Hands up if you’ve ever bypassed the town of Mossel Bay in favour of the more ‘popular’ Garden Route towns… I bet that’s because you thought there’s a short supply of things to do in Mossel Bay right? Well I don’t blame you because being met with the town’s industrial area when passing through doesn’t exactly help either. My little family and I were invited by Mossel Bay Tourism to change this perception and boy was it changed. Read on for an extensive list of child friendly things to do in Mossel Bay and surrounds.
Romonza Boat Trips
The Romonza offers whale watching and Seal Island trips as well as sunset cruises, all departing from the Mossel Bay harbour. All trips are child-friendly and children are provided with life jackets before boarding. Whale watching trips (July – October) depart the earliest as these trips take the longest to complete (approximately 3 hours) but are definitely worth it! Seal Island trips are shorter and depart on the hour. I especially enjoyed the commentary provided by the on-board tour guide throughout the trip which gave insight to little known facts about the area.
www.romonzaboattrips.co.za | email@example.com
Dias Museum Complex
When searching for Mossel Bay indoor activities on a rainy day, head to the Bartolomeus Dias Museum Complex. I can personally vouch for this because my family and I visited on a particularly stormy day! The museum complex houses a life-sized replica of Bartolomeus Dias’ ship which you can also climb aboard (at a small additional cost). The museum is probably one of the most child friendly things to do in Mossel Bay as it also has a shell museum and aquarium, botanical garden and a 500 year old post tree. Our little one was fascinated by the different fish species in the aquarium.
www.diasmuseum.co.za | +27 44 691 1067
Scrap Metal Art
Want to take the kids to see a real-life transformer? Then take them to Scrap Metal Art at the old railway station in the Mossel Bay harbour. Local artist, Boshoff Botha, literally creates art from junk. A larger than life Madiba statue completed with an engraved timeline and an orange ‘transformer’ stands metres high at his studio. The chairs made with spanners as legs and a table erected on vintage irons are also sure to catch your attention.
Hartenbos Fun Park
When it comes to kids entertainment in Mossel Bay and its surrounds, look no further than the Hartenbos Fun Park situated at the Seefront mall. Children of all ages will be kept entertained for hours with swimming pools, water slides, adventure golf and a massive play area that includes jungles gyms and a sandpit. Once you’ve had your dose of fun you can take a stroll on the boardwalk, lounge on the beach or take a dip in the ocean!
Child Friendly Mossel Bay Restaurants
If you’re visiting with your family, you’ll be very happy to hear that there’s an abundance of child friendly restaurants in Mossel Bay. Below are our pick of kid friendly eateries which we visited during our stay.
Kaai 4 Braai Restaurant
This casual restaurant situated in the Mossel Bay harbour has stunning wrap-around views making it the perfect spot for sundowners and early dinner which will eventually end in late night laughs. Everything is centered around the large fire and you can choose from over 14 Roosterkoek (bread prepared on the fire) fillings. The kids will be more than happy running around on the beach sand covered floor and playing in the kiddies area – which is in full view of the seating area so that parent can keep a watchful eye.
www.kaai4.co.za | +27 44 691 0056
Jackal on the Beach
This historical Santos Pavilion is one of only two beach Pavilions still being used today, the other being the Royal Pavilion in Brighton. The building has been beautifully restored and is known today as the Jackal on the Beach eatery. One of the main Mossel Bay attractions are without a doubt their Blue Flag beaches. I would put this restaurant into the child friendly category purely because it has direct access to Santos Beach as well as an enclosed deck outside dining area. They do of course also have a kids menu. For the adults, you’re spoiled with a great wine, craft gin and beer selection. Their pizzas are also an absolute must to try – especially the tempura prawn!
www.thejackal.co.za | +27 44 690 4567
Stars is a little gem of a restaurant situated in the Bayview Centre. I don’t usually go for ‘mall’ restaurants but was pleasantly surprised by this one. Amazing views are synonymous with Mossel Bay and Stars is no different. They’ve also recently incorporated a shake bar that serves yummy ice-cream, milkshakes and great coffee; the lounge section is ideal for kiddies as its got softer seating and bean bags. There’s also an extensive menu with all the favourites: pizza, seafood, burgers and a notable wine selection.
www.starsmb.co.za | +27 44 690 3045
If you’re visiting this beachfront restaurant on a beautifully sunny day, you simply have to sit on the deck. Delfino’s has direct access to the beach and an adjacent kiddies play area which, along with the option of splashing around in the water, is sure to keep the little ones more than happy. The restaurant is also a great option for breakfast before going to visit the Cape St. Blaize Cave and Lighthouse as it’s situated within close proximity.
www.delfinos.co.za | +27 44 690 5247
De Vette Mossel Beach Restaurant – Great Brak River
It doesn’t get more uniquely South African than De Vette Mossel in Groot Brak Rivier. A nine course seafood menu is prepared in true West Coast style on an open fire and served as a buffet at this outdoor beach restaurant. Mussels in half shell are served as part of the first course and the shell becomes your fork and spoon thereafter! They also have a great kiddies setup and a dedicated baby changing room which we found especially helpful. De Vette Mossel has officially gone ‘green’ in August 2018 and does not serve plastic straws, uses only alien vegetation for firewood and all leftover foods are donated to the poor. Keep an eye on their Facebook page for opening days and times.
www.devettemosselgrootbrak.co.za | +27 79 339 0170
Klipheuwel Farmstall – Klein Brak River
I can guarantee you there’ll be no grumpy travellers on your road trip if you make a stop at this farmstall. Conveniently situated just off the N2 at the Klein Brak River turn-off, it’s one of the most child friendly things to do on the Garden Route en route to your destination. Take your pick because there’s literally something for every member of the family; café, kids play area, mountain bike park, Boplaas wine tasting, craft beer, pizza, hair salon and cute alpacas!
www.klipheuwelpadstal.co.za | +27 44 696 6855
Family Friendly Places to Stay in Mossel Bay and Surrounds
Now that you know of the numerous child friendly things to do in Mossel Bay, it’s time to find accommodation. And much like with all the other things, there’s no shortage of places to stay in Mossel Bay either.
Dibiki Holiday Resort – Hartenbos
This family friendly resort is conveniently situated near the river, town and beach, making it the perfect base from which to explore some of the many things to do in Hartenbos. The wooden self-catering chalets are very spacious and offer spectacular views of the surrounding areas and ocean. Dibiki also has camping and caravan stands with ablution and laundry facilities. A swimming pool, recreation room and newly added coffee shop ensures that the whole family is kept happy during their stay.
www.dibiki.co.za | +27 44 695 1532
Mosselbos Guesthouse – Great Brak River
Photos alone will never do the views at Mosselbos any justice so I suggest you watch the YouTube video included in this post or even better, visit them yourself! The en-suite rooms are luxurious and spacious and if you’re staying in one of the four that has a balcony, you’ll be rewarded with magnificent 180 degree coastline views. The guesthouse has a communal kitchen and lounge making ideal for those visiting with children. It also has an enclosed pool area and a beautiful lush green lawn with direct access to a circular forest walk.
www.mosselbos.com | firstname.lastname@example.org
Eight Bells Mountain Inn – Ruiterbos
Why choose between a seaside or mountain stay when you can have the best of both worlds? Eights Bells Mountain Inn is situated between Mossel Bay and Oudtshoorn in the pristine Ruisterbos Valley at the foot of the Robinson Pass. Their countryside accommodation ranges from en-suite bedrooms to Swiss style log cabins all located on a 400-acre estate. Children are kept entertained with an outdoor play park and indoor play room. If you’re not staying over, you can also make a booking for their popular afternoon tea or Sunday lunches which will make for a great family day drive.
www.eightbells.co.za | email@example.com
Child Friendly Things to do in Mossel Bay
Planning a family trip to Mossel Bay and it’s surrounding areas is probably one of the most memorable road trips you’ll have on the Garden Route. One of the main reasons for this is because you’ll be pleasantly surprised at what this underrated town has to offer. For more information, visit the Mossel Bay Tourism website and have fun planning your stay!
**Our stay in Mossel Bay as well as all activities were arranged and sponsored by Mossel Bay Tourism. As always, all views are my own, uninfluenced and completely honest.