Tag Archives: pony ride

Japan Day 2017 at Blaauwklippen Family Market in Stellenbosch (2017-03-12) Markets | Photo Gallery 10 SEP 2017

Back in March of this year, the local Japanese Embassy hosted their fifth annual Japan Day celebrations in the form of a Japanese-themed, entertainment-filled market day in conjunction with the weekly Blaauwklippen Family Market in Stellenbosch (who themselves LOVE hosting themed market days anyway!).

Now we as a family love the Blaauwklippen Market thanks to it being such a great, family friendly affair (besides, Catje’s Pancakes makes hands down, the best pancakes found at any of our local markets!), and so the addition of even more free (and Japanese-themed!) entertainment made it a proper no-brainer to visit on the day.

So that’s exactly what the girls and I then did.

We first kicked things off with a bit of a stroll around the lovely, historic Blaauwklippen Estate, admiring the white Cape Dutch-styled walls (well in truth, only I was admiring, the girls were busy picking up leaves and acorns),  and reveling in the breathtaking mountain views on offer from the estate.

Next we picked our way past the horde of international tourists (there for the wine and not the market), before picking a spot and settling down in front of the main stage.

The event kicked off with some words from the Japanese Ambassador and the KFM DJ hosts, followed by some energetic drumming from the always entertaining Tamashi Daiko taiko drumming troupe.

Following that, we browsed through the entire market, lingering past all the unusual Japanese food and craft exhibition stalls, before stopping for a fair bit in front of the Judo exhibition mat, something Jessica ended up taking quite an interest in!

As expected, we feasted on pancakes, bought some kids story books, and then ended off our market visit with some time spent hanging around the kids play area, with the girls enjoying pony rides and of course a trip on the ever present Blaauwtrein quadbike train ride!

In other words, yet another perfect market day outing.

(Honestly, Blaauwklippen is always nice to visit, regardless of whether you are there for the market or for some wine tasting and fine dining.)

Related Link: Blaauwklippen Family Market | Blaauwklippen Wine Estate | Office of Consul of Japan in Cape Town

Christmas Market at Blaauwklippen Family Market in Stellenbosch (2016-12-19) Markets | Photo Gallery 25 MAR 2017

I visited the Blaauwklippen Family Market a couple of weekends ago in order to catch a glimpse of the official Japan Day 2017 celebration, an annual event organised in Cape Town by the embassy of Japan. However, that reminds me that Chantelle, the girls and I actually also turned up at the beautiful Stellenbosch-based Blaauwklippen wine estate last December, in order to partake in the rather successful Blaauwklippen Family Market’s yearly Christmas Night Market event.

Held in the evening, we lucked out with absolutely perfect weather – warm, no clouds in the sky and not a breath of wind, making for a perfect family outing.

As always is the case at any Blaauwklippen Family Market event, there were loads of things for the kids to do, with my girls naturally making a beeline for the pony rides first, followed up with a trip on the opportunistically named (I love it!) Blaauwtrein kids ride.

(For those of you not living in South Africa, the “Blue Train” or “Blou Trein” is one of our most luxurious train trips, and “Blaauw” is Dutch for blue. Incidentally, “klippen” is stone, hence Blaauwklippen is probably named for the stunning blue mountain ranges that surround it).

Anyway, Jessica is chomping at the bit to go on the mega trampoline, so we’ve promised to let her do that soon enough (we’re not 100% sure she’s ready for that mind you), though she wasn’t too keen on trying her hand at the exceedingly cute kids bull ride attraction on the night!

As always there was a great, positive buzz around the market, with the stalls (especially the food stalls) doing plenty of brisk trade. The live music reinforced the good vibe, and everywhere you looked you saw people having a great time!

We grabbed our usual delicious pancakes from Catje’s Pancakes, before Chantelle swooped in on some sushi, and I on some craft beer, before finishing it all up with some delicious handmade ice cream for the girls.

All in all, it was a particularly good outing, which I guess then means that come this year Christmas, we’ll have to do it all over again – and maybe drag some of our family and friends along with us for a change!

You’ll note that the last four images in the gallery appear to be completely unrelated to this post. That is because they are, but I don’t really have anywhere else to put them. Essentially, the day after the market we let the girls try out Baskin Robbins that had finally arrived in South Africa, followed up with some coffee and delicious sandwiches from the new Baconville eatery at Willowbridge Mall, and then finally a Spur playdate for Emily with her best friend Marli – which naturally included facepaint.

Also, back to Blaauwklippen Family Market, a map:

Related Link: Blaauwklippen Family Market | Facebook

Play, Markets, and Buying Plants! (2015-06-14) Photo Gallery 16 NOV 2015

If I look back to winter, then quite a lot of my weekends with the girls looked like this – after all, we had a pretty pleasant winter in terms of weather this year:

1) Spend a little time playing at home while I do a couple of household chores. (Mind you, quite often joined by the other little girls in the complex!)

IMG_20150613_105217 jessica playing adventure island 8-bit family game

2) Spend some time eating pancakes and playing in the sand pit at Root 44 Market.

IMG_20150614_131201 girls playing in the sand at root 44 market

3) Enjoy a drink and play on the jungle gyms at Mondeor Garden Restaurant (with Chantelle during her split).

IMG_20150613_143204 savanna at mondeor garden restaurant

4) Sundays almost always involved pony rides and pancakes at Blaauwklippen Family Market.

IMG_20150607_142148 jessica riding a pony

5) And yes, every now and then the girls would help me do a little shopping. They rather enjoy the trips through to Cape Garden Centre mind you. I wonder why…

IMG_20150614_143308 chantelle and emily helping craig buy flowers at cape garden centre

And these photos? They’re all taken on just one pleasant weekend back in June!

In hindsight, seems a pretty decent way of spending one’s weekends then, don’t you think? :)

Beans, Stodels, Blaauwklippen and McDonalds (2015-03-29) Photo Gallery 21 JUN 2015

Found another folder of weekend photos that I forgot to post, dating back to the end of March this year. Another dad alone weekend, but man, looks like I once again found myself with the pony at Blaauwklippen Family Market on the Sunday.

I’m beginning to wonder just how many times Jess has ridden that little pony this year… (I suspect more than what I can count might be the answer!)

IMG_20150329_135821 jessica riding a pony at blaauwklippen family market

From the look of it, this was a pretty good weekend. Planted beans and swung in the crate swing with Oupa Monty, spent some time with the friends at Stodels (Logan, Evalynne and Jessica had a ball), pony rides, ice cream and pancakes at Blaauwklippen, and some burgers and play time at Waterstone McDonalds.

Seeing these kind of makes me eager for Spring and then Summer to roll back into our lives! (After all, looks like possible snow hitting the Cape this week…)

IMG_20150329_104256 logan, jessica and evalynne playing on a climbing frame at stodels

Entertaining the Kids on a Wet May Weekend My Life 01 JUN 2015

This past weekend was pretty wet – proper winter weather in other words. It was a work weekend for Chantelle, working a split shift on Saturday and then a full on Sunday – but neither this nor the weather was enough to stop myself and the girls from enjoying a weekend full of fun!

IMG_20150531_152331 jessica, emily and craig lotter family selfie

Although our original plan for Saturday had been to head out to The Giraffe House for some animal feeding fun, the exposed nature of the place plus the wet weather didn’t make for a great combination, and so instead the plan was changed and Chantelle, Jessica, Emily and I headed off to Joostenberg Vlakte for some fun at the far more suitable Bugz Family Playpark!

With the outdoor area shut due to the weather, all the kids were running wild in the inside play area, and despite the noise and activity, both Emily and Jessica got a kick out of stretching their legs and climbing and sliding over everything that got in their way! :)

In other words, a particularly good way to tire out both little ones and make for a rather relaxed Saturday evening back home whilst Chantelle worked out the rest of her shift…

IMG_20150530_141916 chantelle, jessica and emily eating snacks at bugz playpark

Sunday on the other hand I was flying solo with the girls, and so I decided to make the most of a gloomy day and head out for adventure to Butterfly World, another location that works okay regardless of the weather.

First things first though, we needed to do a spot of shopping, in particular we needed to find a pair of boots for Emily.  After a few failed attempts, we eventually found something suitable at Shoe City, and with Jessica’s approval on the final design chosen, Emily was at last outfitted with her very first set of gumboots – pink Princess Sofia the First ones of course!

IMG_20150531_122320 emily lotter wearing her new boots from shoe city

With the shopping part of the morning now done, next up it was pancakes at Blaauwklippen Family Market (delicious as always), followed by a pony ride for Jess – seriously, she is in love with this pony ride thing!

IMG_20150531_130153 jessica lotter eating pancake at blaauwklippen family market

Emily was particularly cute stomping around in her new boots mind you.

IMG_20150531_132852 jessica lotter riding a pony at blaauwklippen family market

Finally, it was time for the long drive through to Klapmuts and Butterfly World, where on entry it was a nice surprise to see ticket prices lowered by 25% due to the cold weather – essentially the butterflies aren’t particularly active on wet, gloomy days.

Nevertheless, butterflies or not, Butterfly World has plenty of furry, scaly and feathered critters for the little ones to see, and as expected, Jessica and Emily had quite the ball – with us spending more than just a couple of hours wandering around the place.

IMG_20150531_151018 jessica lotter at butterfly world

We ended off the day by grabbing a bite to eat from the cafe, before jumping back in the car and making the long trip back home – with both girls enjoying quite the lengthy nap in the process!

IMG_20150531_141827 toddler emily lotter at butterfly world

In other words, a good weekend with my little princesses despite the miserable wet May weather! :)