SA Insider Guide: A festive summer of thrills in Jozi

2016-11-25 13:01
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Who ever said December holidays are only for the beach. Those staying in the city for the festive season will have their vacay itineraries sorted in no time!

Nights at the theatre, unique Jozi markets, night runs and music festivals fill up the days leading to 2017.

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ALSO SEE: 5-4-3-2-1! But first, fireworks 101

Here are our suggestions for your Jozi vacation!


Cirque Eloize iD

Cirque Eloize`s dazzling and energetic iD returns to the Teatro. This astonishing modern circus transports audiences to a vibrant urban streetscape. Acrobats, break dancers, and contortionists perform against a kaleidoscope of eye-popping video projections. 

When: 30 November - 24 December 2016

Where: Teatro At Montecasino

African in America Expo

Curated by Goodman Gallery owner Liza Essers and artist Hank Willis Thomas, Africans in America forms part of the gallery's IN CONTEXT series.

When: 17 November 2016 - 17 January 2017. Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri 09:30-17:30, Sat 09:30-16:00

Where: The Goodman Gallery, Parkwood


Africa’s first social virtual reality multiplayer arcade launches it's Johannesburg branch in November, just in time for the long December school holidays.

When: Permanent 

Where: Vodaworld, Midrand

ALSO SEE: School holiday fun: Joburg get its own virtual reality arcade

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

Paul Warwick Griffin directs one of the most recognised musical productions worldwide. A new twist on the old favourite still features the hits like Any Dream Will Do, Close Every Door To me and One More Angel In Heaven. 

When: 23 November 2016 - 29 January 2017

Where: Pieter Toeriens Theatre At Montecasino

Fantasy of Light

Fantasy of Light is a wonderland of festive light installations including this year`s The Secret Castle which is a heart stopping Pantomime show written and directed by Lizz Meiring.

When: 25 November - 24 December 2016

Where: Waterfall Park At Mall Of Africa, Midrand


Gauteng Opera - A Christmas Concert

When: 2 December 2016    

Where: Linder Auditorium, Parktown    

This year's annual Gauteng Opera Christmas Concert includes the Gauteng Opera, the Gauteng Opera Chorus and an ensemble of guest musicians. Bring along Christmas gifts for the Orlando Children's Home in Soweto.

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Makhelwane Festival

Makhelwane Festival returns! The streets of Mzimhlophe, Soweto welcomes visitors to explore the township with food stalls, live music, DJs, art exhibitions and cookery classes. Locals open their homes for an authentic Soweto experience.

2 - 4 December 2016

Poka St, Mzimhlophe, Soweto    

Soweto Art and Craft Fair

The Soweto arts and crafts fair takes place on the first Saturday of every month. Local artists, designers and craftsmen bring you their best. Explore crafts and fashion while walking to the beat of local musicians.

3 December 2016

Where: Soweto Theatre, Jabulani

Reconciliation Festival

Check out your favourits, Zonke, Lira, Zahara and Micasa as they take the stage for the biggest Afrosoul event of the year. Bring the whole family for a picnic, food court treats, a refreshments garden, kids playground, exhibition and, of course, the soulful music.

3 December 2016 

Where: Carnival City, Festival Lawns

Adidas Run Your Crew 

An inner city night run for your crew! Enter your team of six for th 4km, 8km of 12km and explore downtown landmarks.

When: 3 December 2016    

Where: Cnr Miriam Makeba St and Helen Joseph Sts, Newtown    

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Black Coffee Block Party

Black Coffee celebrates summer's arrival with his show, the Black Coffee Block Party. Expects 12 hours of the best local urban hip-hop, house and rap.

When: 3 December 2016 from 14:00

Where: FNB Stadium, Soccer City.

Christmas Festival

The best Christmas Show in Gauteng brings magnificent white stallions, traditional `classical` music, the Welsh Male Voice Choir, popular carols and plenty of fun for the kids!

When: 4 December 2016

Where: Lipizzaner Centre, Kyalami, Midrand

Benjamin Dube, Dumi Mkokstad, Zaza, Lebo Sekgobela and the Soweto Gospel choir sets the scene for a soulful family day out. Settle down for a picnic with yummy gourmet food on sale. 

When: 4 December 2016

Where: Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens

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Vinyl Sundays Fair

On the first Sunday of every month, meet up with the cream of Joburg`s vinyl record dealers!. Stock up on new and pre-owned record. Head to the Stanleay Beer Yard at 10:00 for music, beer, food and amazing coffee.

When: 4 December 2016

Where: Stanley Beer Yard, Milpark

Abantu Book Festival 

African stories are celebrated at this inaugural festival! 50+ writers and musicians from Africa share their works. Take part in workshops, film screenings and panel discussions.

When: 6 - 10 December 2016 

Where: Soweto Theatre and Eyethu Lifestyle Centre

Opening of 'The Gallery'

The Gallery will open with an exhibition titled “Dinosaurs in the Veld: Meet South Africa’s Ruling Reptiles”. The opening of this exhibition serves as the perfect lead up to Maropeng’s African Christmas Festival that runs from the 16th to the 26th of December 2016.

When: 8 December, 2016

Where: Maropeng, the Official Visitor Centre for the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site

Beautiful Creatures 

Join Imvubu the Happiest Hippo on a journey with Mafutha the Elephant, Tallulah the Tortoise and Lucas the Lazy Lion.

When: 8 - 18 December. Performances at 14:00 and 18:00.

Where: Emperor's Palace, Kempton Park

Born to Perform Gala  

Celebrate SA's rising stars in a night at the Lyric theatre.

9 December 2016

Where: Lyric Theatre, Gold Reef City Casino 

Outdoor Summer Movie Night

Date night with your hubby or a spoil for the kids, catch The Notebook or Despicable Me at this outdoor movie experience

When: 9 - 10 December 2016

Where: Emerald Resort & Casino - Emerald Resort And Casino

Ekurhuleni City Street Carnival

Enjoy a delicious variety of food and vibing music when you gety together with friends at this growing street carnival.

When: 10 December 2016

Where: Boksburg Lake

Christmas with Richard Cock

The Symphony Choir of Johannesburg with the full Johannesburg Festival orchestra will be conducted by Richard Cock. Bring the whole family for a concert of note.

When: 10 December 2016 

Where: Wits Lindor Auditorium, Parktown

Joburg Live Loud

Black Coffee, Locnville, Cassper Nyovest, The Parlotones, Gangs of Ballet, Matthew Mole, AKA, Kwesta, Goodluck... Need we say more?

10 December 2016 

Where: Marks Park Sports Club, Judith Road, Emmarentia, 

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It's Personal Picnic 

Escape from the city to a picnic between the rolling hills of the Modderfontein Reserve. Bring the whole family for a day of food and music.

When: 10 December 2016

Where: Val Bonne Country Estate

The Movie Music Festival 

This unique festival promises moving music, stunning visuals, planned and choreographed elements, high class performances and a totally unforgettable night.

When: 10 December 2016

Where: Mary Fitzgerald Square - Newtown Precinct

Old Mutual National Choir Festival

Expect to be wowed by Southern Africa`s choral greats! In the most prestigious and oldest choral event in the country, SA's best choirs battle for 2016 national championship title.

When: 10 - 11 December 2016

Where: Ellis Park Arena

 Cliff Central Carols

Gather the family and join the sing-along and fund raising event where multi-award winning Soweto Gospel Choir, ProVerb, and many of the CliffCentral personalities will welcome the festive season

When: 11 December 2016

Where: The Lyric At Gold Reef City Casino - Gold Reef City Casino

To the Roots

South Africa`s best loved artists get together in aid of the National Youth Orchestra`s bursary fund. Enjoy a Sunday afternoon to kick off the December holidaysTo the Roots brings a wide array of entertainment from baroque to Boeremusiek and comedy, to Kwaito.

11 December 2016

Where: Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden

The Zoo Trot

Join the fun run around the Johannesburg Zoo! Registration opens at 07:00 and the Trot begins at 07:30.

When: Sunday 11 December 2016    

Where: Jan Smuts Ave, Saxonwold    

One Night with Nathi and Vusi Nova

Nathi and Vusi Nova prepares Jozi for a festive long weekend as they treat the audience on Thursday, 15 December. Don't miss these two ultiple award winning artists

When: 15 December 2016

Where: Emerald Resort & Casino, Vanderbijlpark


Tshwane Summer Festival

Tshwane gets festive in shorts and shades. Fifi Cooper, Naked DJ, Lulo Cafe, Dj Christos are among the performers. The holiday is officially here!

When: 16 December 2016

Where: Morula Sun, Mabopane - Morula Sun Casino & Hotel

Clayville Festival 

Spend your public holiday with a picnic and live entertainment. Bring your camping and cooler box and soak up summer.

When: 16 December 2016

Where: Olifantsfontein Sports Grounds, Midrand

Tshwane All White Jazz + Soul Festival 

International and local performing artists are back for some crowd pleasing performances.

When: 16 December 2016

Where: Bundu Inn, Pretoria

The Great Moscow Circus

The Great Moscow Circus needs no introduction. See the all new programme featuring a myriad of circus superstars from Russia and the world. Expect world class clowns, acrobats, daredevils, aerial artists, balancers, jugglers and more.
When: 22 Dec 2016 - 08 January 2017

Where: Monte Casino, Fourways

4th Sedibeng Summer Festival 

Previously known as We Care Jazz Festival, the Sedibeng Summer Festival is back to Soul up the Vaal river bank in Vereeniging.

When: 26 December 2016

Where: Dickinson Park, Vereeniging

Ekurhuleni New Years Extravaganza

A new year's eve event featuring top South African artists and DJ`s and an extravagant fireworks display.

When: 31 December 2016

Where: Dries Niemandt Park, Kempton Park - Dries Niemand Picnic Area

If 'sokkie' music and 'vasdans' is your thing, you are in for a massive treat! All the Afrikaans greats get together under one roof for a night filled with dancing! Kurt Darren, Snotkop, Ray Dylan and Brendan Peyper join forces to bring you four hours of unstoppable sokkie hits.

When: 31 December 2016

Where: Carnival City, Big Top Arena, Carnival City Casino

Revolution NYE

The soul shaking outdoor festival where you'll dance your way into 2017. Expect a weekend filled with sunshine, trance and dance.

When: 30 December 2016 - 1 January 2017

Where: Hornbill Ravine, Magaliesburg

NYE at Chicago piano Bar

A Razzle Dazzle themed NYE party with a three course meal, roulette and bubbly will reel in the new year in style.

When: 31 December 2016

Where: Chicago Piano Bar, Cnr Beyers Naude and Duiker Street

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