Winter and a wooded red wine go together perfectly
Discovering new farms and their unique wines is one of the things that makes living in Cape Town such a special experience, but it's winter now, and that means rain, freezing temperatures, wind, and not a lot of opportunities to let the kids spend all that pent-up energy on the wonderful jungle gyms and outdoor spaces that make visiting family-friendly wine farms such a pleasure in summer.
That is why we went out of our way, and off the beaten track, to bring you wine farms that are not only child friendly, but cold-and-wet-weekend-family-friendly.
This is a checklist of our top five winter wine farms for families who love to be out and about, and I challenge you to visit all of them before the winter is over!
What I like most about the setup at Skilpadvlei is that they really gave the child-friendly part of their business a lot of thought. Skilpadvlei has three age-appropriate play areas outside, ranging from a ball pond and small slide for the tiny tots to a large jungle gym with monkey bars, slides and rope bridges for the older adventurers. When the weather turns on you, they also have an indoor jungle gym in a sizable indoor play area that forms part of the restaurant, so you can have a warm sit-down meal, while keeping an eye on the kids.
M12 Polkadraai Road, Stellenbosch
Tel: 021 881 3237
Eaglevlei is committed to big, as in monster big. Not only do they boast Monster Food Fridays, but they have the largest outdoor jungle gym on any wine farm in South Africa. If that is not enough reason to visit them, they have a brilliant indoor play area too. The indoor play area includes a padded jungle gym, merry-go-round, and a 2-meter big-screen TV for cartoon breaks. This is the perfect place if your children are a bit older, and unattended play on the jungle gym will not cause mom to have a panic attack. Note that you cannot see the play area from the restaurant and children are not playing within arm’s grasp.
The indoor play area is in a separate building with an entry fee of R80 per hour to keep in mind when planning your trip.
Eaglevlei Wine Farm, Old Paarl Road, R101, Stellenbosch
Tel: 084 515 7000
Close to Rawsonville, you have the Slanghoek Wine Route with Jason's Hill the undebatable jewel of this scenic drive. Your kids will love you for bringing them here on a sunny day, when they can watch the birds and monkeys. If the weather is not great, they have a separate kids’ room filled with a variety of toys.
Slanghoek Valley, Rawsonville
Tel: 023 344 3256
Wooden boxes full of Lego™, pottery classes and helium balloons offer a very good rainy-day alternative to their outdoor play areas and kids’ “boot camp”. Delvera also has a coin-operated Marklin HO train layout with five working tracks, which is modeled on a mountainous terrain with a German town to “explore”.
Route 44, Stellenbosch
Tel: 021 884 4352
Eaglevlei is not the only family-friendly wine farm in the “Family Thoroughfare”. Simonsvlei is another venue that welcomes parents and children. If the weather permits, you can have a picnic on the lawn next to the dam, or have fun in the enclosed outdoor play area.
On a rainy day,Eat@Simonsvlei offers an indoor room for the kids to colour and draw and watch cartoons, or you can book a kids’ chef party in advance. This entertainment area is adjacent to the tasting room and restaurant, so you can keep an eye on the little ones while enjoying a selection of their award-winning wines.
Simonsvlei, Old Paarl Road, R101, Suider-Paarl
Tel: 021 863 3845
That’s five! Go out, and pay them a visit. Take the kids and tweet your pictures to us: @thingstodo_kids. We would love to share in the fun with you and your family.