It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Christmas is around the corner and with it comes the joys of hopping around festive markets to indulge in Christmas desserts, have fun with the kids and do some last minute gift shopping!
Christmas markets only come around once a year and they are known to spread the Christmas cheer – so don’t delay and visit any or all of the markets we’ve scouted…
Christmas markets in Johannesburg
Bryanston Organic & Natural Market’s Moonlight Markets
Known for their Moonlight Markets during the festive season, The Bryanston Organic & Natural Market is once again making late Christmas shopping possible. Gather loved ones and head on over to experience their range of handcrafted Christmas gifts, decorations and food. A Children’s Theatre, which includes Carols by Candlelight, will be open from 5pm to 7pm. The entrance fee for adults is R20 and children under 12 years can enter for free. Visitors can pay at the door or pre-book on Quicket.
When: From 20 November to 18 December – every Tuesday, 5pm-9pm
Where: 40 Culross rd (off Main Road), Bryanston, Johannesburg
Montecasino Christmas Village
Montecasino will be full of festive cheer during its fifth Christmas Village. The popular European-style Christmas market will feature over 60 exhibitors – so expect everything from Christmas-themed decor to ice-cold craft beer. Kids can enjoy free movies on the big screen in the Piazza at 6pm. Entrance costs only R10, and there will be no entry fee for kids under 12 and adults over 60.
When: From 12 to 17 December – Wednesday to Friday, 2pm-9pm, Saturday & Sunday,12pm-9pm; Monday, 12pm-7pm
Where: Montecasino, Montecasino Boulevard, Fourways
Walter Sisulu Christmas Carols and Market
Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden is converting into a Christmas wonderland which will be filled will angelic voices and craft exhibitors galore. Whether you’ve been naughty or nice, you are welcome to shop a variety of arts, crafts and unique gifts. The Welsh Male Voice Choir of SA will lead various artists for market-goers to enjoy around 4pm. Normal fees apply until 2pm on both days and thereafter the concert fees will be R80 per adult and R20 for scholars.
When: 1 and 2 December
Where: Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens
Emperors Palace Garden of Lights
One of Gauteng’s most anticipated lights display will once again brighten up the East Rand when Emperors Palace switches on their Garden of Lights this festive season. It’s a South African adaptation of a winter wonderland, light extravaganza and yuletide adventure all rolled into one. Packed with fun activities for the whole family, the garden will be open daily between 7pm and 10pm. Opening hours will be weather dependent, and tickets are sold by time slots at half-hour intervals and are subject to availability. Tickets are R25 per person and R100 for a Festive Family Package of five people.
When: 30 November 2018 to 2 January 2019, 7pm-10pm
Where: Emperors Palace, 64 Jones Rd, O.R. Tambo, Kempton Park
Read more: Free Christmas cupcake wrappers to download
Christmas markets in Cape Town
Gabriëlskloof’s Favourite Things Market
The all-around crowd-pleaser is back! Following a one-year hiatus, the Gabriëlskloof’s Favourite Things Market will feature 45 hand-picked stalls stuffed with this season’s must-have goodies. Visitors will be able to indulge in baked treats and buy everything from beautiful handmade jewellery to home-knits, all in one phenomenal setting at Gabriëlskloof (a wine estate in Botrivier).
When: 14 to 16 December
Where: Gabriëlskloof wine estate, N2 Swartriver Rd, 7185 Botrivier
Groote Post’s Christmas Country Market
Infuse a little tradition and magic into the festive season by visiting the Groote Post’s Christmas Country Market. There will be decorations and gifts galore, a Children’s Christmas Show, and jolly Father Christmas entertaining the children. Families can come out and enjoy the day while their children hit the playground, ride on the tractor and get their face painted. The fun begins at 10am and ends at 3pm, plus it’s free to enter and enjoy!
When: 16 December, 10am-3pm
Where: Groote Post Vineyards, 7 Darling, Western Cape
Pinelands Craft and Gift Fair
The Pinelands Craft & Gift Fair is a great opportunity to catch up on Christmas and end-of-year gift shopping in a relaxed and friendly environment. There will be a selection of 160 crafters in one venue and credit card facilities will be available. You can expect to bag delicious treats, baskets, wire and leather work, glassware and needlework, and much more on sale. The fair will be open from 9am until 7pm from Monday to Friday (including the public holiday) and from 9am until 5pm on the weekends too. Entry is free and secure parking will be provided.
When: Between 3 and 22 December – Monday to Friday, 9am-7pm, and Saturday & Sunday, 9am-5pm
Where: Kent Hall, Pinelands High School, Forest Drive, Pinelands
Fab Ideas Christmas Gift Fair
The eighth annual Fab Ideas Christmas Gift Fair promises a vibrant family-friendly shopping experience for all. It will be held over four days where visitors can browse new and exciting products ranging from jewellery, clothing, decor, gadgets and skincare. The fair starts at 9am and ends at different times during the course of the weekend. Entry is free – yay!
When: 14 to 17 December, starts at 9am
Where: Kommetjie Community Hall, Teubes Road, Kommetjie
Christmas markets in Durban
Trail of Lights at Durban Botanic Gardens
The annual Trail of Lights will once again take place at the Durban Botanic Gardens, which will be transformed into an enchanting Christmas wonderland after sunset. Follow the glowing trail along the Botanic Garden’s paths, where the kids can look out for Santa and other magical Christmas characters like forest fairies and elves. Adults can look forward to a few treats too with a food garden that will feature local artisan vendors, a host of pop-up stalls and live music at the lake. Tickets can be pre-booked for R50 via webtickets.co.za and at Pick n Pay stores, while entrance fee at the door will be R70. Children under the age of two enter free.
When: 14 to 30 December, 6:30pm-9:30pm
Where: Durban Botanic Gardens
The Festive Market
Hillcrest’s favourite indoor Christmas Market is back and it offers shoppers the opportunity to pick up a shopping basket and browse over 100 tables of gifts, clothes, treats and Christmas goodies. While shopping can be enjoyed indoors, there will be lots of food and fun outdoors. Credit and debit cards are welcome. Doors open at 9am and closes at 7pm daily.
When: 15 to 22 December, 9am-7pm
Where: Hillcrest High School, 40 Ridge Road, 3610 Hillcrest
Read more: Happiness is homemade this Christmas