Christmas in South Africa is a special time of year. Well, at least for me. I always think of it as a ‘Kaalvoet Kersfees’ (barefoot Christmas), since we have a summer Christmas instead of a white Christmas. It’s also holiday time; a time to relax and kick off your shoes. Are you spending Christmas in Gauteng this year? Join me in celebrating the start of the summer holidays and the countdown to our very own ‘Kaalvoet Kersfees’ by popping in at these festive events:
ALSO SEE THE POST ON THINGS TO DO IN CAPE TOWN THIS CHRISTMAS
Visit Melrose Arch if you’re spending Christmas in Gauteng
The Melrose Arch Christmas Market is happening between 1 and 3 December this year, so if you can still make it this weekend, be sure to pop in and stroll through the stalls while indulging in some festive treats. If you can’t make it for the market, then at least visit Melrose Arch sometime over the festive season. The Christmas lights have been switched on and the festive cheer is tangible.
Joburg Ballet and the Johannesburg Zoo
Joburg Ballet will once again meet Christmas lovers at the Joburg Zoo this year, performing Iain MacDonald’s magical production of Cinderella at the famous Festival of Lights. The dancers will be performing up until 4 December, but the Festival of Lights will linger for much longer.
Also, did you know that you can adopt a zoo animal as a Christmas gift for a loved one. Go have a look at the zoo’s Instagram page to learn more about how it works and what it includes, starting from R300.
Montecasino’s Christmas lights and Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol
Montecasino’s Christmas lights are back too and as always, it’s a magnificent sight to see! Book a table and have some dinner at one of your favourite restaurants, or buy tickets to one of the exciting productions happening in theatre, after which you can buy some ice cream and stroll the streets that make you feel like you’re in Italy.
Montecasino will also once again be bringing back the evergreen classic, Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol this year. The production is said to be truly unique and features animated ghosts, original music and two wonderful actors playing several characters. Wessel Odendaal was asked to do the music for the production – soundscapes reminiscent of Dickensian London, while keeping it appealing to today’s modern audience – and managed to find a balance, refining it over the last four years of staging the production.
The production has been playing to sold out audiences annually and will be on stage again this year between 14 and 24 December only. Get your tickets here.
Fourways Mall’s Santa Land
Yup, Fourways Mall‘s Santa Land is back and it’s bigger than ever! They’re offering a host of fun-filled adventure zones for the whole family. Santa Land is open from 1 to 22 December this year and activities included in your Santa Land ticket include: Main Land Santa Land activities, Santa’s Kitchen with Paul’s Homemade Ice Cream, and more. Buy tickets into Santa’s world here.
The Playground Market
I just love how The Playground Market is bringing people together this festive season. You can help decorate their Christmas tree by making a wish and donating R5 (or more) towards hampers for The Playground Market’s staff and their families. Write down a wish on one of the tags and leave your mark (and your wish) on their Christmas tree this year.
This market is always filled with lots of fun things, and the festive season includes a variety of delicious cuisines, paint and sip events, a creative Christmas makers session, happy hour between 13:00 and 14:00 and again at 16:00, FIFA live streaming, Christmas tree decorating and donations, as well as the opportunity to make a change by dropping off some sneakers, sparing some old soles at Kicks for Change.
Fourways Farmers Christmas Market
The Fourways Farmers Market is going festive this December with their well-known Christmas day and night markets. All your favorite farmers market vendors will be there, with the addition of various new holiday-themed artisanal and food vendors. Shop local from 08:00 to 21:00 16, 17 and 18 December while enjoying the Christmas lights, live Christmas music and festive cheer. There is an entrance fee of R20 per adult (children under 12 and pensioners can enter for free).
Carols in the Park
The Lonehill Residents Association will be hosting their annual Carols in the Park again this year. Brought to you by Univest Property Group, locals will gather in the Lonehill Park on Sunday, 4 December from 16:00 to 20:00. There will be ten food vendors selling food and drink, a craft area for the kids, a playground and some carol singing. Santa and his helpers might also pop in for a quick hello! Remember to bring a picnic blanket along. Tickets cost R100 per adult and R50 per child (aged 4 – 13) and children under the age of three can enter for free. Parking will be available adjacent to the Lonehill Fire Station on Lonehill Boulevard. Unfortunately, no dogs are allowed. Get your tickets here.
Celebrate the end of the year with Muse Bakery at the Flamingo Shopping Centre with some exciting Christmas classes on 7, 8, 14 and 21 December this year. You’ll learn to make mince pies, Christmas cake pops, do some Christmas cake decorating and make Christmas trifle! Book on 078 274 2361.
Lawley Street’s a must this Christmas in Gauteng
Check out Lawley Street’s lights! This is always a fun family activity, with the traffic picking up as we get closer to Christmas. From local bands making music on the street curbs to the most beautiful (and sometimes a little over-the-top) Christmas lights – it’s a great outing and the perfect way to kill time during suicide hour, trust me!
The Boeremark will once again be hosting their annual Christmas Night Market. Visit them on 15 December between 16:00 and 21:00 and indulge in their delicious food and lovely live music. If you can’t make it for the night market, the Boeremark will still be open as per usual on 3, 10, 17 and 24 December 2022 and their first market for the new year will be on 7 January 2023.
Festive Funfair at Atterbury Value Mart
EnterActive Productions will be hosting a Festive Funfair from 9 to 17 December 2022 at Atterbury Value Mart. This will be in aid of The Smile Foundation and it will offer carnival rides, live performances, craft drinks and festive stalls with crafts, gifts, freshly baked goods and yummy treats between 15:00 and 21:00.
The lineup includes Janie Bay, Hennas & Band, Cantina Brass & Virctor Bravo, Marchant Muller, Droomsindroom, Beeskraal, Saarkie and more.
Tickets cost R40 per child (children under three can enter for free) and R60 per adult. Funfair ride tickets will be available at the ticket booth on the day at R30 to R50 per ride. Get your Festive Funfair tickets here.
The Good Mood Market
Get into the festive mood at this exciting Pretoria-based market happening at the Irene Village Mall on 15 December from 17:00. Expect artisinal food and drink, bespoke arts and crafts and live entertainment. The market is also dog-friendly, so bring along your furry friend for the festivities. Cow bells, lights and cinnamon spice – what more could you ask for when looking for some Christmas cheer? Entrance to the market is free.
Kerssang by Kerslig, Voortrekker Monument
This promises to be quite a spectacular event. Kick off reconciliation week at the Voortrekker Monument on 8 December at 18:00. They will be switching on the lights of the new light garden and fairy light trail, and the Pretoria Symphony Orchestra and Singfonix will be leading in Christmas carols by candle light. Bring blankets and candles and sing along to the magic that Christmas and music bring. There is a R20 fee payable for parking and everyone is welcome.
Irene Lights Christmas Run
Support the Tshwane SPCA this festive season by joining them for the fun Irene Lights Christmas Run on 8 December at 18:00. Bring your family and friends and take part by running or walking and remember to wear something Christmassy. The idea is to bring donations towards the SPCA wish list, or proof of payment donations.
Woodhill Christmas Market
If you’re not too late, head on over to Woodhill’s Christmas Market on 3 December from 17:00 to 21:00 and 4 December from 10:00 to 15:00. There will be a kids zone opposite Terrace.
Vintage Christmas Market
South Africa’s oldest and most-loved vintage Christmas market (the old Melrose Museum Market) will place on 16 December 2022 at the CBC Old Boys Club, with over 110 traders! They will be open from 08:30 to 14:30.