‘Tis the season of Santa, feasts, festivities and family! Here are some fun, no-fuss ways to celebrate the 2016 festive season in the Mother City.
Last Update: December 9, 2016
We are currently in the process of compiling a list of magical Christmas events for the 2016 festive season. Keep an eye on this page for updates and subscribe to our newsletter for more information.
In Cape Town, Santa gets to swap his suit for boardies, ditch his deers for springbokkies and drink draughts rather than milk. Christmas is always merrier in the Mother City given the countless opportunities for picnics on pristine beaches, cocktails beneath clear skies and gourmet cuisine at restaurants, eateries and wine estates with breathtaking views.
So don’t spend your festive season slaving over a hot stove in a busy kitchen (leave that to the professionals); book a table with family and friends at one of these hotspots for a scrumptious Christmas Eve dinner or Christmas Day lunch without the mess or fuss. From the famed switching on of the Adderley lights and carol sing-songs at Laborie to a special Christmas day lunch at Spier and a feel-good movie screening with the Galileo, there’s plenty of ways to keep merry in our city.
2016 CHRISTMAS EVENTS & DINNERS IN CAPE TOWN
Festive Lights Switch-on on Adderley Street (4 December)
For decades, locals and tourists alike have flocked to the CBD for the annual tradition of witnessing the official switch-on of the festive lights on Adderley Street. This year’s flick of the switch will happen on Sunday, 4 December 2016, and will be performed by the Executive Mayor with her merry band of mini helpers. There’ll be plenty of entertainment to keep folks occupied until the lights go on at 8:30pm, including live performances by local up-and-coming bands. Take part in the fun, festive street party and delight in the sight of hundreds of brightly coloured twinkling stars lighting up Cape Town’s historic main pathway. This good old-fashioned way to kick-start the holidays always promises loads of festive flavour to get you in the mood for Santa’s season.
COST: Access to the event is gratis, mahala and for FREE! Please refer to the City’s website (www.capetown.gov.za) for more information and full road closure details.
Kirstenbosch Carols by Candlelight (15 - 18 December)
Hark the herald angels sing! Hear some of Cape Town’s angelic voices at this annual festive event at the Kirstenbosch National Botanic Garden from Thursday, 15 to Sunday, 18 December 2016. Running for more than two decades and organised by the Rotary Club as a fundraising initiative, the family-friendly Carols by Candlelight is an institution on the festive calendar and a prime opportunity to experience the greenway on a balmy Cape Town summer evening. Visitors can purchase some light nibbles from the Pick n Pay refreshment outlet and alcohol will be allowed into the venue as long as bottles remain concealed as it is a family event. No littering will be tolerated.
COST: Ticket prices range from R25p/p to R85p/p for children, while adults pay between R100p/p and R110p/p depending on the night selected. For more information, contact the Kirstenbosch Rotary Club on +27 (0) 83 270 9286 or email . Click through to event for more information.
Christmas at Spier Wine Farm in Stellenbosch
Celebrate Christmas in Stellenbosch this year at one of the Cape Winelands region’s oldest establishments. The Spier Wine Farm is pulling out all the stops and corks for a festive experience to cater to all pockets, times and tastes. Kicking off the merrymaking on Christmas Eve with a special dinner for hotel guests, the Stellies-based farm is also offering a delectable Christmas Day lunch at its lauded Eight Restaurant.
COST: Prices vary and booking is essential. Pre-payment is required to confirm the reservation and a 100% cancellation fee will apply. Click through to the event for information on the offering and prices.
Christmas Day at The Galileo Open Air Cinema at Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens
Round off a day of feasting and festive family fun with a comedic Christmas Day film at the Galileo Open Air Cinema at Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens. Bring the whole family, dress up in your best festive outfits and settle down to a touching, sweet performance from Will Ferrell in Elf. So, pack up the leftovers you were saving for your midnight snack (don’t pretend otherwise) and head over to this outdoor movie experience that is sure to leave you feeling oh-so jolly! If you don’t have any yummy takeaways from lunch (no judgies), don’t fret; this open-air cinema has a merry band of food and drink merchants to sort you out
COST: Tickets are available via thegalileo.co.za and costs range between R79p/p and R159p/p. Click through to the event for more information.
Christmas at the Twelve Apostles Hotel & Spa’s Azure Restaurant
Enjoy a festive feast this Christmas in Camps Bay at the five-star Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa’s Azure Restaurant. Instead of catering for the family, why not head down to this exclusive eatery, situated on the edge of Table Mountain National Park and overlooking the Atlantic, for a gourmet Christmas Eve four-course set menu or a Christmas Day lunch buffet where the only real work is getting up and going back for seconds. This festive selection includes traditional Christmas favourites with a gourmet twist: think White Chocolate Eggnog and more. Not to mention, the halls will be decked out in festive décor and patrons will have Christmas crackers to pull and merry hats to don for this very jolly occasion. On Christmas Day there will also be live entertainment on the cards and even a visit from Saint Nick!
- Christmas Eve Dinner at Azure Restaurant
Christmas Day Lunch Buffet at Azure Restaurant
COST: Costs vary according to the offering and the price includes festive Christmas hats and crackers as well as gratuity. Menu is subject to change. Click through to the events for more information.
Christmas at Park Inn by Radisson in Newlands
‘Tis the season to be jolly! Christmas comes with the all the trimmings at the Park Inn in Newlands, which has come up with a hassle-free lunch buffet that puts the fun back into the festive season. Bring your friends, family and loved ones for a spectacular lunch buffet that will fill any stomach to the brim with delish desserts, yummy starters and that all important gammon with honey and mustard sauce. Other magnificent menu items include pea & watercress soup, deboned turkey rolls, prawn cassoulet, fruit mince pies and more. So get the family ready for a fun, stylish all-you-can-eat spread and don’t worry about cleaning those pesky dishes afterwards.
COST: This Christmas lunch costs R395p/p. Bookings can be made by calling the hotel on +27 (0) 21 822 6500 or emailing for more information.
Christmas at Radisson Blu
Offering gorgeous vistas of the Atlantic Ocean and optimally located at the prestigious V&A Waterfront, the beautiful Radisson Blu is pulling out all the stops this Christmas Day with a delectable lunch buffet. Lunch will be served from 12:30pm until 3:30pm, and there’ll be a selection of scrumptious cold and hot spreads, followed by a smorgasbord of desserts. If you’d like to start your celebrations a little earlier, head down to the Christmas eve dinner at Tobago’s where guests can tuck in to a delectable three-course meal.
COST: The Christmas eve dinner will cost R520p/p and the Christmas day buffet costs R825p/p and children under 12 pay half price. Phone +27(0)21 441 3000 or email .
Christmas at the Grande Roche Hotel
Spoil yourself with a culinary banquet this Christmas at Grande Roche Hotel's Bosman’s Restaurant. Situated in Paarl in the heart of the Cape Winelands, this modern hotel eatery will take diners on a gastronomic adventure with a five-course Christmas Eve dinner menu and a Christmas Day buffet menu jam-packed with decadent dishes and festive delights. Patrons can relax on the terrace while enjoying the sweeping views and chowing down on award-winning nosh. On Christmas Day, there’ll be a live band and children’s entertainment, including a water slide, face painting and swimming.
COST: Costs vary according to the offering – Christmas Eve is R1520p/p, while the Christmas Day buffet is R725p/p (R362.50 for children under 11). Booking is essential and can be made by calling +27 (0) 21 863 5100. Do note that dietary requirements must be stated upon booking.
Christmas Eve at Boschendal Farm Estate
‘Tis the night before Christmas and all through the house not a creature is stirring, not even a mouse. Why? Because everyone’s gone to Boschendal of course. Escape to the beautiful Werf Restaurant for a hassle-free Christmas Eve in the newly renovated restaurant, which overlooks the expansive gardens and offers a set menu showcasing Chef Christiaan Campbell’s exemplary farm-to-table cuisine. Alternatively, pop into the historical Rhone Homestead Restaurant to sample an enticing selection of traditional South African Christmas-inspired cuisine, with family-friendly dishes served buffet style.
COST: Dinner will cost between R350p/p to R595p/p for adults and R170p/p to R320p/p for children under 12 depending on your chosen offering (this excludes a service fee of 10% and all beverages). Bookings can be made by emailing or phoning +27(0)21 870 4274.
Christmas Lunch at Benguela Cove Pop-Up Restaurant
Have an extra special Christmas lunch this year at the Benguela Cove Lagoon Wine Estate in Hermanus. The Benguela Cove Pop-Up Restaurant, which opened in October, will be treating guests to a phenomenal four-course meal with dishes such as hamhock stuffed trotter terrine, maple glazed duck and verjuice sorbet. There will also be a special kiddies menu to keep the little ones happy.
COST: The lunch is priced at R750p/p for adults and R120p/p for kids/ For more information, call +27 (0)21 944 1041 or email .
Richard’s Supper Stage Christmas Lunch
Good mood food, fabulous festivities and the Khayelitsha Gospel Choir combine to make guests extra merry this year at the much loved Richard’s Supper Stage. With celebrations starting at 12pm, Richard’s will delight guests with culinary surprises, a visit from Santa and some carolling by candlelight. The Christmas lunch includes starters such as freshly baked breads with smoked snoek and Peppadew pate, and wild mushroom and goats cheese terrines, and roast beef medallions with peppered jus and grilled line fish with steamed mussels for mains. For dessert, guests can anticipate Christmas pudding with vanilla anglaise, fresh sliced fruit with Chantilly cream and lemon and custard tart.
COST: Lunch and entertainment costs R400p/p, and bookings can be made by emailing or phoning +27(0)76 144 4809.
Christmas Day Buffet at the Mount Nelson Hotel
Treat yourself to a festive feast of biblical proportions at this Christmas lunch buffet. The Mount Nelson Hotel is known for spoiling its patrons and this is certainly true when it comes to their buffet menu. From sultry salads and seafood to roasts and royal desserts, you will have to spend some time choosing what to have from the massive selection on offer.
COST: A spot at a table will cost R1200p/p for adults and R550p/p for children. Booking is essential and can be made by emailing or by phoning +27 (0) 21 483 1000.
Christmas Buffet at Shimmy Beach Club
If you believe Christmas should be celebrated in style, there’s no better place for an extravagant festive lunch than Shimmy Beach Club. Head over to their beachside restaurant for a lavish Christmas buffet filled with delights for the whole family to enjoy. Ricky Botsis will be providing musical entertainment while guests feast on dishes Asian tapas and sushi starters, salad and antipasti, a variety of meat and vegetarian dishes for mains and yummy traditional desserts like Christmas pudding and eggnog shots.
COST: Entry to the buffet is priced at R895p/p for adults and children over the age of 13 years and R175p/p for children between the ages of three to 12 years. To book, email or call +27 (0)21 200 7778.
Mystery Ghost Bus Christmas Tours (17 December)
Add a bit of spookiness to your life this festive season and take a creepy trip through the city with the Mystery Ghost Bus. The ghost bus will have a Christmas-themed tour on Saturday, 17 December 2016 with stories about Yuletide ghosts and carols around the piano amidst the usual activities that include hunting poltergeists, visiting graveyards and ‘Pub & Grub’ stops along the journey. The tour will kick off at 7pm and patrons are to meet at Ferryman’s Tavern at the V&A Waterfront an hour before the starting time for supper.
COST: Tickets to the Mystery Ghost Bus tour are priced at R369p/p and can be purchased from Quicket.co.za. Please note that food and drinks are not included in the ticket so patrons are required to bring along extra cash. For more information call +27 (0)79 193 7536 or email .
Christmas at Asoka
Have your Christmas Eve dinner and Christmas lunch around the olive tree at Asoka this year. The restaurant has prepared a fantastic menu for their festive celebrations. Sit under the twinkling lights and indulge in delectable dishes such as beef fillet with pico de gallo, crayfish tail with polenta chips and rolled aubergine stuffed with feta, tomato and pesto. Asoka is serving up their take on a traditional dessert with a deconstructed Christmas trifle and homemade mince pies.
COST: Guests are required to pay a deposit of R200p/p in order to reserve a booking, which will be deducted from the bill on the evening. To make a reservation, email .
Christmas Lunch and Dinner at Kloof Street House
Treat yourself to a colourful Christmas at Kloof Street House. This charming restaurant is serving a delightful three-course meal for dinner on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day this year, so you don’t have to spend your day slaving away in the kitchen. Guests can expect to dine on delicious starters such as some duck breast or a prawn & avocado cocktail; main course options including pineapple glazed gammon or roasted shoulder of lamb. End the night on a sweet note with nutmeg crème brulée, chocolate ginger torte and Kloof Street House’s signature Christmas cake.
COST: Guests are required to pay a deposit of R250p/p in order to reserve a booking, which will be deducted from the bill on the evening. To make a reservation, email .
UltraNoize XMas Special Trance Party
If you’re looking to celebrate Christmas with something more exciting than lunch with the family, take a trip to Tiekiedraai for another stomptastic UltraNoize Xmas Special trance party. This psychedelic bash has got two dance floors, an array of kaleidoscopic lights, two fully-stocked bars and a killer line-up of DJs , including headline act Virtual Light from Canada and UltraNoize favourites such as Qube & Dyce, Killawat, Isotope and Distorted Culture.
COST: Pre-sold tickets can be purchased from Quicket.co.za and will cost R110p/p. Tickets can also be bought at the gate for R140p/p. For more information, email .
The Om Revolution Christmas Eve Yoga Class
Uplift your mind and body with a rejuvenating vinyasa yoga class hosted by The Om Revolution this Christmas Eve. The yoga studio has a weekly Saturday morning class at the Company’s Garden, but this particular session will be a bit different. All of the proceeds generated for the class will be donated to the Philani Maternal, Child Health and Nutrition Project in order to provide school supplies to children in informal settlements. The Om Revolution will be visiting a few festive markets in the city as well, including the I Love Big Bay Market on Friday, 16 December and the Gift & Food Fair at the Cape Town Castle from Tuesday, 20 December to Friday, 23 December 2016.
COST: The outdoor yoga class is priced at R50p/p and customers can pay on arrival. For more information visit Theomrevolution.co.za.
Christmas Eve and Day Dinner at the Hilton City Centre
Instead of spending your day around a dinner table eating the same boring meal you have every Christmas, give yourself and your family a festive feast at the Hilton City Centre. For Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, the Signal Hill Terrace is hosting a divine candle-lit dinner overlooking the city. The buffet will have six food stations with soup, an assortment of breads, canapés, a carvery and a variety of main dishes, as well as a selection of desserts. The Christmas Day lunch menu will differ slightly and guests will be treated to seafood dishes, a live cooking station, soup, antipasti and salads, warm meals at the hot buffet station and a number of sweet treats at the Candy Wonderland. Guests will be greeted with welcome drinks and chilled face towels and there will be festive music playing throughout the day for your enjoyment.
COST: The Christmas Eve Dinner and Christmas Day Lunch is priced at R450p/p for adults and R225p/p for children under the age of 12 years, while the Christmas Day Dinner will cost R345p/p for adults and R172.50p/p for children under the age of 12 years. For more information, call +27 (0)21 481 3700 or email .
Christmas Lunch at The Kitchen
Give your family an extra special meal this Christmas and visit The Kitchen at Maison for their superb festive lunch. The restaurant was named the 8th best restaurant in the country at the 2016 Eat Out Mercedes-Benz awards, so you’re guaranteed to get a perfect dish with every course. Chef Arno Janse van Rensburg has put together a divine menu with dishes such as salt baked trout, beef tongue, turkey and lamb saddle. Each table will also receive a complimentary bottle of Méthode Cap Classique.
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