This winelands jewel is an everchanging chameleon that delights and surprises on every single visit! We discovered this remarkable place a few years ago on a rare “adult outing” but have since been doing Babylonstoren with the kids as it’s something we all really love.
This is a fresh air, outdoor outing exploring gardens that sprawl 8 hectares. Taking it slow is the way to go as you meander around enjoying a sensory experience in all the unique areas. Set aside a good few hours to take full advantage and no 2 visits will be identical.
What Is Babylonstoren
Babylonstoren is one of the oldest Cape Dutch wine farms dating back to 1692. Vast and structured gardens were developed, inspired by the original Company Gardens. The 100’s of plants, cultivated fruit and vegetables all have edible or medicinal value and supply the restaurants there.
Babylonstoren is really an entire destination now. Whilst the focus of this post is to highlight wandering Babylonstoren with kids, I’ll make brief mention of the other aspects on offer further on.
Where Is Babylonstoren?
Babylonstoren is on the R45 / Klapmuts Simondium Road between Backsberg and Noble Hill Wine Estate.
Babylonstoren Times & Cost
The gardens are open Monday to Sunday from 0900 to 1700 (last entry at 1600). I recommend getting there early in summer as it gets hot.
At the gate you’ll be handed a helpful map and information guide so you don’t miss a trick. We’ve kind of a got a route we follow now after so many visits!
Midweek entry fees are only R10 a pop and the weekend cost is R20 per adult and R10 per kid. Kids under 5 visit free of charge. Visit the website for more information.
What We Usually Do
After the initial excitement upon arrival of seeing the donkeys, some resident turkeys and chickens and a quick comfort break at the toilets, we set off through the narrow gate into the world of magical gardens. We generally head roughly straight up towards the Greenhouse Restaurant, whilst admiring various sights en route. We stop off at the Greenhouse for a family treat and shot of caffeine for us parents before carrying on with our exploration around the rest of the place, zigzagging between areas so as not to miss anything out.
The Greenhouse Restaurant
The Greenhouse at Babylonstoren is the informal restaurant serving up light dishes with 80% of the ingredients coming from the farm itself. No booking is needed. We have a standard order which are their oh so delicious scones. They are worth every calorie! You’ll receive 2 per portion with thick cream, cheese, butter and jam. Other menu items include artisan sandwiches, boerie rolls, soup, salad, pie, cake and more. Beverages include freshly made juices, coffees, craft beers and of course their wine.
There is no specific kids menu except a portion of mac cheese but my 3 usually share a couple of portions of scones between them. There are servings of warm potato chips or the boerie roll that will appeal to most kids. Their homemade seasonal R20 popsicles are a refreshing way to cool down on a hot day.
Whilst we always sit outside under the tall oak trees, it’s worth popping inside the actual Greenhouse itself as the kids are always fascinated to check out what display there is at the centre tap area. Often you’ll find freshly picked seasonal fruit laid out and you may help yourself to a piece to snack on. There were interesting and colourful pumpkins though on our last visit.
There are lovely, large and spacious toilet facilities located just outside of the restaurant area. Good to stop there after coffee before moving on.
What To Look For
There are so many quirky and interesting things to see and nooks to explore. My kids already just enjoy seeing beautiful fruit and veggies growing on the trees and ground. As we go every few months there is always different produce to see.
They love pottering in the gravity fed water channels whilst we sit at the Greenhouse. The Pumpkin Snail tunnel, Prickly Pear maze and Puff Adder are always winners. A huge highlight always is a visit to the weaver nest pods where we’re forced to take individual pictures of all of them ensconced in a pod on every single visit! Oh my word! Another draw card is a walk through the cool and winding shady clivia path with the stream below. Even as an adult one almost expects fairies to jump out. There’s a tree with a massive hollow which makes us think of Pixie Hollow from Disney and the Magic Faraway Tree from Enid Blyton’s books. The stuff of childhood fantasy right?
What Else Does Babylonstoren Offer?
Babylonstoren is a complete destination. Also on offer:
- wine tasting and cellar tours
- farm shop with delicious deli items for sale
- Babel is the more formal restaurant, bookings essential
- Bakery Restaurant serving evening meals
- factory and scent room visits available
- garden and Healing Garden tours
- a hotel and spa
Tips For Babylonstoren With Kids
- Set aside a half day if you plan to stop at the Greenhouse
- Wear sunscreen and hats in summer
- Wear boots for splish splashing in winter
- Pack water and a few snacks for the kids
If you’ve played your cards right and suitably drained sufficient energy with your visit, you’ll have very tired kiddos that are highly likely to snooze off in the back of the car on the way home!
Have you been to Babylonstoren with your kids? What were their favourite bits? Comment below, I’d love to hear from you.
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