With its community ethos and bountiful gardens, a visit to Victoria Yards is a highly recommended family outing and a day filled with art, food, fashion, music and culture. On First Sunday at Victoria Yards, resident artists open their studio doors to the public, presenting an opportunity to meet the artists and get a look behind the scenes of their creative process. Amongst those you should look out for are prominent artists Daniel "Stompie" Selibe, James Delaney and Hannelie Coetzee.
You can also explore fashion studios, furniture design workshops and incredible African craft and design shops that are keeping traditional artisanal pottery, wood carving and beadwork skills alive. There's also a car boot sale-style market with an eclectic range of stalls, plus plenty of food and beverages available, including the excellent Foakes Coffee Bar & Roastery, Joburg's best fish and chips The Fish and Chip Shop and Sobae's refreshing and seasonal sorbet. Shop handmade crafts, vintage and thrifted clothing, accessible art for a cause and more.
For the nature lover, during the week just before their First Sunday events, Victoria Yards is offering a free heritage tour of the gardens in the complex every hour, on the hour, from 10:00 – 13:00. Learn about the history of the urban development, its surrounding area, and get insight into the tenants and NPOs on the property. During the tour, your guide walks you through a handful of studios where creatives chat about their inspiration, works, crafts and products as well as their creative process and production.
At 11:30, Tony Bensusan, the head gardener and enthusiastic plant connoisseur at Victoria Yards, will do a curated tour. Anyone interested should meet at the Victoria Yards information kiosk just outside Foakes.
Apart from First Sunday, from Mon – Sun Victoria Yards offers tours of their gardens and artisan studios. The history tour and walkabout runs for half an hour and starts at 10:30 daily and, to visit the different artisan studios, join the hour-long tour at 11:00 daily. Otherwise, to organise artist studio visits outside these times, contact Sine on +27 76 399 7074.
If you're interested in group and organised private tours of Victoria Yards on a specific date and time, you are welcome to book a tour with Hector Mgiba (+27 78 659 7335) or Sbu Zulu (+27 71 043 9288). Prices start from R450 per guide, for a 60-minute tour and this includes visits to the various studios at Victoria Yards, and a tour of the Jukskei River rehabilitation project. School groups are also accommodated. Groups of up to 16 people can be accommodated per guide.