For the life of me I could not figure out how come there is no huge play park for kids to play in on any of the vast number of estates surrounding Stellenbosch. The kind of place that will keep energetic little ones busy for hours while daddies and mommies sit in the shade sipping a cup of coffee (or a glass of wine) and snack on decent thin-crusted pizza’s. Well, now we have it… The newly renovated Weltevreden Estate is home to the LekkeNeh restaurant and its Carnival area that especially welcomes families (also see my post on fabulous baby shower venues in Stellenbosch). I took along local mom and photographer Michelle from Michelle van Eeden Photography to capture everything kid-friendly at Weltevreden.
If you know the Welgevonden Security Estate in Stellenbosch it should be fairly easy to find your way to Weltevreden. The driveway to the Weltevreden Estate is right next to the Welgevonden entrance on Nuutgevonden’s side (turn-off from the Klipheuwel road). Upon approaching the Welgevonden gate you will see the Weltevreden sign on your left. If you are not a Stellenbosch resident and you don’t have a clue after reading up to this point, view the Estate’s website for a map.
The LekkeNeh restaurant is open until 21:00 and the Carnival area until 17:00 in the evenings. For those with toddlers LekkeNeh itself is ideally suited with a toddler play area next to the tables on the front stoep of the restaurant. Here toddlers can enjoy themselves climbing up and down a couple of plastic mini-jungle gyms (pictures below). Last time I visited I also spotted a mini-jungle gym next to the tables on the river bank around the back of the restaurant.
For true kiddie delight one can walk around to the back of the restaurant and across the bridge over the river to the Carnival area. What is so amazing about the Carnival area is that it boasts not one, but two humongous plastic jungle gyms. That is, apart from the trampoline, sandpit, tar-tar tracks for scooters and a variety of other toys to be found on the play ground. All I can say is that our family has totally surpassed the number of times per week one is allowed to visit a single restaurant. Admittedly, the staff is beginning to look at us rather strangely. Can’t say I blame them 😉
Something else that sets the Estate apart from other child-friendly venues in Stellenbosch is the child minders who keep an eye on all children to see to it that they don’t get up to anything too dangerous. During the day in the middle of the week when there are fewer visitors they can also mind a specific toddler/ child if asked to (if there aren’t other children to watch).
The Carnival area is not just a kiddies play ground, but a proper restaurant where one can order food and drinks. It is quickly becoming the place to be at for sun downers in Stellenbosch and after work tired parents and eager children flock there. On more than one late afternoon on a workday I saw parents and their friends sitting around tables unwinding with a glass of wine or draft beer.
To eat and drink at Weltevreden: LekkeNeh serves hearty meals and is known for its delightful petit fours that you can view on display at the reception area. The Carnival functions like a separate restaurant from LekkeNeh with its own menu, but you are welcome to order a dish from LekkeNeh if you’d rather have a cappuccino or a selection of petit fours while watching your children play. On the Carnival’s menu you can expect gourmet pizza’s, burgers and finger food baskets to eat and wine, beer, soft drinks or Slush Puppies to drink. Slush Puppies also come in smaller kiddie-friendly sizes for the children. If you or your little ones feel like something to munch on: packets of crisps, Fizzers, lollipops, bubble gum and other sweeties are available to buy at the Carnival’s reception.
Kids’ parties: The Carnival at Weltevreden is the perfect venue to host a children’s party. Costs are limited to a party pack that you have to buy for each child attending the party. Contact Weltevreden for prices and to discuss the selection of goodies you can choose from for the party packs.
The guys at Weltevreden definitely saw a gap in the kiddie market in Stellenbosch and went for it. Get down to this venue to experience for yourself all the kiddie-friendly action you’re missing out on. For more info, photo’s and other news visit Weltevreden Estate’s Facebook page or their website. As of 2014, Weltevreden now charges a cover charge per child that visits The Carnival play area.
Why Weltevreden Estate is kiddie-friendly?
- high chairs
- toddler play area
- kids’ bathrooms
- kiddie-sized slush puppies and snacks like Cheese Curls to buy
- kiddies menu
- kiddie tables and chairs
- shaded sandpit with toys for toddlers
- two humongous jungle gyms (brightly coloured and plastic)
- tar-tar roads with scooters for children to ride on
- child minders on weekends
Notes: Winter 2015 – The Carnival is only open on weekends from 9am – 5pm. The play area will resume its Summer trading hours (on weekdays) from 1 October 2015.
October 2015 – Lekke Neh is currently closed as it is being renovated.
November 2015 – Lekke Neh Restaurant reopened to the public on 13 November.