Wine farms don’t just have to be about grown-ups drinking wine; kiddies can equally have a good time. While the adults sip on a glass or two of wine, the young ones can go off on an adventure on the exciting playgrounds of these seven wine estates:
The Active @ Almenkerk Trail
Almenkerk Wine Estate is tucked away in the mighty Elgin Valley, little more than an hour’s drive from Cape Town along the N2. But it’s definitely worth the drive!
Almenkerk offers more than just a wine tasting with a pretty view, they also invite visitors to experience their farm first hand with a fun, active hiking trail right on their farm.
Permits for the walk can be bought at the tasting room for R40 per person. This permit also includes a free glass of wine that visitors can enjoy after their hike.
There are two hikes to choose from: the main 5km walk and an extended 7km walk.
The main path snakes through apple and pear orchards, past vineyards and up and down slopes. The extended walk includes an extra 2km detour path with a steep uphill and downhill, for those who enjoy a more challenging walk. Along both walks you can expect to see a lot of greenery and maybe even some wildlife if you’re lucky. The accompanying map includes a nice checklist of possible animal sightings, so keep a sharp eye out.
Kids will also love this excursion. There are seven activity stations installed along the main path, each with its own information board to explain the activity’s exercise. With activities such as tire flips, balancing beams, and a water canon by the pond, kids will surely stay entertained on the walk.
- Location: 50 Elgin, Viljoenshoop Rd, Grabouw
- Website: almenkerk.co.za
- Contact: 021 848 9844
Founded in 1682, Blaauwklippen is one of the oldest wine farms in Stellenbosch. Down to earth with a rich history and winemaking tradition, they produce wines of distinction in harmony with the simplicity of country living.
Adventurous children will have a blast at Blaauwklippen’s Specialized Experience Centre and Bike Park which features a Velosolutions Pump Track and a state-of-the-art kiddies play area with a cycling track and a massive jungle gym.
Tickets are R75 per rider.
- Location: Strand Road, R44 Stellenbosch, Stellenbosch, 7600
- Website: blaauwklippen.com
- Contact: Call 021 880 0133
The Durbanville Wine Valley is home to a plethora of excellent wine farms, including this family-friendly gem. Tuck into their popular sushi platters while watching the kids enjoy the large sand pit and jungle gym area at the estate’s Bon Amis restaurant. If you’ve got wine on your mind, then make sure you head to their tasting room which offers a jungle gym and a kiddie tasting experience – perfect to keep them entertained. There are also endless outdoor activities to get up to, so make sure you bring your walking shoes or bicycle if you’re really looking to get warm!
- Location: M13 Tygerberg Valley Road, Bloemendal, Cape Town
- Website: bloemendalestate.co.za
- Contact: 021 976 2682
A bit outside of Cape Town, 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 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 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. Visit the website to find out how and where to obtain the permit.
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, though, definitely visit the Tree House, a beautifully designed outdoor playground. Here, little ones can explore acorn hideouts, slides, walkways, platforms, mushroom pods, pyramids, and a MTB pump track. 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. There are three sessions per day, and only space for ten kids per session, so booking is essential to ensure your little one gets a spot.
- Location: Boschendal Estate, Pniel Road, Groot, Franschhoek, 7690
- Website: boschendal.com
- Contact: Call 021 870 4200
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. But that’s only the tip of the iceberg – 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 hand: 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
- Contact: Call 021 863 5200
Tokara has some of the most incredible views in Stellenbosch, and no wonder: it’s nestled between the majestic Stellenbosch Mountains – a sight even the kids will enjoy! Their wines are top-tier and their dishes are exceptional, but parents will love the exceptional child-friendly activities available. Four treehouses with ladders, a climbing net, a sandpit, and swings are all available for kids to enjoy to their heart’s content.
- Location: Helshoogte Road, Stellenbosch, Cape Town
- Website: tokara.com
- Contact: 021 808 5900
Wonderdal at Hazendal Wine Estate
Hazendal Wine Estate in Stellenbosh is about 35 kilometres outside of Cape Town CBD if you drive along the N1. This gem is a kid’s paradise and a great choice for a family outing. Visitors can choose between three wine tasting options, but please note that Hazendal is slowly transitioning into a reservation-only estate, so make sure to call ahead and make a booking. Bookings will be held for 30 minutes only, and a R65 deposit for wine tasting will be required to confirm the reservation.
If you’re not in the mood for wine, Hazendal is still a great option for food. 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 right on the estate and offers 2-hour play sessions for kids aged five to thirteen. Kids will have the opportunity to learn through play with interactive games, immersive experiences and outdoor adventure.
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
- Contact: Call 021 903 5034
Picture: @hazendal_estate @rolenenaffouj / Instagram