Hazendal Wine Estate creates state-of-the-art adventure land for kids
Fusing fun, fantasy and education, Wonderdal will keep your little ones entertained while you sample some of this Stellenbosch estate's delicious wines
What to do if you're a kid and your mom and dad are wine tasting, eating Russian-inspired lunches or having a refreshing beer in the open-air beer garden at the beautiful Hazendal Wine Estate in Stellenbosch? If you were at any other wine farm on the Cape Wine Route you'd join your little brother in a nasal rendition of the well known whine, "When are we gonna go home?"
It's precisely because they have children of their own that husband and wife team Shlomi Azar and Simone Voloshin (daughter of Estate owner Dr Mark Voloshin), have created an adventure land called Wonderdal to enthral, amaze and educate kids.
"We witness so much thought going into spaces designed for adults," said the couple while taking me on a tour of the high-tech playground, "kids also deserve these amazing spaces."
There are a few standout features that make Wonderdal a great outing. It is state-of-the-art, combining technology with physicality to create an interactive indoor space and a creative outdoor play area. Children learn about energy, plant growing and healthy nutrition.
Kids get a magic bracelet enabling them to see and communicate with virtual reality creatures called Amuki (who'd otherwise be invisible)
The virtual reality Amuki creatures were created to enhance the experience. They're friendly, quirky and intelligent, with shimmering bodies and leafy ears. Kids get a magic bracelet enabling them to see and communicate with their Amuki (who'd otherwise be invisible).
Learning zones consist of Kora, Tree of Light, which grows in the middle of Wonderdal and is fantastic for climbing. In The Tinker Trees workshop kids experiment with energy and build electrical circuits. The Wonder Garden is an immersive digital, virtual reality landscape that explains how plants grow.
In the virtual Health Kitchen kids cook balanced meals for their Amuki friends. The Story Cave is a space for children to relax and listen to stories about the adventures of the Amuki in special nooks and outside in the Wildlands kids can run and climb and stretch their legs.
Fusing fantasy, fun and education has been a huge challenge for the Voloshins of Hazendal and they've succeeded exceptionally well. A little too well, perhaps, freeing up their parents to do the things that parents love to do and go home with boxes of their favourite Hazendal wines and bottles of glorious olive oil.
• Wonderdal is suitable for children aged five to 13. Fore more information, visit wonderdal.co.za