Johannesburg can be a nightmare during the Christmas rush.
Which is why we are such fans of the Christmas market scene that makes shopping for gifts such a gentle experience.
November and December are jam-packed with markets flaunting their wares, so take advantage and stock up early. There is a market for almost every week of the lead-up to the 25 December, but don’t leave it ’til the last minute.
Here are the top 10 Christmas markets in Johannesburg you cannot afford to miss…
THE POP-UP MARKET CHRISTMAS MARKET
Trendy market on the move; instead of going to the Pop-Up Market, it comes to you. With each market there is a new venue. Stalls include a wide range of gorgeous handiwork and innovative ideas – from wire art, to home décor, clothing, jewellery, baked goods, artisan foods, gadgets, kids’ stuff and craft beer. Perfect for Christmas.
Where: Featherbrooke Estate, Falls Road, Krugersdorp, bordering the Botanical Gardens
When: 14 November 2015, 14h00 to 18h00
BRYANSTON ORGANIC MARKET’S MAGICAL MOONLIGHT MARKET
Where would Johannesburg be without the Bryanston organic and Natural Market? It has set the tone for food and craft markets in the city. The Moonlight Markets are open every Tuesday evening in the month leading up to Christmas and include supper from restaurant stalls, live music and an array of hand crafted Christmas gifts for everyone.
Their Christmas initiative is a drive to collect unused toys and children’s clothing for Footprints children’s home (take any items along).
Where: 40 Culross Road, Bryanston
When: 15 Nov to 20 Dec 2015, Tuesday evenings, 17h00 to 21h00
TRANSORANJE CHRISTMAS MARKET
With 19 years of experience at doing Christmas big time, this market promises a bumper crop of Christmas goodies (over 300 stalls). At the same time your presence goes towards supporting the Transoranje School for the Deaf. Take the whole family as there are daily free art and craft demos, and artists performing over the weekend. Best of all, it runs for nine days.
There are card facilities, Radio Station Bosveld, and live music.
Where: Hall L, Tshwane Event Centre, 205 Soutter Street, Pretoria Accommodation West (Pretoria Showgrounds)
When: 20 to 29 November 2015
PARKVIEW CHRISTMAS MARKET
These guys know how to put on a party. Their ninth year promises not only unique hand crafted gifts at over 80 stands, but fun-filled events and a wonderful space in which families and friends can spend time together. Local school choirs will sing carols, whilst a live entertainment line up includes Kathy Raven, Cameron Bruce, Wendy New, Chad Saaiman, the Hillbrow string and Jazz ensembles, dance performance and even Scottish dancing.
What more do you want from a Christmas market? (all proceeds go to charity).
Where: George Hay Park, Parkview
When: 27 to 29 November 2015
KAMERSVOL GESKENKE, PRETORIA
‘South Africa’s pop-up treasure trove of handcrafted creativity’, Kamers could not have timed their Irene show better for the countdown to Christmas. Their platform for creative entrepreneurs and artisans gives rise to a feast of true and timeless craft handpicked by the organisers. The whole ethos is fresh, creative, and exclusive.
This is high-end craft at its best. Expect over 200 traders and an array of fashion, accessories, crafts, home-styles, kids’ stuff and food and wine.
Where: Open Window, Southdowns, Irene
When: 1 to 6 Dec 2015, 09h00 to 18h00
The Neighbourgoods Market, in both Cape Town and Johannesburg, has led the pack when it comes to reinventing the public market as an institution. And institution it is – jam packed on a Saturday morning, come rain or come shine. Go and hang out with the cool crowd and see what you can discover for your Christmas stockings.
Foodie heaven it is, with two floors worth of delicious, but the odd craft stall, like Trinket Design, will have you drooling.
Where: 73 Juta Street, Braamfontein
When: Saturday 09h00 to 15h00
ROSEBANK SUNDAY MARKET
The rooftop parking area of Rosebank has long been a market venue, and it continues to deliver a vast array of everything – gourmet food, designer clothing, unusual antiques, a collection of hand made and creative craft, accessories, jewellery, homeware, art and flea market stalls and a healthy mix of curios and souvenirs.
Whilst some of it is repetitive and the sheer density can be overwhelming, it is perfect for the run-up to Christmas shopping for gifts and trinkets.
Where: Rosebank Mall, 50 Bath Avenue
When: Sundays 09h00 to 16h00
MARKET ON MAIN
Another regular market in Johannesburg’s inner city, this one in the Maboneng, is on the edge of the city’s hip and happening scene, and whilst it is mostly about food, there are enough designer rails and surrounding galleries, studios and design work for it to qualify as a pre-Christmas haunt. Expect fresh produce, baked goods, preserves, original prints, books, art, fashion, vintage clothings and accessories.
Hang out at the bar with views over the roof tops of the city, and look out for the Night Market on the first Thursday evening of the month.
Where: Arts on Main, Maboneng Precinct
When: Sundays 10h00 to 15h00
Described by Jhb Live as a ‘unique mix of “sangoma” food, Soweto locals and international tourists’ the Locrate Market is the Neighbourgoods Market of Soweto. It’s mainly about food – food trucks, food entrepreneurs, craft beers – but handmade jewellery, fashion, art designs and vintage wear gets a look-in just in time for Christmas.
They have something planned for the first week of December.
Where: cnr Kudu and Moema Streets, Vilikazi Precinct, Orlando, Soweto
When: First Sunday of every month (01 Nov, 06 Dec 2015)
BOUTIQUE NIGHT MARKET @ FACTORY ON GRANT
If you want to keep your Christmas goodies’ buying spree low-key then head to The Factory on Grant, a new upmarket courtyard complex in Norwood. The range of little shops and studios sell designer gifts, home décor and vintage chic. The courtyard is home to the bakery Vovo Telo, whilst up the stairs Crafters bar serves drinks ’til late.
Where: Grant Avenue, Norwood
When: Every Thursday, 19h00 to 22h00