8 Things to Do at The Waterfront this December

If you’ve booked cheap flights to Cape Town and are already planning your activities, a trip to the V&A Waterfront is a must. It’s the most visited attraction in South Africa, offering an enticing range of things to see and do.

Here, you will find a plethora of restaurants, bars, galleries, shops, and boutiques, alongside a range of seaside attractions. What’s more, the Waterfront is buzzing with all kinds of activities and a welcoming atmosphere all year round.

But the festive season is arguably the best time to visit Cape Town’s Waterfront. During December, it comes alive with a celebratory ambiance and cheery crowds.

Whether you want to do a spot of Christmas shopping, enjoy a drink with a view, or attend the exciting festive events, the Waterfront is a winning destination.

What to Do at The V&A Waterfront this December

Festive lights at the waterfront in Cape TOwn

With your affordable flights booked and the sunny shores of Cape Town calling your name, it’s time to dip into some holiday planning. Here’s a breakdown of the Waterfront’s finest attractions, activities, and events, to keep you feeling festive and fulfilled this December.

1.   See the New Year in with a World-Class Celebration

The V&A Waterfront is known for throwing the biggest and most vibrant New Years Eve parties in South Africa. The whole place bursts into life and colour, with endless streams of festivities and entertainment.

Live artists fill the air with the sweet sounds of music, while a host of dynamic visuals, performances, and decorations keep the eyes thoroughly entertained. Your tastebuds will be satisfied too; food is central to the celebration, with plenty of delicious options on offer!

Be sure to bring the kids along. The festivities are fun for the whole family and there’ll be a V&A Kids Crew on hand to make sure it all goes smoothly.

2.   Enjoy a Scenic Waterfront Boat Trip

The Waterfront is a working harbour, with hundreds of boats of all kinds cruising lazily within view every day. Naturally, if you want to see Cape Town from the water, this is the place to do it. The Waterfront is a starting point and destination for a myriad of boating adventures.

Among the best waterfront boat trips are sunset cruises, whale watching tours, and journeys to Robben Island. You can even hop on a pirate ship! Each boat trip offers a unique experience, but they all highlight Cape Town’s tremendous natural beauty.

So, be sure to book a waterfront boat trip while in the Mother City this December.

3.   Do Some Christmas Shopping

While the V&A Waterfront is a whole lot more than just a collection of shops on a harbour, shopping is at its core. With over 450 individual stores, the area is bursting at the seams with incredible shopping opportunities. Among the international brands and designer goods, you’ll find a myriad of local crafts, emanating the essence of Africa.

Browse through art, jewelry, clothes, electronics, bric-a-brac and anything else you could possibly imagine. It’s the perfect place to snatch up some thoughtful Christmas gifts for your loved ones. And perhaps a handful of festive treats for yourself!

4.   Indulge in Delicious Dishes

The festive season is a time of indulgence. And the Waterfront is a paradise for food lovers. There’s a myriad of world-class restaurants on offer, many of which also boast wonderful sea views.

But for foodies with a passion for international cuisines, we recommend checking out the V&A Food Market. Here, you’ll find several dozen food stalls, selling an eclectic mix of dishes and nibbles from across the globe. The pickings are prime at the Food Market, so bring a healthy appetite.

5.   Visit the Two Oceans Aquarium

The Two Oceans Aquarium is a year-round attraction that offers a fun and fascinating experience for kids and adults alike. It flaunts the astounding diversity of the Indian and Atlantic Oceans, both of which are straddled by Cape Town and its surroundings.

Immerse yourself in the splendour of the Kelp Forest, the depths of a Shark Exhibit, and the fun-filled Penguin Exhibit. You’ll see an extensive range of marine life, from turtles and rays to jellyfish and sharks! There’s even an option to scuba dive in some of the enormous tanks.

6.   Spoil the Kids with the Wonder of Santa’s Village

In the Victoria Wharf area of the Waterfront, among the December festivities, you’ll find Santa’s Village. A wonderful place for kids to soak up the festive energy, and add a touch of magic to their holidays.

Santa’s workers will happily show you around the village and won’t charge you a cent! Yes, entrance is free. Santa and his elves will be available for fun times, wish-lists, and photos daily from mid-December ‘til Christmas Eve.

7.   Discover a Multitude of Museums

Architecture at the waterfront harbour

The Waterfront is home to several museums which, between them, offer a fascinating window into South African art, history, and culture.

The Chavonnes Battery Museum allows visitors to step back in time to the beginnings of the Cape’s colonial history. The Cape Town Diamond Museum explores the country’s convoluted relationship with diamonds.

But the star of the show is undoubtedly the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary African Art. It’s the largest art museum in Africa, displaying works by some of the continents finest contemporary artists.

And the setting is part of the attraction. It’s housed in a series of columns that were once served as Cape Town’s grain silos.

8.   Embrace the Festivities at the Magic of Christmas Show

Get in the Christmas Spirit with the Magic of Christmas Show! The show is unique in that it moves through the Waterfront, taking its spectators on a festive journey that culminates in Santa’s Village.

The whole adventure lasts around 20-minutes, packed full of festive music, song, and dance. Along the way, you and the kids will come across a range of Christmas characters that all do wonders to enhance the festive atmosphere.

Book Cheap Flights to Cape Town & Explore the V&A Waterfront

“Boats in the harbour at the waterfront with table mountain in the background”

If you’re not a local in Cape Town or have never visited the V&A Waterfront, prepare yourself for an absolute treat. The lively atmosphere and various activities at the V&A Waterfront will keep the whole family thoroughly entertained.

You can search, compare and securely book cheap flights to Cape Town using our online flight booking form. Book early to avoid disappointment.

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