It is that time of the year when children go crazy for Christmas lights and presents.
This December, there are ample spots to choose from when it comes to watching Christmas lights, bringing some much-needed festive cheer to the hearts of young and old after a long, hard year.
Joburg Zoo Festival of Lights
The Joburg Zoo’s Festival of Lights is something not to be missed, with the event kicking off tonight. Joburg City Parks and Zoo joined hands with City Power to bring visitors a spectacular collection of illuminated life-size animals, as well as classical, harmonious entertainment and a food and craft night market.
The festival is open from 7pm to 10pm daily (except on Mondays) and visitors can stroll along a designated lit route away from the animals and enjoy the enchanting lights.
Cost: R150 per person (kids under three years old enter for free)
It’s Christmas in Melrose Arch
Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a visit to Melrose Arch to see their famous Christmas Lights.
Having been switched on, on 12 November already, you can stroll through the precinct and take photos of the beautifully illuminated streets, visit your favourite restaurants for dinner or buy an ice cream on High Street.
With Christmas being all about children at Melrose Arch, they’ve got various activities lined up for the festive season, including story hours, painting, toys and, of course, Santa Claus and his elves.
Melrose Arch has also collaborated with Moove Motion Fitness Club’s Kids Club, bringing young visitors between the ages of five and thirteen the opportunity to join in on the fun with trampolines, soccer, table tennis, jungle gyms and more. All proceeds will be donated to SA Harvest, Melrose Arch’s chosen charity for Destination Christmas.
Melrose Arch’s Christmas lights will shine bright until 9 January.
Cost: R100 per hour pass at Moove gym (maximum of two hours per child)
Magical Italian Village of Lights
You can also rekindle the joy of Christmas at Montecasino this year, with their Magical Italian Village of Lights well underway. Take your family for a stroll through the replica of a Tuscan village that has been decorated with more than 285,300 LED lights.
You can watch these Christmas lights come rain or shine as it is mainly indoors and while you’re at it, you can spoil the family with a delicious meal and additional entertainment.
Cost: Free entrance (except for parking)
Christmas lights in Lawley Street
Tshwane residents have been waiting for this year’s display of Christmas lights in Lawley Street, Waterkloof, since middle November already.
It’s an annual happening, with Lawley Street residents decorating their homes purely for the love of lights and festive celebrations.
Most of the houses have put up their lights already and people have started driving from one side of the street to the other, watching Christmas lights and listening to Christmas-themed music by a local band.
Young and old drive past, amazed at rooftops covered in lights, Santa’s trousers hanging from the line, warmly lit dear turning their heads from left to right, shiny stars illuminating the sidewalk, glistening Christmas trees and wreaths decorating walls and front doors of almost every residence.
Jakaranda Kinderhuis Liggiefees
The annual Jakaranda Kinderhuis Liggifees – another popular Tshwane-based event – will once again be held at Greenlyn Village Shopping Centre in Menlo Park this year.
It will take place between 11 and 19 December and with its magical lights and wonderful exhibition and food stalls, it promises to be one of the best family outings of 2021.
The event has become tradition for many a Tshwane resident, with two-thirds of the ticketing fees being donated to the local Jakaranda Children’s Home.
Cost: R50 per person. Additional donations can also be made upon checkout when buying tickets online.