14 family events around SA to make this the best holiday ever!


Schools close on 6 December which is just over a week from now. And you know what that means, right? They’ll be bouncing off the walls and running amok.

But we’ve compiled a comprehensive list of holiday events to keep the kids entertained and some activities the whole family can enjoy. So ease your anxieties and make this a holiday to remember!

In and around Cape Town

Bugz Playpark and their special birthday bash

Bugz Playpark is an outdoor and indoor play area for kids, complete with educational boards, obstacles, swings, jungle gyms, maps, peddle carts and waterslides, as well as a toddler section. The Playpark aims to stimulate little minds while helping kids build their motor skills and have just about the best time ever in the colourful edu-park.

And on 9 December, the park will be celebrating its 10th anniversary and kids will have the opportunity of experiencing the park like never before. A mime artist, magic shows, drummer boys, character parade and many more will bring the park to life for one day only, so book your tickets now as we’re sure it will be a day the kids will remember.

When: Monday – Sunday; birthday bash – 9 December

Time: 09:00 – 17:00

Where: Bugz Playpark (56 Tarentaal Rd, Joostenberg Vlakte, Cape Town)

Price: Ticket prices and event experiences may vary depending on the child’s age, and exclude token activities. R120 – VIP experience, which includes age-restricted rides, excludes adult entrance (only available for Bugz aged 3-12); R60 per Bug – Non-rider entrance, which excludes all rides and adult entrance (Bugz aged between 2 & 3 and kids aged 13 - 18); R50 per person – Adult entrance, excludes all rides; Bugz below age 2 enter for FREE.

For more information, check out the Bugz Playpark website.

Canal Walk’s Space Station

This year, earthlings and explorers will come together at Canal Walk’s Space Station – a transformed intergalactic arena complete with a gigantic inflatable space maze where would-be space travellers are welcome to explore a series of zones, a launch pad from which to begin their mission to the sun, as well as a 4m inflatable slide for younger explorers, a hall of mirrors, a constellation and solar system board that lights up; an asteroid field where pioneers will need to dodge planets, an obstacle course and UV laser web zone.

When: 7 December – 14 January (closed 25 December)

Time: 10:00 – 21:00, with 45 minute sessions every hour on the hour

Where: Canal Walk

Price: R40

Tickets can be bought on the day, at the event, or via Computicket.

Tickets for the birthday bash can be purchased on Bugz Playpark’s website. No tickets will be sold on the day.

The Galileo Open Air Cinema

With sunny skies and warmer weather, the Galileo Open Air Cinema is returning to Cape town with classics such as The Lion King and new films such as La La Land in the summer lineup.

When: 28 November – 27 April

Time: Doors open at 6pm from Tuesday to Friday, at 5pm on Saturdays and 4pm on Sundays. Come early to reserve the best spot on the lawn in front of the screen and to enjoy some of the delicious food and drinks on sale at our local artisanal food market. Movie starts between 7.30pm and 8.30pm. Start times vary depending on the time that the sun sets.

Where: Venues vary according to the day: Tuesdays – Bloemendal Wine Estate; Wednesdays – Kirstenbosch Gardens; Thursdays – V&A Waterfront; Fridays –Rotating Venues in Cape Town; Select Saturdays – Cape Winelands; Family Sundays – Kelvin Grove; Special Screenings – Halloween, Christmas , Valentine’s Day and Easter.

For a full list of dates, venues and movies, click here.

Price: Tickets vary according to the package you choose. Check the Galileo website for more information.

Tickets can be booked via Webtickets.

Future Park

For the first time ever in South Africa, the Future Park will see children’s drawings come to life before their eyes as this cool and exciting exhibition space uses scanners and sensors in new and innovative ways. Children can, for example, draw and colour fish and water creatures from their extraordinary imaginations, scan them in, and watch as their swim around them in a floor-to-ceiling digital screen.

Sounds amazing, right?

To check out videos of the interactive space click here.

When: 23 September – 31 January

Time: 9:00 – 19:00

Where: The Watershed, V&A Waterfront

Price: R130 for single tickets, R460 for a family package of four, R115 for pensioners, R115 for students and under 18 months are free.

For more information about the event visit the Future Park website. Bookings can be made via Computicket.

The Nutcracker

Everyone’s favourite ballet is returning to the Artscape Opera House this festive season to tell the story once more of Clara, Fritz and their eccentric uncle, Drosselmeyer in the always lovely classic, the Nutcracker.

When: 15 December – 24 December

Time: Show times vary. Please visit Computicket for more information.

Where: Artscape Opera House

Price: There is a floorplan so ticket prices vary accordingly. Please visit Computicket for more information and to book your tickets.

In and around Johannesburg

The Linden Market X-Mas Edition

On Saturday 2 December, the Linden Market will be hosting their special Christmas edition to get you into the festive season and give you a headstart on your holiday shopping. Wirth a musical line-up featuring the likes of the Awesome Foursome String Band, Nick May Band, Die Rooibos and Christmas carols by Voices Plus form the UJ Choir, as well as activities such as yoga in the park, over 120 craft stalls and even activities to keep the kids occupied, we’re sure  this will be a fun-filled event for the whole family.

When: 2 December

Time: 09:00 – 16:00

Where: 45 Thomas Bowler St, Botanical Gardens Emmarentia

Price: R20 and kids under 12 enter free.

For more information visit the Linden Market website or check out their Facebook and Instagram pages.

In the Forest Family Christmas Folk Market & Fair

On Saturday 2 December, the kids can enjoy great food, live folk music, a fairy trail, archery, tomahawk toss, tree climb, a haybale splash pond, a real Maypole, pony rides, face painting and more, at the In the Forest Family Christmas Folk Market & Fair.

With a fairy theme to enhance the already beautiful outdoors, enchanting forest trails and a real life unicorn, the kids will love their day out, while your get in your christmas shopping with a broad selection of local South African crafters and organic artisan stalls.

When: 2 December

Time: 09:30 - 16:30

Where: In The Forest Venue (2 Aloe Ridge Drive, Walkerville, Johannesburg)

Price: Adults - R35 and kids - R20.

Tickets can be bought at the gate on the day.

The Fantastic Grifizzi Brothers animal-free circus

Richard Griffin and Marc Collie, the force behind the iconic Madame Zingara brand, will be bringing the Fantastic Grifizzi Brothers animal-free circus to Joburg audiences this festive season. The family show will see local and international performers and acrobats entertain the audiencxe, accompanied by captivating music to enhance the atmosphere in spectacular, yet intimate, setting, which will also coincide with the Garden of Lights.

When: 8 December – 15 January

Time: Show times vary. Please visit www.grifizzi.com for more information.

Where: Emperors Palace Hotel, Casino, Convention and Entertainment resort

Price: Tickets to The Story of the Moon at Emperors Palace are R140 per person.

Visit they Grifizzi website for more inofrmation and to book tickets.

For school group bookings, please contact 071 400 2250 – tickets are R80 per learner, and include popcorn and juice. 

Cinderella on Ice

Cinderella on Ice will enchant and captivate audiences this festive season as the world famous ice stars that brought you The Sleeping Beauty on Ice, The Nutcracker on Ice, and Swan Lake on Ice, return once again. Telling the classic tale of Cinderella combined with their theatrical ice skating, this promised to be a stunning and entertaining performance for the family.

When: 1 December – 6 January (before moving to the Artscape Opera House in Cape Town from 10 January – 28 January)

Time: Show times vary. Please visit Computicket for more information.

Where: Teatro at Montecasino

Price: There is a floorplan so ticket prices vary accordingly. Please visit Computicket for more information and to book your tickets.

Shrek The Musical Junior

Remember the tale of the big green ogre and his hilarious donkey rescuing the princess locked away in a tall tall tower? Not your conventional fairytale, but it is an Oscar-winning film. Based on the hit motion picture, Shrek The Musical Junior will come to life at the Joburg Theatre for everyone to enjoy this holiday.

When: 11 November – 24 December

Time: Shows are at 10:30 or 14:30

Where: Joburg Peoples Theatre

Price: R142

Tickets can be booked via Webtickets.

A Seussified Christmas Carol

The National Children’s Theatre is reimagining the classic and always loved Dicken’s novel A Seussified Christmas Carol this December, complete with rhyming couplets and wacky rhymes that the kids will absolutely love.

When: 7 November – 23 December

Time: Shows are at 10:30 or 14:30

Where: The National Children’s Theatre

Price: Booking essential. There are two types of tickets - tickets for chairs and tickets for cushions. Tickets for chairs are R120 and tickets for cushions are R100. To book phone 011 484 1584, or e-mail bookings@nctt.org.za.

In and around Durban

Durban Botanic Gardens’ ‘Festive Trail of Lights’

Come and explore the magical Durban Botanic Gardens this festive season and its transformed by festive trails of lights, the activities for kids including cupcake decorating, face painting, education stations, sand-art, ceramic painting and pony rides, accompanied by the sound of the Umlazi Children’s Gospel Choir to enhance the Christmas atmosphere.

With a food garden serving local artisan food as well hearty pizzas and gourmet burgers, there’ll be plenty of food to fill those hungry tummies, while other highlights include The Tree of Light where a light may be sponsored in remembrance of loved ones, the talking tree and the North Pole Mailbox where the all-important ‘letters to Santa’ can be posted and even meeting Santa himself!

When: 17 – 24 December

Time: Every evening between 18:30 – 21:30

Where: Durban’s Botanic Gardens

Price: Tickets are R40 per person for online sales and R50 at the gate. Children under two years enter free.

There are limited tickets available per night so pre-book via Webtickets.

Sinbad The Sailor

With colourful sets, music and dance inspired by Bollywood, in an unforgettable performance everyone’s favourite sailor and all his friends will come to life in Sinbad The Sailor.

When: 1 December – 7 January

Time: Show times vary. Please visit Computicket for more information.

Where: Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre

Price: R130, however, ticket prices may vary according to the day you go and certain discounts are available for kids and pensioners. Please visit Computicket for more information and to book your tickets.

Going Going

Going Going tells the tale of an orphaned Rhino who finds his way through colourful storytelling, song and puppets, that the kids will certainly enjoy.

When: 5 December

Time: Either 09:30 or 11:30

Where: Rhumbelow Theatre

Price: Unreserved seating – R60 and block booking (4+) – R50

To book visit Computicket.

Are there any upcoming events for the family we may have missed? Tell us by emailing to chatback@parent24.com.

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