It’s only been about five months since we first took the plunge and moved to Greyton, but it feels like we’ve lived here forever! We’ve had plenty of time to settle in and explore our new home town, so I thought it was time to share some of our best things to do with kids in Greyton.
When we first moved to this beautiful little village, we were concerned that we wouldn’t quite fit in as a young family, but those worries were soon cast aside as we discovered that Greyton is actually a haven for children. I’ve had several people reach out and ask about some of the best things to do with kids in Greyton, so I decided to sit down and put together a round up of our favourites.
Pancakes at the Saturday morning market
After slathering ourselves in sunscreen and donning our hats, we spend most Saturday mornings at Greyton’s market, which you’ll find at Market Square opposite the Dutch Reformed Church on Main Street. (It’s hard to miss it – this is where you’ll find most tourists and residents on a Saturday morning!) More village fête than crowded hipster hangout, the market starts at 10am and continues till about 12pm, and you’ll find everything from organic, homegrown veggies and John’s infamous homemade bread to natural skincare products, arts and crafts, and even second-hand books.
Our usual Saturday morning routine involves grabbing a cup of Soa’s delicious coffee (she also offers plant-based milks and you’ll find her trailer outside Pure Cafe during the week), and Beanie is always first in line for a Nutella pancake. (I usually end up coming home with a new book or two to devour for the rest of the afternoon – bliss!)
They also have a fairly new kiddies play area at the market to help keep littlies entertained while their parents browse the stalls.
Visit the donkeys at EARS Donkey Sanctuary
EARS Donkey Sanctuary is a safe haven for ex-working donkeys and other donkeys that need a home and a little TLC. The sanctuary is situated a few kilometres outside of Greyton at the Greyton Riding Club and although they welcome visitors, it’s best to give them a call beforehand as the sanctuary is a working farm. Children will love learning more about the donkeys (and possibly given the opportunity to feed them a carrot or two). Give Penny (0826606714) or Shanna (0746646110) a call to arrange a visit.
Go for a swim and High Tea at Vanilla Cafe
Vanilla Cafe is by far one of our favourite restaurants in Greyton. Their food is delicious (and they have several vegetarian and vegan options – their veggie spring rolls are my fave), they have great coffee, they’re both kiddie- and dog-friendly… and they have a pool, a jungle gym, and plenty of shady spots to sit at.
I’m also a huge fan of their High Tea options for both adults and children alike: The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party for one is the perfect treat for tots, with a sarmie (choose between marmite, peanut butter, jam, or honey), half a slice of cake, and tea or a juice for just R49. Adults can pair up and indulge in the High Tea for Two, which is made up of delectable cucumber and cream cheese sandwiches and brie and fig sandwiches, along with an assortment of sweet treats and a pot of tea of your choice.
Go for a short hike in the Greyton Nature Reserve
Established in 1977, the Greyton Nature Reserve is roughly 2200 hectares in size, making it one of the biggest nature reserves in the Western Cape. Given its size, it comes as no surprise that it’s yet to be fully explored, and that it’s home to a number of plant species that haven’t been seen since they were first described by Burchell back in 1812!
History lesson aside, there is no entrance fee or permit required (unless you plan on doing the Boesmanskloof Trail into McGregor or are staying overnight on the two-day Genadendal Trail). There are several clearly marked trails, with a handful of easy, short walks that are suitable for kiddies too. (Look out for the locals’ secret spot just after the leiwater dam along the Boesmanskloof Trail. It’s a quick 10 to 15 minute walk to a lovely shady rock pool – perfect for picnics and a refreshing dip for both adults and children! This is high up on the list of our favourite things to do with kids in Greyton… but shhh! You didn’t hear it from me!)
Snuggle a pig!
If your littlie is a farm animal fanatic, they’ll love the Greyton Farm Animal Sanctuary, which was founded by animal lover Nicola Vernon (who’s also the owner of Greyton’s vegan gem, Pure Cafe). The Greyton Farm Animal Sanctuary does incredible work and is home to just under 100 pigs, a multitude of sheep, and plenty of goats, ducks, and geese, which have all been rescued from dreadful living conditions and an inhumane death. Visitors are welcome (by appointment) and you can also volunteer to help out with the running of the farm. Call Nicola on 0825587752 for more information.
Swim in the river
Right at the bottom of Oak Street, you’ll find a beautifully landscaped park with a little bridge that crosses over the river. Although this isn’t an ‘official’ site or place of interest in Greyton, it’s certainly become one of our favourites. We often go for a walk to the OK to stock up on some snacks (they make great pies!), then stop by the river for an impromptu picnic on the bridge. We also take Beanie and his friends to this little spot for some river play during playdates – the kids all love it, while the adults can drink up the beautiful views to the gentle trickling sound of the river washing over your feet. Bliss!
(Top tip: buy a magazine or take a book along to really make the most of the tranquility – and leave your phone at home, if you can help it!)
Enjoy a kid-friendly lunch at Fiore Garden Centre
We don’t eat at Fiore very often, but when we’re in the mood for a proper, wood-fired pizza or we have friends with kids visiting, this is one of our top picks. Apart from being a full-on nursery, Fiore serves delicious food – from the above-mentioned pizzas to pancakes and everything in between – and has a great play area to keep the kids busy while you catch up with your friends.
Go for a bike ride around the village
Known for it’s quiet, country roads and with a multitude of mountain trails on offer, Greyton is a top holiday pick for avid cyclists and their families. Not a keen cyclist, or don’t own your own bike? No problem! Pop by Via’s Deli to hire a bike (some of them have kiddie seats suitable for older babies and toddlers), and take advantage of Greyton’s quiet roads and minimal traffic to get a whole new perspective of this quaint little village. (Keep an eye out for cows, horses, and donkeys while you’re at it!)
These are just a handful of some of our favourite things to do with kids in Greyton, but we’ve only lived here since October, so it’s by no means an exhaustive list. If there’s anything that you think should be added to this list, please leave a comment below so I can add it to the post!
PS: Keen to read more about our reasons for moving to Greyton in the first place? You might enjoy this post.