8 Family-Friendly Picnic Spots

Firm, crunchy JOYA® apples, available from Woolworths stores countrywide, make for perfect picnics. We share 8 tried-and-tested family picnic spots for summer.

1. Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, Cape Town
Spend a day in one of the great botanical gardens of the world. With paths leading straight onto the eastern slopes of Table Mountain, the garden makes for the perfect picnic spot after a morning hike. Plus, there’s ample space for the kids to run and play. Bring your own picnic basket, a blanket, a book and sunscreen.
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2. Free State National Botanical Garden, Bloemfontein
Described as “a wildlife haven on the edge of the city”, the Free State National Botanical Garden is a much-loved picnic spot among locals. Nestled between dolerite koppies, the 70ha garden is also perfect for leisurely walks. Bring your own picnic basket and find a spot under a wild olive tree. Just watch out for snakes!
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3. Van Gaalen Kaasmakerij, Magaliesberg
The Van Gaalen Kaasmakerij at Skeerpoort, a village at the foot of the Magaliesberg mountains, has long been a popular picnic spot among city slickers keen on a day out. Enjoy your pre-booked picnic hamper on the banks of the Skeerpoort river and stock up on cheese from the famous cheese shop on your way out.
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4. Green Point Urban Park, Cape Town
Free entry and its close proximity to the city and the sea make Green Point Urban Park a fantastic option for a picnic with the kids. There’s much to explore in the Biodiversity Garden, and the beautifully designed play areas are really quite extraordinary. Have your picnic in the park, with Table Mountain as your backdrop, and then pop over to the Promenade for a stroll and a scoop of ice cream.
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5. Hartford House, Mooi River
Doing the Midlands Meander? Then add a picnic at Hartford House in Mooi River to your itinerary. The award-winning Summerhill/Hartford hotel and restaurant offers delectable gourmet picnics in their lush gardens. Relax on a picnic blanket by a lake with views of Giant’s Castle – a truly spectacular location for a family outing.
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6. Walter Sisulu Botanical Garden, Johannesburg
A firm favourite among Joburg residents, this big, beautiful garden makes for a memorable picnic – especially in spring, when the indigenous plants flower. Go on an educational walk or simply relax by the garden’s famous waterfall.
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7. Silvermine Nature Reserve, Cape Town
Going for a hike among fynbos and cooling down in the tea-coloured water of the Silvermine dam is a quintessential Cape Town experience. Pair it with a family picnic and you’re in for a real treat. There are lots of shady spots beside the dam, but the parking area fills up quickly in summer so get there early. And don’t forget your swimsuit!
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8. Oliewenhuis, Bloemfontein
Oliewenhuis, a neo-Cape Dutch-style mansion set among 12ha of vegetation, is widely regarded as the Free State’s top picnic spot. Explore one of the walking trails and pop in at the art museum that features some of SA’s top artists’ work, before settling down for a long and lazy picnic in the magnificent gardens.
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