The twinkling lights have appeared, glistening baubles are abounding and the ringa-ding tunes are playing on all radio stations. Christmas is near! And with it comes the mandatory Christmas shopping. While some view this as an annual chore that has to be done, it doesn’t need to be. With South Africa’s fantastic range of Christmas markets, Christmas shopping can be a fun day out of eating, relaxing and a little retail indulgence. Here are some of the best Christmas markets to look out for this coming season.
12 of the Best Christmas Markets
1. I Heart Market
Durban’s popular artisanal market, held on the lawns outside the arches of Moses Mabhida Stadium, extends its trading days in December, transforming into the ultimate Christmas market. This gives you more chance to find the perfect piece of jewellery, handcrafted children’s toy or selection of preserves for all those loved ones – while enjoying the glorious Durban climate.
Where: Moses Mabhida Stadium, 44 Isaiahntshangase Road, Durban
When: First three Saturdays in December from 9am to 2pm
2. Montana Family Market
Always a festive spot, Montana Family Market becomes a Christmas wonderland in December, with extended trading days, vibey music and gifts in abundance. It’s a treasure-hunters dream, with more than 500 stalls selling everything from household appliances to recreational equipment, there’s a gift for all at Montana.
Where: Corner Enkeldoorn Avenue and Sefako Makgatho Drive, Pretoria
When: Tuesdays to Sundays and public holidays from 9am to 5pm
3. Irene Village Market
Vibrant music, festive stalls, bargain bins and great food make this a truly fabulous Christmas market. You will find a gift for everyone here – dollhouses for the daughter, handmade soaps for the colleagues, African arts and ceramics for the visiting relatives…and designer clothes just for you!
Where: The Big Red Barn, 7 Nelson Road, Olifantsfontein, Gauteng
When: Saturday 1, 8, 15 December and Sunday 16 December, 9am to 2pm
4. The Sheds@1Fox
Even if you’re not intending to buy Christmas gifts at The Sheds@1Fox, you will most likely stumble upon something fabulous as you groove to the Christmas tunes and indulge in some of Jozi’s great food. With a history stretching back to Christmas’ of the 1800s, this Christmas market is simply a great evening out.
Where: 1 Fox Street, Ferreirasdorp, Johannesburg
When: Fridays 12pm to 5pm; Saturdays 10am to 7pm; Sundays 10am to 4pm; last Friday of the month (Night Fox) 12pm to 10pm
Read More: Top 10 Christmas Gift Ideas
5. Beach Front Traders
Crowds tend to flock to the coastline over December and Port Elizabeth has ensured there is a Christmas market to meet the growing retail need. Visitors can combine a fun beach day out while also getting all the Christmas shopping done simultaneously – a win for everyone!
Where: The Promenade between King’s Beach and McArthur’s Beach, Port Elizabeth
When: Daily during Christmas season, 8am to late afternoon
6. Shongweni Farmer’s & Craft Market
This organic farmer’s market, established in 1998, is based on a belief in local production with a love for all animals. Theey will be hosting a Christmas Extravaganza market throughout December, selling quality handcrafted items. It’s set in the beautiful Shongweni region with gourmet foods available…just get there early!
Where: Lot 457, MR551, Shongweni
When: Every Saturday in December, and Monday, 17 December, from 6.30am to 1pm.
7. Parkview Christmas Market
Enjoy yuletide carols at the Parkview Christmas Market, a festive space which has been offering craft and gift ideas for the past eight years. While shopping for loved ones, you are also supporting outreach projects supported by Nicarela Charity.
Where: George Hay Park, Lurgan Rd, Parkview, Johannesburg
When: Friday, 30 November to Sunday, 2 December - Friday 2pm to 10pm, Saturday 10am to 10pm and Sunday 10am to 4pm.
8. Bryanston Organic Market
For really unique craft gifts and wholesome, natural foods, get to the Bryanston Organic Market. The Christmas market has extended trading times into the evening, making for a really fun outing.
Where: 40 Culross Road (off Main Road), Bryanston, Johannesburg
When: Thursday and Saturday, 9am to 3pm with moonlight markets in November and December
9. Blaauwklippen Family Market
The lush Blaauwklippen Wine Estate hosts a once-a-month market, upped to every Sunday in December. There is great food and wine to be enjoyed at this Christmas market while you search the best arts and crafts, clothing and gadgets. Fantastic live entertainment will keep your toes a-tapping while children play in the expansive lawns.
When: Every Sunday in December, 10am to 3pm
Where: R44 between Stellenbosch and Somerset West
10. Franschhoek Christmas Village Market
A popular yuletide event, this Christmas market has a number of pop-up stalls, fantastic live entertainment and Franschhoek-style cuisine.
When: Monday, 3 to Sunday, 9 December
Where: NG Kerk parking lot, Hugenot Street, Franschhoek, Western Cape
11. Edgemead Christmas Market
Another great Western Cape Christmas market, offering quality retail items from more than 250 of the Cape’s finest crafters, travelling from as far as Mossel Bay, Vredenburg and Riversdale.
Where: Edgemead Christmas Market, Edgemead Community Hall, Edgemead Drive, Cape Town
When: Friday, 7 to Saturday, 22 December from 10am to 8pm.
12. The Christmas Country Fair
The ‘Fair with Flair’ continues to grow in stature while raising funds for many worthy causes. Organised and curated by the Christmas Fair Fund, there are more than 100 stallholders from across the country selling quality goods.
Where: Collisheen Estate, Ballito
When: Wednesday, 31 October and Thursday, 1 November