Joburg events guide: Christmas holidays edition

In our weekly Joburg events round-up we hunt down the latest pop-up events, markets, parties, talks, tours and more happening in the coming weekend so you don’t miss them.

As we head into the festive holidays, many Joburgers are leaving the city to head off on summer holidays and Joburg’s cultural calendar is starting to slow down.

If you are staying in Joburg during the holidays, here are some events happening over Christmas and New Year to add to your agenda. For a full guide to what’s on in Joburg, check out our online events calendar.

Festival of Lights at Joburg Zoo

UNTIL JAN 2 Explore Joburg Zoo by night and enjoy a glittering festive light display every evening from 19:00. There’s also a festive night market and live entertainment every night including Christmas carols by Sempre Opera and Mzansi Youth Choir on Dec 22, 23, 24, and 26 and live music by Bongi Mthombeni and Brenda Mtambo on Dec 28, 29, 30 and on Jan 1 and 2. Tickets cost R150, kids under 12 R75, pensioners R90, and can be bought online here

Toyland Factory at Sandton City

A massive toy extravaganza comes to Sandton City with activations by brands such as Hamleys, Build-a-Bear, Toy Kingdom, and Lego, as well as a live daily acrobat show (at 12:00 and 16:00 from Dec 9–24 ) and live ballet dance performances (daily at 14:00 and 18:00 from Dec 16–24 ). Santa Claus is also there daily until Christmas Eve to meet kids and hear their wishes.

Johannesburg City Sightseeing Bus tours

The open-top, hop-on hop-off red bus is operating an expanded programme of city tours these holidays. A great way to zoom around many of the city’s biggest sights in one day, you’ll also be accompanied by an insightful audio guide along the way. Tours are available on Dec 22, 24, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31 and Jan 5, 8 2022. Tickets cost from R100 and can be bought online here.

Sasol New Signatures Exhibition at Pretoria Art Museum

Painting by Andrea du Plessis, winner of the Sasol New Signatures competition 2021

UNTIL JAN 9 One of South Africa’s most prestigious prizes for emerging artists, Sasol New Signatures is one of the longest-running art competitions. The works of all of this year’s Sasol New Signatures finalists are on display at the Pretoria Art Museum, open throughout the holidays. 

Wycliffe Mundopa at Johannesburg Art Gallery

2021 FNB Art Prize winner Wycliffe Mundopa’s exhibition at Johannesburg Art Gallery

UNTIL MAR 2022 The grand Johannesburg Art Gallery showcases an exhibition by 2021 FNB Art Prize winner, Zimbabwean painter Wycliffe Mundopa. Titled Zva Nyadza, this brand-new body of work is a suite of more than fifteen monumental canvases elevating and celebrating the drama and exaltation of the lives of Zimbabwe’s women. The gallery is open throughout the holidays 10:00-17:00, closed on Mondays and Christmas Day.

New Year’s Eve party at The Shortmarket Club

SAT DEC 31 The Shortmarket Club, top Chef Luke Dale Robert’s first permanent Joburg restaurant, marks the end of 2021 with a Latin American Carnival-themed party that includes an indulgent seven-course meal, live music and cocktails served from 17:00. Tickets cost R1500, booking is essential, WhatsApp +27 82 409 5757 or email to book.

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