Fun things for parents to do without their children

As I write this, there are a huge amount of school holidays coming up, with some schools giving kids weeks off at a time - literally. Now I could fill this column with yet another ‘5 things to do with your kids in Stellenbosch’ suggestions, but to be honest – that’s been done and as kid-friendly towns go, I reckon Stellenbosch is second-to-none. But I think that any parent who is looking at the long stretch of holidays ahead of them with a sinking heart is missing the point.

Because the thing about school holidays is that everyone else is off too. All you have to do is organise yourselves a little, make an arrangement with a friend with kids and then off-load your offspring and head for the Hottentots-Hollands hills with a light heart and no children! If you take it in turns, you can easily have a fantastic day out alone in Stellenbosch – who knows, maybe even a naughty night-away as well – with no babysitting charges, just some reciprocal child-minding at some point.

So with that in mind (and evil off-loading plots in my heart) here are a few things I would like to do sans child in Stellenbosch this autumn.

Out and about

There are plenty of outdoor activities to do with kids if you want them, but one thing I was lucky enough to partake in recently is a no-go for our 7 year-old. Which is fine – I’ll do it without him! Zooming around the vines on a Segway at Spier is an excellent way of spending an hour or so. Get some air in your lungs, see all the cool, organic stuff going on at Spier, enjoy some lovely views across the valley and – of course – have surreptitious races with your husband whilst the instructor isn’t looking.

Stellenbosch, Spier, Segway, Adventure, Wine Tasting, Wine Tourism

Zooming around the vines on a Segway at Spier...

Eating out

You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to eating in Stellenbosch and many of the restaurants are child-friendly which I think is admirable. But if I want to make sure that I have a relaxing lunch with no chance of a crying baby, I’d go to Waterkloof. Totally unsuitable for kids as it’s got an open fire, no break-out space and no kids menu, but it’s absolutely perfect for a sophisticated lunch à deux, taking your time, appreciating the view and enjoying the company of your loved one.

Stellenbosch Wine Route, Wine Tourism, fine dining

Absolutely perfect for a sophisticated lunch à deux...

Beer drinking

It’s not that Remhoogte and Wild Beast Brewery is un-child-friendly (how could it be when the owner’s grandkids are often to be found happily enjoying the wildlife on the farm?) but who wants kids hanging around when you could just sit on the stoep and drink BEER? There are two of them – the Amber and the Blonde – and both of them need to be sampled and enjoyed in peace, reflecting ruminatively on life, the universe - and everything else except a child whining he’s ‘bored’ and ‘can he play on the iPad?’ It’s enough to put you off your beer!

A touch of culture

My son would drop to the floor and moan with horror if I suggested taking him to an art gallery which means that he needs to be elsewhere if I am going to spend a happy hour looking at the amazing glass collection at Glenelly Wines. He’s at an age where at least I wouldn’t worry about him cannoning into precious artworks if I HAD to take him, but still, I’d far rather relax and look at them without him and then enjoy a filled glass afterwards on the stoep.

Glenelly, Wine Tastings, Wine Tourism, Stellenbosch

Then enjoy a filled glass...

So there you go, a few thoughts for a child-free time in Stellenbosch. Hope you manage to do some successful off-loading these holidays too – see you there!

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Cathy Marston

Cathy Marston

Freelance food and wine writer and currently the only approved programme provider in Southern Africa for the international Wine &…