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5 Festive Things to Do in Cape Town This December

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3 min read

Soon, shorts, slops and all things “outdoors” will be the order of the day in Cape Town, as December marks the beginning of the summer months.

Lucky you if you are already in Cape Town! This is the time to revel in the Christmas buzz, to sample the nighttime entertainment and venture out to the Winelands. Of course Christmas in Cape Town is not complete without a visit to the beach, especially with plenty daylight hours to soak up the sun.

Local restaurants really sparkle over the festive season. Don’t miss their excellent Christmas menus. Remember to book ahead especially closer to Christmas day so as not to miss out and lose any of your holiday cheer!

Here are 5 great things to fill you up with the festive spirit whilst in the Mother City this December:

1. Carols by Candlelight

A tradition for 26 years, Carols by Candlelight at Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens is the most obvious choice if you are looking to unleash your inner chorister. Held over four nights in the middle of December, the carols are a fundraising initiative of the Rotary Club of Kirstenbosch. Here, families, friends and couples picnic on the lawns with a candle in hand whilst being entertained by various popular local musicians.

2. Adderley Street Christmas Lights

Every December, Adderley Street in Cape Town is lit up by hundreds of festive lights. While you can go check out the dazzling array any night during the festive season, it’s worth making the effort to get to the official turning on of the lights. This is done by the mayor just after sunset on the first Sunday of December. This year it will take place on 2 December, thereafter Adderley Street will host a free party with plenty Christmas stalls.

3. The Galileo Open Air Cinema

If the idea of cuddling up under the stars whilst watching a movie and munching on popcorn appeals to you, then its best you a night at The Galileo Open Air Cinema. This open air cinema moves around to different venues in and around Cape Town, from Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, the V&A Waterfront, the Castle of Good Hope and various wine farms. Check the schedule for its regular weekday and weekend shows, as well as the special Christmas movie screenings.

4. Cap Classique and Champagne Festival

What better way to kick off the festive season than with Franschhoek’s fizzy Cap Classique and Champagne Festival set beneath the iconic Huguenot Monument. This sophisticated soirée runs from Saturday 2 December until Sunday 3 December this year and features the best in local Méthode Cap Classiques (MCC) from the likes of Boschendal, La Motte and many more. Expect delicious cuisine to pair with your glasses of bubbly,

5. Symphony Choir of Cape Town

One of the festive season’s most charming concerts takes place on the 8th of December on the beautiful lawns at Groot Constantia Wine Estate. The choir will be conducted by well-known musical director Alexander Fokkens and accompanied by the Brass Quintet and joined in song by the critically acclaimed Gentlemen’s Ensemble as well as a few Christmassy favourites sung by the choir members’ children. Coffee and snacks will be on sale but you can also opt to bring your own picnic basket.

Chelsey Hale
Chelsey Hale
Chelsey Hale left her career in teaching English and History to pursue her passion of working in the travel industry. From living in Thailand, the U.K and now back home in South Africa, she is always up for an adventure. Diving head first into Cape Town's tourism scene, she thrives in new environments and has a knack for researching and writing. She was welcomed to the team in 2017.

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