Awaken from your winter hibernation and go on a quest for good food to feed the body and great spring views to feed the soul. Picnics are a great way of eating out, and an underutilised form of family entertainment. With no limitations on space, and with friends who can BTOP (bring their own picnic),it's such a fun and relaxed way to socialise!
Not only do Capetonians have the mountain, beaches and best-city-in-the-world status, it makes us greener with envy to learn that during summer they have picnic movie nights almost every night of the week! These rotate between Winelands farms, Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens and the V&A Waterfront, and are hosted by The Galileo Open Air Cinema. When the sun sets the stars appear on the big screen in romantic comedies, cult classics, musicals, adventure sports and even documentaries.
Take the family (and maybe the dogs) and make the most of our glorious sunshine – and possibly the stars – at these picnic spots in spring
Events start at 6pm on weekdays, 5pm on Saturdays and 4pm on Sundays. Tickets start from R89 (entry only; hire a back rest, R20, or take your own blanket and cushions), to R175 (VIP reserved premium seating, a drink, blanket, back rest, popcorn and sweets), with couple’s ‘Snuggle’ at R320 (includes blanket, chocolates, pillows and mattress).
There’s an artisanal food market and drinks on sale, picnic baskets plus a great vibe. You may take your own food (except alcohol at wine estates). Ideal for a memorable evening with friends, a ridiculously romantic date, small birthday party or work social.
Visit www.thegalileo.co.za for venues and movie lists
Make the most of our national treasures – the beautiful National Botanical Gardens.
See which one is near you:
FREE STATE NATIONAL BOTANICAL GARDEN, Bloemfontein
HANTAM NATIONAL BOTANICAL GARDEN, Nieuwoudtville
HAROLD PORTER NATIONAL BOTANICAL GARDEN, Betty’s Bay; KAROO DESERT NATIONAL BOTANICAL GARDEN, Worcester; KIRSTENBOSCH NATIONAL BOTANICAL GARDEN, Cape Town
KWAZULU-NATAL NATIONAL BOTANICAL GARDEN, Pietermaritzburg; DURBAN BOTANIC GARDENS
LOWVELD NATIONAL BOTANICAL GARDEN, Nelspruit
PRETORIA NATIONAL BOTANICAL GARDEN, Pretoria; WALTER SISULU NATIONAL BOTANICAL GARDEN, Roodepoort; JOHANNESBURG BOTANICAL GARDEN, Emmarentia
*Open-air movies are also screened at Gauteng’s SANBI botanical gardens!
For more, visit www.sanbi.org
The Modderfontein Reserve is a 275-hectare private park – the second-largest private park in Gauteng and includes portions of the Modderfontein Spruit, many dams, grassland and hills. Lovingly cared for by the Endangered Wildlife Trust, the reserve is ecologically sustainable and is ideal for cycling, walking (guided walks available) and running (there’s a Parkrun every Saturday at 8am). With a strong focus on environmental education, awareness and research for scholars and students, it’s a venue well worth supporting; and for Gautengers seeking wide-open green space to have a picnic, it’s virtually on your doorstep! Shake off city stress by packing a delicious picnic spread and immersing yourself in the amazing flora, while keeping an eye out for steenbok, reedbuck, duiker, black-backed jackals, Cape clawless otter, hedgehogs and four varieties of mongoose, as you sit, munching your sarmies!
Val Bonne Country Estate restaurant & event venue, Dobbs Cottage country-café overlooking Grebe Dam, Beretun Hall and The Grange for functions, can also be found at Modderfontein Reserve, and booked for larger events.
Open from 6am-6pm; closed on Mondays
Admission/conservation fee: R30 per adult, R15 per child, R500pp annual membership fees
Visit www.modderfonteinreserve.co.za or call 079 519 1589 for group bookings.
Cape Point Vineyards in Noordhoek is a prominent wine estate in a unique setting with 360-degree views of mountains, fynbos, vineyards and glorious sunsets over the Atlantic Ocean that make for an unforgettable experience. The ancient soils provide terroir ideal for the production of world-class Sauvignon Blanc that’s strong in minerality and complexity.
While there’s a restaurant, wedding venue and tutored wine-tasting to be done here, a simple picnic in this incredible spot is what the good life’s all about!
Deli-style picnics are available for order on weekdays (except Thursdays, when their Weekly Community Market happens from 4.30pm-8.30pm) and weekends, from noon to 6pm. R395 adults sharing, kiddies R65 per child, plus top-quality wines to order, too.
Picnic spots with an added twist
Big game-viewing Addo Elephant National Park, Port Elizabeth – day visitors can picnic and braai overlooking the waterhole at the rest camp; call 042 233 8600.
Cheese-making Van Gaalen Kaasmakerij, Magaliesberg – after some mountain-biking and a tour at this cheese farm, picnic by the lush river; order your take-home picnic basket filled with a decadent feast at least a day in advance: R450 for 2 people, R620 for 3 people, and R790 for 4 people; call 012 207 1289.
Art appreciation Oliewenhuis Art Museum, Bloemfontein – After a look around the gallery, picnic in the pretty gardens within 12 hectares of natural vegetation, in addition offering four walking trails; call 051 447 9609.