21 December 2016

What to do around Pretoria during December holidays

By In Life

Ok, you’re stuck in Pretoria over the holidays. Breath in & out, this post is a long read but let’s be honest it’s not like you have a beach to go to so this might just help. Being at home over the holidays isn’t necessarily bad, you can do some spring cleaning, get yourself prepped for 2017 considering this year has been brutal or do one of those DIY projects you’ve been postponing. But when all’s said and done December is there to have some fun. We’ve all been here and getting bogged down on what to do in and around Pretoria is a serious dilemma.

Pretobia, an illustration by Pretoria based artist Celeste Theron. Contact her for more, rumours of an exhibition in January is doing the rounds.


*If you only want to figure out plans for New Year’s Eve scroll down to the bottom.


For some holiday distraction we’ve got you covered in no specific order, here are some ideas for in and around the 012. (They link to all the info you need)


Austin Roberts – This bird sanctuary is appropriately named after SA’s greatest ornithologist and is worth a visit. 

Duncan yard – Explore this surreal little village with tight passages and many delightful shops.

Groenkloof – If you’re feeling active this is for you.

Tourist in your own city – Read this post to prep yourself.

Pretoria Forts – Did you know Pretoria have 4 forts. 

Museums – Scattered across the city there is definitely one you haven’t visited.

Union buildings Gardens – Perfect for a picnic and there’s free Wi-Fi.

Freedom park – One of the most modern museums in Pretoria.

Voortrekker monument – Go try and find the Illuminati all seeing eye, it’s there.

Antique route – for some old school retail therapy.


Sunnysideup,  by  Celeste Theron 

If you need to get out of town in less than 60 minutes from Pretoria we have the following to the west;


Cable cars – Second best to Table Mountain but it’s worth the visit.

Dam wall – Take on the traffic and go enjoy a drive through the tunnel and across the wall.

Shops, stalls and more – There are several shops and markets be sure to stop at Tant Malie

Jasmyn – This is the upsized version of a padstal. You’ll find many interesting products here.

Pretville – If you’re keen on a milkshake and taking funny selfies.

Jasmyn farm shop at the Windmill outside Harties


Van Gaalen Kaasmakerÿ – A great day out if you want to be active and stock up on some cheese afterwards.

Bill Harrop’s Balloon Safaris – Definitely on our bucket list and booking is essential.

Magalies Express Train – Also on our bucket list this day out starts in Joburg and takes you to the Magalies Country Hotel private platform for a picnic.

Magaliesberg Canopy Tours  – No explanation required and it’s the closest canopy tours to Pretoria

Black horse brewery – Nestled on the edge of the small town of Magaliesburg this interesting spot boasts accommodation, a wedding venue and more importantly a brewery. We enjoyed “all of” their beer in the lush garden with some pizza and just relaxed the afternoon away.


To the North we have Bela Bela,

Klein Kariba – Yes, it’s the bos version of Hartenbos, but it’s a fun day out, especially if you have kids, there’s lots to do, swimming, hiking, super tube, miniature golf, everything you expect from an ATKV resort. Also, if you want to stay over make sure you choose the mountain huts.

Kievits Kroon – Spoil yourself and even stay for the night if you want. It’s so close and yet it feels like you’re far away from Pretoria.

Ludwig’s Rose Farm – Gents take her here if you haven’t bought flowers in a while.

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I've had worse Mondays

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To the east we have Cullinan and Bronkhorstspruit 


As Greek as it gets – Book in advance, thank us later.

Cockpit Brewhouse – More beer and worth a visit.  

Adventure Zone – This Cullinan based operator can pretty much make anything happen from ziplining, horse riding, archery and even gorgegliding.

The big hole – Obviously you should swing past the viewpoint


Anton Smit Sculpture Park – If you’re feeling artsy this is a must. He currently also has a lot of work at Menlyn Maine which is open through the Festive season.

Nan Hua Temple – This is a nonprofit temple open Tuesday – Sunday 09:00 – 17:00. The tours are free of charge and you can even join them for a Sunday vegetarian lunch 12:00 – 12:30 for a mere R30.

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Bring back the weekend

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To the south we have Joburg; 

Johannesburg needs no introduction and you’ll find an array of things to do there on these blogs





This should keep you busy for the next week or two but the biggest question of them all is normally what to do on New Year ’s Eve. Over the years we have realized when stuck in Pretoria over New Year’s eve the best thing is to have a good old dinner party/braai with friends and if they have a swimming pool even better. That would be our recommendation but herewith the list of parties and events you could embark upon. Also don’t drink and drive that’s just dumb.

Music Festivals

Revolution New Year Open Air Music Festival

Where: Hornbill Lodge, Magaliesburg

Tickets: R320

What: Join the tribes of Johannesburg’s underground dance at this earth quaking, mind baking, soul shaking three-day open air festival, featuring international acts and over 40 of South Africa’s top trance, techno and drum & bass DJ’s with live acts on two stages.


The Barnyard Theatre 99 Hits Party

Where: The Barnyard Theatre, Pretoria

Tickets: From R140

What: Get ready for the most daring 99 Hits rock show ever to hit the Barnyard Theatre stage. Featuring a colourful versatile cast that will rewind to synth pop, new wave and arena rock in the most authentic style. Watch how Elvis takes on Cliff Richard and Cher takes on Mick Jagger, and how Katy Perry takes on Miley Cyrus. Watch the cast go driving down the road with songs such as Little Deuce Coupe by The Beach Boys, Greased Lightning from the musical Grease, Drive my Car by The Beatles, and I Drove all Night by Celine Dion.


The Neon Demon: New Years Party – Aandklas Hatfield    

New Years Eve Masquerade Party  – Baraćas Wine & Beer Bar             

Hello New Years, Good Bye 2016! –  Arcade Empire

Fine Dining

Black Bamboo (Ashlea Gardens)

Five-course dinner at Black Bamboo for R650 per person, accompanied by live entertainment.

Meadow Green Restaurant at African Pride Hotel Irene Country Lodge (Irene)

Make your last dinner of the year a good one at the meadow Green Restaurant, where they’re doing a seven-course set menu. This is all for R525 per person and will be served between 7pm and 10pm.

Light festivals

Jakaranda Kinderhuis Liggiefees – This charity based event boasts an ferris wheel and a old school carousel. On your way here go drive through Lawley street in Waterkloof ridge too.

Danville Liggie Huis – Decorated with over 50 000 christmas lights it’s also for a good cause.

A White Krismis,  by  Celeste Theron

That’s it for 2016 we hope you enjoy the holidays, have a great festive season and we’ll see you on the other side.


Written by The Louwkuls

a guy, a girl & an old land rover

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