It’s about time… I like to update our list of child-friendly places for Winter every now and again, and boy!, it is really time to do so again. I am very excited to share these venues with you. I also feel slightly overprotective of this list. You see, these are the places we visit when it is cold with our kids. So, I am really giving away our favourite spots! I wish I could keep it a secret and our family could be the only family hanging out at these joints, but as they say: sharing is caring. And I really care about family and families spending quality time together. Here is the 2017 list:
Restaurants with indoor play areas
The biggest indoor play room in Stellenbosch by far. Skilpadvlei’s indoor play room offers a TV, building blocks and a jungle gym. Although there isn’t any other activities in the large room there is lots space for the little ones to run around while the adults enjoy the fireplace in the restaurant. Read the full post on Skilpadvlei’s play areas here.
Franschhoek Cellars is our new favourite place to hang out at. The play area is outside but protected from above and along three sides by a canopy. This keeps the area cozy and, for the most part, free from rain and wind. Sit outside on sunny days to have the perfect view of the kids playing or inside the Platform Restaurant when it is cold. The best part? Child minders are on duty at all times. Bring a basket ball – if the weather is nice there is a basket ball hoop to enjoy on the lawn!
Delicatessen @ Tokara
There is no designated play area indoors at Delicatessen on the Tokara Estate BUT with Melissa&Doug’s toys in crates all over the floor and children’s books on the bookshelves you will be able to entertain toddlers at the deli on any rainy day. Read more about Tokara’s child-friendly deli in our post: Tokara’s Delicatessen remains a family favourite.
The Ocean Basket in town has an indoor play area at the back of the restaurant. We like the fact that it has glass walls and parents can keep an eye on their children if they are seated near the play room. The other bonus is no TV games. Dress up, colour in and play house-house. This play room is one of the best in town.
Minotoba Spur Stellenbosch Square
The “new” Spur in Stellenbosch offers Wii, face painting (when attendants are on duty), the biggest jungle gym (I’ve certainly) ever seen at a Spur franchise and even books to read… all indoors. Perfect for Winter.
Under roof play parks
Play parks are great because it is a great way to let your kids get rid of extra energy when it is cold outside. They may not be as adult-friendly but it sure beats sitting at home when it is raining for the fourth day in a row!
Eaglevlei has the biggest indoor playpark that I know of in the Winelands. This place is fantastic! Think lots of jungle gyms and attendants to oversee the kids. There is a separate play area for toddlers (under the age o). There are some bar stools so parents can take a seat and have a cup of tea while the children play or adults can join in the fun and help their kids along the obstacle courses, swings and jungle gyms. More info on Eaglevlei’s website.
Bugz Play Park
Bugz is the Ratanga Junction for kids. When the sun is out various rides are available for the children to enjoy on weekends and over the school holidays like the Choo Choo Train, horse rides or quad bikes. If the weather takes a turn for the worst the play park has plenty of space to play indoors. Read our article on Bugz Play Park here.
Grape Juice Tasting
Want to go wine tasting but it is raining and the kids can’t play outside at a wine estate? There are a couple of wine estates that offer grape juice tasting and other educational activities for kids while their parents do a wine tasting. Read our post on wine estates that offer kids’ juice tastings here.
Take kids to the local library – it is free, indoors and educational.
Butterfly World near Klapmuts houses exotic free flying butterflies in a greenhouse. The butterflies may be less active in cloudy or cold weather but there are loads of other animals that may be viewed, including reptiles, spiders such as tarantulas, birds, marmosets and more.
Stellenbosch Toy and Miniature Museum
The toy museum in Market street right behind the tourism info centre and houses a significant collection of miniatures and other toys. One of the miniatures that may be viewed is a mini replica of South Africa’s most famous train: the Blue train. Read our post on a visit to the toy museum here.