Joburg's Best Christmas markets, lights and festivals

29 Jan 2021
The countdown to the Christmas holidays has begun and the festive market season is now in full swing in Joburg! Take the stress out of gift shopping by heading to one of these festive markets and fairs taking place across Joburg this holiday season and if you are looking for this year's best Christmas light displays we also have lots of ideas.


Destination Christmas at Melrose Arch

Until January 10
You could hardly find a destination more Christmassy than Melrose Arch in the festive season with the upmarket shopping and dining precinct transformed into a Christmas wonderland with the most impressive Christmas illuminations in town. There's also a festive night market in the precinct from Wed Dec 2 to Sat Dec 5 15:00-21:00.
Destination Christmas at Melrose Arch

Joburg Zoo Festival of Lights

November 22 – January 3 from 19:00-22:00
The Festival of Lights at Joburg Zoo, now in its second year, lights up every evening (except Mondays) with the zoo's main pathways decorated with enchanting light display, complemented by a night market and a packed programme of live music, theatre and dance performances. Visitors are welcome to bring their own picnics (strictly no alcohol) and there's also a selection of food and drink stalls on the night.

Each week sees a different live cultural entertainment programme running as follows: Nov 22–29 Joburg Ballet and Timothy Moloi, Dec 1–6 children's theatre by Peoples Theatre, Dec 8–13 Art of Dance, Dec 15–20 Tribhanghi Indian Dance Company, Dec 22–27 (closed Dec 25) carols singing with Sempre Opera, Dec 31 and Jan 1 live music with Shef & the Kitchen, Bongi and iComplete. Tickets cost R150, kids R75, pensioners R90 and can bought online here. 
Festival of Lights at Joburg Zoo
Festival of Lights at Joburg Zoo

Wonderland of Lights at Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens 

From Dec 1–24 from 18:00–22:00
The Wonderland of Lights at Walter Sisulu National Botanical Gardens promises a family-fun Christmas season packed with all that is glittery and festive with more than 100 of the most dazzling illuminations lighting up the park from 18:00-22:00 daily, complemented by gift shopping stalls, food vendors and kids entertainment.

To keep an eye on numbers and abide by protocols this event is ticketed. You can buy your tickets in advance online here (a ticket dedicated ticket desk will also be open from 16:00). Tickets cost R80, pensioners R70, kids R50, family of four ticket R220. 


Christmas Village at Sandton City

Christmas Village at Sandton City

Open daily until December 22 from 09:00 until 21:00
The annual Christmas Village returns to Sandton City from December 10 to 22 with a festive, family-friendly shopping extravaganza. The Christmas Village features dozens of arts, crafts and gift stalls as well as food and drink vendors, all housed in cute custom-built wooden huts modelled after the stalls at central Europe's traditional festive markets. 

The market promises to be filled with all the sights, sounds and tastes of a traditional Christmas festival including  Christmas carols and lots of traditional Christmas treats such as indulgent koeksisters and toffee apples and plenty of gift shopping. This year the Christmas Village takes place in a dedicated section of road in front of the Rivonia Road entrance to the mall. Santa Claus will also be joining in and kids can get a picture with Santa and his helpers at the Christmas grotto.
Vintage fashion at the Market On Main pop-up at Design Quarter

Market on Main at Design Quarter

Last weekend of markets Dec 18–20
Over four consecutive weekends in December Market on Main brings some urban flavour and fab local brands to the northern suburbs with their pop-up market series at Design Quarter in Fourways. The festive markets kick off on Fridays with a night market and continue on Saturdays and Sundays with a day market from 12:00 to 17:00. With an emphasis on small business and local makers and artisans this is a brilliant place to support small this festive season with lots of great gifts, decor and design, fashion and deli foodstuffs as well as tasty food and drinks stalls.

The Legacy Christmas Market

Open daily 10:00-18:00 from December 17 to 23
Christmas comes to the Legacy Corner and Michelangelo Towers malls in Sandton from Thu Dec 17 to Wed Dec 23 with The Legacy Christmas Market. Lighting up the whole mall be a variety of gift shopping opportunities as well as tasty food and drink stalls and a special live performance on Saturday December 19.

From fashion and accessories to unique handcrafted decor pieces by talented local artisans, there is no shortage of giftable items and festive themed accessories to shop, as well as a particularly beautiful collection of African fashion, including labels like Ankara (known for their showstopping African print clothing) and The House of Mandela.
Festive decorations at Rosebank Sunday Market

Rosebank Sunday Market Christmas Market

Sunday Dec 6, 13 and 20 from 09:00–16:00
One of Joburg's biggest weekly markets, there's no shortage of great gifts to be found plus plenty of food stalls and a festive atmosphere at this always-popular event. In addition to their regular weekly markets (including the brilliant Car Boot Sale which sees close to a hundred car boot sale traders joining on the last two Sundays of the month), in December the market hosts a series of special Christmas-themed market on the rooftop of Rosebank Mall.

Going all out to make this a festive event to remember for the kids there's free face painting, a jumping castle, stilt walkers and balloon makers. For those looking for Christmas decor and gifts you are spoiled for choice. Don't miss the special stalls offering personalised decorations and Christmas cakes and get in the Christmas spirit with a Christmas themed cocktail from the bar.
Bryanston Organic Market's festive Moonlight Market

Bryanston Market Christmas Markets series

Tue Dec 15 to Fri Dec 18 from 15:00–19:00
Celebrating the festive season, this year instead of its weekly Tuesday Moonlight Markets, Bryanston Markets presents a series of afternoon and evening Christmas Markets happening daily from December 15-18 from 15:00 until 19:00, followed by the final Saturday market of 2020 on Saturday December 19 (09:00-15:00). 

Very much a family-orientated event this is always a fantastic place to bring the kids and this year is no different with a daily festive Children's Theatre (twice daily at 16:00 and 17:00) featuring a Jesting Juggler, Sergio’s enchanting Magic Show, a charming Puppet Show and Christmas Carols. There are also a range of festive-themed arts and crafts activities for kids to take part in including candle making, treasure box painting, Christmas cookie decoration, card making and ornament decoration.

In addition to the most beautiful selection of unique handmade Christmas gifts and decorations to shop, there are lots of delicious food stalls making this a lovely place to enjoy some festive shopping and an early dinner outdoors with friends. Entrance to the Christmas Markets costs R10.
Vintage heaven at Brooklyn Square Rooftop Antique Fair

Brooklyn Square Rooftop Antique Fair 

*Please note that due to the new Covid-19 restrictions this event has now been postponed until May 2021
If you love hunting for treasures and collecting antique bric-a-brac this is a must-visit event with an incredible array of unusual art, toys, books, costume jewellery and accessories, vintage clothing, antique furniture, kitchenware, collectable glass and porcelain and more!  

In addition to the antiques on sale, this year's fair also features a new artisanal foods and crafts market area with tasty deli food and drinks stalls as well as Christmas cakes, bakes and biscuits and luxurious handmade chocolates. You can also find plenty of stalls selling some beautiful handcrafted items like linens, embroidery work, decor items (including some lovely Christmas decorations), spa products and cute children's clothing.​​​​ Find out more here.


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