Category Archives: Family Attractions

Mini Golf at The Golf Village Tygervalley in Bellville (2019-05-04) Family Attractions | Photo Gallery 30 DEC 2019

Putt putt. Mini golf. Adventure golf. Whatever you call it, I always enjoy tackling this fun little distraction whenever the chance presents itself, and back in May I found myself wandering about Bellville sans wife and kids. So I called up my brother and asked if he wanted to meet up for some putt putt. Surprisingly he said yes.

The Tygervalley Golf Village has been around for quite a number of years now, part of Pro Range’s host of driving range setups, and features quite a few facilities on site, including the main golf driving range with target greens and pins, medium and fast paced putting greens, a chipping and pitching practice area, a bunker practice area, a pub, and even a fully fledged golf academy.

Oh, and the all important 27 hole adventure mini-golf course.

The lengthy, colour-coded putt putt courses have always been on the more challenging side of things, but seeing as we aren’t just kids having a swing any more, it makes for an enjoyable (sometimes frustrating) challenge. That said, the Golf Village’s age certainly isn’t doing it any favours, because disappointingly we found the facilities to be in pretty bad nick overall.

Nevertheless, despite the obvious need for some maintenance, care and probably a lick of paint, the mini golf itself is still a lot of fun and if I remember correctly, on the day I had a slightly better round than Ryan. I think.

Putt Putt Putting at Water World Strand (2019-08-10) Family Attractions | Photo Gallery 30 NOV 2019

One of the things that I am immensely enjoying about my girls getting older is the ability to entertain slightly more complex outings with them – like playing a round putt putt for example. Pretty handy then that we just so happen to have one of those not too far from us, eh?

Situated on Beach Road alongside the beach and right next to Son Surf School and the thoroughly enjoyable Waterworld Strand, I am not entirely sure who actually owns/runs Strand’s mini golf course – the signage is strongly branded with the Waterworld Strand logo, but I’m not convinced that they actually operate it as no mention is made on their website – I’m inclined to think it more of a branding/marketing exercise, similar to what say Coca Cola does with all their shop name signage that you see on all the small spaza shops around you.

Anyway, not that it matters in the slightest. There are two colour-coded putt putt courses to attack, and on this particular day, at the halfway point of one of my daily “healthy walks” that I magically managed to get Jessica and her friend Shaelyn to join in on, I decided that we should break for a round of mini golf.

The girls very excitedly agreed to this course of action.

As it turns out, some kids are way more competitive than others when it comes to silly little games like this, but regardless of that, fun was had by all on what it a pretty nice and reasonably neatly maintained mini golf outing.

Gordon’s Bay Primary School Family Fun Walk (2019-09-14) Family Attractions | Photo Gallery 19 OCT 2019

This year we were at last able to join in the annual BP/Gordon’s Bay Primary School Family Fun Walk fundraiser, something Jessica has been keen to take part in for quite some time now. (Last year she missed out at the last minute, thanks to a cold that swooped in literally the day before!)

Our local BP petrol station does a lot of great work in support of our primary school, and this annual fun walk sees parents and kids (and anyone else that wants to join in the fun) walk a 5 km route out into the suburbs and then back to the school again.

Last year the route was apparently a bit of a nasty one in that it was all up in the steep roads behind the school (which sits at the foot of our mountain), so this year it was relief to see that the organizers had taken the commentary to heart and switched to a much more friendly flat and fast route – i.e. accessible to everyone regardless of fitness level!

Jessica and I arrived super early (expecting a massive crowd), but unfortunately the newly opened Strand Park Run (on the beach) together with the long running Somerset West Park Run (which is strangely run in rural Gordon’s Bay) ensured that this wasn’t going to be a particularly big Saturday morning event – a pity considering that this is a bit of a fundraiser for the school.

(Also, this was meant to be a colour run, but disappointingly the organizers didn’t organize very many paint packets – so most of us just had to do without. That said, a lot of people did take the yellow and green dress-up brief seriously, so that was pretty nice to see.)

Still, the crowd was big enough to make it sociable, and as for the walk itself, Jessica got a mini heart-attack when she was briefly separated from me when the crowd set off, we saw plenty of our neighbourhood friends along the route, and Jess got to walk the whole way with one of her best friends, Shaelyn.

And the amount of moaning? Surprisingly little.

...

Searching for Strawberries at Polkadraai Farm in Stellenbosch (2018-09-15) Family Attractions | Photo Gallery 19 JUL 2019

When Spring rolls in at the start of September, the strawberry plants start bearing fruit, and as such, Stellenbosch’s firm family favourite, Polkadraai Farm, opens its gates and allows the public to stream in and start hunting out the best of these sweet red juicy delights.

The last couple of years has seen the farm really cement its family outing offering, with the completion of a host of different upgrades, resulting in an experience with better parking, more shopping variety, outdoor eating options, a mini golf course, jungle gyms, dedicated party venues, pony and tractor trailer rides, and of course expanded strawberry fields for the picking.

It’s a colourful assault on the senses (even if the clouds were a little grey on this particular occasion) and a fun experience for the kids, whom these days don’t often have the opportunity to see just where their food actually comes from. Plus, the strawberries are absolutely delicious, so there’s that too! :P

...

A Giant Jersey, Pancakes and Silly Fun at Tuinplaas in Albertinia (2018-09-22) Family Attractions | Photo Gallery 05 JUL 2019

With the impossible to miss combination of colourful flapping flags and ridiculously dressed ostriches waving to you from the side of the road, sooner or later you are simply going to have to pull off the N2 at the edge of Albertinia and investigate just what exactly this silliness is that labels itself Tuinplaas. So that then is precisely what I did.

With the girls and myself travelling up for a weekend away in Mossel Bay with my folks, I decided to call up mom and dad (who were already there) and asked them to drive down and meet us in Albertinia for a quick breakfast. Amazingly, they agreed to my plan and soon enough we both pulled up in the vast parking lot of our destination. Hello Tuinplaas.

As it turns out, Tuinplaas is in fact a business that is wonderfully not afraid to throw anything and everything at you in order to be successful. At its core, Tuinplaas probably started out as a garden concrete mouldings specialist (hence the many concrete statues, pots and other garden pieces for sale), but then also successfully dabbles as a plant nursery, with a specific focus on its many beautiful succulents.

On top of all that, next is the homely restaurant (situated right next to all the plants and pots), and beside that, the intriguing farm museum that is host to an incredible collection of scale models (with over 8,000 models on display), ten vintage tractors (the oldest being a 1933 McCormick Deering), and incredibly (because this is Albertinia of all places), the Guiness World Record certified largest hand-knitted jersey (jumper) in the world!

And then there is the very silly, impossible to categorize, R.O.A.R., aka the Royale Ostrich Ancestral Republic, concrete ostriches “installation”. It is very silly (in a good way).

...

Fun and Games at the Winter Wonderland Festival in Gordon’s Bay (2018-07-08) Family Attractions | Photo Gallery 08 JUN 2019

Next week Friday (the 14th of June 2019) the ninth edition of Gordon’s Bay’s very own Winter Wonderland Festival kicks off with its annual evening parade – and this time we even have one of our daughters dancing in it!

Started back in 2010 by the newly launched Gordon’s Bay Business Forum as a way of attracting visitors during the quiet winter months, the festival has gone from strength to strength, morphing from an intimate collection of food trucks on the site of the old Van Riebeek Hotel and lots of fairy lights running through the milkwood trees, to the slickly run, well marketed, sprawling array of tents and fun rides that you find on the carnival weekends today.

Every year the “Carnival Park”, now situated in Hendon Park right on Gordon’s Bay’s beautiful main beach is a blast, with loads of food trucks and food stalls, virtually non-stop live music, beer, arts and crafts, family activities and just plenty of fun. That said, the highlight of the festivities as far as the kids are concerned is always the fun park set up and operated by Funland Amusements SA – their collection of fun rides is always a massive hit for the event!

This year (as it has been for the last couple of years – basically a safeguard against the whole thing being rained out entirely), the festival is spread over two carnival weekends, 14-16 and 21-23 June. And yes, obviously we are going to have just as much fun as what we did last year!

...

The Birds and the Trees of Harry Giddy Park in Mossel Bay (2018-06-29) Family Attractions | Photo Gallery 05 JUN 2019

Right as you start your entry into Mossel Bay’s old CBD, at the very top of Marsh Street on the right is a lush green haven called Harry Giddey Park (or Harry Giddy, the Internet can’t quite make up its mind), a public park with trees, running water, a bandstand, a playground, an aviary and even a couple of farmyard animals scattered about.

First laid out as Victoria Park in 1887 (complete with ornate metal gates erected in 1903 in commemoration of Queen Victoria’s Jubilee), the park was later renamed as Harry Giddey Park in honour of the man who spent much of his time and money revitalizing the grounds during the early 1940’s.

The end result of all this work is a wonderfully laid out park that has a little bit of something for everyone. It has a good collection of interesting trees and plants, interesting pathways, a few bits and pieces with historical significance dotted around, the triple play of birds, animals and a small playground area as entertainment options for the kids, and then of course a lot of lawn to be enjoyed by families in search for some family down time in what is a lush green tranquil space.

(It also just happens to be the home for the Mossel Bay bowls club too).

Honestly, I’m a little surprised that it took the girls and me so long to get out and explore this little block of green on the Mossel Bay map.

...

Platters and Picnics at Klein River Cheese Farmstead in Stanford (2017-12-16) Family Attractions | Photo Gallery 31 MAR 2019

After a relaxing drive and one coffee stop at the charming Van Brakel Stoor between Caledon and Napier, we reached the outskirts of Stanford and turned past some interested cows to reach the Klein River Cheese farmstead.

For twenty years this family-run business has been producing award winning artisan cheeses on the outskirts of the art and foodie heritage village of Stanford, using local inputs against the magnificent backdrop of its lazy river, meandering forests and jagged grey-cliff mountain slopes.

The range of cheeses artfully produced on the farmstead is staggering. There is their Gruberg and Stanford brushed rind cheeses, the Danbo, Havarti, Overberg and Raclette washed curd cheeses, the Grana and Parmesan hard cheeses, and finally the popular Leyden and Colby young cheeses.

To complement their fine cheeses, Klein River have set up a magnificent picnic space, complete with a huge lawn, a big kids play area (with a few farmyard animals thrown in), and a nice stoep for when you need some shade (or in our case cover, seeing as every now and then a bit of rain would jump out and surprise us).

Sourcing fresh local ingredients and produce, they then offer a variety of picnic platter and basket options, basically providing everything that you need in order to enjoy a most relaxing day out in the countryside.

In essence, the perfect family day outing.

...

Strawberries and Ice Cream from Redberry Farm in George (2018-01-11) Family Attractions | Photo Gallery 20 JAN 2019

There is a reason why George’s Redberry Farm is as popular as it is. Perfectly setup for family outings, Redberry Farm is guaranteed to be packed out each and every weekend if the weather plays along – and don’t even get me started about how swamped with people it gets during the school holiday periods!

Last year we had the rare opportunity to pop in on a week day where we were delighted to find a much more chilled space. I have written about Redberry Farm before, but now the experience has been expanded even more, with the addition of a wine seller, artisan ice cream producer, pizza spot and even a cold meat deli.

That said, Chantelle and I were in the area for one thing and one thing only – ice cream with some of Redberry’s delicious red strawberries!

[subvertedgallery link=”file” columns=”7″ ids=”53361,53362,53363,53364,53365,53366,53367,53368,53369,53370,53371,53372,53373,53374,53375,53376,53377,53378,53379,53380,53381,53382,53383,53384,53385,53386,53387,53388,53389,53390,53391,53392,53393,53394,53395,53396,53397,53398,53399,53400,53401,53402,53403,53404,53405,53406,53407,53408,53409,53410,53411,53412,53413″]

Refreshing (and admittedly, rather nice to visit without the kids for  change!).

Related Link: Redberry Farm | George