Your Guide to getting Festive with the Kids in Gauteng this year!

Deck the halls with boughs of holly
Fa la la la la, la la la la (fa la la la la, la la la la)

Yip, that’s right, things are kicking up a gear and we’re in full Christmas mode. I’ve put together a list of fabulous places to visit and things to do (and see) to ensure everyone in the family feels festive, after all, Christmas only comes once a year!

Visit Melrose Arch to view the light display! This is an absolute must with kids – they have some of the best light displays in Joburg, and what’s better, its FREE!

Cradlestone Mall is bringing the most with their Santa’s World of Wonder, with another incredible Christmas activation throughout the lower level of the mall again this year. Decorate baubles, gingerbread men, pictures with Santa, a giant inflatable with ‘snow’ and play for hours in Santa’s Workshop! Oli and Sophie had a ball and Santa’s Crew is so brilliant with the kids. Guess what, it’s entirely free! It runs daily from 10:00 – 17:00 until 5th January 2020. They also have a Christmas Night Market on 20th December from 17:00, with no entrance fee.

Every year our kids post their letters to Santa at Lifestyle Home Garden, and this year was no different. The centre has the most awe-inspiring display of Christmas ornaments and trees and it’s guaranteed to get you into the Christmas spirit with a visit!

The Nutcracker’s Winter Circus is hosted again by Sandton City Shopping Centre and is top of our list this year! For only R20 per ticket online or in store, or R30 at the door, based in the Centre Court, be prepared for a wonderfully whimsical theatrical adventure including creative master puppetry, set to bring a host of fun and fantastical characters to life, with the Parade of Animals, adding a captivating new dimension to the show. The Nutcracker Winter Circus will be taking place until the 5th January 2020, with 4 shows daily in the following timeslots: 10:30, 12:30, 15:30, 17:30. Book online here:

Who wants a family photo with Santa? Clearwater Mall will be having a special appearance by none other than everyone’s favourite bearded man, daily, in the Edgar’s Court from 10:00 – 13:00 & 14:00 – 18:00. Photo prices as follows: 2 x A5 Prints = R80.00, 1 x A4 Print = R80.00, 1 x A4 plus 2 x A5 prints = R120.00. On until 24th December 2019

A trip to the Walter Sisulu Botanical Garden is definitely in order to see their Wonderland of Lights. With over 100 imported Christmas lights on display, The Wonderland of Lights and Market will outshine any other family holiday activity this festive season. The Christmas lights on display makes its way from America to South Africa and should not be missed! Tickets are limited. To avoid disappointment at the door we urge customers to pre-book their tickets. The display will take place in the Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden in Roodepoort and contains over 13 unique themed stages lighting up the already beautiful botanical conservatory. Greeting you as you join us for the display and market will be an 11 Foot Gingerbread man, an army of Nutcracker Soldiers, Santa’s reindeer and a larger than life Christmas grinch. Find more information and booking details on their Facebook page here (

For those with kids a little older, a trip to see Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol at Montecasino is a must! Running until 5th January 2020, “Bah, Humbug!” The famous exclamation of Ebenezer Scrooge will be heard for the third time this Christmas season at Pieter Toerien’s Studio Theatre with tickets ranging in price from R130 – R180. The perfect theatre experience this Christmas! Also check out their 3D Festive Projection starting on 11 December (weather permitting) and running until 29th December 2019. Friends and families can share in the holiday spirit with mesmerising stories told through state-of the art 3D projection on Montecasino’s Tuscan facade, a first of its kind in Joburg. This is a must-see experience that the entire family can enjoy daily (19:30, 20:30, 21:30). You can share the magic from any one of the restaurants on the Piazza, or by simply standing under the stars, and its FREE!

Drive around the neighbourhood looking for Christmas lights (we love doing this)! We’ll be visiting the Weltevreden Christmas Lights House this year after the Christmas Light House in Randpark is no longer (sob) – the Paley family donated most of their lights to the Weltevreden Christmas Lights House so it’s bound to be spectacular. They even have a Carols by Candlelight event on Saturday at 18:30. Definitely worth a drive out. Find them on Facebook here: Let me know if you find any other amazing homes to visit!

When the weather gets miserable, head to Cresta with the kids to get creative! Cresta has a fantastic #LetsGetCrestive holiday programme with Christmas craft fun in the banking hall for kids to make cards, tree decorations, letters to Santa and more! It runs until 24th December 2019 from 09:00 – 19:00

Are the kids into baking? The Cakeman is hosting Holiday Baking Workshops where kids get to learn how to decorate festive cupcakes or gingerbread men! There are a few workshops left – the last on 19th December – check out more information on the happenings here:

The return of the Garden of Lights – one of Gauteng’s biggest festive season events – promises to offer even more fun for the whole family, featuring a winter wonderland, light extravaganza and yuletide adventure, all rolled into one. The event will set Gauteng skies alight in the picturesque gardens the five-star Peermont D’oreale Grande hotel at Emperors Palace until the 5th January 2020.

Menlyn Park has brought the Frozen 2 Festive Ice Rink with the launch of the latest movie release. There are 30-minute daily sessions for children from 11:00 – 18:00. R80 entrance includes skates, helmets, single use socks and seal mascots for younger children. Children 5 years & under accompanied by a parent with a ticket get free entrance and are pushed around on a skating aid seal that is subject to availability. More information can be found here:

There you have it! If you come across any other fabulous Christmas events, let me know!


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