Relaunched in December 2018 after a year-long renovation, Hazendal is a destination unlike any other in the Winelands. This illustrious estate, owned by Russian-born entrepreneur Dr Mark Voloshin, is a seamless merging of South African and Russian traditions.
One of the estate’s exciting new additions is Wonderdal, a state-of-the-art edutainment centre for children ages 5 to 13. The one-of-a-kind play centre combines advanced virtual reality technology with physical elements to create an innovative indoor space and a creative outdoor play area that will wow kids.
The interactive experiences are cleverly designed to educate children on topics from their regular school curriculum, such as energy, nature, nutrition and life skills. The immersive space works to stimulate their imagination, creativity and curiosity, and encourages them to explore and experiment in a playful way.
A world of Wonderdal
Not just a playground, but an exercise in immersive fantasy, Wonderdal is designed to make children feel part of a story. As they explore, they will be accompanied by the Amuki, who are the virtual inhabitants of Wonderdal. These friendly, quirky creatures will guide them through the experience, giving them tips on how to complete the various activities and tasks.
Some of the wonders of Wonderdal include:
- Kora, the Tree of Light Standing at the centre of Wonderdal, Kora provides children with the opportunity to learn about motion energy through its hand-cycling and climbing games.
- Tinker Workshop A workshop sheltered by tinker trees, where children can navigate an electric circuitry board and a marble run, and learn about aerodynamics through the wind tunnel.
- Wonder Garden An immersive digital landscape where children can look after a virtual garden with imaginary plant types.
- Health Kitchen A virtual kitchen where children cook meals for their Amuki friends, learning basic kitchen skills like chopping, frying and blending.
- Story Cave A place where children can relax and listen to educational audio stories.
- Wildlands An untamed land on the outskirts of Kora’s realm, and the perfect place for children to unleash their boundless energy through various physical activities.
As well as the digital Amuki, children have the company of real-world denizens, in the form of the Wonderpals, who are trained supervisors, there to ensure the children are well looked after.
Good to know For the toddlers not yet old enough to partake in Wonderdal, there are toys in the Deli, rocking horses at the seated area next to Wonderdal, as well as an expansive lawn for them to enjoy.
While the kids are at play…
… parents can enjoy a meal at the boundary-pushing Avant-Garde Restaurant or at the Babushka Deli. They can also sample some of the estate’s fine wines in the luxurious wine-tasting lounge; or experience an authentic Russian tea ceremony, where specially sourced and imported Russian black tea is served from a steaming Samovar (ornate Russian tea urn).