Whether you’re heading for the KwaZulu-Natal coast, the Garden Route, the Mother City or your backyard in good ol’ Joburg, the FM has a list of things you’ll want to do this holiday. Amuse the kids, take a break from the in-laws, be entertained — there’s a good mix of outings to pick from.


Jeremy Loops and Crimson House at Kirstenbosch

See out 2018 on the lawns at Kirstenbosch enjoying the music of Jeremy Loops and rock-blues band Crimson House. Take your picnic basket and ease into the new year.

Venue: Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden
Cost: R415
Date: December 31

Picture Theory: David Goldblatt Exhibition

The great photographer, who died this year, captured key moments and everyday life in SA for more than 60 years. This exhibition lets his pictures speak for themselves, allowing viewers to make their own interpretations of life through his lens. The film Goldblatt (directed by Daniel Zimbler, 2017) is also on show along with a selection of texts and workshops, seminars, residencies and a reading room.

Venue: A4 Arts Foundation
Cost: Free
Dates: Until January 19

Spier’s Festival of Light Art

Sound and light sculptures will be delighting guests after dark at Spier this festive season.

The mix of light installations, music and this idyllic setting makes for a magical festive outing. Book a ready-made picnic or create your own from the deli and enjoy the beautiful surrounds before the sun sets.

Venue: Spier Wine Estate
Cost: Free entry
Dates: Until January 30

Zip Zap Circus at the Waterfront

The Zip Zap Circus School will be wowing the crowds in the amphitheatre at the V&A Waterfront every day from 5pm. Be amazed at the juggling, jumping, climbing and acrobatic skills of professional and student performers from this nonprofit organisation.

Venue: Silo District, V&A Waterfront
Cost: Free
Dates: January 2 to 8


Janice Honeyman’s ‘Snow White’

See Desmond Dube, John Robbie and Ben Vos ham it up in Honeyman’s Christmas panto. It’s full of all the good stuff – silly laughs, song and dance, sensational sets and a timeless story with a modern twist.

Venue: Mandela Theatre, Joburg Theatre
Cost: R245-R375
Dates: Until December 23

Pieter Toerien’s ‘A Christmas Carol’

Don’t miss out on this multimedia interpretation of Charles Dickens’s classic Christmas tale. It features an original score by Wessel Odendaal and animation by Naret Loots, and is directed by Elizma Badenhorst.

Venue: Studio Theatre, Pieter
Toerien Theatre, Montecasino
Cost: R130-R180
Dates: Until January 6

Garden of Lights at Emperors Palace

There’s something unbeatably festive about colourful lights, and the Garden of Lights at Emperors Palace offers plenty of them this year. Wander through the twinkling displays, peek into Santa’s workshop, meet Christmas characters and end off at the fun fair, food stalls and Christmas Crafters’ Fair.

Venue: Emperors Palace
Cost: R25, family package of five
Dates: Until January 2

Summer Sunsets at the Radisson Blu

Spend the evening lazing by the pool, enjoying sundowners and live music. What better way to ease into the holidays?

Venue: Radisson Blu Hotel,
Dates: Until December 28

New Year’s Eve Movies in the Park

This family-friendly New Year’s Eve event is a chilled way to welcome 2019. Pack a picnic and spend the last few hours of the year enjoying an outdoor screening of children’s animated films in the afternoon while the grown-up movies start after dark — not that they are X-rated. The one with the most votes on Facebook currently is Love, Actually. The night will end with a fireworks display.

Venue: Riversands Farm Village
Cost: Under-twos free, thereafter


Trail of Lights at Botanic Gardens

This year 250,000 bulbs will make up the Trail of Lights around the gardens. Explore the colourful installations with a Christmas theme and enjoy a bite to eat, live music and a browse through the market at the end — all in support of local charities.

Venue: Durban Botanic Gardens
Cost: Under-twos free, R50 pre-booked, R70 at the door
Dates: December 14 to 30

Litchi Festival

Pick your own litchis in Salt Rock. Entrance tickets get you a tractor ride and as many litchis as you can eat while picking, and you can take home 1.6kg. Round off your activities with a picnic under the trees.

Venue: The Litchi Orchard, Salt Rock
Cost: R150, under-threes R30; cash only
Dates: Until January 2; closed
December 25 and January 1

Umgeni Steam Railway

Take a nostalgic choo-choo trip. With special themed trips for the festive season, including a Santa Train and Carols by Candlelight, it’s an outing for all members of the family. The train, from Kloof to Inchanga, is run by a nonprofit organisation dedicated to preserving the heritage of railways in KwaZulu-Natal. At the Inchanga stop, passengers disembark for a picnic and to browse through a craft market and the museum in the stationmaster’s house.

Venue: Trains depart from Kloof station
Cost: Adult R260, children 2-12
R190, pensioners R190
Dates: Various


Staged by the inimitable Kickstart Theatre Company and its talented duo of Steven Stead and Greg King, this year’s pantomime promises to be as magical as ever. Gorgeous sets and beautiful baroque costumes ensure it will be a feast for the eyes, while the show’s stars sing and dance up a storm.

Venue: Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre
Cost: R135
Dates: Until January 6


Plett Polo International

When in Plett, do as the locals do and take in a polo match. This one’s between SA and Ireland. Put on your glad rags and enjoy an afternoon of stomping divots and socialising, with a fabulous after-party that will feature The Kiffness and The Kevin Floyd Project.

Venue: Kurland Estate
Cost: Various
Date: December 29

Plett Summer Colour Run

This 5km run/walk/skip is certainly fun. Three colour stations along the route will shower you in colour while DJs play the latest beats to keep you upbeat. A T-shirt, sachet of colour powder and entry to the festival zone are included in the price. There will be a glitter start to get proceedings under way, a giant inflatable slide and a dodgeball arena.

Venue: Main Beach
Cost: R260. Early bird: R150 (under-10s free)
Date: December 30