Family Events Not To Be Missed this Winter


Winter is here, but there is no need to stay at home and hide from the cold. In Cape Town and surrounds, there are plenty of heart-warming entertainment options for the whole family to enjoy. Dressing up in red, white and blue for the Franschhoek Bastille Festival, celebrating Christmas in winter or taking a vintage steam train to a steampunk-style market in Elgin are just some of the possibilities. Here’s our selection of not-to-be-missed family-friendly events this winter.


Celebrating Franschhoek’s French heritage, the Bastille Festival takes place every year at the historic Franschhoek Huguenot Monument. With a wide selection of Franschhoek wines on offer, gourmet food available at the valley’s numerous established restaurants, The Porcupine Ridge Barrel Rolling Competition and live music, there is no shortage of activities. A caricature artist captures visitors’ experiences and festival-goers are encouraged to dress up in their finest French attire. The best red, white and blue outfit stands the chance to win first, second and third prize for ‘Franschhoek Bastille Festival Best Dressed’. To ensure a warm experience with exquisite views of the mountain, a marquee is set up for attendees to mingle.

Tickets: Book now 
Cost: R395 per person for the Food and Wine Marquee, including a complimentary tasting glass, wine tasting coupons and a R20 voucher, which is redeemable on the day.
Date: 13-14 July
Address: Huguenot Monument, Lambrecht Street, Franschhoek
Website: | Email: | Tel: 021 876 2861


In Tulbagh, Christmas is celebrated in winter. So on 22 and 23 June 2019, the town’s historic Church Street is bustling with festive activities for the whole family to enjoy. There are stalls with a variety of offerings, a craft beer festival, wine tastings and entertainment at the participating wineries, chocolate tastings and food, live music and many more outdoor activities. Visitors can take a tractor trip up the historic Oudekloof Pass for spectacular views of the valley, museums are hosting open days and sports fans can watch rugby in one of the many sports bars. For music fans, The Tulbagh Bush Pub is hosting The Winterland Blues Festival. The village is festively decorated with lights and Christmas trees, Father Christmas hands out treats, and buskers, as well as a Christmas brass band, adds to the festive atmosphere.

Tickets: Book Now 
Cost: R100 for adults and R60 for 13-17 year-olds
Date: 22-23 June
Location: 4 Church Street, Tulbagh, Western Cape, South Africa
Website: | Email: | Tel:  023 2301 375


Poetry in McGregor is an annual event for poets to perform their work in a relaxed and friendly ambiance. This year’s theme is “The Heart of the Moon”. The intention is to explore a deepening intimacy of trust and surrender. According to the organisers, “The moon is a feminine symbol reminding us to connect and live in harmony with cycles. By connecting to these cycles we can better understand ourselves and our motivations.” Wellknown participating poets include Douglas Reid Skinner, Joan Hambidge, Toast Coetzer, Sindiwe Magona, Kobus Moolman and Hugh Hodge among others. There are also a number of open mic sessions for those who wish to share their work spontaneously.

Tickets: Computicket/ At the door
Cost: R60 to R120 a performance
Date: 23-25 August
Location: Temenos, Corner Voortrekker and Bree Street, McGregor
Website: | Email: | Tel: 023 625 1871


The Elgin Railway Market is located inside a former apple warehouse, which was converted by Roger Orpen. With a fiery rocket stove to keep the market warm in winter, and an elaborate Charlie and the Chocolate Factory-style fan system, as well as a mix of art deco and Victorian features, the building has a distinct steampunk flair. Because of the market’s railway-side setting, bringing a steam train into town was part of Orpen’s vision and so, in partnership with the Ceres Rail Company, a restored vintage steam engine departs from Cape Town to Elgin on Saturdays, taking passengers on a three-hour trip to the market. A relaxing three-and-a-half hours can be spent browsing and indulging in country wine, craft gin, food, hand-roasted coffee, artisan goods, unique design products and live music, before the train returns to Cape Town.

Tickets: Book Now
Cost: R750 per adult, R500 per child and infants under two are free
Date: Saturdays, departing at 8am and returning 5.30pm
Departure Point: Harbour Bridge Hotel, Dockrail Road, Foreshore, Cape Town
Website: | Email: | Tel: 021 204 1158


With over 50 stalls selling ceramics, from functional ware to sculptures and a great variety of glazing styles and clay-building techniques, this year’s Winter Potters Market takes place at The Palms Décor and Lifestyle Centre in Woodstock. Members of Ceramics SA are taking a break from being in the studio to show off their work, share knowledge and connect. The Palms Décor and Lifestyle Centre is wheelchair accessible, has secure parking and refreshments will be available.

Cost: Free
Date: 13 July
Location: The Palms Décor and Lifestyle Centre, 145 Sir Lowry Road, Woodstock
Website: | Email: | Tel: 082 806 4313


Taking place at The Woodmill in Stellenbosch over two days, The Chocolate Festival is offering a fun day out in the Winelands for the whole family to enjoy. For anyone with a sweet tooth, there’s a great variety of satisfying artisanal offerings: chocolate, macaroons, decadent chocolate brownies, donuts, ice-cream, liquorice, marshmallows, candyfloss and more. But non-chocolate products – such as charcuterie,  hamburgers, pizzas, artisanal cheeses and breads – are also be available to balance out the sweetness. A movie lounge with face-painting and popcorn is set up for kids’ entertainment, while adults can unwind to live music, and taste some of the gin, bubbly, wine or craft beer offerings.

Tickets: Book Now 
Cost: R150 per person. Kids under 18 enter for free.
Date: 31 August-1 September
Location: The Woodmill, Vredenburg Rd, Devonvallei, Stellenbosch, 7600
Website: | Email: | Tel: 083 755 2877



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