Holidays are here again, and, boy, do we need them. Jozi’s a dynamic city, and Newtown, the suburb located just south of the Nelson Mandela Bridge, is its pulse. Go there and let your hair down after a long, busy year – there’s lots to do.
As you drive over the Nelson Mandela Bridge, you can’t miss The Station, a beautiful Victorian structure that was built in 1895 as Johannesburg’s first train station. Now it’s home to the Station Market, where carefully selected vendors sell everything from handmade handbags to African-inspired literature on Fridays from 3pm to 10pm, and on Saturdays and Sundays from 9am to 4pm. Grab a bowl of jollof rice and browse while musicians set the vibe with African tunes.
On some Saturdays you can kick-start the weekend with Yoga at the Station. Starting at 8am, this is just the thing to stretch out that annoying work-related crick in your neck.
SAB World of Beer
If there’s one thing you must do over the holidays, it is take a tour of the SAB World of Beer. Charge a glass to history, and one of the world’s favourite beverages, but not before you’ve spent an hour or two learning just why this place has twice been named South Africa’s number one tourist attraction. The tour is intriguing, entertaining and interactive (and you can combine it with a beer tasting). There’s no excuse.
The “Theatre of the Struggle” has evolved over its 41-year history, from being one of the very few spots where anti-apartheid theatre could thrive to a cultural complex that truly revels in South Africa’s hard-won freedom of expression.
The Market Theatre’s artistic policy, post-apartheid, is to champion emerging talent, and what talent it is. This is where Market Photo Workshop alumnus Zanele Muholi burst onto the South African art scene, and where young theatre director Lesedi Job staged Itsoseng earlier this year.
Check out the What’s On page – you could get your peeps together to see When Dori(s) Takes Her Place (7 to 10 December), or Muholi’s latest exhibition, Faces and Phases 11. There’s more, so take a look.
Work Shop New Town
Those who know this contemporary market space for African creatives call it, simply, The Workshop. This is where you need to go if you are after South Africa’s top brands, as well as the workmanship of the country’s emerging creative geniuses. Many use the space as a platform to launch their brands.
From streetwear to African collectables, Work Shop New Town is the place to indulge your senses and keep tabs on who’s doing what. So, get down to the historic 1911 Potato Sheds building and give it a go.
Sci-Bono Discovery Centre
Spend some quality time with the kids at the Sci-Bono Discovery Centre, learning about all sorts of science-y things like electricity and the periodic table.
This is where you can show your children that science and maths have practical, everyday use. The centre offers innovative, dynamic learning experiences for young and old. Check out the centre’s Myth Busters holiday programme and learn the scientific truth behind common misconceptions.
Newtown Junction Mall
All that science busting your brain? Get some retail therapy at the Newtown Junction Mall. Shop, eat or catch a movie. This is a place to see and be seen. It’s also where you can do some sneaky Christmas shopping or catch up with a friend while the kids are at the Sci-Bono Discovery Centre.
City Lodge Hotel Newtown
Why not enjoy a whole weekend exploring Newtown? Book accommodation at City Lodge Hotel Newtown and have a leisurely Saturday and Sunday hanging out at the Station Market, doing shopping, grabbing a cold one at the SAB World of Beer and watching a play at the Market Theatre.