Trendspotting: November’s most popular features

South Africa has now been living under ‘lockdown Level 1’ for two months and with the borders finally reopened, the arrival of hot summer weather and the long December holidays now getting ever nearer, the city certainly feels like it’s finally shifted up a gear after many months of lockdown blues.

Restaurants, cafes and bars are finally getting busy again and Joburgers are out making the most of the city’s abundant green spaces and enjoying a gradual return of events such as festivals, theatre and markets.

Trending this month: At Johannesburg In Your Pocket we are gearing up for the festive season, and it seems so are our readers – our Christmas markets and events guides have been a major hit. November was jacaranda season and this year’s blooms seriously captured the imagination of budding amateur photographers who shared hundreds of pictures in this year’s #jacarandainyourpocket photo competition.

And there’s also been a growing appreciation of small family-run businesses and neighbourhood cafes, which we have been celebrating in our new series of guides to our favourite suburban high streets.

Here’s a look at our five most popular website features on this November:

Christmas markets and festivals

Destination Christmas at Melrose Arch

After the wild year the world has had, here in Joburg we are more than grateful to be able to enjoy our Christmas markets and festivals again this festive season. While there are a few notable Christmas events not happening this year (such as the Christmas lights at Emperors Palace and the Zoo Lake carols concert), dozens of other festive events are going ahead in 2020.

You can read our guide to this year’s best here.

Outdoor dining

Spilt Milk, Melville

When the sun is out and summer is in full swing, where better to enjoy lunch than in a sunny courtyard or garden cafe. We’ve seen a surge in interest on our website in cafes and restaurants with terraces.

You can read our popular guide to some favourite garden restaurants and cafe terraces here.

Jacaranda In Your Pocket

Our 2020 #jacarandainyourpocket finalists

Every year we host a photography competition in celebration of the annual spring blossoming of Gauteng’s thousands of jacarandas. This year’s #jacarandainyourpocket competition, hosted in parntership with the Gautrain, was bigger than ever and we were overwhelmed with stunning photos of this year’s jacarandas from our readers.

See some of the many superb entries we received here.

Joburg High Streets – Celebrating Suburbs

The Old Lake Market on Tyrone Avenue, Parkview

In November we launched our Celebrating Surbubs series, celebrating the many friendly small businesses that make the high streets of Joburg’s older neighbourhoods so special. Across the country the 2020 pandemic and nationwide lockdown has fostered a renewed appreciation for independent, owner-run businesses. These characterful suburban corner shops and cafes found in Joburg’s older suburbs have become an ever more important part of the fabric of our communities.

As Joburg opened up again, in this new series we wanted to shine a spotlight on what makes these high streets unique, and point you in the direction of those special, lesser-known characterful venues that you can plan an afternoon around.

Read our guide to Parkhurst’s 4th Avenue here.
Read our guide to Gleneagles Road in Greenside here.
Read our guide to 7th Street Melville here.
And read our guide to Tyrone Avenue in Parkview here.

Also trending in November

Gold Reef City theme park One of Joburg’s biggest family attractions, Gold Reef City is one of the best theme parks in the country. Closed since March 2020, In Your Pocket readers have become increasingly curious to know when this top attraction will reopen. The good news is, the theme park reopens from December 3 2020, just in time for the holidays!

Swimming pools As the summer heat sets in swimming continues to be a seriously popular pastime for Johannesburg In Your Pocket readers. Particularly popular are the Zoo Lake Swim Baths (now open for social swimming), the Ellis Park Swimming Pool (also open) and the Wild Waters water park in Boksburg.

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