Christmas and New Year’s Eve celebrations tend to hog the limelight as far as December’s event calendar is concerned, but in reality there is a fantastic variety of things to do and look forward to now that summer has well and truly settled into the Cape. Here’s what’s going down in and around the Mother City this December…
Kirstenbosch Summer Concerts
The Kirstenbosch Summertime Concerts are in full swing and with some awesome local and international acts set for December, now’s as good a time as ever to experience this Cape Town favourite. Performances this month include Mi Casa (3rd Dec), Texas (8th Dec), Matthew Mole (10th Dec), Mango Groove (23rd Dec) and, on New Year’s Eve, Goldfish and Hot Water.
When: November 2017 to April 2018
Where: Kirstenbosch Gardens
Tickets: Price depends on performance; tickets available from www.webtickets.co.za
Table Mountain Cableway Sunset Special
You haven’t been to Cape Town unless you’ve summited our city’s namesake! Now, with the Table Mountain Cableway Sunset Special giving locals 50% off standard ticket prices (provided you produce a valid RSA ID) this spectacular experience just got way more affordable. The special applies to cable car rides taken between 18h00 and 20h00 and, once at the top, you can enjoy the incredible views and gorgeous sunset.
Eclectica: Divergent Tides Group Exhibition
Cape Town has a thriving art scene that many are completely unaware of. So why not expand your horizons this December with a visit to the group exhibition “Divergent Tides”? Hosted by minimalist contemporary gallery, Eclectica, this free exhibition features a collection of works by artists Lars J. Fischedick, Asuka Nirasawa, and Leila Fanner, among others. It’s also free so you have no excuse not to show your support of our budding local art!
When: 20th November 2017 to 20th February 2018
Where: Eclectica Gallery, 179 Buitengracht Street, Gardens
Tickets: Free entrance
Hope@PaulCluver Summer Festival
If wine, picnic food, comedy, live entertainment, and music enjoyed in a beautiful outdoor setting is your definitive idea of a great Saturday, then you need to get yourself (friends and family included) to the Hope@PaulCluver Summer Festival, which supports the Thembalitsha Foundation. The dates in December are set for the 9th (Freshly Ground) and 16th (Karen Zoid) and with a maximum capacity of 600 people, it’s best to book in advance.
When: December 2017 to February 2018
Where: Paul Cluver Wine Estate, Grabouw
Tickets: Range from R180 to R330 per person and are available from www.Computicket.com and Computicket outlets.
The Magic Flute at the Artscape Theatre
There’s nothing quite like a night at the theatre, which is even truer when it’s at a venue as grand and stately as Cape Town’s Artscape! Running until the 10th December, The Magic Flute is a joyful and uplifting opera about the power of music that’s been adapted by Matthew Wild into a visually impactful and expressive, yet whimsical comedy.
When: 23rd November to 10th December 2017
Where: The Artscape Theatre
Tickets: R100 to R275; tickets available from Computicket.com
Franschhoek Cap Classique & Champagne Festival
The beautiful, historic town of Franschhoek, bubbly from estates all over the valley, and a dress theme “black and white with a splash of summer”… what more could you possibly need for an unforgettable weekend in Cape Town? This year’s Franschhoek Cap Classique & Champagne Festival is held in the shadow of the Huguenot Monument and promises to be a sophisticated and effervescent affair!
When: 2nd to 3rd December 2017
Tickets: R375 per person per day; available from webtickets.co.za
Turning on the Adderley Street Festive Lights
The annual switching on of the Adderley Street Christmas lights has been a decade-long tradition in Cape Town and one that marks the official start of the festive season in the hearts of Capetonians. On Sunday 3rd December, hundreds of people will gather along this historic street in the city centre to see the thoroughfare completely transformed by thousands of colourful, twinkling Christmas lights.
When: 3rd December 2017
Where: Adderley Street, Cape Town
South African Youth Choir: Homecoming Volume 1
The South African Youth Choir is wrapping up a fantastically successful year that included winning gold medals at both the Grand Prix for Choral Music and the World Choir Games. They even had the documentary “Finding Messiah” made about them by Hollywood producer David D. Morin. Come and watch this extraordinarily talented and award-winning choir of singers performing in a three-storey gallery on Bree Street.
Kirstenbosch Carols by Candlelight Concerts
Embrace the festive spirit at Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens’ annual Carols by Candlelight concert. This one is an event for the whole family, so pack a picnic, put on your Santa hat, and pack the kids into the car to enjoy an evening of local music talent and Christmas favourites performed by the Male Voice Choir and the Cape Town Concert Brass.
When: 14th to 17th December 2017
Where: Kirstenbosch Gardens
Tickets: Prices vary: available from www.webtickets.co.za
Neighbourgoods Holiday Night Market
The Old Biscuit Mill has long been the venue for weekly farmer’s markets, showcasing the incredible calibre of our local culinary, fashion, and fine artists. Now, on the 15th December, this Woodstock focal point will be hosting the popular “Neighbourgoods” holiday night market (16h00 – 23h00), featuring a vast array of delicious, artisanal foods, fresh produce, craft beers, fantastic local wine, live entertainment, and local arts, design, and décor. There’ll even be a gift-wrapping stand, making it the perfect place to get your Christmas shopping done and dusted!
When: 15 December 2017
Where: Old Biscuit Mill, Woodstock
The Mother City Queer Project (MCQP)
Get your glad drags on because it’s time for the most fabulous and flamboyant party of the year! The annual Mother City Queer Project (MCQP) is the biggest LGBT event in Africa and it happens right here in Cape Town. This year, the theme is “Dungeons & Dragons” with the historic Castle of Good Hope as its venue. MCQP is a celebration of queer culture but it ultimately seeks to obliterate the conventions and barriers that keep us from our true selves, so gay or straight, all are welcome.
When: 16th December 2017
Where: Castle of Good Hope, Cape Town
Tickets: R380 per person; available from MCQP.co.za and Quicket.co.za
Hermanus Craft Beer Festival
What’s better than an ice-cold craft beer? An ice-cold craft beer enjoyed in a picturesque village right next to the Atlantic Ocean! For a day of beer tasting, delicious food enjoyed on picnic blankets, foot-tapping live music from Francois van Coke and Rumswinger, among others, and entertainment for the kids, the Hermanus Craft Beer Festival is the place to be! Just be sure to bring a blanket, sun protection, camping chairs, and cash, as there aren’t any ATMs available on the festival grounds.
When: 22nd December 2017
Where: Hermanus Cricket Grounds, Hermanus
Tickets: R85 to R100 per adult, R50 for 12 – 17 years, U12’s free; tickets available from www.quicket.co.za
Barry Hilton, Comedy in the Vines at Spier
Barry Hilton is a staple of the South African comedy scene and for good reason: the guy’s hilarious! On 23rd December, he will be taking his rightful place on the stage at Spier Wine Farm for their Comedy in the Vines series. Book your tickets to steep yourself in the laughs, the food, and the wine, all under the stars at this beautiful Stellenbosch wine farm.
Christmas Lunch and Evening Parties in Cape Town
If the idea of spending another festive season elbow deep in turkey and dish water doesn’t appeal, then why not book yourself and your family a place at one of the many opulent and extravagant Christmas day and dinner parties going on around Cape Town. With the city’s top restaurants putting on incredible festive feasts and celebrations, there’s no reason to step foot in the kitchen (except to make coffee to stave off that morning-after hangover).
When: 25th December 2017
Click here to see our top list of Christmas day parties in Cape Town!
New Year’s Eve Celebrations in Cape Town
New Year’s Eve in Cape Town is a huge deal and whatever your preference – a sophisticated evening of fine dining followed by a little MCC at midnight, or a thumping party that extends well into the wee hours – there’s a celebration to match. The epicentre for it all is the V&A Waterfront with its fireworks display at midnight, but restaurants, bars, bistros, and wine farms all around the Mother City will be throwing their own celebrations, so you’ll have no shortage of choice.
When: 31st December 2017
Click here to see out top list of New Year’s Eve parties in Cape Town!