, Pniel Road, Groot, Franschhoek, 7690
- Website: boschendal.com
Picture: @spierwinefarm / Instagram