It really is the MOST wonderful time of the year! We’ve rounded up some family-friendly North Coast events taking place this festive season. Make sure you diarise them!
05 DEC – A BARREL OF LAUGHS AT SIBAYA
Get ready for side-splitting laughter when the Dingalings and a line-up of other comedians perform live at Sibaya during the month of December! Dingalings Henry Ramkissoon, Koobeshen Naidoo and Satchu Annamalai have used lockdown to come up with a zany new mixed comedy and music show guaranteed to get you in a festive mood with their Dingel Bells extravaganza at the iZulu Theatre, Friday to Sunday from 3 to 19 December. The comedians will be accompanied by the all new Dingalings show band comprising some of Durban’s most talented vocalists and musos. Every Friday to Sunday during December, equally funny stand-up comedians will be performing at Sibaya Theatre. Evening shows take place from 7.30pm on Friday and Saturday nights and Sunday matinees begin at 3pm. Tickets at Computicket (for over 16’s). Covid protocols are adhered to.
06 DEC – PARKLY LIGHTS, SANTA’S SLEIGH & MIND-BENDING FUN AT GATEWAY
As always, Gateway Theatre of Shopping is turning on the dazzle this festive season with a bouquet of unique experiences to bring families and friends together. Having already been transformed into a sparkly, holiday light extravaganza, the mall has a variety of carefully positioned holiday light ‘stations’ where shoppers can stop, absorb the magic and snap a selfie! There is a beautiful giant gift box outside @home and you can rock around the Christmas tree outside Ted Baker on a beautiful rocking horse. The Palm Court is always a buzz in season and is the perfect spot to relax over a meal and enjoy live music from 16 December. The suspended swing is picture perfect with its bench seat and twinkling fairy lights! Of course, Santa has his own village in the Expo Explore (outside Sportsmans Warehouse) and the most exciting thing has to be the virtual sleigh ride! Hop on the sleigh and feel the sensations of soaring around the world! Amazing! The mind-bending World of Illusions has a wonderful festive theme and both kids and adults love stopping for a photograph and seeing themselves in the unbelievable scenarios! Other things to look out for include the giant Disney tree decorated with plush Disney characters donated as part of a charity drive and gifted to vulnerable children and the Reach for a Dream gift-wrapping station. Gateway’s extended trading hours (from December 15 – 23): 9am to 10 pm (9 pm on Christmas Eve and from 26 – 30 December). Details: www.gatewayworld.co.za, @gatewayumhlanga
11 DEC – ALFRESCO FAMILY THEATRE
A brand-new theatre is opening up at the Shongweni Farmers’ and Craft Market this month. The first show is a charming new original family show by Durban’s Michael Taylor-Broderick, called How to Train your Human and runs from 11 December to 8 January. Shongweni Farmers’ and Craft Market owners Keith and Christine wanted to create a performance space to allow families to fall in love with live theatre again. Shongweni Market is open every Saturday until Christmas from 6.30am until 1pm. Special market days: 16, 17 and 19 December from 8am until 2pm. The show is at 10am and noon on 11, 16, 17, 18, 19 December and 8 January. Tickets are R70 at Quicket (advance/at the door). The show is 45 minutes. Details: [email protected], 031 777 4686, www.shongwenimarket.co.za
15 DEC – CAROLS BY CANDLELIGHT
A favourite for young and old, nothing beats a beautiful, carol’s by candlelight celebration. This popular event is held on the magnificent Oyster Box Hotel’s Ocean Terrace and sets the tone for the celebrations ahead. Always a show-stopper, the evening includes a plated starter, dessert and the extensive buffet main course, with entertainment. Numbers limited, book early! 6pm to 9pm. R550 per person, R275 for children under 12 years. Details: 031 514 5000, [email protected]
16 DEC -PHOTOS WITH SANTA & GIVING BACK AT LA LUCIA MALL
Who doesn’t love a photo opportunity with the ‘big man’ himself! La Lucia Mall will be offering photographs with Santa daily from 16 to 26 December from 10am to 4pm in their Centre Court. An A5 photograph and digital copy will cost you R80. You can also have your presents gift-wrapped with love by the Rainbows and Smiles foundations (supporting kids with cancer) from 16 to 24 December from 9am to 5pm daily in the Exclusive Books court. The mall is also hosting an SA Guide Dogs fundraiser where you can buy a puppy pack for a special guide dog for R100 (includes their first collar, toy, jacket and a vet visit.) This runs from 2-5 December, 9-12 December and 16-24 December in the Dream Nails beauty court.
18 DEC – MAGICAL CHRISTMAS BALLET
The Nutcracker is one of the most popular and beloved Christmas classical ballets in the world, transporting audiences into a Christmas fairy tale where toys come to life, mice wage war, snowflakes delight, sweets dance and Clara meets her Nutcracker Prince! Joburg Ballet brings to sparkling life this beloved ballet with an enchanting new production of The Nutcracker on 18 December (2pm and 6pm) and 19 December (2pm) in The Playhouse Opera Theatre with live accompaniment by the mighty KZN Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Lykele Temmingh. Tickets are R120, www.webtickets.co.za or Webtickets outlets (select Pick ‘n Pay stores) or call: 031 369 9540. Details: playhousecompany.com.
20 DEC – LITCHI PICKING FUN
Always a massive hit with the kids (big and small), the 16th annual Litchi Picking festival will run from 16 to 31 December this year. Nothing beats spending a few hours’ picking and eating beautiful, sweet litchis straight off the tree with friends and family. Picking takes place on a farm situated just after the Flag Farm Animal Farm on Sheffield Beach Road (search for Litchi Festival in Google maps) and runs from 9am to 3pm daily (24 December only until 12, closed on 25 December and bookings required for 26 December: [email protected]). Entrance is R160 (cash only) per person (includes eating as many as you can while picking and taking home 1.6kg litchis). Kids 3 and under are R50 (no bucket to take home). Food (Halaal) and drinks will be available and no bags or cooler boxes are allowed to be brought in. Bookings are taken with full payment in advance. Details: [email protected], 0647636457 (WhatsApp), FB and IG @litchifestival, www.lifewithheidie.com/litchi-picki