Budget Travels: #FindYourEscape at these July events across SA

2018-07-04 16:30
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If your wallet is feeling the pinch of the school holiday, and you’re panicking because there’s still a few days to go with the kids before heading back to your routine, then these budget-friendly events across SA are here to save you.

From theatre for the little ones and action-packed activities to tire them out, to events for adults only that offer a much-needed escape, here’s what you can indulge in on a budget across the country.


The 39th Durban International Film Festival is the one of the biggest film festivals on the continent, set to take place in conjunction with the Durban Film Mart and Talents Durban. If you are a lover of fine art, nouveau films and have an appreciation for creative and provocative cinema, then this is the film festival not to be missed.

When: 19 – 29 July.

Where: Various venues across Durban. Click here for all the venues.

Cost: Click here for more information.

SEE: Get your popcorn ready for Durban International Film Festival + SA’s art festivals not to miss

  • Mandela Day at KZN National Botanical Garden

The South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) invites people to the KZN National Botanical Garden for its open day in celebration of Mandela Day. Entrance into the garden will be free for the day, however, SANBI requests a donation of sanitary pads or toiletries in lieu of entrance fees which will be donated on Mandela Day to organisations that assist schoolgirls who desperately need these products.

When: 14 July.

Where: KZN National Botanical Garden, Pietermaritzburg.

Cost: Free.

ALSO SEE: #LoveSA: Must-do winter events in KZN

DJ Fresh, Shekhina, Tbo Touch, DJ Ganyoni and Khuzani will entertain the crowd at this family-friendly event in celebration of Nelson Mandela. With the theme centred on nation and unity, the event aims to send messages about Madiba’s legacy.

When: 28-29 July.

Where: Umhlathuze Sports Ground, Richards Bay.

Cost: Tickets range from R100 - R500. Click here to book.MUST-SEE: School Holiday Fun: Spice up your holiday in Durban

Umhlanga Rocks hosts its first festival celebrating SA music in the Umhlanga Rocks Festival. Local music lovers will take pleasure in jamming to the sounds of Matthew Mole, Desmond and The Tutus, The Kickstands, Freddy L and Veranda Panda. There will also be a bar, G&T Garden and artisanal food stalls to indulge in.

When: 14 July, 12:00 to 20:00.

Where: Chris Saunders Park in Umhlanga Ridge.

Cost: Kids under 8 enter free and must be accompanied by an adult. Tickets are R140 each – click here to buy.

  • Mo Magic

South African magician Mo Magic brings his live show to Hillcrest for the first time. Expect 70-minutes of magic entertainment, mind-reading magic and family-friendly comedy, suitable for families with kids older than 8-years-old.

When: 15 July at 15:00.

Where: Butlers Restaurant (24 Old Main Road), Hillcrest.

Cost: R125 per person via Quicket.

  • Wine Wednesdays

Wine Wednesdays returns to Durban with live music, food and wine pairing, comedy nights, career expos, book clubs and more. Click here for all the details.

When: Every Wednesday.

Where: Various venues around Durban. Click here to stay updated on events.

Cost: Varies with each weekly event. See here for the details.


Big Concerts is bringing the kids channel to life on stage for the first time and will show off favourite characters from Ben 10, Adventure Time, Powerpuff Girls and The Amazing World of Gumball. It promises to delight kids and adults alike.

When: 3 - 15 July.

Where: Montecasino.

Cost: R175 - R390.

Former US president Barack Obama will deliver the 16th Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture a day before Nelson Mandela International Day. The lecture's theme will be "Renewing the Mandela Legacy and Promoting Active Citizenship in a Changing World" and will also honour the centennial of Madiba's birth.

When: 17 July.

Where: Ellis Park.

Cost: Free, but you need to apply for tickets. Visit the Nelson Mandela Foundation's website for more information.

SEE: #Madiba100: Be a part of these Nelson Mandela centenary celebrations across SA

ALSO SEE: 4 day trips to try in and around Jozi

Appreciate the finer things in life with the Rand Merchant Bank at this art festival that's a come-together of artists and galleries from around the country to show off their work, and a perfect place to discover unique African art.

When: 12 - 15 July.

Where: Turbine Hall, Newtown.

Cost: R50 - R120, but R800 for the opening night which includes canapes and drinks.

  • Prime Circle            

Hot off their successful international album tour and their ‘Pretty like the Sun’ summer tour across Southern Africa, rock royalty Prime Circle will be celebrating their new 10-track album

When: 14 July 2018, 18:00 – 21:00.

Where: Barnyard Cresta.

Cost: R200 each. Click here to buy tickets.

SEE: #WinterEscape: Chill things to do in Jozi that'll keep the cold away

Eastern Cape

Get artsy and learn a few new tricks at this fun family event, that allows kids to get creative. For more information, visit their Facebook page.

When: Until 14 July (excluding Sundays) - open between 08:30 – 17:00.

Where: Frank Suites, 18 Frank Street, Newton Park.

Cost: R50 p/p, per hour - art-making tools and materials included.

ALSO SEE: Beat the winter blues with these cool indoor adventures across SA

  • Endurade 2018 JBayX Trail Run

This trail run is for those who like to push themselves to the edge. Endurade JBayX consists of three individual 20km trail runs, all starting 12 hours apart, across the Jeffreys Bay area.

For those with less endurance, 15 July races will offer a 10km and 5km fun beach run starting at 09:00.

 When: 13-15 July.

Where: Across the Jeffreys Bay area.

Cost: You can buy tickets from the event's website.

  • JBay Wind Farm MTB Classic

Dust off your pedals and head on over to Kabeljous Lagoon and traverse the largest wind farm in the country. With a whole new route this year, you can do either 25km, 50km or a gruelling 85km.

When: 14 July.

Where: Kabeljous Lagoon.

Cost: Entries for the mountain bike experience are open on the event's website - R35 per rider and R55 000 prize money is up for grabs.

ALSO SEE: School Holiday Fun: Family glee in PE

Western Cape

Take a trip to wonderland with your family at this performance in Canal Walk. Jump into the rabbit hole and introduce your kids to the world of smoking caterpillars, Mad Hatter tea parties, the wonders of Alice's mind and, of course, the embittered Queen of Hearts. 

When: Until 15 July. Shows run Tuesdays through to Sundays at 11:00, 12:30 and 14:00 and is closed on Mondays.

Where: Canal Walk Shopping Centre, Century City Blvd, Century City.

Cost: R100 - tickets can be booked here.

  • Disney On Ice

Tinker Bell takes audiences on an enchanting pixie-dust filled journey with Disney On Ice presents Dream Big. The empowering tales of eight Disney Princesses – Ariel, Belle, Cinderella, Rapunzel, Tiana, Jasmine, Aurora and Snow White embark on adventures.

When: 11 - 15 July.

Where: Grand Arena, GrandWest.

Cost: From R51 per person. Click here to book.

ALSO SEE: SA winter school holidays fun!

  • 126th Rastafari Earth Festival

Earth Day, or the birthday of the Rastafarian's spiritual messiah, takes place on 23 July, and is honoured as part of the annual Earth Festival from 22-30 July. The festival includes musical acts, dancing and singing of traditional songs. Members wear traditional attire, tell stories and recite poems.

When: 20-30 July 2018.

Where: Judah Square Knysna.

Bookings and info: Contact Br Dawie Afrikaner/ Zebulon/ Zebs at 076 649 1034 or dawieafraker99@gmail.com.

SEE: #LoveSA: Escape winter with these events across Western Cape

Two Oceans Aquarium and Texx and the Citypresent After Dark, a series of gigs set to take place at the aquarium at night. The extra special touch to this music event is being able to explore the Aquarium at night.

Drifter Brewing Company will provide buchu-infused gin and tonic or a Pick Me Up Pale Ale to each guest on arrival, and its range of beers will be on sale at each gig.

When: 25 July and 29 August.

Where: I&J Ocean Exhibit at the Aquarium. Doors open at 19:00 for the concert that starts at 20:00.

Cost: There are only 180 tickets available, so be sure to book tickets asap. Tickets are R295 per person at Quicket. A cash bar will be available for drinks only.

Forget normal putt-putt – now you can add some glow to mini-golf with glow-in-the-dark putt-putt.

Glowing Rooms in Cape Town uses 3D glasses that create striking images and illusions from normal 2D images for a one-of-a-kind putt-putt experience. This winter holiday, on Tuesdays to Thursdays until 12 July, pay for 3 players and the 4th player can enter free.

When: 12 July.

Where: Glowing Rooms in Cape Town.

SEE: Escape to these unique Western Cape winter winelands + wine events not be missed