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July Events in Cape Town & Surrounds
Warm up with the month’s great food, wine and comedy festivals and French celebrations
With the winter solstice (21 June) behind us, the nights will get shorter, but the weather will, unfortunately, still get wetter. Nonetheless, Cape Town still has a smorgasbord of hot and happening events this July to keep you entertained and cabin-fever free.
It’s also that time of the year when learners take a break from their books, so why not stock up on some quality family time and explore our guide to the Mother City’s school holiday activities; otherwise, have a look at our overview of 50 cool things to do for kids. Also, July marks a very special Cape Town occasion; Christmas in July.
For those that hail from the land of the free and brave, we've put together an overview of the best ways to spend your Independence Day. Have a look, and get planning your Fourth of July!
Not to mention, while July is one of the few months during the year (in South Africa) that doesn’t offer a reprieve in the form of a public holiday, it does host a distinguished occasion: Nelson Mandela’s birthday (18 July). The internationally recognised Mandela Day honours the late former statesman and his selfless sacrifices for the better of our nation and calls on ordinary citizens to donate a mere 67 minutes of their time to a charitable cause. Take a break from the wet weather blues, spend your 67 minutes doing something our Tata would be proud of and have a ball enjoying all the awesome activities on offer this July!
WHALE WATCHING (JUN – NOV)
Whale season begins in June and continues until November, so take your winter woollies and get down to Hermanus to watch these majestic creatures frolic in the coves of Walker Bay – it makes for an easy day trip or an ideal weekend getaway. Wedged between the mountains and sea, Hermanus is a bustling little fishing village and a prime land-based whale watching destination. Aside from granting awestruck visitors countless opportunities to watch the mammoth mammals, the town also has a host of restaurants, art galleries, shops and a very popular Saturday craft market.
COST: While it’s FREE (and fun) to watch the whales, certain activities are individually priced. Click through for more information.
GORDON’S BAY WINTER WONDERLAND FESTIVAL (30 JUNE - 9 JULY)
Winter is upon us, and there is no better place than Gordon’s Bay to enjoy the cold. The annual Winter Wonderland Festival is back in Gordon’s Bay this year, with the Festival of Lights promising to be bigger and better than ever before. The festival starts on Friday, 30 June 2017 and draws to a sad end on Sunday, 9 July 2017. The Carnival Weekend is now a plural, with Gordon’s Bay giving you two opportunities to enjoy the spectacular festivities and atmosphere that only this event can provide. Dress up nice and warm, take a loved one (or seven) with you, and enjoy the picturesque twinkly lights that engulf the entire town!
COST: Access to the festival is free, but certain events are separately priced. Click through to the event for more information.
THE STELLENBOSCH INTERNATIONAL CHAMBER MUSIC FESTIVAL (30 JUNE – 9 JULY)
Billed as the largest of its kind on the continent, the Stellenbosch International Chamber Music Festival returns from Friday, 30 June, to Sunday, 9 July 2017 at Stellenbosch University in the Western Cape for another round of orchestral music, public master classes and student mentoring. Over the course of 10 days, spectators can indulge in daily student and faculty concerts culminating in performances by the event’s Festival Concert and Symphony Orchestras. What’s more, local and international students will be given the opportunity to receive coaching, attend lectures and perform in front of large audiences.
COST: Tickets for the evening and orchestral concerts are available at Computicket.com and cost between nothing and R140p/p. Click through to the event for more information on the ticket prices.
CHILDRENS’ MAGIC FESTIVAL (5 - 8 JULY)
If you’re at a loss for what to do with the kids during the school holidays, check out the annual Traditional Children’s Magic Festival at Cape Town’s College of Magic from Wednesday, 5 to Saturday, 8 July 2017. This marvellous event features tricks and illusions performed by current and former students of the Mother City’s Hogwarts, as well as by professional clowns, mimes, jugglers and even Cirque du Soleil alumnus. This family-friendly fantastical affair is sure to go down a treat and will likely entice your own little Houdini to enrol in the enchanting school.
COST: Tickets for the festival can be booked by calling the College of Magic at +27 (0)21 683 5480 and they cost R90p/p.
THE PICK N PAY KNYSNA OYSTER FESTIVAL (7 – 16 JUL)
The 2017 Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival, which is going ahead even in spite of the recent fires, invites seafood lovers to tuck into ocean-fresh fare from Friday, 7 to Sunday, 16 July 2017. Hosted in the pretty Garden Route town of Knysna (roughly five hours from Cape Town), the food and wine fiesta is not just centered on mollusc munching and champagne drinking; rather, the family-friendly celebration also offers competitive sporting activities and fun entertainment for all ages. If you’d like to know more about how you can help the victims of the Knysna Fires, please click here.
COST: Access to the fair is gratis, mahala, FREE! Though, certain activities and events require an entry or booking fee and will have to be paid for separately. Click through to the event for more information.
5 FOR CHANGE (15 JULY)
The sixth annual edition of the black-tie event, 5 For Change, is back this July to raise more funds for five more deserving charities. The beneficiaries this year are Ikhaya Le Langa, Numeric, Sunshine Cinema, Community Keepers and Dine with Khayelitsha. Over the last five years, 5 For Change have raised over R500 000 for 20 charities, and have raised a huge amount of awareness for the very worthy recipients. Grab your ticket, and don your best for this charity gala to match them all.
COST: Tickets are available online through Nutickets.co,za, and cost R500p/p. For more info, visit our event page.
DISNEY ON ICE (19 – 23 JUL)
Disney on Ice skates onto SA soil (ice) for yet another enchanting bout of entertainment from Wednesday, 19, to Sunday, 23 July 2017. This year’s school holiday show is aptly titled The Wonderful World, and, as the name suggests, it celebrates the beloved storytelling franchise’s legacy of producing animated films and breathing life into some of cinema’s most recognisable characters. Audiences are spoilt for choice, as around 50 of the beloved Disney characters will be joining the children’s extravaganza.
COST: Tickets are available via Computicket.com and Computicket outlets and cost between R50p/p and R450p/p. Ticket prices vary according to seating proximity to the ice rink and day of the show. Disabled patrons can be accommodated. Click through to the event for more information.
BERG RIVER CANOE MARATHON (12 – 15 JULY)
Avid canoeists and the super brave take part in the 2017 Berg River Canoe Marathon, which paddles off on Wednesday, 12 July 2017 and ends on Saturday, 15 July 2017 in Velddrif with a festival celebration. This 240-km long race is not for the faint-hearted: the course is riddled with fast-flowing water and narrow paths overwhelmed with trees; plus, long, challenging stretches of flat water and the downpours of the Cape in July further exacerbate the already trying conditions. Entrants are fighting for prize money and, of course, the title of the best river racer in the country. Spectators can look forward to all the thrills and spills along the route with small town hospitality along the way.
COST: Entry for the Berg River Canoe Marathon costs R2300p/p for seniors, R2100 for under 23s and R1900p/p for juniors. Please note that meals and campsites incur extra costs, which are outlined on the entry form. The race rules are also available online. Forms are available online at Berg.org.za.
BERG RIVER WINTER CARNIVAL (15 JULY)
The Berg River Winter Carnival is the perfect way to bid farewell to the annual Berg River Canoe Marathon which takes place from Wednesday, 12 to Saturday, 15 July 2017 this year. The bash is sure to be filled with good food, great drinks, fun times and happy people.
COST: Entrance to this event is absolutely free, but individual activities may incur a cost. For more info, contact the organisers directly on email@example.com.
THE FRANSCHHOEK BASTILLE DAY FESTIVAL (15 – 16 JUL)
The centuries-old celebration of Bastille Day, France’s Independence Day, is painting Franschhoek red, white and blue on Saturday, 15 and Sunday, 16 July 2017. The much-anticipated fête celebrates its 24th jol in the quaint village this year and features a feast of good food and great wine and a host of beguiling entertainment. Apart from the decadent fare and top-class vinos, the festival also includes a number of fun games, like the boules competition, the barrel-rolling contest, and a quirky caricature artist to capture your finest Francais moments!
COST: Tickets are available via Webtickets.co.za and, depending on availability, at the door on the day. Costs vary according to day and range between free and R280p/p.
BREEDEKLOOF SOETES & SOUP FESTIVAL (21 – 22 JUL)
Get ready to sip and swirl your way through mugs of hearty, farm-style broths and glasses of top-notch vinos at the 2017 Breedekloof Soetes & Soup Festival from Friday, 21 to Saturday, 22 July 2017. Spread over a number of wine farms in the Rawsonville, Slanghoek, Goudini, and Breede River areas, this decentralised event allows visitors to explore the Route 62 Winelands and taste the wide range of multi award-winning soetes (dessert wines) as well as a selection of yummy and interesting good-for-the-soul soups. Each estate will be offering up its own take on the theme, and there will be plenty of entertainment, like live music and markets, on the schedule.
COST: Festival passes cost between R100p/p and R150p/p. They can be purchased from Webtickets.co.za.
PLEASE NOTE: All dates are subject to change.
And, if you needed some reminding we’ve put together some of our favourite reasons to visit Cape Town in winter. Alternatively, check out our comprehensive overview of winter warming specials, restaurants with fireplaces and winter weekend getaways in the Western Cape. But, if you really insist on hibernating, we’ve rounded up a list of things to do indoors and online shops to get all the conveniences of life delivered to your door.
These are only a few of the happenings in Cape Town and surrounds for the month of July, so be sure to check out our Cape Town Events Calendar for an up-to-date overview of happenings in Cape Town. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter and if you have a smartphone, add m.capetownmagazine.com to your home screen for quick access on the go!
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