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It feels like you’ve been waiting forever and now you have finally booked a holiday to the beautiful seaside town of Hermanus. The only problem is, you’ve since wondered if there will be enough activities in the area to keep the whole family – and especially the kids – entertained. Not to worry! We’ve compiled a list crammed full of things to do. And, most of them are things mom and dad would enjoy just as much (if not more) than the younger members of the family.

Hermanus Grotto Beach

For a family full of nature-lovers

Some people don’t even realise that Hermanus has a breathtakingly beautiful beach. It’s easy to fixate on the cliffs in town and the great vantage point you have over Walker Bay from there, but don’t let a visit to Hermanus slip by without taking the kids to play in the powdery white sand of Grotto Beach. And speaking of those cliffs, grab an ice cream from Gelato Mania and take a seat to watch the whales as they frolic in the deep blue water between June and November. Even the kids will be able to spot them – Hermanus wasn’t named the whale watching capital of the world for nothing! You’re also guaranteed to take the most beautiful family photos here. If you’re in the mood to be active, hike up to the different pools and waterfalls of the Fernkloof Nature Reserve. Pack some snacks and have a picnic – there’s even a small jungle gym if your kids are a little too young for the hiking option.

White Lion at Panthera Africa

Teaching the kids about conservation

The Fernkloof Nature Reserve mentioned in the previous section fits well into this category as well, since this is a great opportunity to teach the kids about endangered and rare species of plants and animals. Panthera Africa is a big cat sanctuary outside the neighbouring town of Stanford. It’s a 50 minute drive from Hermanus, but the trek is well worth it and the kids will be talking about your visit for some time afterwards! Their educational tours tell the story of the suffering these majestic animals go through in captivity and what we can do to save them. While you’re on route, travel to the African Penguin and Seabird Sanctuary near Gansbaai to witness the great work they do to protect marine life. The most exciting time to visit is around 08:30 (perhaps a little early) and 15:00 in the afternoon to see them feed the birds. Best of all? No entry fees. And the kids will love the penguins!

Splash at Benguela Cove

Activities for kids under 10 years old

The youngest members of the family might not be able to fully appreciate the conservation activities mentioned above, and that’s ok… You will simply have to book a return visit next year, and the year after. For the little ones, a more controlled environment is perhaps a better option. Try Wonderland Café – they have a variety of treats for you to nibble on, while the kids play in the various different areas and playgrounds. There’s everything from putt-putt to jungle gyms and painting activities. You’re guaranteed to momentarily forget that you arrived with children. Place a visit to Benguela Cove on your to-do list as well. Their Pirate Golf and Splash area are both big hits with the younger crowd.

Hermanus Old Harbour Museum

Feeling cultured?

Museums are not everyone’s cup of tea, but for those drawn to monuments and the stories they tell of days gone by, they hold fascinating mysteries. If you have a bookworm in your family who enjoys learning about history, pay a visit to the Old Harbour Museum and the Whale House Museum, a short walk from it. Don’t expect imposing statues or state-of-the art displays, but take a moment to appreciate how far the town has come since its early days. Visit Hermanus Tourism for more info.

What to do if mommy and daddy want to sample some of the great wines in the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, but don’t want to leave the kiddies at home? It’s simple really! Many of the wine estates have rolling lawns the kiddies can run around on, La Vierge has a sandpit (meant for the game Boules, but they don’t mind kiddies playing in it), and Creation has a special tasting menu prepared especially for younger visitors.

Catch a movie at the Whale Coast Theatre

What to do when the weather doesn’t play along?

The weather in the Overberg – but especially next to the ocean – can be somewhat unpredictable. We have the most beautiful sunshine days, but sometimes we have days with non-stop rain or strong wind. On these days it’s not so great to be out and about. Book a movie at the Whale Coast Theatre in the Whale Coast Mall, or let the kids play games at Zero Gravity (also in the mall). And then, take everyone to the Spur for a waffle while the kids burn a few calories in the play area – complete with a child-minder to keep an eye on things so you can relax and enjoy your meal.

Come visit Bona Dea

While you are in the area

Did you know that Hermanus and surrounds make a beautiful backdrop for professionally organised functions and conferences as well as breathtaking weddings? If you know of someone looking for a wedding venue fit for the pages of a magazine, point them in the direction of Bona Dea Private Estate. We offer a variety of services and accommodation options as well. Get in touch today if you would like to chat about what Bona Dea can do for you!