Parenting is a journey you’re never really prepared for. No matter how much you prepare to be said parent. Even now, after being married more than a decade and four kids later, I still wonder what the hell I’m doing, almost on a daily basis. Because the thing about parenting rules is, there aren’t any!

Read more

Just during this last week, I’ve spoken to two moms expecting their fourth baby. And felt judged. Or overwhelmed. Just like I was. For being pregnant. And I felt the need to write this letter.

Read more

I’ll admit it; I’m a bit of a wet wipe snob. I need the perfect wipe. Every time.

Read more

This has been coming for a few months. Dropping a ball every now and then. At first I could blame it on the end of the year approaching, but then the balls that has been up in the air since forever, started dropping more often. And yet I couldn’t admit I needed help.

Read more

With the Summer holidays officially here, I’m sure you have loads of fun family activities planned, or already packed for your holiday at Gran’s. But if you’re like me, and the holiday just sprung up on you before you were even able to think about it, and your kids are waking you up at the crack of dawn with “What are we doing today? Where are we going?”, then just maybe this is the blog for you. 

I’ve compiled a list of family fun in and around Cape Town that won’t break the bank. Maybe activities you’ve done before, but who cares!? Do them again! It’ll keep the littles entertained, teach them something new AND you’ll be able fill your book with precious memories.

 Iziko South African Museum

I’ve been here so many times. As a child, as a teenager, as a young adult, and now as a mom. I have a thing for museums. (I even convinced my husband to take me to TWO on our honeymoon!) With the wide variety of animals, history, art, and photography, this one is right at the top of my list. And is sure to stay at the top your child’s as well. (Don’t forget – the planetarium right next door!)

  • Opening times Daily, 9am – 5pm
  • Cost R30 (adults); R15 (children 6 – 18 years); R15 (students and pensioners); R75 (family ticket: 2 adults and 2 children)
  • Contact 021 481 3800, info@iziko.org.za
  • Where Iziko South African Museum, 25 Queen Victoria Street, Gardens

The Playstation Café and Adventure Park

I came here for the first time earlier this year and am obsessed!!!! This place is AMAZING! It’s the first play park where are four of our children are fully entertained for their age. And they fully encourage parents to participate and explore it all with your child. Can you say “Mom-slide!??”

This treasure is basically an indoor playground with climbing walls, massive slides and many other energy-busting activities, puzzles and games to give your littles a great mental stimulation to go with the physical workout. Mom-bonus; they have a lovely café with free wifi, wide-screen TVs and coffee, whilst still being able to keep an eye on my little ones. 

  • Opening times Daily, 9am – 5pm
  • Cost R60 – R85 (first hour); R40 – R65 (each additional hour); free (children 0 – 2 years)
    Drop and Go: R100 (first hour), R65 ( each additional hour)
    Free 1 hour session on your birthday (Valid ID required to qualify)
  • Contact 087 470 0497, info@theplaystation.co.za
  • Where South Palms Shopping Centre, 333 Main Road, Retreat Tokai

Vredenheim Animal Farm

Found in the beautiful winelands, just outside Stellenbosch, on the Vredenheim Wine Farm, this slice of heaven offers a range of activities that will entertain the whole family. They have a play park that includes a bike track, jungle gym and sand pit. You also meet the different farm animal and feed them, all while enjoying a lunch from the food court.

If you’re feeling brave, additional activities include the Big Cats Park where you can see lions! (Extra R45 per child/R70 adult) Or go on a Tractor Ride at R20pp. It’s the perfect summer day family trip with Grandpa and Grandma. 

  • Opening times Daily, 10am – 4pm
  • Cost Free (0-12months), R40 (children), R20 (adults) 
  • Contact 083 391 5510,  carli@vredenheimanimalfarm.co.za
  • Where Vredenheim Farm, Baden Powell Drive

Giraffe House

Another favourite animal park is this gem, found between Stellenbosch and Paarl. Here you’ll find not only giraffes, but ostriches, antelope and even crocodiles, as well as many farm animals as well. The animals are all kept in different camps, and you can easily follow the pathways between the various enclosures and view the animals at their own pace.

They also have interactive creepy crawly encounters that take place at 11am, 1pm and 3pm on weekends. So pack your picnic basket and drinks because they offer more than enough space to do your own picnic in the shade, but be aware that they have no credit card facilities, so be sure to bring cash to pay. 

  • Opening times Daily, 9am – 5pm
    9am – 2pm (24 December & 31 December)
  • Cost R30 (children 2 – 15 years); R50 (adults); R35 (seniors)
  • Contact 021 884 4506, giraffehouse@gmail.com
  • Where R101 (towards Paarl), via N1, R304

Polkadraai Farm

Strawberry picking in the summer holiday is a must for all families! On the Polkadraai Farm, you able to do that and so much more. The have tractor rides (for kids and parents), mini golf, pony rides, face painting and a large playground while you relax in the food court for a bite to eat. (Do try their waffles with strawberries and ice cream!)

Each person entering the strawberry field must purchase a container. (Containers may not be shared.) But, once you are finished picking, the picking container as well as the strawberries you have picked, are yours with no further payment required.Things to remember when strawberry picking; wear comfortable shoes, sunscreen, and a hat. (Our sun can be quite the bugger at times.)

  • Opening times Daily, 9am – 4pm
  • Cost R40 (Junior Picker); R55 (The Harvester); R150 (The Professional); R190 (The Ultimate Picker)
  • Contact 021 881 3303, info@polkadraaifarm.co.za
  • Where M12 Stellenbosch Arterial Road,
    Stellenbosch

Kirstenbosch Gardens

This one needs no explanation. Set against the eastern slopes of Table Mountain, the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens is home to a spectacular abundance of plant and bird species. You can bring your whole family here for a walk around the beautifully green gardens before settling on a lawn somewhere under a tree, and enjoy a picnic. 

  • Opening times Daily, 8am – 7pm
  • Cost R70 (Adults), R40 (SA students with card), R20 (kids 6-17), FREE (kids under 6)
  • Contact 021 799 8783, kirstenboschinfo@sanbi.org
  • Where Rhodes Drive, Newlands
family picnic

Wine Tasting

We all love to do a little grown-up activities as well. After all, it’s our holiday too! Here are our top family-friendly wine farms doing kiddie tastings/pairings this holiday!

Stables Restaurant at Vergelegen wine estate (Somerset West) has award-winning wines and a Little VIPs menu for your kiddies. It has the most amazing  playground with tunnels to crawl through, slides, and a more than enough space to run around. 

Stables Restaurant play area

Middelvlei Wine Estate (Stellenbosch) is well-known for their Boere Braai, but they have so much more for our littles as well; roasting marshmallows, feeding animals, a large lawn to run crazy. They offer a juice tasting with gummies and activity pages for kids while the grownups quietly enjoy a little “grownup juice”.

Middelvlei kids pairing plus activity page

Neethlingshof currently has an amazing paring for both adults and children. The adult paring includes 5 bite sized dishes paired with 5 wines, and the child paring (at R60pp) includes 3 little dishes paired with 3 types of drinks. Please book for this ahead of time! They also have a couple of other wine tastings/parings starting at R60pp, including my favourite – Chocolate truffle and Wine pairing!

Neethlingshof building

Eat@Simonsvlei on the prestige Simonsvlei wine farm (Paarl) has the cutest kiddie pairing, made especially to ensure your visit is classy and affordable. Your kids’ pairing will include a creamsoda fizzer paired with a Cream Soda, choc-chip cookie with a chocolate milkshake, marshmallow skewer with red Grapetizer and apple flavoured lollipop with Appletizer. Come on. What more can you possibly want?

Simonsvlei Sweetie Pairing

Perdeberg Cellars are also offering a creative sweet pairing for kids while the adults partake in more grown-up pairings. Although both are equally fun, I believe your little would much rather enjoy his flavoured milk with a decorate-yourself biscuit, juice with watermelon sweets, and ice tea with speckled eggs/dried fruit pieces. At R40/child, this is truly a bargain!

Perdeberg Kiddie Pairing

Last, but not least, the place we most often visit for some grownup time with the littles, is at Skilpadvlei. Not only do they have an indoor and outdoor play area for our kids, their menu is beautiful, food fresh and staff welcoming. We love their kiddie pairing, and it often changes, which is a great plus. Also, you will be pleasantly surprised with the lovely wine and food pairings they offer for mom and dad!

Skilpadvlei Kiddie Pairing

Whatever you will be doing, have fun, focus on being present, and try to put your phone away for a while. Be in the moment! If you try any of these suggestions (even if you’re doing it for the 5th time!), please tag us in it – @simone_mama_to_the_power_of_4 so we can share it too!

Love,

Simone

Can you hear it? The cars roaring to get to their next destination. The frustrated tick-tick of the person on their computer next to you. The kitchen full of dishes because no one has had the time to unpack the dishwasher. Let’s not even go to the pile of laundry…! Deadlines. School-concerts. Holiday planning. Christmas shopping. End-year functions. More shopping. DISTRACTIONS. Read more

Over the last four days, out of our four children, we had three sick littles with one ending up in hospital. And no one saw it coming! What happened to our healthy children?  Read more

I loved being pregnant. But everything changes once you become a parent. Your sleep is cut in half, you eat in instalments, and you may not know which day of the week it is — and that’s just after you have your first child. (Try 4!) Read more

I recently shared an experience I had – a series of events (and perhaps a little bit of hormones!) – that made me to believe that I’m a bad mom. I had a bad, BAD day. OK, perhaps I’m being a bit generous. I had a series of bad days. Read more

We often get asked if we were always planning on having four children. Yes and No. They were all planned. Some by us. Some indirectly by us. Some by God. But planned they were. Read more