From time to time it’s necessary to reconnect with nature: listen to birdsong, flowing water and feel the wind in your hair. And that’s not limited to adults: after spending some time at Spier wine farm, I noticed an array of activities suited for families. Here are a few ideas for family-friendly things to do at Spier.
The drive from Cape Town to Stellenbosch took roughly 40 minutes. Once the rooms and bags were settled, we took the time to explore the scenery. Pathways led us to flowing rivers through lush greenery. Over wooden walkways you find yourself surrounded by panorama views of the Stellenbosch mountains. Below are five activities that could be an idea for your next family adventure or even just an adventure on your own.
1. Take a Segway tour through the vineyards
I’d never taken a ride on a Segway before, and this was a cool place to start. Guided Segway tours take you to explore the entire farm – and are open to any kids older than 10. At first you need to adjust to the self-balancing mechanism on the Segway, but once you are familiar with this two-wheeled gadget, it’s only onwards from there. The farm is huge and can take a while to explore – including the Protea Garden, mentioned below. Watch out for baby tortoises crossing the road, they roam the ground unnoticed. The Segway tour takes about an hour, and costs R250, although there’s another option which combines the tour with a wine-tasting (afterwards, obviously) for R400.
2. Protea gardens
Once you walk along the pathways through the gardens, you can find yourself wandering past prominent Protea flowers. Children can learn about the national flower of South Africa and enjoy the outdoors at the same time. There are many play areas and jungle gyms, and in general it’s just a great place for kids to frolic in nature. The delicious grapes that you’ll go past are also perfect for some sneaky snacking.
3. Have a bite
After a long day, be sure to stop by the Eight Restaurant. The restaurant serves delicious tapas for the table to share, and there’s a wooden jungle gym nearby in case your youngsters bore of gourmet food before you do. Since the produce is either grown on the farm or bought from local farmers, the food served is fresh and organic. The restaurant also has a deli where customers can order picnic baskets with various selected snacks from the restaurant. There is also a children’s picnic basket option, at R90. Customers order the basket and collect it the next day. Before noon a booking should be made in advance a day before collection. Once collected, you can stroll through the gardens, choose a picnic spot and enjoy the scenery. Picnic basket prices range from R270 to R320.
4. Eagle encounters
I didn’t personally experience this, but it’s a favourite for many youngsters who visit Spier. They give rest and recuperation to birds that have been injured or poisoned, which are later released into the wild. The only birds kept in captivity are ones that were hand-reared and wouldn’t survive in the wild. Kids can interact with the birds and learn about how they are a vital part of the Spier eco-system for R60 each; adult entrance is R70. Visit eagle encounters for more information.
5. Wine tasting
Last but not least, be sure to go wine tasting. Spier has a vast selection of wines that they produce themselves on the farm, which are worth tasting. The wines are made by the cellar master, Frans Smit. Children can participate in grape juice tasting while you enjoy the real deal. So, for your next family adventure get out and go explore some gardens and vineyards. Wine tasting prices are R35 for children’s grape tasting, as well as for Spier wine tasting.
For more information or to book at Spier: Tel 021 809 1100, www.spier.co.za