December Events in Cape Town & Surrounds

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December Events in Cape Town & Surrounds

Get ready for the silly season with this month’s slew of annual festivals, free to-dos and festive happenings!

If you blinked in January and found yourself in the twelfth month of 2014, you are not alone. The year blew by and now we’re in December: the office is [hopefully] closed, the party’s just begun and the Mother City’s pristine beaches, rooftop restaurants and weekend-long fiestas have oodles of fun on the cards.

As always, we’ve got the lowdown on Cape Town’s annual happenings.

We’ve also got comprehensive overviews of Christmas festivities and New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day celebrations in the Mother City and a killer Christmas gift guide. Don’t forget it’s World AIDS Day on Monday, 1 December and, for those who don’t know, South Africa has three public holidays in December: Day of Reconciliation on Tuesday, 16 December, Christmas Day on Thursday, 25 and Day of Goodwill on Friday, 26 December (LONG WEEKEND!).

There’s also a string of once-off events and concerts billed to sound off this December:


Galileo Open Air Cinema (October 2014 – April 2015)
While away the midweek blues with a unique and invigorating outdoor movie experience at the Galileo Open Air Cinema in Cape Town each Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday until April 2015. Each week cinephiles can grab some popcorn (or other yummy gourmet treats from the exhibiting vendors), settle down on the lush lawns at the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, the V&A Waterfront, the Hillcrest Quarry or at various venues in the Cape Winelands and see firm favourites, cult classics and so much more. Do note that while the Winelands theatre will take place on a Saturday, it is not a weekly event.

COST: Tickets are sold online via and go on sale three weeks prior to each screening (on a Tuesday morning). If the show sells out online, no tickets will be available at the door. Space is limited, so book early to avoid disappointment. Costs vary according to ticket type. Click through to the events for more information.

Horse Races at the Kenilworth Racecourse (November 2014 – February 2015)
Much like strawberries, watermelon and beach days at Clifton, horse racing in Cape Town is synonymous with the summer season, and what better way to celebrate than with a day of fun in the sun at the track. Kenilworth Racecourse, one of only two racecourses in Cape Town, is home to some of the Western Cape’s (and South Africa’s) most prestigious equestrian events, and believe it or not, the horse racing happenings also make great afternoons of entertainment for the entire family. We’ve got the lowdown on what to do and where to be seen at the races this summer in Cape Town.
COST: Entry fees to the events vary. Click through to the events for more information.

Hope@Paul Cluver Summer Festival (November 2014 – March 2015)
Support the Thembalitsha Foundation and enjoy top tunes, theatre, comedy and cinema at the Hope @ Paul Cluver Summer Festival in the Elgin Valley wine estate’s magical forest amphitheatre until March 2015. This season’s line-up will no doubt keep patrons enthralled and is set to feature first-rate musical acts, including Watershed and The Parlotones, as well as alternative entertainment, like comedian Barry Hilton, a special Valentine’s Day movie and an enthralling kids’ theatre festival. Bring along a picnic, some cushions and blankets and make yourself comfortable for an outdoor experience like no other. All profits from the tickets sales will be donated to the Thembalitsha Foundation, a non-profit organisation that uplifts impoverished communities in the area.
COST: Tickets are available via and Computicket outlets, and costs range from R100p/p to R300p/p. Click through to the article for more information.

Kirstenbosch Summer Sunset Concerts (November 2014 – April 2015) 
The Kirstenbosch hills liven up with the sound of music every Sunday until April 2015 for the annual summer sunset concerts. Each year, hordes of music lovers pack picnic baskets and blankets for the chilled out live music sessions on the historic botanical garden’s sprawling greens. This year, patrons can enjoy a mix of performances, from UK act Passenger and icons like Oliver Mtukudzi, Mango Groove and Johnny Clegg to contemporary acts such as Prime Circle, Jimmy Nevis and the Parlotones, to name just a few. What’s more, some concerts will have childcare facilities, so moms and pops can rest assured that their kiddies are in good hands.
COST: Tickets are available via and costs vary according to the performer; concessions do apply. Click through to the event for more information on the line-up and costs.

Twilight Team Run (2 December)
Costumed walkers, runners and fun-loving peeps will flock to the Mother City’s CBD in droves for the annual Twilight Team Run on Tuesday, 2 December 2014. This highly anticipated yearly fun run calls on locals to band together in teams of four to six and to walk, skip, jog, gallop or monster mash their way through the streets of Cape Town in support of the Community Chest of the Western Cape, the province’s oldest charitable organisation. The catch? Participants are encouraged to dress up in wild, wacky and positively kooky costumes. Prior to the fun run, a best dressed competition will be held, and after the walk, participants are invited to enjoy live entertainment into the evening.
COST: Registration opened in the first week of November and participants can enter at the Community Chest offices at 82 Bree Street or online via the Community Chest website. Click through to the event for more information.

Vortex Trance Party (3 – 8 December) 
Trance heads, let your mind unwind and your spirit soar at the harmony-infused legendary Open Source Vortex Trance Party at the Circle of Dreams campsite in Riviersonderend (roughly 170km from Cape Town) from Wednesday, 3 to Monday, 8 December 2014. Held twice a year in the sultry summer months (once in December and again over Easter), this psychedelic outdoor music festival is a favourite among electro enthusiasts and eco-warriors on a quest to reconnect with nature. As a colourful celebration of psy-culture, this five-day trance party will create a whimsical world where dance and art are infinitely fused and where body, environment and soul are reunited.
COSTA full festival pass, which includes the booking fee, is valid for a five-day camping and party experience from 10pm on Thursday, 4 to 12pm on Monday, 8 December 2014. Those who can’t make the entire five-day festival can purchase a weekend pass or day passes, which are available at the gate. Click through to the event for more info. 

The Amazing Berry Race (6 December)
Love berries and the taste of adventure? Then get down to Swellendam where this berry lovely occasion will be taking place on Saturday, 6 December. Participants will be getting active and solving challenges all in the name of representing a charity of their choice (there’s four to choose from). There will be 10 challenges ranging across different topics for all the teams to solve. The Amazing Berry Race forms part of the Swellenberry Festival and is a means of raising money and awareness for the selected charities as well as getting locals to participate in something that celebrates Swellendam’s heritage. It promises to be fun-filled family-friendly day with tons of awesome prizes to be won!
COST: Those wanting to compete will have to fill in a form online at and register their teams. For more information, give the organisers a call on +27 (0) 28 514 3053. Click through to the event for more information.      

Wavescape Movie Night at Clifton Fourth Beach (6 December)
Barrel rolling onto the Mother City’s 2014 summer social scene, the Wavescape Film Festival’s FREE movie night at Clifton Fourth Beach gears up for what is, arguably, the largest outdoor film screening in Cape Town on Saturday, 6 December 2014. The surf film evening features six mini movies devoted to big wave hunters, epic surfing legends and luminaries. The three-week Wavescape celebration also includes an art surfboard exhibition and auction, an innovative ocean-inspired presentation-based slide night and so much more. Though, as always, the highlight of the wave rider fest is this FREE open-air movie screening on Clifton Fourth Beach.  In other words, get stoked and start reading more about scheduling. 
COST: The screening on Clifton Fourth Beach is gratis, mahala and for free! Click through to the event for more information.

Table Mountain Blues Summit (6 – 7 December)
See some of South’s Africa best blues musicians bring on a rockin’, knee-slapping, toe-tapping time at the Hillcrest Quarry in Durbanville. Founded in 2006, this festival has grown to become even better than before, extending to a two-day event with food and refreshment stalls. There’s a sizzling line-up and some prizes to be won, from an insanely cool Fender guitar giveaway to awesome cash prizes.  So pack up the kids and get prepped to listen to some prime local talent, like Albert Frost, The Blues Broers and Dan Patlansky, amidst the beauty of the Hillcrest Quarry. 
COST: Tickets for the festival can be purchased online from and from various Computicket outlets. Kids under the age of 10 get in for free. Entry for the event ranges from R200p/p to R340p/p depending on ticket choice. Click through to the event for more information.  

Festive Lights Switch-on on Adderley Street (14 December)
For decades, locals and tourists alike flock to the CBD for the annual tradition of witnessing the official switch-on of the festive lights in Adderley Street. On Sunday, 14 December 2014, attendees can look forward to seeing Executive Mayor Alderman Patricia de Lille flip the switch and brighten up South Africa’s historic main pathway and kick-start the festive season with a bang! As always, there will loads of festive flavour to get you in the mood for the holiday season.
COST: Access to the event is gratis, mahala and for FREE!

Free Summer Concerts in De Waal Park (14 December)
The best things in life are free, and these monthly Sunday shows are no exception! Back on the social calendar for a much-anticipated fourth season, the mahala Concerts in the Park live music series, hosted in De Waal Park, kicks off its summer run with the annual Mayor’s Gala Festive Concert on Sunday, 14 December 2014. The show is set to enthral locals, tourists and suburbanites alike with the sounds of top-notch Mzansi music icons and up-and-coming artists, including the likes of The Rudimentals, Mark Haze and more. Set on lush lawns in this iconic and historic inner-city recreational area, the laidback affair starts at 3pm, but it’s recommended that you get there early as the park fills up very quickly.
COST: Entry to the concerts is gratis, mahala, FREE! Click through to the event for more information.

RCS Gugulethu Reconciliation Day Race (16 December)
Commemorate our national day of unity and forgiveness this year by taking to the streets of one of the Mother City’s largest and most colourful townships as part of the RCS Gugulethu Reconciliation Day Race. Starting bright and early on Tuesday, 16 December 2014 at the NY 49 Stadium, the annual run – there is a more serious 10-km option and a child-friendly 4.2-km one – offers participants plenty of fun in the summer sun as well as an opportunity to experience this settlement on foot. The routes pass by a number of significant monuments and landmarks, so runners can learn more about the community they’re soaring through. What’s more, a portion of the proceeds from entry fees is donated to support local projects, so it’s a responsible way to celebrate the Day of Reconciliation too.
COST: Interested individuals and teams can register for the race either online via (this portal closes on Sunday, 14 December 2014) or at the starting venue (the NY 49 Stadium) on the day before the run between 5:30am and 6:45am. Click through to the event for more information.  

Kirstenbosch Carols by Candlelight Concert (18 – 21 December)
Sing age-old favourite Christmas carols at the 2014 Carols by Candlelight concert series at the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens from Thursday, 18 to Sunday, 21 December 2014. Relive your younger days and introduce your children to classic Christmassy tunes with the Cape Town Concert Brass and the Cape Town Male Voice Choir. Each evening’s main attraction is preceded by a line-up that features hot local talent as opening acts.
COST: Tickets are available via as well as at the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens ticket office from Tuesday, 16 December 2014, and costs range between R15p/p and R90p/p. Click through to the event for more information.

Summer Experience Music Festival at The River Club (20 December)
Want an afternoon of poolside cocktails, yummy grub, ice-cold drinks and, most of all, excellent live music acts? Then listen up! The 2014 Summer Experience Music Festival on Saturday, 20 December 2014 at The River Club in Observatory has all this and more on offer. Following its successful events in previous years, this summertime jol is one of the December social calendar’s much-anticipated events and is set to outdo itself at this year’s party. With Jimmy Nevis, Toya Delazy, Beatenberg, newcomer act Surge & Sarah as well as the Cape’s top beatmakers, like Craig de Sousa and Ryan Dent, on the bill, this 11-hour jol will have revelers dancing into the wee hours of the morning.
COST: Tickets are the available via as well as at the gate on the day, and costs range between R200p/p and R350p/p. Click through to the event for more information.

MCQP Party at the Cape Town City Hall and Grand Parade (20 December)
The (queen) mother of pink parties saunters onto the Cape Town calendar and makes a royal entrance at the City Hall and Grand Parade on Saturday, 20 December 2014. In short, the Mother City Queer Project, better known as MCQP, is set to celebrate its 21st birthday with a bigger, better and queerer party than before! This proudly Capetonian jol – this year’s theme is ‘Royal Navy’ – is as massive as it is memorable and is billed as the biggest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex (LGBTQI) event in Africa.
COST: Tickets are available via Click through to the event for details on ticket prices.

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in Cape Town (24 – 25 December)
Eat, drink and be merry, and celebrate Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in Cape Town and surrounds with a scrumptious dinner or lunch at one of the Mother City’s countless top restaurants, eateries and wine estates. Forego slaving over a hot stove in a busy kitchen and rather enjoy gourmet fare and the company of family and friends at a swanky establishment of your choice (we’ve put together an overview of options). Book your spot early to avoid disappointment. 
COST: Prices vary according to the venue; click through to the individual events for more information on what to expect and ticket prices.

Festival of Chariots in Cape Town (27 December) 
East meets west in Sea Point for the 2014 Festival of Chariots on Saturday, 27 December 2014. The Hindu celebration, which is observed in major cities all over the world and hosted locally by the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, involves towing statues of religious deities on a hand-pulled, brightly decorated wooden chariot. Revellers sing and dance, creating a lively street parade for young and old to enjoy. 
COST: Entry is FREE! The celebrations start at 9:30am.

New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day in Cape Town (31 December 2014 – 1 January 2015)
Spending New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day in the Mother City and still not sure how to celebrate? Rest assured, we’ve compiled an overview of the hottest NYE parties, events, dinners, concerts and festivals happening in Cape Town and surrounds. From wining, dining and dancing to three-day music festivals and more, we’ve got it all.
COST: Prices vary according to the event; click through to the individual events for more information on what to expect and ticket prices.

Rezonance New Year’s Eve Party (31 December 2014 – 2 January 2015)
Hit slick groovies into the new year at the annual four-day long New Year’s Eve jol Rezonance. Kicking off on Wednesday, 31 December 2014 and running, with wild abandon, until Saturday, 3 January 2015, the electro extravaganza boasts a heady line-up, four different stages and a lake to cool off in. The best part? It is only 30 minutes outside of the city centre. Hosted at the Contermanskloof Farm in Durbanville, this yearly NYE shindig has all the makings of an epic exit from 2014 and entrance to 2015.
COST: Ticket costs range between R540p/p and R700p/p and can be bought online via or from select retail outlets. Discounted tickets will be available at the gate from Thursday, 1 January 2015. Click through to the event for more information.

Boomerang New Year’s Eve Party (31 December – 2 January) – CANCELLED
Due to logistics and the lack of an adequate venue, the 2014-2015 Boomerang New Year’s Eve party will not be taking place. While organisers are saddened to inform regular revelers and new year party-goers of its cancellation, organisers promise to “be back with a vengeance next year, with a killer new venue to boast!”
COST: For more information, visit Click through to the event for details.

PLEASE NOTE: All dates are subject to change.

These are only a few of the happenings in Cape Town and surrounds for the month of December, so be sure to check out our use our events section 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 smart phone, add to your home screen for quick access on the go!

Follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, join our Google+ circle, connect with us on LinkedIn, check out our photos on Instagram and follow our Pinterest boards for updates on what’s happening in an around the Mother City!

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