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Here’s What You Can Get Up To On First Thursdays

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Here’s What You Can Get Up To On First Thursdays

From insightful discussions to free short film shows, there’s lots to do at this monthly art-centred event

Last Updated: 9 December 2019

Every First Thursday of the month, art-loving and drink-specials-seeking people walk the streets of the inner-city looking for a great vibe as selected galleries, museums, restaurants and shops open until 9pm or later. With new exhibitions popping up every month, restaurants boasting awesome specials and pop-up thrift stores showcasing some great deals, First Thursdays is a Cape Town bucket list event.

BLOCK PARTY!
What happens when you block off Longmarket Street on First Thursdays? It’s a real party, with live music and three outside bars - and there is no cover charge. You can expect sounds by the likes of DJ Rene The Frenchman who will present a mix of old and new world music with live instruments (percussion and other including Kirya Kuti Project on saxophone). Exclusive bottle service tables are available where you can sit down at a table and get VIP service. Later, after dinner, head downstairs to the club below. It’s called Catacombs and it opens after 8pm offering a dancefloor, bar, and DJ booth every First Thursday.
Hours: 5pm–1am

La Parada, 107 Bree Street, +27(0)21 426 0330, breestreet@laparada.co.zaLa Parada website

EXQUISITE TAPESTRIES AND A KIDS PLAY AREA
The Ladder On 136  is a working traditional arts studio run by practising artists Nicholas and Anastasia. They will be exhibiting hand-stitched Suzani carpets, for example: beautifully embroidered silk suzanis made in Uzbekistan from Manina Bauman's collection. There’s a coffee shop with daily bakes and light snacks, and they also host art workshops on some evenings. There’s also a play area for kids, so parents won’t want to miss this stop. The studio is open on First Thursdays.
Hours: Monday to Friday 7:30am–4pm; First Thursdays: 5pm–8pm

136 Bree Street, Cape Town, theladderon136@gmail.com, +27(0)82 451 1572, Instagram 

FOOD AND DRINKS
There are plenty of eateries and watering holes to choose from where you can grab a bite before you get out your map and head off to the rest of the galleries and events.

Offering delicious Japanese fine dining is the recently opened Tjing Tjing Momiji in Longmarket Street.

Or you can head off to Church Street for a wholesome poke bowl at Hokey Poke.

Grab a drink at the bar that serves up innovative fynbos-infused drinks, Botanical Bar.

But, if you’re looking for more of a rock ‘n roll scene try Aces and Spades.

What about a classic car showroom that’s also a cafe with a great vibe? The place to visit is Dapper Coffee Co.

THE ART
Art is, of course, the main attraction for this monthly event and Cape Town’s diversely talented crowd leaves you with lots to view and be intrigued by.

Apart from the galleries in the city exhibiting various mediums, there are pop-up exhibitions too, displaying everything from contemporary paintings to installation art. 99 Loop Gallery, Ebony Curated, Youngblood Foundation and World Art are a few of the many galleries that are worth exploring, showcasing new pieces as well as occasionally hosting insightful talks. All art mediums are showcased, and there are also short films on show put together by a new guest curator every month at The Labia Theatre.

The Orms School of Photography has student exhibitions too, so go take a look at the work of some very promising photographers.

EXPERIENCES
Enjoy live music and great food at The Motherland Night Market every First Thursday from 5pm to 10pm. Head to the East City for an indoor market where local artists and vendors will be showing off their craft at 61 Harrington Street.

A not-so-secret Cape Town secret, The Gin Bar in Wale Street, is a must-visit for experimental cocktails in a beautiful looking courtyard. And, Cape Town Sightseeing has some great travel specials too, only available on First Thursdays, so be sure to make use of this special at their Long Street office.

There are loads more places and something for everyone, so take to the streets and find that hidden gem that’s special to you.

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Free exhibition and walk-about with artists at Everard Read.

A tribute to a woman who created magic behind the stove at the Halaal spot, Cafe Zor in the Bo-Kaap.

An ideal spot for coffee, food and art at First Thursday at Ground Art Caffe.

Love the vibrancy of the inner city? Here are 17 things to (re)discover Bree Street in Cape Town.

Enjoy authentic South-Indian flavours at Sundoo in Sea Point. It’s a good place for a business lunch or to get together for dinner.

See some of the best in the art of tattooing at the South African International Tattoo Convention

Rediscover Cape Town culture and art at the free Museum Night. Take a look at our overview of art galleries in Cape Town. Visit the first heritage museum dedicated to the san at !Khwa ttu Dream Museum.

Discover the first of its kind, a museum dedicated to the exploration and understanding of gangsterism, 18 Gangster Museum.

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