Date: 02 November 2018 – 16 December 2018
Venue: Melrose Arch, Corlett Drive, Birnam, Melrose North, Johannesburg
Melrose Arch has been transformed into a festive wonderland with their annual and highly-anticipated Destination Christmas. While already started, the festive fun is still going! Don't miss out on the Vino in Piazza Italian Wine Festival which will be taking place on the Piazza from 30 November to 02 December 2018. The Jeppe Pipe Band will be performing on 30 November. Enjoy the merry sounds of the Johannesburg Festival Orchestra with renowned conductor Richard Cock on 07 December. Be mesmerised by beautiful ballet on the Piazza on 08 December. And treat the kids of plenty of fun festivities from 10 - 16 December. It's an exciting line-up!
Date: Every Tuesday night from 20 November 2018 to 18 December 2018 from 17:00 – 21:00
Venue: Bryanston Organic & Natural Market, 40 Culross Road, Bryanston, Johannesburg.
Looking to get started on your festive shopping sooner rather than later? Then make sure you don't miss out on the Bryanston Organic & Natural Market's stunning Moonlight Markets. Every year, this is a festive season must! There's nothing more cheerful than strolling, shopping, relaxing and doing a little feasting under the stars and twinkling lights. This year, the market will focus on children and their Christmas experience. There'll be plenty of entertainment lined up for them including magicians, jugglers, buskers, a Christmas-themed puppet show and of course, Christmas carols because Christmas isn’t Christmas without carols! As for the shopping aspect, there'll be 120 carefully selected vendors showcasing beautiful, original gift ideas, wholesome food and authentic crafts. R20 gets the adults in (get your tickets here) and children under the age of 12 get in FREE. Parking is very limited, so rather take an Uber if you can.
Date: 30 November 2018 – 02 January 2019
Venue: Emperors Palace, 64 Jones Road, Kempton Park, Johannesburg
It's that time of the year yet again! Emperors Palace will be hosting their dazzling Garden of Lights. It's a winter wonderland, light extravaganza and festive adventure all rolled into one exciting outing in celebration of all things Christmas. There will be fun activities perfect for the whole family, and both the young and young at heart will be inspired to take a stroll through the picturesque gardens of the D’oreale Grande Hotel where the Garden of Lights is taking place. It will be open daily from 19:00 to 22:00, depending on the weather and the entrance fee is R25 per person. Treat the family with the Festive Family Package at R100 for a family of five. All proceeds will go to charity.
Date: 01 December 2018 from 10:00 – 16:30
Venue: 2 Aloe Ridge Drive, Walkerville, Johannesburg.
For a festive celebration in the forest, make sure you don't miss the Christmas Fairytale Festival, hosted by the In The Forest Venue out in Walkerville. Tip-toe through the magical Faerie Trail adorned with twinkling Christmas lights. There'll also be princesses, fairies, pixies and elves joining the celebrations, along with Tinkerbell and Peter Pan. Little ones will also get the opportunity to shoot an arrow or two with Robin Hood. And the festive season would not be complete with a special visit from the one and only, jolly old Father Christmas! Mom and Dad, they didn't forget about you. Spend the afternoon browsing the small selection of beautifully handcrafted gifts at the stalls under the trees. Feeling a little peckish? Artisan food trucks will serve something delicious for everyone! Get your tickets for this holiday spectacular at Nutickets.
Date: 13 December 2018 – 06 January 2019
Venue: The Square at Silverstar, R28, Muldersdrift
When December rolls around, we all know what that means. No, not just the festive season but also the summer holidays where some do the tedious and exhausting trek down to the coast. But what if you've decided to not go this December? Well, that's okay, because Silverstar is bringing the beach to you with their Beach Festival 2018! The Silverstar square will be transformed into a beach holiday paradise right on your doorstep. Expect beach fun for the kids, refreshing sunset cocktails for adults, sun-sational food specials and live entertainment to get you into the summer groove. Don’t miss out on this ‘staycation’ fun.
Date: 12 – 17 December 2018
Venue: Montecasino Boulevard, corner William Nicol and Witkoppen, Fourways, Johannesburg
Montecasino’s Piazza will once again be transformed into a magical European-style Christmas market offering everything festive, merry and tasty! The Christmas Village will host 60 exhibitors, who will be selling a wide selection of goodies from fairy lights, decorations and festive musts to Christmas treats like cakes, roasted nuts and decorated biscuits. There will also be plenty of gift ideas to inspire you. And that's not all! The little ones will enjoy family-friendly outdoor movies that'll be screened on the Piazza’s big screen. As for the parents, you can take a well-deserved break from all the festive retail therapy at the gin bar. This is the perfect opportunity to get caught up in the festivities.
Date: From 25 December 2018
Venue: A cinema near you
This classic is getting a sequel and we can't wait! Mary Poppins Returns will be making its way to the big screen this Christmas. It's been 54 years since the original and there's sure to be more thrills and magic than before! With a new original musical, Mary Poppins is back to help the next generation of the Banks family find the joy and wonder missing in their lives after a loss. Emily Blunt plays the role of the practically perfect nanny with wonderful magical skills, who can turn any ordinary task into an exciting adventure. And Lin-Manuel Miranda stars as her friend, Jack, an optimistic street lamplighter who helps bring light – and life – to the streets of London. This one is a movie-must for all ages!
If ever you get a craving for a juicy prego roll and some sweet lemonade to wash it down with (a very specific craving, yes, but a real one if you’re like us), Post is the place to go. That’s not all their menu boasts though – you can’t really go wrong here. Whether you order the salmon on rye or the flapjacks served with bacon, honey, yoghurt and fruit, you’ll walk out feeling full, happy and ready for a shopping spree or nap (depends on what you order, really).
Address: 70 Juta Street, Braamfontein, Johannesburg.
Thrift store by day, party haven by night, Kitcheners wears more than one hat, that’s for sure. If you stroll inside on a Saturday, you’ll find all kinds of gems – from vintage clothes and bags to shoes and accessories. Shopping with a drink in hand? Yes, please. By night, Kitcheners morphs into a party bar with different themed nights – you could get comedy, live music or find yourself in the midst of a dub night, who knows? Plus, it’s one of the oldest bars in Joburg!
Address: Corner Juta and De Beer Streets, Braamfontein, Johannesburg.
Right next-door to Kitcheners is Great Dane, a fab party bar by night, hotdog hotspot by day. Their parties go on until the wee hours of the morning — and for good reason. They sure know how to throw them. Like Kitcheners, Great Dane’s parties vary so just be sure to check out what’s happening before you go. Or don’t – it might be more fun that way!
Address: 5 De Beer Street, Braamfontein, Johannesburg.
The Wits Art Museum, otherwise known as WAM, is a great place — not only to admire some art but also to grab a bite to eat. They’re home to Olives and Plates where you can get an assortment of sandwiches, wraps, saucy roasted chicken, roasted veggie salads, cakes and other sweet treats. Fuel up and take a look at the art on display. WAM’s home to a collection of African art and also hosts a range of exhibitions.
Address: Corner Bertha (extension of Jan Smuts Avenue) and Jorissen Streets, Braamfontein, Johannesburg.
Okay, this is a bold statement, but it’s quite possible that Father makes one of the best coffees in town. We do not say this lightly. In fact, we consider ourselves to be quite the coffee snobs, so if you’ve yet to try it, do so and then try and argue! There are limited seats inside so it’s best to grab a takeaway coffee and walk around Braam while you sip on whatever you’ve ordered (a flat white for us, please).
Address: 73 Juta Street, Braamfontein, Johannesburg.
Doubleshot Coffee is a great coffee spot that also serves up a wide range of teas. Their food offerings are fab, too. Sit and chow down on coconut French toast, shakshouka, and smoked trout cottage pie! And wash your meal away with a craft iced tea, why don’t you?
Address: Corner of Juta and Melle Street, Braamfontein, Inner City, Johannesburg.
The Bannister Hotel has a fab vibe to it if you pop in for a drink and a bit of a dance — depending on which night you go, of course. Things pick up on Thursday nights (especially First Thursdays, when Braamfontein really comes to life after dark on the first Thursday of every month). Pull up a chair at the bar and who knows, you might even catch a live act while you’re there.
Address: 9 de Beer Street, Braamfontein, Johannesburg.
Velo makes a mean sandwich. Their gourmet versions, in particular, are oh-so-tasty, but if you feel like a good ol’ fashioned toasted chicken mayo sarmie (sometimes that’s all you need), you can get that here, too. Velo doubles as a bar so order a cocktail with lunch (no judgement here) and you’re good to go.
Address: Corner Melle and Juta Streets, Braamfontein, Johannesburg.
If you’re a sneakerhead, you don’t need to read this – you already know all about Archive. They specialise in must-have exclusive and limited edition sneakers so if you need to get your hands on that hot pair, or you’ve got your eye on a classic, you know where to go.
Address: 73 Juta Street, Braamfontein, Johannesburg.
Know other great places in Braam not mentioned above? Let us know below!
Remember that our “Top Picks” are not paid for and are compiled at the discretion of the journalist. We only write about what we love.