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Top 10 Places to Go on Christmas Day in Johannesburg

Top 10 Places to Go on Christmas Day in Johannesburg

No matter where you are in the world, Christmas Day brings with it an undeniable vibe of cheer and joy that can’t be replicated by any other holiday. With holiday themes depicting reindeer, Santa Claus, gifts, and Christmas trees, it truly is special!

Fortunately, there are many places in Johannesburg where you can enjoy this season! From restaurants to different Yuletide activities, we listed down the best places to go in the city for some of that holiday cheer! 

1. Enjoy a Christmas feast at the Bowl’d Restaurant

Address: 1st Floor, Masingita Towers, 15 W Rd S, Morningside, Sandton, 2196, South Africa


Contact Number: +27 10 020 8356

Operating Hours:

  • Monday to Thursday, 10:00 AM to 12:00 MN
  • Friday, 10:00 AM to 1:00 AM
  • Saturday and Sunday, 9:00 AM to 1:00 AM

Christmas Day is best celebrated with family, loved ones, and friends, and what better way to do it than having a Christmas feast with them? You can do exactly that at the Bowl’d Restaurant, a modern restaurant and bar perfect for family bonding!

Aside from its elegant hotel-like ambiance thanks to its outdoor pool with outdoor chairs and lounges, the food being offered here will surely raise your holiday spirits. 

If you’re a large group, go for the Set Menu 2 (ZAR 420 per guest, minimum of 10 guests) with starters (breads and dips), mains (kebabs and rump steak), and desserts (homemade ice cream).

Pro Tip:
If you’re planning to throw a Christmas party here, then you can also go for the Set Menu 4 (ZAR 600 per guest, minimum of 20 guests). This will give you two starters, premium lamb chops, and multiple desserts!

2. Take in the Christmas lights of the Melrose Arch Light Festival

From melrosearch

Address: Birnam, Johannesburg


Operating Hours:

  • Monday to Sunday, Open 24 hours (neighbourhood)

It’s hard to imagine Christmas Day without any Christmas lights, so thankfully, there’s a spot in Melrose Arch that hosts a light festival during the holiday season. This walled-off portion of Johannesburg is worth a visit.

You can take pictures or selfies as you walk through the streets and impress your loved ones back home with lights shaped like stars and Santa!

Pro Tip:
If you want to stay in Melrose Arch, there are a couple of hotels within the area for you to check out! You can choose among the ever-reliable Marriott, the Ascott, MINT Hotel 94, and African Pride Johannesburg.

3. Score great deals at the Emperor’s Palace Christmas Village

From karriena.m._1812

Address: 64 Jones Rd, Kempton Park, Johannesburg, 1620, South Africa


Contact Number: +27 11 928 1000

Operating Hours:

  • Monday to Sunday, Open 24 hours

The Emperor’s Palace located in Kempton Park is a popular location in and of itself. It’s a fantastic hotel to stay at with a ton of amenities (such as restaurants, beauty spas, and a casino, among others) that will make your stay in South Africa truly memorable.

However, the beauty of this hotel gets significantly ramped up during the holiday season when the town square of the establishment gets turned into a jolly area of snow, lights, and food stalls! You can buy snacks and souvenirs!

Pro Tip:
We recommend that you book a slot in advance before heading out to the Christmas Village. Last year’s event had guests book through their website

Reservations cost ZAR 60 for adults and ZAR 30 for kids.

4. Enjoy Christmas carols by Liberty Church

Address: 401 West Ave, Ferndale, Randburg, 2169, South Africa


Contact Number: +27 11 791 0040

Operating Hours:

  • Tuesday to Friday, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
  • Sunday, 8:30 AM to 10:00 AM, 10:30 AM to 12:00 NN

Liberty Church is a Christian Church that conducts weekly worship activities for its members. From what we’ve seen, these weekly worship events are filled with amazing lectures from their pastors and an electric atmosphere filled with singing and dancing.

So, it comes as no surprise that during the Christmas season, they host amazing Christmas carolling activities across Randburg and select parks around the country. 

In previous years, they held this carolling event at the Walter Sisulu Botanical Garden, and guests were even encouraged to bring their own picnic baskets for some great family fun!

Pro Tip:
Make sure that you get enough rest before attending Carols in the Garden by the Liberty Church. Gates to their carolling venue usually open at 4:00 PM, but the singing will actually only begin at around 7:00 PM onwards!

5. Buy gifts for your loved ones at Fourways Mall

Address: 11 Ruby Cl, Witkoppen, Sandton, 2068, South Africa


Contact Number: +27 11 465 6095

Operating Hours:

  • Monday to Saturday, 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM
  • Sunday, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Christmas is known as the season of giving, so why not give your loved ones the gift they deserve by shopping at Sandton’s premier mall—Fourways Mall? If you’re looking for something, then this mall has you covered—from clothes, gadgets, and trinkets.

What we like about this mall, though, are the almost limitless options it has when it comes to the items they do carry, all thanks to the different brand names present in this establishment. So it’s not surprising to see huge crowds doing their holiday shopping!

Pro Tip:
This mall is huge, so we recommend checking out the store directory and store map before visiting. You can view the list of stores and their location here so you know exactly where to shop for your Christmas gift!

6. Take in the Yuletide vibe at the Mall of Africa

Address: Magwa Cres, Midrand, 2066, South Africa 


Contact Number: +27105961470

Operating Hours:

  • Monday to Saturday, 9:00 AM to 8:00 PM
  • Sunday, 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM

The Mall of Africa is a modern and fun-looking mall meant to be explored with family and friends. Aside from all of the boutiques and restaurants here, you can simply hang out and admire the sleek and indoor park-like vibe of this shopping centre.

During the Christmas season, though, this mall gets turned into one of the most festive locations here in Midrand. Their skyroof gets decked with Christmas-themed decors like stars, reindeer, and Santa Claus, and elaborately lighted outdoor areas!

Pro Tip:
If you want variety but are on a tight budget, you can still bring your family here for some family bonding. The mall has a great food court with budget-friendly options where you can score pizzas, burgers, sandwiches, and fries!

7. Watch great shows at the Teatro Montecasino

Address: Montecasino, Teatro Road, 1 Montecasino Blvd, Fourways, Johannesburg, 2055, South Africa


Contact Number: +27 11 510 7472

Operating Hours:

  • Depends on the shows

Christmas is also a time for great entertainment, and in this respect, the Teatro Montecasino is one of the best spots to check out when in Johannesburg. This theatre features great shows including dramas, comedies, classic plays, and musicals.

The best part about Teatro Montecasino, though, is that it features shows aligned with the season (just like Christmas). Some examples of shows you can expect from this theatre include classics like A Christmas Carol and modern concerts like Swingle Bells.

Pro Tip:
We highly recommend that you book your tickets via their website and check any special requirements per featured show. Some are general patronage while some have age limits (e.g. Swingle Bells does not allow kids below 3).

8. Score discounted Christmas decors at Checkers

Address: Corner Of Bath And, Baker St, Johannesburg, 2196, South Africa


Contact Number: +27 11 214 2440

Operating Hours:

  • Monday to Sunday, 8:00 AM to 7:00 PM

Supermarkets aren’t usually the places you want to spend Christmas in. However, Checkers is different because aside from its upscale feel, it has something that you and your house might desperately need during the holidays—Christmas decorations!

This supermarket offers grocery items, boutiques, and even cafes (like Starbucks). However, during the Christmas season, this is the store you need to visit to score some Christmas decorations like mini snowmen, lights, Santa Claus figures, and reindeer!

Pro Tip:
Check their webpage. They sometimes run promotions on specific products. 

Some of these promos will slash 10% off your purchase or give you the chance to win some ZAR!

9. Make it a Christmas cheat day with Yuletide treats from De Backery

Address: Shop No 10, 47 Van Riebeeck Ave, Gauteng, Edenvale, 1609, South Africa

Distance from JO: 20 minutes


Contact Number: +27 11 453 2233

Operating Hours:

  • Monday to Friday, 7:00 AM to 4:00 PM
  • Saturday, 7:00 AM to 2:00 PM
  • Sunday, 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM

De Backery is a bakery cum cafe that serves some of the best bread and pastries this side of South Africa. Even during regular days, this place is packed thanks to its delectable offerings such as tarts, sandwiches, bagels, and croissants.

During the Christmas season, though, they dish out some of the most enchanting cookies that you need to try out. These Yuletide treats include savoury cheese straws, ginger biscuits, honey biscuits, and butter biscuits decorated with Christmas themes.

Pro Tip:
We highly recommend that you order your Christmas treats from De Backery in advance, as they observe festive trading hours. This means that they’re closed from December 24th to the 26th, so be sure to check their schedule online!

10. Check out Sunrise Sweet Market for holiday baking essentials

Address: Product City Deer, 110-111, City Deep, Johannesburg, 2197, South Africa


Contact Number: +27 11 613 3050

Operating Hours:

  • Monday to Wednesday, and Friday, 7:00 AM to 4:30 PM
  • Thursday and Saturday, 7:00 AM to 1:00 PM
  • Closed on Sunday

Instead of just buying baked goods for Christmas, you can also do some holiday baking yourself! With the different baking ingredients you can buy from the Sunrise Sweet Market, crafting your own baked treats is as easy as pie (pun intended!).

From chocolates, mallows, vanilla chips, and ground-up cookie bits, you can purchase all of the things you can use to make some top-tier Christmas goodies. You can also purchase cute toppers from this store to make your cakes or pastries look jolly!

Pro Tip:
If you’re travelling with kids, we suggest that you bring them to this location to have a bit of fun with the life-sized statues scattered onsite. They can take pictures with a giant squirrel and a chocolate cowboy inspired by an M&M!

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