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The Festive December Month is Finally Here and There’s Lots to See, Do and Experience!

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

Last updated: 8 December 2017

If you blinked in January and found yourself in the twelfth month of 2017, you are not alone. The year flew 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 promise oodles of fun.

As always, the team's got the lowdown on the best annual happenings in Cape Town.

Don’t forget it’s World AIDS Day on Friday, 1 December so be sure to show your solidarity with this important cause.

Another important and special day where our team's givne you a special overview of things to do is Day of Reconciliation on Saturday, 16 December.

 We’ve also got comprehensive overviews of special things to do on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Day of Good Will (Boxing Day) and New Year’s Eve celebrations as well as place to enjoy New Year's Day in the Mother City.

The popular We Love Real Beer Fest is back and it’s all going down on Friday, 15 December at The Jack Black Brewing Company in Diep River. Get ready to enjoy a taste sensation with your favourite craft beers from Darling Brew, Cape Brewing Co., Jack Black Beer and more. This event is all about celebrating the men and women behind the scenes who paved the way and put in the hard yards to promote and popularise craft beer in the country.

COST: Online tickets are available through for R50/p and include a free We Love Real Beer Fest glass. Alternatively, tickets can be purchased at the door for R65/p. The event starts from 12pm and is set to carry on until 10pm.

The Kirstenbosch gardens liven up with the sound of music every Sunday from November 2017 to April 2018 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 season the exciting bill includes some seriously big names and local lekker acts such as Yusuf (Cat) Stevens, Ismaël Lô, The Vamps, Freshlyground, Jimmy Nevis, Grassy Spark, Jeremy Loops, Mi Casa and more. Additionally, some concerts will have childcare facilities, so moms and dads can have a good time and 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.

[email protected] SUMMER FESTIVAL (DEC 2017 – FEB 2018)
Support the Thembalitsha Foundation and enjoy top tunes, theatre, comedy and cinema at the [email protected] Summer Festival at the Elgin Valley wine estate’s magical forest amphitheatre from December 2017 to February 2018. This season’s line-up will no doubt keep patrons enthralled and is set to feature first-rate musical acts, including Karen Zoid, Elvis Blue, Watershed and The Parlotones. Bring along a picnic, some cushions and blankets and make yourself comfortable for an outdoor experience like no other.

COST: Tickets are available via and Computicket outlets, and costs range from R180/p to R330/p. Click through to the article for more information.

What better way to kick off the silly season than with the fizzy Franschhoek ‘Magic of Bubbles’ Cap Classique and Champagne Festival at the majestic Cape Winelands village’s iconic Huguenot Monument. The sparkling, sophisticated soirée, which pops its cork on Saturday, 2 and runs until Sunday, 3 December 2017, features the best in local Méthode Cap Classiques from the likes of Boschendal, La Motte and many more. Guests are encouraged to dress according to the theme – this year it’s black and white with ‘splash of summer’ – for a chance to win some fabulous prizes.

COST: Tickets for the festival are available via and cost R375/p per day. Click through to the event for more information.

For decades, locals and tourists alike have been flocking to the CBD for the annual tradition of witnessing the official switch-on of the festive lights in Adderley Street. On Sunday, 3 December 2017, attendees can look forward to seeing Executive Mayor 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!

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 Thursday, 7 to Sunday, 10 December 2017. As a colourful celebration of psy-culture, this trance party will create a whimsical world where dance and art are infinitely fused and where body, environment and soul are reunited.

COST: A full festival pass is available through for R650/p. There are various ticket options, please check out their ticketing page for more info.

Sing age-old Christmas carols at the 2017 Carols by Candlelight concert series at the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens from Thursday, 14 to Sunday, 17 December 2017. Relive your younger days and introduce your children to classic Christmas tunes with the Cape Town Concert Brass and the Male Voice Choir. Each evening’s main attraction is preceded by a lineup that features hot local talent as opening acts.

COST: Tickets are available via only and will be released one month before the concert series gets underway. Click through to the event for more information.

Starting bright and early at the NY49 Stadium on Saturday, 16 December 2017, the RCS Gugulethu Reconciliation Day Race is one that runners don’t want to miss. There is a more serious 10km option and a child- and fun runner-friendly 4.2km course to choose from. Participants are guaranteed plenty of fun on both the 10km and the 4.2km route though. The course passes by a number of significant monuments and landmarks, so runners can learn more about the community they’re soaring through.

COST: Interested individuals and teams can register for the race either online via or at the venue (the NY49 Stadium) on the day of the race between 5:30am and 6:45am.

The (queen!) mother of queer parties saunters onto the Cape Town calendar and makes a dramatic entrance at the Castle of Good Hope on Saturday, 16 December 2017. This proudly Capetonian jol – this year’s theme is ‘Dungeons and Dragons’ – is as massive as it is memorable and is billed as the biggest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex (LGBTQI) event in Africa. Dress to the nines and get ready to party with the most inclusive crowd in Cape Town.

COST: Tickets are available via and for R380/p.

Eat, drink, 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 many 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, as well as ticket prices.

Hit slick groovies into the new year at the annual three-day-long New Year’s Eve jol Rezonance. Kicking off on Saturday, 30 December 2017 and running, with wild abandon, until Monday, 1 January 2018, the electro extravaganza boasts a heady line-up, four different stages and a lake to cool off in.

COST: Tickets cost R620/p and can be bought online via or from select retail outlets.

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.


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 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 and around the Mother City!


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