We enjoy a holiday in South Africa each year (travelling from Belgium) and last year (Dec 2017) was the first time that we really tried to find some family (toddler) friendly activities and venues to enjoy. Our daughter was just over 2 years old at the time and these were our top 5 favourites!
1. 2 Oceans Aquarium
Situated at the V&A waterfront, we spent at least 2hours wandering around through the aquarium enjoying the different tanks, interactive displays (including touch pools) and exhibits. As we arrived at the entrance, they also took our photo in front of a green screen and once we reached the last big tank, they had a pack of our photos ready for purchase (If I remember correctly, it was about R280 for 3 large photos (each with a different ocean based theme, 2 plastic keyrings and 3 keyring photos)). Animal feeding times vary (check their website for exact details), which we didn’t witness but we did manage to see divers in the big tank getting a turtle ready for her re-introduction to the ocean. The only part of the visit that our daughter did not enjoy was walking through the tunnel under the predator tank as the sharks swimming overhead clearly freaked her out. It is stroller friendly, has nappy changing facilities and a café.
Opening hours: 09h30-18h00.
Prices: R165 per adult and free for children under the age of 4. (10% discount if you pre-book your tickets online)
2. Duck parade at Vergenoegd Wine Estate in Stellenbosch
This vineyard does not use pesticides to rid their vines of bugs and snails, but rather relies on more than 1.000 Indian Runner ducks to eat them up! We arrived before their first duck parade to enjoy breakfast in their restaurant, a somewhat limited menu but everything was delicious and the weather was good enough that we could sit outside on their terrace facing the pond. The ducks (and a few geese) waddles across the lawn to the pond prior to starting work and after a social dip and gaggle, they were paraded across the grass (and main building) to the vineyards where they started their daily task (of eating). It is stroller friendly (although you probably don’t need it as it is a short walk from the parking area to the main house where the restaurant is)
Duck Parades: 10h30; 12h30 & 15h30 (Mon-Sun)
Prices: R10 entry fee per adult on entry and free for children under the age of 12. (This voucher can be redeemed against a purchase in their shop, restaurant or against one of their activities)
3. Afternoon Tea at Rhodes Memorial Restaurant
Visiting Cape Town isn’t complete without a few gorgeous photographs and one of the perfect places to get some shots in, is at Rhodes Memorial, which is situated on the northern slope of Table Mountain with views across the Cape Flats to the Hottentots Holland Mountain range. There is a restaurant just next to the monument that serves up some of the best scones in Cape Town (not to mention tasty breakfast and lunch menu items). Plus they have a wonderfully maintained outdoor play area, which means that you can sit outside while your child enjoys some playtime!
Opening hours: 09h00-17h00 (Mon-Sun)
Reservations are essential on weekends and public holidays.
4. Picnic at Warwick Wine Estate in Stellenbosch
When the weather is perfect, book a picnic at this beautiful wine estate in Stellenbosch… especially if you can secure a place on the lawn. Not only do they have a splash fountain for children to enjoy, but there are also 2 climbing frame play areas on opposite sides of the picnic area and more than sufficient grassy area for children to play. Our daughter (along with the other toddlers in our group) spent most of the afternoon in their bathing costumes frolicking in the water. Be sure to book online well in advance.
Open 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
Picnic Baskets: R550 for 2 people or R300 for a single person basket => includes seasonal salads, meat, bread, dips and dessert (no drinks). Children’s baskets cost R125 and contained similar items but in a more child friendly format.
5. Weltevreden Wine Estate in stellenbosch
Offering a large play area (called “Carnival” pictured below) including an on-site pizzeria; a fully stocked bar and a confectionary corner, there is more than enough to keep both parents and children occupied. A few steps away is their “proper” restaurant and a smaller play area with 2 plastic jungle gyms – which is where we enjoyed breakfast one sunny morning (but only because eating pizza for breakfast at a wine farm just didn’t feel right :)).
Our next trip back is planned for August this year and she will be almost 3years old then… if you have suggestions, then leave a comment below.