Festivals, City Parties and More Events To Mark The Season

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Festivals, City Parties and More Events To Mark The Season

These include: learning to tango, exciting virtual worlds and celebrating the ultimate cartoon matriarch.

Last updated: 27 September 2019

There are some fantastic events to diarise this festive season: dance parties, tango festivals, mountain-bike challenges, LGBQTI celebrations and even some out-of-this-world creations to explore at a Cape Town’s biggest gaming expo.

Kick it all off with the traditional introduction to the festive season – the Cape Town Festive Lights Switch On.

31 December
Catch DJ Shimza, Dean Fuel and a host of other world-class DJs at this lavish New Year’s Eve celebration. This fairy tale festival held at the foot of Table Mountain showcases 12-hours of music by the reigning kings and queens of electronic. We should also mention there will be Cirque-style performance art by Olympic gymnasts and fire dancers across three distinctly decked-out stages, with VIP options available at the magical Alcazar NYE.
Cost: R390–R690 

105 Hatfield Street | Gardens | | +27 (0)11 880 2199

14-16 December
Anyone who has been to a We House Sundays event will know, you don’t leave there without a bunch of new friends. Now the organisers from this house music institute are presenting an all weekend outdoor house party at the Cloof Wine Estate in Darling. The DJ lineup is made up of 22 local and international acts and includes easy camping options where everything is set up, and you just plug and play. Prepare for a weekend of dancing, swimming, good food and quality music plus the chance to gain new friends/family at the We House Sunday Festival.
Cost: R450-R1345

R315 Malmesbury | Darling Road | | +27 (0)74 142 6359


14 December
Grub and Vine restaurant is surrendering it’s wine list to invaders from top Cape wine farms, for an evening of iconic vintages. Botrivier Wine Route stallwarts, Ludditte Wine Farm and Genevieve MCC, are kicking off this feast-ive season experience with winemakers from both distilleries, Melissa Nelsen (Genevieve winemaker) and Niels Verburg (Luddite winemaker), serving the wine. The latest offerings from these farms will be on the list: from Genevieve MCC – Genevieve 2015 and Genevieve Zero Dosage 2015, and from Luddite’s - Saboteur White, Saboteur Red and their famous Shiraz. The restaurant meanwhile will be a good subject and pair these wines with a suitable set menu at the first edition of Grub and Vine’s Vino Invasion.
Cost: R750 (includes five course meal and wine pairing)

103 Bree street | | +27 (0)87 898 2207

Sunday, 1 December
House of Le Cap will showcase LGBTQI ball culture in Cape Town. Like on the hit TV show POSE, Cape Town’s drag queens will do everything from runway to face posing, waacking and, of course, lip-sync battles. There’s a runway walk contest that pays tribute to cartoon matriarch Marge Simpson. Plus, House Le Cap is looking for a commentator to work future balls, and you can earn that opportunity in the Commentator vs Commentator battle at The Arcade Ball Hosted By Mother Le Cap For World Aids Day.
Cost: R80 (pre-sold), R120 (at the door)

Artscape Theatre Centre | DF Malan Street | +27 (0)82 456 0557 |

Saturday - Sunday, 30 November - 1 December
According to Bicycling Magazine, Stellenbosch is the birthplace of South African mountain biking; the place where the first purpose-built bike tracks were carved into the mountainside. Every year, Stillwater Sports organises a mountain bike race on these very trails. The event is a two-day stage race: a marathon (50-60km per day) and half marathon (28-30km per day). It’s hosted at Blaauwklippen Wine Estate, so there’s wine-tasting for non-cyclists and plenty of space for kids to play. There’s also a fun ride (8-10km) on Saturday for newbies who want to try out these trails at Origin Of Trails MTB Experience.
Cost: R200 (fun ride), R1 400 (half-marathon), R1 600 (marathon)

Blaauwklippen Wine Estate | Stellenbosch | +27 (0)82 991 0045 | 

Monday, 16 December
Fisher is the headline act for one night of pure dancing bliss At Shimmy Beach. The Australian Grammy-nominated tech and house music producer is famous for popular hits such as Losing It and follow-up number one You Little Beauty. Shimmy will be transformed from chic daytime beach venue into a glamorous all-night party. As Shimmy’s website suggests, “Think daytime beach chic into sexy night-time naughtiness, and dress accordingly…” It promises to be a dancefloor of gorgeous people.
Cost: R200 (Early bird), R350 (general admission), R550 (VIP)

12 S Arm Road | V&A Waterfront | 

Wednesday - Monday, 4 - 9 December
It takes two to tango, but only one festival to teach you how to do it. For the third year running top international tango teachers will be in Cape Town to run workshops and give lessons. This year those teachers are American Sidney Grant, owner of Ballroom Basix, and Argentinian tango master Mario de Camillis, who will give a total of eight workshops. There’ll also be seven milongas (Argentine tango “parties”), live music and 27-hours of dancing, so expect a super party atmosphere at the Cape Tango Festival.
Cost: R950 - R2 300

Young Blood Africa | 70-72 Bree Street |

Thursday - Saturday, 5 - 7 December
People who saw Cape Town-based creative studio Tulips and Chimneys’ new virtual reality game The Lost Botanist at the recent Open Book Festival said it was moving and captivating – this is just one of the many virtual reality (VR) or artificial intelligence (AI) experiences you can have at Playtopia. Of course, the main attractions will always be the game arcade and the Super Friendship hardware game exhibit, which has consoles. Northern Irish label and music collective Culture Glitch will be doing a stage takeover at the Party Pond. There’ll also be over 45 speakers from around the world at Playtopia Gaming Expo.
Cost: R120 - R820 at Quicket

Castle of Good Hope | Cape Town |

Sunday, 1 December
Every year on the first Sunday in December, the executive mayor of Cape Town turns on the Adderley Street Christmas Light, a symbolic indication of the start of the Festive season in Cape Town. It’s a big day: a music concert kicks off in the late afternoon and includes some of the country’s biggest musical acts. The theme is yet to be confirmed but we’ll update you once the info is out on the Cape Town Festive Lights Switch On.
Cost: Free

Grand Parade | Corner Darling Street and Corporation Road | Cape Town | +27 (0)86 010 3089 | |


PLEASE NOTE: All dates are subject to change.


11 Days of Christmas gifts at the Fab Ideas Christmas Gift Fair.

Here’s where to revel in the magic of Christmas.

Get your tickets to Cape Town’s premium New Year’s Eve party, Alcazar.

Taking your car for a service? Get a courtesy car and try one of our Cape Town Inner City Experiences.

Discover the true splendour of Shimmy Beach Club.

Keep the kids occupied over the holidays with these awesome kids activities.


Use our events section for an up-to-date overview of what’s happening in the city, ‘burbs and dorpies. Join our newsletter and get quick access on the go by adding us to your mobile home screen for the ultimate guide to discoveries in Cape Town.

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