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 30 kid friendly wine estates in South Africa.
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.
2. Constantia Uitsig
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.
3. Groote Post
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.
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.
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.
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.
Elim & Cape Agulhas
7. Stanford Hills
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.
8. Allée Bleue
“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.
9. Grand Provence
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!
10. Creation Wines
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.
13. De Krans
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
15. 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.
16. Die Keldery
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.
Paarl & Wellington
17. Spice Route
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.
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. Crowds flock to the spacious cheese and wine tasting room, and the young ones can’t get enough of the goats climbing up and down the tower. Win-win.
19. Under Oaks
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.
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.
21. Van Loveren
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. 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.
Stellenbosch & Somerset-West
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.
Lourensford is a hive of activity. There’s The Millhouse Kitchen restaurant, a coffee roastery, an art gallery, cycling and running routes, clay-pigeon shooting, and of course, a winery. On Friday evenings and Sundays they host the most vibrant market with live music and a children’s play zone. You better pack swimsuits and towels - the kids won’t be able to resist the water fountain.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
30. 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. They also host a community market every Thursday evening that’s worth the hype.