If you haven’t gotten around to reading my latest blog post yet, check it out here. I compiled a short list of great outdoor activities that you can do with your younger kids. Today, I’m sharing my ideas for activities for tweens and teens in and around Stellenbosch and the Winelands.
1. Hike Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve
The beautiful Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve is perched on top of the mountain and is part of a UNESCO-declared Cape Winelands Biosphere Reserve, with breath-taking views, fauna and amazing birding to match. There are a number of set trails, ranging from an easy two-hour hike to a strenuous seven-hour one that takes you up to 1 575 metres.
Remember to buy a permit and a map in Franschhoek first and you’re good to go. These are available from the Huguenot Museum Shop, the Franschhoek Tourism Office, the Protea Hotel or the Winelands Experience.
For more information visit https://www.montrochellehiking.co.za
2. Delight in Huguenot Fine Chocolates
Experience chocolate at its finest under the guidance of Danver Windvogel and Denver Adonis, who are both Belgian-trained chocolatiers. With their team of local talent, delicious chocolate treats are created right before your eyes. Visitors are welcome to pop in and buy their hand-crafted bonbons or join a half-hour programme of tasting, demonstrations and chocolate history. Either way, you will not leave unsatisfied.
For more information visit https://www.huguenotchocolates.com
3. Spoil the boys at the Franschhoek Motor Museum
Situated on L’Ormarins Estate, the Franschhoek Motor Museum is one of the gems of the Franschhoek valley and a must-visit for all motor enthusiasts. Their impressive collection of over 280 vehicles (consisting of bicycles, motorcycles and automobiles) spans the last 100 years.
The museum collection is the best display in South Africa to portray the evolution of the automobile. The selection of 80 cars on view at any one time is rotated every 6 months, so there’s something new to see every time you visit. Plus, there’s a complimentary San Francisco-style tram that transports guests to the neighbouring Anthonij Rupert Estate for wine tasting and lunch (for the adults of course, don’t forget to taste the bubbly 😉 ).
For more information visit https://www.fmm.co.za
4. Spoil the girls at Adene’s Flower Farm
Adene’s Farm Flowers is a working flower farm in Wolseley, Western Cape, that is dedicated to producing high quality, beautiful and long-lasting fresh-cut flowers and foliage. The farm is nestled in the Breede River Valley region and they focus on using eco-friendly growing methods, being environmentally responsible and balancing farm with family.
All their flowers are freshly gathered from their fields and gardens and are a wonderful celebration of the seasons. They also specialise in growing unusual varieties of flowers and foliage, ranging from anemones to dahlias.
Be sure to book a picnic when you visit, it is definitely worth it!
For more information visit https://adeneflowers.co.za
5. Visit Pete’s Adventure Farm
If flowers and cars are too “safe” and your kids prefer a bit of adventure, Pete’s is the place to go. Here you can ride quad bikes, venture into the surrounding game farm and go horseback riding among zebra, springbok, eland, gemsbok, kudu and giraffe. If horses aren’t your thing, you and the family can enjoy a more comfortable ride on their game-viewer (20 people max). You can also try out for the bull’s eye with a bow and arrow (with a 10-minute training session first).
For more information visit https://horseridesatpetes.co.za
6. Explore the Stellenbosch Toy Museum
This unique toy museum is housed in an 18th-century Cape Dutch parsonage, which is beautiful in its own right. What makes the museum unique though, is that most of the toys and settings are South African, with many made locally in Stellenbosch. There is a strong leaning towards Cape Winelands and Karoo themes in the designs as well. There are many highlights and must-see creations, but the functioning, scaled-down version of the famous Blue Train and the world’s smallest kitchen must really be seen to be believed.
For more information visit https://stelmus.co.za/miniature-toy-museum/
7. Discover Helderberg Plaas
Established in 1692, this farm is probably one of the best examples of a humble winelands farmhouse: it has rustic charm, but no impressive gables. While you relax under old oak trees, the more energetic young ones can hike over 20km of trails, explore 4×4 trails, enjoy bird watching, paintballing and mountain biking. There are braai facilities, too and a tea garden for a moment of respite.
For more information visit https://helderbergplaas.co.za
8. Visit Cat Heaven & Rescue Cat Café
Introducing the first cat café in South Africa. If you’re curious and pop into the space at 35 Bright Street, Somerset West, you will soon be transported to a cat lover’s paradise. Local cat lover, owner and founder of Cat Heaven, Valerie Steinmann, was inspired by her travels to Switzerland to start a collection of gifts for her own shop. She now travels and curates a wonderful range of gifts and cat-related curios. Plus, upon her customers’ request, she also stocks special gifts for cats.
The café serves catfee (coffee), tea and other drinks, and a variety of tarts, muffins and cakes.
Besides the gifts and refreshments at the Cat Café, you can also spend some time with the 22 rescued cats at Cat Heaven. This non-profit rescues cats from overcrowded shelters and provides a safe, fun and hygienic environment where cats and people can enjoy each other’s company. They even sell cat nibbles at the café to feed the cat residents.
Unfortunately, no children under the age of 10 are allowed.
For more information visit https://catheaven.co.za