With schools closed and the festive season upon us, you may be looking for things to do with your family and friends. Here are some ideas but remember to mask up, carry hand sanitizer and social distance wherever you are.
*Joburg Ballet’s The Nutcracker: This offering has a live accompaniment by the KZN Philharmonic Orchestra. The Nutcracker is one of the most popular and beloved Christmas classical ballets in the world. It will transport audiences into a Christmas fairytale where toys come to life. The Playhouse has produced a carefully-curated programme of old school nostalgia, with a contemporary twist. The show will be staged on December 18 and 19 at the Playhouse Opera Theatre. Tickets are available at Webtickets at R120, or at select Pick ‘n Pay outlets. Call 031 369 9540. For more information, visit: https://playhousecompany.com/
*Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: The Playhouse Company is producing for the first time, the 17th annual KickstArt pantomime. A riot of magic, colour and laughter, full of sparkle, surprises and spectacle, this brand version of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs has been written and directed by Steven Stead. The show will be staged from December 18 to 30 at the Playhouse Drama Theatre. Tickets are available at Webtickets https://www.webtickets.co.za from R100 to R150.
*Durban Comedy Jol: Masood Boomgard’s Durban Comedy Jol features some of the funniest comedians performing at Sibaya Casino from December 15 to 19. Tickets are R150 per person and are available at Computicket.com.
*Growing Old Disgracefully: International cabaret artist, Tonya Koenderman performs her comedy cabaret, Growing Old Disgracefully - a light-hearted, frank look at the funny side of ageing. The show will be staged at the Rhumbelow Theatre. Food picnic baskets are acceptable or buy your meals at the venue. The show runs from December 22 to 24. Tickets are available at Computickets http://events.durbantheatre.com/ for R180. For more information, contact Roland Stansell on 082 499 8636.
OUTDOOR MARKETS AND FAIRS
* Ballito Pro 2021 presented by O’Neill: Ballito Pro presented by O’Neill surf and festival programme, based at Willard Beach in KwaDukuza, takes place until December 19. Visitors will get the chance to watch world-class surfing action and enjoy a full line-up of festival fun. For more information, visit https://theballitopro.com/
* How to Train your Human: A new theatre has been built at the Shongweni Farmers’ and Craft Market and will open with a new original family show by Durban’s Michael Taylor-Broderick, titled How to Train your Human. It will be staged on market days until January 8. The show title is inspired by the popular How to Train your Dragon films and books. How to Train your Human is a Dragons-in-Training seminar hosted by The Dragon Preservation Society. This seminar focuses on teaching all attending dragons the skills needed to successfully train their humans with Mpilo Straw Nzimande and Kaylee McIlroy featuring on stage.
The Shongweni Market welcomes visitors every Saturday until Christmas from 6.30am until 1pm – with special market days on December 16, 17 and 19 from 8am until 2pm.
How to Train your Human is suitable for the whole family. It will be staged at 10am and at noon from December 16 to 19 and January 8. Tickets are R70 throughout and are available through Quicket in advance / at the door. The show runs at about 45 minutes. There is no interval. For more information, call 031 777 4686
*Bitten Brunch Durban Edition: Bitten Brunch hosts a unique BBQ themed brunch experience with craft food, craft drinks and great music in a beautiful private garden. Tickets are on sale for R350. The prices will include a full brunch buffet, a table and complimentary drinks. This event will take place at The Bluff in Durban. To book a spot, call 078 614 5794/ 062 039 9098.
* Durban Botanic Gardens Trail of Lights: With world class lighting displays, an illuminated trail winds its way through Africa’s oldest surviving botanic garden, providing a magical experience. The event will run until December 24. Tickets are available at Webtickets from R50 to R70 or at the Pick ‘n Pay outlets.
* I heart Market Festive Market: Find interesting and exciting products produced by Durban’s local creative community. Expect old favourites from homemade food, clothing, and jewellery with loads of festive season inspirations. The event will be held at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on January 8, 2022. Entrance is free.
* Gateway Theatre Of Shopping: Gateway will feature displays such as their Festive Light Experiences, Santa Virtual Sleigh ride, mind-bending World of Illusions and many more festivities. The festivities will run until December 24. Every activity will be free except for the Santa Virtual Sleigh ride, which costs R20 per person. For more information, visit https://www.gatewayworld.co.za/
*Galleria Mall: The mall has a host of activities running through the festive season. A highlight is Dingo’s Wild Creatures, running until January 9. Dingo Dinkelman, the innovative South African conservationist and YouTube sensation, has put together an interactive and entertaining exhibition consisting of four animal-themed sections. Step into the Amazon Jungle complete with real-life wild animals such as the 4-metre anaconda, alligators, caiman, fish and macaws. For the older kids wanting a thrilling adventure, there’s the Tunnel of Fear – not for the faint-hearted! For more information, visit https://www.galleria.co.za/
* Pavilion Mall: The Pavilion has a few activities taking place over the festive season. A highlight is they will host their Holiday Light Drive-Through Experience called Candy Cane Lane. A magical wonderland of lights viewed from customers' vehicles. This will take place until Jan 2 from 6.30pm to 9.30pm nightly. Enjoy a festive light drive through designed for the entire family to experience the magic of the holidays. Tickets can be booked through https://www.howler.co.za/candycanelane2021 @R199 per vehicle. The drive-through will take place on the D & E roof parking lot.
The Pavilion Social Gallery is a collaborative space where coffee meets fashion and art, housing everything from a coffeeshop to a kid’s area to a bespoke fashion gallery. The Social Gallery is situated on the rooftop near Westpack and includes a pop-up Christmas market experience outside the Gallery until 24 December. For more information, call 031 275 9800.
*Disclaimer: At the time of going to print, these events were still going ahead as planned, but this could change with Covid-19 protocols. Please contact the venue ahead of your visit to confirm.