Festivals, City Parties and 5 More Events To Mark The Season

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Festivals, City Parties and 5 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

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 | |

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 |

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 |

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 |


PLEASE NOTE: All dates are subject to change.


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

Discover the true splendor of Shimmy Beach Club.

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


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