The criteria for our top 10 list this month is all about the outdoors, entertainment, food, family and friends! This summer is all about invigorating the senses and making the most out of the breathtaking scenery around us. With December being such a festive month we have highlighted various outdoor entertainment events happening around South Africa. Maybe you prefer to embrace the outdoors with a picnic in a botanical garden while listening to a philharmonic orchestra?
Or perhaps you are more of an arts & cultural festival kind of person? Either way this December is packed with opportunities for Outdoor Theatre, Summer Sunset Concerts, Music, Fun, Food and Happiness. Whichever way you choose to indulge, you definitely need to take a moment and enjoy the summer season, in some of South Africa’s premier holiday destinations. With entertainment options such as these at your fingertips, there’s no reason not to rejuvenate your cultural senses!
10 Outstanding Outdoor Entertainment Events, this Festive Season (in no particular order):
- Kirstenbosch Summer Sunset Concerts – Newlands, Cape Town
- Maynardville Outdoor Theatre – Wynberg, Cape Town
- Oude Libertas Summer Season 2010 / 2011 – Stellenbosch, Cape Winelands
- Backsberg Picnic Concerts – Paarl, Cape Winelands
- Summer Sun Festival 2010 – Mossel Bay, Garden Route
- Carols by Candlelight in the Durban Botanic Gardens – Durban, KwaZulu Natal
- Carols on the Square – Nelson Mandela Square, Sandton, Johannesburg
- Vodacom Jazz Picnic – Kempton Park, Johannesburg
- Umhlanga Vodacom Summer Carnival – Umhlanga, Durban
- Kenton Music Fest – Kenton on Sea, Eastern Cape
1. Kirstenbosch Summer Sunset Concerts
Huge talent and major names bring these concerts to the forefront of musical events in the Mother City and are bound to be booked out well in advance. So as we head into the summer months, be sure to diarise the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, Old Mutual Summer Sunset concerts. Every Sunday afternoon from until Sunday 3 April 2011 you are invited to picnic on the concert lawn while you enjoy some of the greats of South African music, the hottest acts in the industry. This year’s lineup includes Freshlyground, Mango Groove, Prime Circle, The Parlotones, Zebra and Giraffe, Jesse Clegg, Goldfish, aKING, the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra and more.
Bookings are through Webtickets or for concert info telephone: +27 (0)021 799-8783. Ticket sales telephone: +27 (0)21 761-2866. For the complete line up see the Facebook page at Old Mutual Kirstenbosch Summer Sunset Concerts on Facebook.
2. Maynardville Outdoor Theatre
Shakespeare’s most popular comedy “The Taming of the Shrew” will be lighting up the Maynardville Open-Air Theatre this summer. The Maynardville Open-Air Theatre is situated in Maynardville Park, Wynberg and with its gorgeous green wooded park it has earned the reputation as “one of the best-loved outdoor theatre venues in the Cape Region”. You are welcome to relax in the spectacular wooded park for pre-show picnics and drinks as you prepare yourself for some refreshing, top class entertainment! Pack a picnic basket and go and enjoy some wine beneath the stars before the much loved annual Shakespeare!
From 11 January to 19 February 2011, every night at 20h15, Bookings for “The Taming of the Shrew”are through Computicket or telephone +27 (0) 21 421-7695 if you require additional information.
3. Oude Libertas Sumer Season Concerts
This December hosts a top line-up of performers in a variety of presentations including Celebración Flamenca, WOW-kerskonsert, Oh, Happy Day!, Jazz with MOTE and Shannon Mowday. Set among tall, rustling trees in the famous open-air Oude Libertas Amphitheatre in the Stellenbosch Winelands. This spectacular location is simply breathtaking and is more than a perfect place to bask in the delights of top entertainment under the stars. “Music, theatre and dance once again find a perfect setting under Stellenbosch’s southern sky”.
You can book via Computicket! Patrons are more than welcome to bring their picnic baskets and a glass of wine to enjoy the famous Oude Libertas lawns.
4. Backsberg Picnic Concerts
Backsberg Estate Cellars near Paarl, in association with kykNET is featuring some of South Africa’s best-loved artists and includes a special Backsberg picnic to enjoy with these sunset acoustic performances. So pack your umbrella, picnic blankets, and cooler boxes and enjoy a superb musical lineup including Laudo (aKing), Karen Zoid, Koos Kombuis and Wrestlerish. The series, which runs to 13 February 2011 promises to be the perfect summer afternoon to spend with family and friends. Tickets are R85 or R150 with a picnic and R100.00 at the gate. Children under 12 years get in free, when accompanied by their parents.
For a complete line up of events see Backsberg Picnic Concerts. pre-book a special picnic to enjoy with these sunset performances… and of course it‘s just better with a glass of Backsberg wine too. Ticket sales are via Ticket Break or at selected Musica Stores.
5. Summer Sun Festival 2010
“Long, hot days filled with bronzed bodies and the smell of coconut oil in the air will once again be coupled with nonstop entertainment on the outside and inside stages”. Taking place at a favourite summer holiday destination (Mossel Bay) in South Africa, the Diaz Strand Hotel & Resort’s brings you The Summer Sun Festival 2010. Setting the Garden Route alight once again with exciting entertainment and jam-packed days filled with fun and entertainment for the whole family, with some of the great talent South Africa has to offer!
From 13 December to 1 January, artists performing include Gerrie Pretorius (17 Dec), Collin Street (18 Dec), AKing (19 Dec), Danie Niehaus – Supercool (21 Dec), Wasserfall (23 Dec), Zinkplaat (29 Dec), Glaskas (29 Dec), Jack Parow (29 Dec) and Isochronous (29 Dec). Please contact the Diaz Strand Hotel to buy your tickets on +27 (0)44 692-8400.
6. Durban Botanic Gardens Carols by Candlelight
“The Durban Botanic Gardens is celebrating the festive season with an evening of family entertainment”. Get into the festive spirit this year and be a part of this not to be missed evening of Carols by Candlelight located in the majestic Durban Botanic Gardens. On Sunday 12 December 2010 at 18h00, you are invited to bring your family and friends and picnic on the grass to enjoy this popular annual event. The music is selected by Resident Conductor, Naume Rousine with the KZN Philharmonic Orchestra, the South African Singers Choir, and soloist Jaziel Vauh-haugn. This concert is packed full of incredible local talent with a fun and entertaining musical programme to celebrate the festive season.
To book contact Ticket Breaks or telephone +27 (0)31-2025819 during office hours. See the website for other events taking place at Durban Botanical Gardens over the Festive Season.
7. Carols on the Square
Yes, it’s true… Freshlyground is on Nelson Mandela Square’s Christmas list this year and this means that Sandton’s most spectacular annual carols event has just become that much better! On the 5 December at 18:00 be on Mandela Square at Sandton City and get ready to bring in the festive season with some musical magic! South Africa’s favourite band, Freshlyground, will join up with the irrepressible Richard Cock, the Symphony Choir of Johannesburg and the Jo’burg Festival orchestra. This is a wonderful event that allows you to sit back and enjoy the exciting atmosphere as these extraordinary performers come together and share their unique interpretation of familiar and much loved Christmas Carols. This promises to be an unforgettable way to close a spectacular year as we “celebrate the spirit of Christmas under the African sky”.
So, make sure that you diarise Sunday, December 5 at 18h00 and be on Nelson Mandela Square at Sandton City to experience an event that is sure to prove unforgettable.
8. Vodacom Jazz Picnic
This December; relax after a long year of hard work while listening to some smooth Jazz tunes at the Vodacom Jazz Picnic at brought to you by the City of Ekurhuleni. Bring a picnic basket, friends and the whole family and catch Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse, Kwani Experience, Mpumi Dlamini, Malaika and more who will be on the musical menu for the day. Not only will Jazz lovers be entertained at this lazy afternoon because anyone is welcome! So bring your picnic basket and enjoy …
The Jazz event of the year will take place on 16 December at the Dries Niemand Picnic Grounds in Kempton Park. Tickets are available at the gate. R30 will get you a ticket at the gate which opens at 14:00. The concert will end at 22:00, entry and parking to the concert is in Green Avenue.
10. Umhlanga Summer Carnival
This year, the Umhlanga Summer Carnival features a line-up with 14 days of fun-filled beach events designed to encourage outdoor activities for young and old. The two week long carnival kicks off with the Lizzard Summer Surf Session organized by the KZN Surfing Association that takes place from the 10 – 12 December with well known local surfers all vying for the title and prize cheque. The amateur division welcomes young, old, accomplished and social surfers all to participate. Adding to the action of the event is the radical ‘Hooters Air Show’ where the surfer that lands the best aerial walks away with R5,000. For the more active and adventurous, the public is welcome to participate in the Umhlanga Summer Carnival 16km Trail Run on 19 December – a first of its kind in Durban. Have your trainers on and be geared up to trail through the Umhlanga coastal area for an invigorating sunrise outing starting at 6am from Breakers Resort.
Where? On Umhlanga’s Main Beach, just come along and join the fun.
10. Kenton Music Festival
From 12pm on 31st December, the Kenton Music Fest is the only all day music festival on New Years Eve in Kenton On Sea. Situated on a beautiful farm over looking the Kariega River, this natural amphitheatre will play host to South Africa’s hottest Musicians. There is a massive 1200sqm tent in case of bad weather (but don’t forget comfortable shoes and all weather clothes). VIP’s will have their own bar which this year will accept cash and tokens also stocking premium brands not available in the normal bar. The VIP’s will have access to their own dedicated toilets as well as an enclosed area with tables and chairs for comfort. The line up for the day includes Craig Massiv; Evolver one; Flash Republic; Hog hoggity hog; Ryan Dent; Wonderboom; Wrestlerish; Southern Gypsey; Queen; Prime Circle; City Bowl Mizers; Tamara Dey and The Modes.
To book call Computicket or Kenton Tourism.
Other Notable Outdoor Entertainments Events:
Mapungubwe Arts & Cultural Festival – Polokwane, Limpopo
Annual Sududla Mix – Humewood Beach, Port Elizabeth
New Year Festival of Lights – Nieu-Bethesda, Eastern Cape
Carols by Candlelight with Elephant Picnic – Knysna Elephant Park, Garden Route
Carols by Candlelight under African Skies – MonteCasino, Fourways
East Rand Summer Festival – Boksburg, Gauteng
Dullstroom Arts Festival – Dullstroom, Mpumalanga
Durbanville Beer Fest – Dubanville, Cape Town
Summer Elegance at The House of Krone – Tulbagh, Western Cape
Mother City Queer Project – De Waterkant, Cape Town
Cape Town Minstrel Carnival – Cape Town
- South Africa Events
- South Africa Public Holidays
- Things to Do in South Africa
- South African Accommodation
Have we forgotten any?
Leave us a note in the Comment Section below if you know of any events we have missed – The criteria are: OUTDOORS; ENTERTAINMENT (Music & Fun); ANNUAL; occur over FESTIVE SEASON!