Parents, we feel you. You’re longing for a relaxing day out, sipping on crisp cultivars, surrounded by rolling vineyards and enjoying a delicious meal at a wine estate. But, what about the kids, right?
Many of South Africa’s top wine estates cater for children, ensuring you won’t have to worry about entertaining them, or feel judged if your little ones giggle (insert scream) a bit too loud.
Here’s our round-up of kid friendly wine estates in South Africa.
For an escape away from the bustle of life, Black Oystercatcher is idyllic. It’s situated on a gravel road in the Overberg with loads of space for children to run and even have a swim. The restaurant has a kiddies menu and there are craft beer, fresh food and cool climate wines for the adults.
If you’re looking for a hearty country experience, head to the wine estate on a hill overlooking the Overberg landscape. Whilst you enjoy no-fuss meals made from locally-sourced produce, the kids can run on the lawns, play by the pond or explore the box of toys.
A new flavoured milk and cookie pairing awaits kids at Botha Cellar. The jungle gym will give them the opportunity to burn all that energy again while their parents take in the stunning mountain views and enjoy one of two wine tastings in the recently renovated tasting room.
Cape Point Vineyards
Perched on a hill in Noordhoek, Cape Point Vineyards offers something unique: sea views. Order a picnic basket and their famous Sauvignon Blanc, lounge on the oversized bean bags and let the kids enjoy the outdoor play area dotted all along the dam or cozy up to a new friend at the petting zoo!
For laps of fun, the Bike Park at Constantia Uitsig offers mini- and macho-cyclists 2.8km of tracks to explore. The new Heritage Market, is a selection of artisanal shops (including slow-churned ice cream) that can be found in a row of quaint cottages, every day of the week.
Mark the family calendar for the last Sunday of every month in Summer and Spring, cause it’s road-tripping time. The Groote Post Country Market will let your kids discover their inner country-mouse with tractor rides, farm animals, Zorb balls, kiddies quad bikes and vast open spaces to let loose.
Drum roll please, as Bon Amis, the restaurant at Bloemendal, takes podium position for having one of the most epic play areas in the winelands. Not only do they have an incredible jungle gym and sandpit next to the deck, but a state-of-the art mountain bike track for the whole family too.
Book a table on the outside deck of Hillcrest to enjoy the views of the Durbanville wine valley, whilst your kids have a ball on the jungle gym. There is live local music on weekends and you can taste the estate’s boutique wine and olives as well as their local craft beer called Havoc.
Meerendal conveniently has two restaurants to choose from, both kid-friendly but with different vibes. Crown is the more stylish option of the two, with a big lawn that has a jumping castle over weekends. Carlucci’s is the more relaxed pizzeria-styled eatery with a big jungle gym and outspread lawns too.
There are two great eateries on this estate: a fancy restaurant (Cassia) and a relaxed café (Tables at Nitida). Both will ensure happy kids by offering you the option to dine outdoors, meaning endless running (or crawling) competitions on the surrounding lawns.
Signal Gun is a one-stop-farm experience for the whole family. Aside from the typical play area, they also have game drives where you can spot animals like zebras and eland, as well as canon firing on the first Saturday of the month. The adults can try some craft beer at the farm’s Hoogeberg brewery.
In addition to the new(ish) restaurants, The Terrace and Patina at D’Aria, and Botany lounge, this winery also launched the CU Kids at D’Aria playground. An entrance fee applies and the venue can be booked for children’s parties as well. Kids can order lunch from the tuck shop while mom and dad sits back with a glass of wine.
Whilst everything on this farm is done in notably good taste, you won’t feel out-of-your-league. The outdoor sculpture garden doubles up as a play area for the kids, and they have a pretty cool climbing gym. It’s an Instagram-worthy outing with cool climate wine freshness guaranteed.
Highlands Road Estate
Head to the cosy Highlands Road Estate for gourmet wood-fired pizzas and their award-winning Sauvignon Blanc. The farm has a large jungle gym with a tree-shaded lawn next to the pond where kids can run, or even try their hand at a game of croquet. They often have live music over weekends to add to their laid-back atmosphere.
For water-savvy kids, Lothian Vineyards is pure joy. They have a big pool, a jacuzzi and a lake to swim in and enjoy aqua sports like skiing and wakeboarding. They also have a jungle, gym, tennis courts, fishing gear and hiking trails (amongst many other offerings). Indoors the older kids can play air hockey and fussball.
Don’t stress about having bored kids inside the tasting room – Paul Cluver has giant dominoes and Jenga sets that can keep them occupied or they can try their hand at being a chef with the DIY biscuits. Outside kids can run on the lawns or enjoy the new jungle gym at the restaurant.
South Hill Vineyards
The highlight of the kids’ offering at South Hill has to be their remarkable new maze. Through a network of strategically-planted vineyards, young and old can navigate their way to reach the picnic area in the middle. They also have family-friendly hiking trails, lawn games and a nice kiddies menu.
“I’m not in the mood for a gourmet picnic on a French-inspired wine farm,” said no one ever. Settle in under huge oak trees, watch the young ones have a ball on the jumping castle, jungle gym and sandpit, whilst indulging in the epicurean treats. The kiddies basket includes pizza, beetroot crisps and ice cream.
Turn your kids free range by taking them to experience authentic farm life at the Tree House edu-play centre at Boschendal. Check out their daily- and holiday-programmes and be sure to book in advance. The farm also has modern nests as climbing structures, a bike track and a splish splash summer play area with picnic options too.
There are two things that really excite us about Franschhoek Cellar’s play area: they have friendly kiddie caretakers on hand, and it’s under a tented roof. This means you will really have no stress whilst enjoying your cheese and Chenin, even when the weather is gloomy.
Who said wine tasting can’t be a family affair? Enjoy exchanging flavour-notes with your little lass and lad at Grand Provence as they become mini grape juice connoisseurs.
Important to note (and appreciate) is that the jungle gym has supervision. High five!
Franschhoek Top Tip: The local hop-on hop-off wine tram is a fun and carefree narrated tour, with six different routes to choose from. Your kids will love it!
Leopard’s Leap is known to be a hearty, relaxed farm and as expected, they welcome kids with open arms. Most of the restaurant’s tables have a view on the play area featuring jungle gyms and lawns. Young ones are picky eaters, so their healthy buffet-style lunch ensures that you only pay for what you dish.
True to their name, Creation was one of the pioneer food and wine pairing estates, but please don’t let your kids suffer from FOMO. Todds and tweens can now also pair healthy snacks with flavoured milks and juices. Sweet man.
Honestly, this is an idyllic location to settle in for lunchtime platters (they have a kiddies version too) and wine tasting in their casual restaurant, or outside under the trees next to the dam. There is a play gym, ducks to stalk, steps to climb and rolling green hills.
There is more to Boplaas than award-winning Port. Their unpretentious cellar in Calitzdorp boasts a tasting room and the Stoepsit bistro with a playground. Their other tasting room is near Kleinbrak in the Garden Route, where kids can play outdoor chess and feed the alpacas.
Another Calitzdorp gem is this family farm that will make you feel right at home with their friendly Karoo hospitality. Interesting tastings, like the sparkling Moscato, and the affordable restaurant menu makes it a worthy stop on your way through the R62.
Add Karusa to your Outdshoorn itinerary. It’s an oasis en route to the Kango Caves where you can taste their exotic Mediterranean cultivars, like Mourvedre and Grenache Noir. The kids can run wild on the big, open lawns and taste Ostrich wraps.
Namaqua West Coast
Fryer’s Cove Vineyards
For a charming and unique experience, swing by this newly renovated fish factory set on the Doring Bay pier. Fryer’s Cove boasts the world’s only vineyard this close to the Atlantic Ocean. Enjoy a cheese platter while the kids play in the sea sandpit or fish from the jetty.
Die Keldery is the official tasting room for Namaqua Wines. Enjoy a wine tasting paired with chocolate or, for a truly South African experience, biltong while the kids enjoy the Master Taster experience of grape juices paired with jelly tots to earn their badge and certificate.
Maskam Brewery is a kids paradise. They have huge lawns with slippery slides in summer, a petting zoo, a jungle gym, jumping castles, and you can host a birthday party there. Don’t worry parents – you’re sorted too with a fine selection of wine and Maskam’s own delicious craft beer.
Tell the children you’re taking them to see goats and eat cheese. You won’t be lying, coincidentally, there will just be wine too. Visit the ever popular Tasting Room & Deli for wine and cheese tastings and stock up on your favourite cheeses, freshly baked farm goodies and delicious deli products. Or stay for lunch at The Goatshed Restaurant while the young ones explore the gardens and watch the resident goats climbing up and down the tower. Win-win.
Cosecha restaurant at Noble Hill is refreshingly different. Their menu features Latin-inspired cooking and their décor echoes this influence. Families can make themselves at home on the outside terrace (and order a-la-carte) or at the benches near the farm dam (and pre-book a picnic, including kids baskets).
A big pond in the middle of this fairytale-farm sets the scene for a relaxing picnic, kiddies party, or dining at the restaurant. Either way, your children will have a ball on the trampoline, jumping castle, jungle gym and free pony rides. Book in advance for horse riding or quad biking.
Eeny meeny miny moe, to which artisanal shop shall we go? Block out a couple of hours to explore a gathering of deliciousness. With a big, central play area, you can either sit down, grab take-away goodies, or buy the new Tasting Passport which will include samples of wine, beer, chocolate, charcuterie and gin at Spice Route.
Farm animals? Tick. Swings? Tick. Jungle Gym? Tick. Lawns? Tick. Wood-fired pizzas? Tick. There is literally no excuse not to take the family here. Not even if you’re gluten-intolerant or banting – they cater for you too.
Chocolate, cheese, charcuterie, nougat and nuts. These are the yummy nibbles that your kids can pair with the non-alcoholic tasting at Van Loveren. And if they’re cranky, let them take a hike complete with the farm’s new Picnic on a Stick food offering. There’s an easy walking trail, safe and in the shade, where as many as 100 bird species can be spotted.
During summer, adventurous kids can go on accompanied fishing excursions on the nearby jetty. Year-round activities include feeding the horses, playing on the jungle gym and sand pit. Do yourself a favour and order the traditional ‘roosterkoek’ from the deli.
Expect a warm, fuzzy feeling and small-town hospitality at this boutique wine farm, serving interesting meals from a chalkboard menu. There’s a jungle gym and lawns, but the highlights are paddling on the dam and hiking on the marked trails.
A first of its kind in South Africa, Wonderdal, as the name implies, is a place of wonders. It combines technology with physical elements to create an innovatively designed indoor space where children are accompanied by Amuki, the virtual reality inhabitants of Wonderdaland, and a creative outdoor play area.
Children can enjoy a specially designed tea menu while enjoying Russian-themed colouring-in pages.
Lounge out with your little tribe on the shared lawns of Joostenberg and Stellies Tap Room. There are a pond with swans and ducks, roaming chickens, a jungle gym and over weekend they have horse and carriage rides. You’re allowed to bring your own blankets, as long as you order from one the restaurants.
Lourensford is a hive of activity. There’s The Millhouse Kitchen restaurant, a coffee roastery, an art gallery, MTB routes, clay-pigeon shooting, and of course, a winery. On Friday evenings, Saturdays and Sundays during the day they host the most vibrant market with live music and a children’s play zone. Pop into the new Wunderkind play barn where kids can join in for supervised pottery classes, painting, sports, laser tag, gymnastics and a whole lot more.
Listen, they had me at “braai your own marshmallow”. Middelvlei is known for their heartily hosting of traditional South African barbecues, and the atmosphere is like the locals: relaxed. A kid needs a break from kick-bike riding and feeding farm animals, and so, the Kiddie Snack Box will do the trick.
If kid-friendly means a cupcake, Spier has baked a three-tiered cake. If you can, book an overnight stay which will grant them access to the impressive kids’ clubhouse. If only swinging by, make sure you come up close and personal with the birds of prey at Eagle Encounters, or see the older kids rollin’ with the Segway tours.
Two words: “next level”. With 18 gardens, heritage sites, Camphor trees that are over 300 years old and three different dining options, you’re in for a treat. Make sure you have a booking at Stables restaurant, which is right next to the ultra-modern play area.
Tourists and locals love waddling over to Vergenoegd to watch the resident ducks do their morning and afternoon parades. More than 1000 ducks serve as vineyard pest control, adding much cheer to little (and large) visitors. Other attractions include: live music concerts, a Saturday market, and a petting zoo.
Is there anything cooler than booking a private picnic pod for your family? With six distinctly different dining and alfresco areas to choose from, Warwick is an entertainment heaven. And bonus: their children picnic baskets have been designed by people who are parents too.
Your kids will have a great time as they climb, crawl and clamber on the wooden jungle gyms on the lawns of Zevenwacht. If you go during summer time, they’ll have jumping castles and slippery slides to enjoy too. Go for the picnic option and order baskets according to your own and your children’s taste to ensure a happy family.
The estate’s Pleasant Pheasant restaurant has a “your messy kids are very welcome here” vibe. The country pub menu is affordable, and there are giant oak trees at the back, throwing shade over the climbing structure, swings and sandpit. Very convenient, thanks.
The Stone Kitchen at Dunstone is an all-weather family-friendly bistro with both indoor and outdoor play areas. Inside, kids can entertain themselves on the soft play area with Lego table, climbing wall and a mini-kitchen. Outside, they can play mini golf, mini soccer, swing and slide. The farm is also dog-friendly so you take your pooch along.
Val du Charron
On a clear day, Val du Charon is the perfect place to take your little crew. Their splash pad with interactive water features guarantees to entertain your kids for hours on end (remember their swim gear and towels) along with the jungle gym. Keep an eye on them from the terrace of the casual Pizza Vista restaurant.