Exciting holiday happenings in your area

Private Property South Africa
Jackie Gray-Parker

December is here which means hot summer days, holidays, fun family outings and festive events galore!

December is always a wonderful time of year which most South Africans look forward to all year round. The following events and attractions are just a few of the things to keep an eye out for in your city as the festive season gets into full swing.

Johannesburg:

Fun and games galore at Gold Reef City
No traditional December holiday would be the same without a visit to Gold Reef City. This iconic entertainment destination recently underwent a dramatic facelift in line with a R630m refurbishment and expansion plan. Phase one is now complete, the result of which is a fresh, new space which has something for everyone. A new Magic Company complete with twelve lane bowling alley has been added and several new restaurants which cater to all tastes and pockets have been added to the mix. Spectacular, new Victorian themed cinemas are now also open for business as is a new, exclusive Salon Prive which offers an upmarket gambling experience. Of course no visit to Gold Reef City would be complete without a tour of the perennially popular theme park and the landmark Apartheid Museum, both of which make for a grand day out in their own right. Great festive deals are available for those who want to splash out at one of Gold Reef City’s hotels during the festive season. Prices start at just R1, 095 per night for two people.

Festive fun for everyone at The Sheds
The Sheds@1Fox have fast become one of Johannesburg’s ‘go-to’ places for all things artisanal and unique. The Sheds@1Fox occupy a collection of previously derelict warehouses in Ferreirastown, some of which date back to 1893. The complex comprises various elements including the Joziburg Market, Joziburg Deli, Happy Me and Good Luck Bar, all of which trade at various times throughout the week. Two particularly noteworthy events will take place during the festive season at The Sheds@1Fox. These include Gauteng Opera Forte and the Public Holiday Market Day which will take place on the 15th and 16th of December respectively. Traditional Christmas music will be performed by the Gauteng Opera on the 15th and the entire Joziburg Market will be open for business on the 16th. So if you’re in the mood for great food and festive cheer, make a plan to get down to The Sheds this December. Entry will cost R100 per adult and R50 per child on the15th. Entrance is free on the 16th.

Cape Town:

Carols in the gardens
Christmas isn’t Christmas without carols by candlelight and what better place to get into the swing of things than at the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens? This great Cape Town tradition has been going for two decades and shows no sign of stopping any time soon. The carols will be held every night for four nights and will feature a number of well-known groups including the Cape Town Concert Brass and the Male Voice Choir. The carols represent a great opportunity for families and friends to spend some quality time together amidst the beautiful surrounds of the Kirstenbosch Gardens. Visitors are advised to arrive early and are allowed to bring picnic baskets. The carols will take place from the 17th to the 20th of December. Ticket prices range from R20 to R100pp.

End the year in style
Looking for a classy way to ring in the New Year? Look no further than the White Masquerade at the Roundhouse & Rumbullion which is gearing up to host a New Year’s Eve party of note. The event will take place on the lawns of this famous venue and will be characterised by an all-white décor theme. Guests will be expected to dress along the same lines. Fine food, great music courtesy of DJ Richard Marshall and sublime beverages are sure to make the last evening of 2015 a memorable one. Tickets cost R300pp which includes cocktail dining, selected beverages and entertainment. The night begins at 7pm for 8pm and should carry on well into 2016.

Durban:

An adult twist on the panto
Although Christmas is largely geared towards children, that doesn’t mean adults can’t have fun! The annual adult panto - now in its 17th year - kicked off at the Greyville Racecourse on the 10th of November and runs until the 30th of December. This year’s panto revolves around the story of Aladdin which is played out by a street urchin, a widow named Twanky, an evil ‘sultana’, one lonely princess, a genie with sangoma powers and a naughtily named laundry assistant. Blue jokes, double entendre and nonsense are the order of the evening. In other words, a great, grown up way to see out 2015. A full bar service and dining options are available. Tickets range from R130 to R170. Tickets can be bought at computicket.

Christmas lunch sorted!
Why not give the pots and pans a break this Christmas and enjoy Christmas lunch with a difference? The Cargo Hold at uShaka Marine World is offering delicious two and three course menus on Christmas day. Nibbles include a smoked salmon tian with crème fraiche, avocado and capers, a grilled beef fillet topped with a feta and green fig preserve served with potato mousseline and honey port jus and a decadent chocolate torte. Christmas crackers come standard with this meal which is served within the confines of a ‘sunken ship’ complete with shark tank. Prices start at R205pp.

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