For those of you who either live in Cape Town or are planning a visit this summer, and are thinking of spending a few days in the Franschoek winelands area, here are a few options for family outings which will keep the kids happy and occupied. If you have a busy toddler there isn’t a lot suitable in the actual town of Franschoek. There is a lot of fine wining and dining, expensive boutique shopping and gallery browsing, but not many places you want to take a three year old to… with the exception of ColCacchio (more on this later).
It is a bit of a drive away, but Bugz Family Playpark on the N1 in Kraaifontein is in my opinion one of the nicest places for children in Cape Town. A R70 VIP entry fee gives access to all the rides, otherwise you need to buy tokens for R5 per token. Adults pay R25 entry fee and children who can’t walk yet are free. They have everything from jungle gyms to giant jumping castles, mini boats to pony rides. On a warm day pack in your kids’ costumes as there are also big inflatable water slides. There is an indoor area where you can get some lunch or a snack, and they cater for parties as well. Suitable for kids aged between 2 and 10 years old.
Another attraction near to Franschoek on the Klapmuts road is Butterfly World. This is also a lovely place for children of all ages. You can walk through tropical gardens and watch the butterflies, there is an interactive section where you can meet parrots, marmosets and iguanas up close, and another area where guinea pigs scurry around your feet and parrots fly overhead. One green parrot-type bird was intent on eating my sandals, which provided first-class entertainment for my daughter. Outside there are tortoises and meerkats, and a lapa where children can do sand art and other activities and get something to eat or drink. There is also a shop with various butterfly and bug themed items and a proper restaurant at the entrance. Entry for adults costs R48 and children R28.
Lastly, if you are looking for a restaurant in Franschoek itself which is very child-friendly, the best option is ColCacchio on the main road. They have outdoor tables and a jungle gym and swing area, and they also bring crayons, pizza dough and cookie cutters to the table. There is plenty to keep little ones entertained while parents relax with a glass of wine. They have a kiddies menu as well.
Other nearby attractions include Le Bonheur crocodile farm and the Giraffe House. To contact any of these places the numbers are below:
Butterfly World: 021 875 5628 http://www.butterflyworld.co.za
Bugz Family Playpark: 021 988 8836 http://www.bugzplaypark.co.za
Le Bonheur Crocodile Farm: 021 863 1142 http://www.lebonheurcrocfarm.co.za
Giraffe House: 021 884 4506 http://www.giraffehouse.co.za