What's on in downtown Cape Town

by Simangele Mzizi 30 Sep 2022
Dinosaur World Cape Town

A wide variety of captivating events are taking place in downtown Cape Town in October. Check out our top picks. 

School holiday fun at the Central Library
30 September to 7 October 2022

With the school holidays upon us, bring the kids to town for some fun and educational activities at the Central Library. Planned events include movies, storytime, art and craft as well as games. Activities are planned across various City of Cape Town libraries, and the full programme for the holiday period is available here: www.capetown,gov.za/holidayprogrammes.
Where: Central Library Cape Town, 1 Parade St
When: 10h00 – 11h30
Cost: Free

Dinosaur World Cape Town
Now on till 6 November 2022

Guaranteed to be a thrilling experience, Dinosaur World Cape Town is not to be missed. It’s a phenomenal dinosaur exhibition featuring life-size animatronic dinosaurs, a dinosaur street theatre, amusement rides, games and fun activities fit for the whole family.
Where: 31 Martin Hammerschlag Way
When: Depends on booking
Cost: R80 – R50

Western Cape Youth Classical Concert
1 October 2022

Catch the 51st edition of the Western Cape Youth Classical Festival, hosted by Artscape and the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra. It features young classically trained performers who are allowed to perform with an orchestra on a professional stage.
Where: Artscape Theatre Centre, D.F. Malan St
When: 19h30
Cost: R100 

Night on the Square
1 October 2022

Greenmarket Square’s Night Market has been reinstated for the spring and summer seasons as part of the City of Cape Town’s attempts to boost the economy of the area. At this family-friendly affair, members of the public can look forward to a petting zoo and clown, music, food trucks, clothes, jewellery, and crafts from a range of stalls available.
Where: Greenmarket Square
When: Free
Cost: 18h00

Zombie Walk

Zombie Walk
29 October 2022

Cape Town’s Zombie Walk is back after a two-year Covid-19-induced absence. Get ready to take over the Central City’s streets in a fun Halloween-themed walk fit for the whole family. The free walk, which starts at Company's Garden and passes through inner-city landmarks, raises funds for local charities and will conclude with a massive paid after-party at Radisson RED Hotel V&A Waterfront.
Where: The Company’s Garden, 49 Government Ave
When: 16h00
Cost: The walk is free while the afterparty tickets range from R100 – 200 (https://qkt.io/jWSFVx).

Libertas Choir: Opera Highlights
20 November 2022

It’s not every day that 50 professional orchestral players from Cape Town are on one stage. Don’t miss this extravaganza of twelve operas by eight different composers which will be performed by the Libertas Choir and Orchestra and conducted by Johan de Villiers.
Where: Artscape Theatre Centre, D.F. Malan St
When: 04h00
Cost: R250

The South African Jewish Museum

The South African Jewish Museum, which houses the Cape Town Holocaust Centre, protects and celebrates Jewish culture and heritage in the country and is a wonderful institution to visit all year round. There are interactive displays, audio-visual presentations, and fascinating artefacts to help visitors understand the rich history of the Jewish community. The venue also offers private tours for visitors. This August, it’s showing “The Eternal Scholar”, a must-see exhibition of Arnold Castle’s images which offer a unique historical perspective. Castle, a lifelong Mother City resident, photographed South African residents and landscapes for over 40 years. 
Where: South African Jewish Museum, 88 Hatfield St
When: 10h00 – 17h00 (Sunday – Thursday)
Cost: R50 (students over 12 years) – R200 (adults)

Meet the Makers

If you’ve ever dreamed of tasting some of South Africa’s best wines and their creators over a decadent meal, now’s your chance. Grub & Vine has an impressive list of winemakers coming up between now and October, including Beau Constantia and Idiom Wines. The evening includes five courses and five wines.
Where: Grub & Vine, 103 Bree St
When: 18h30 – 22h00
Cost: R595 per person

Brunch Club at The Blue Room
Every Saturday

Enjoy a sumptuous and leisurely brunch to the sounds of jazz at Grub & Vine’s Blue Room on Saturdays. This is a unique experience with a fresh take on brunch classics with an option to choose from delicious à la carte dishes or the whole menu. What’s more, you can enjoy bubbles from Graham Beck all day.
Where: The Blue Room, 103 Bree St
When: 11h00 – 15h00


99 Loop Gallery exhibitions
1 to 22 October 2022

It’s go big or go home at 99 Loop Gallery this October with two brilliant exhibitions on show. The first is Our (His)story by Cape Town visual artist Skumbuzo Vabaza, known as Skubalisto. His work addresses issues around social justice, identity and belonging.  Skubalisto remarked that he hopes his work becomes a part of history and also speaks the “speaks the truth of our generation”.  The second show is Turning Thirty by Oda Tungodden. Through this series of 29 paintings, Tungodden reveals a part of her story or her reconstruction of it. She “traces her life not only to take stock of it but also to invent and curate”.
Where: 99 Loop Gallery, 99 Loop St
When: 10h00 – 15h00 (Monday to Friday), 10h00 – 14h00 (Saturday)
Cost: Free

Fabrication:  A Message Folded, Moulded and Stitched
Now on till 15 October 2022

StateoftheART Gallery is hosting an exciting exhibition featuring eight artists who are weaving their stories “through fabricated pieces of contemporary art”. Curator and participating artist Laurel Holmes explains that the show “focuses on the exciting interplay between an idea and a tactile response of forming that idea with the hands, using a process that is associated with craft, but elevating the making to contemporary art.” She adds that what’s present in each piece is an idea or train of thoughts and the viewer, who encounters the piece, is invited to find relevance based on their own lived experience. 
Where: StateoftheART Gallery, 50 Buitenkant St
When: 10h00 – 16h00 (Tuesday to Friday), 10h00 – 13h00 (Saturday)
Cost: Free

Open Plot - THK Gallery

Open Plot
Now on till 12 November 2022

This beautiful group exhibition features ten artists and plays on the double meaning of ‘plot’, both as a narrative device and a designation of space.  Using a conceptual “vacant plot”, the artists “explore questions around distance, design and the memory of the landscape”. Featured artists include Alex Coetzee, Nonzuzo Gxekwa, Oliver Hambsch, Jeanne Hoffman, Bella Knemeyer, Pardon Mapondera, Mikhailia Petersen, Jonah Sack, Ben Stanwix and Xhanti Zwelendaba.
Where: THK GALLERY, 52 Waterkant St
When: 10h00 – 18h00 (Tuesday to Friday), 10h00 – 15h00 (Saturday)
Cost: Free

Now on till 22 October 2022

Artist Inga Domyala says his exhibition looks at ancestry and looks to better understand how where you are can influence a sense of who you are. He adds that the title “Adamah” is derived from the Hebrew word, meaning “land”, “the ground”, “soil” or “red soil, red clay” as well as “made from earth’s mud” or “dark- coloured like earth’s soil”. The artworks are made using soil, red ochre, red oxide, green oxide and ash.
Where: WHATIFTHEWORLD, 16 Buiten St
When: 09h00 – 17h00 (Monday to Thursday), 09h00 – 14h00 (Friday), 09h00 – 13h00 (Saturday)
Cost: Free

Now on till 28 October 2022

Treat yourself to Feni Chulumanco’s debut solo exhibition called Imiyalelo. The title translates to “instructions”, which “refers to family values and morals that are passed down through generations, ultimately informing decisions we make and in shaping our identity”. According to the gallery, Chulumanco’s work is inspired by his journey and personal growth, and he aims to encourage viewers to also focus on their identity, self-worth and sense of fulfilment.
Where: EBONY/CURATED, 67 Loop St
When: 09h30 – 17h00 (Monday to Friday), 09h30 – 13h30 (Saturdays)
Cost: Free

Red in the rainbow
Now on till 27 April 2023

This exhibition sheds light on the lives of courageous people who fought against oppression and racism during apartheid South Africa. It tells the story of a family of activists, The Carnesons, who with other freedom fighters, experienced hardship including torture, imprisonment, separation and exile as they opposed apartheid and bears testimony to the human spirit.
Where: Iziko Slave Lodge, cnr Adderley and Wale sts
When:  09h00 – 17h00 (Monday to Saturday)
Cost: R15 – R30

Nelson Mandela legacy exhibition

Cape Town’s City Hall has a permanent, self guided Nelson Mandela exhibition honouring Madiba’s history and the country’s long struggle for liberation. It features interpretive panels, audio-visual and interactive displays. Also showing until June 2023, as part of Madiba’s exhibition, is a temporary show on the life of Enoch Mankayi Sontonga, composer of the hymn, Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika.
Where: Cape Town City Hall, Darling St
When: 10h00 – 16h00 (Tuesday to Friday)
Cost: Free

Rethinking the William Fehr Collection

People should not take things at face value and challenge themselves to grow and see the world differently. That’s the aim of this exhibition, curated by Esther Esmyol. While it’s slightly outside of the CCID’s operational footprint at the Castle of Good Hope, it’s worth viewing. It has extensive historical art and objects collected by Cape Town businessman Dr William Fehr. Iziko Museums, the custodian of the collection, urges viewers to look at the stories behind what’s presented and see multiple meanings.
Where: Castle of Good Hope, cnr Castle and Darling sts
When: 09h30 – 16h00 (Monday to Sunday)
Cost: R50 – R25

Dreams as R-evolution
Now on till 17 May 2022

This one-of-a-kind show features sculptural forms, drawings, paintings, photographs and costumes. Artist Coral Bijoux challenges viewers to think deeply about transforming themselves and their environments. Check it out and, as per the show’s four pillars, dare to “reimagine ideas of self, space, authority, power and innocence”.
Where: Iziko South African National Gallery, Government Ave
When: 09h30 – 15h30 (Monday to Sunday)
Cost: R15 – R30

Mr Gay World

Mr Gay World
15 October 2022

With eased lockdown restrictions, the Annual Mr Gay World contest returns for the first time in three years as an in-person event. Participants from all over the world will take part in various activities during the week which will culminate in the winner being crowned in a glittering event at Artscape Theatre Centre.  Jacques du Toit, Mr Gay World Director Africa, says aside from its natural wonders, Cape Town embraces freedom in all spheres and they look forward to welcoming delegates from around the world and “giving them a platform in Cape Town to showcase their diversity, compassion, and philanthropy”.
Where: Artscape Theatre Centre, D.F. Malan St
When: 18h00
Cost: R100 – R150

20 to 29 October 2022

Betrayal explores the different outcomes of a seven-year affair involving a married couple and the husband’s close friend. The play was written by the award-winning British playwright and Nobel Prize winner Harold Pinter. According to the Artscape Theatre Centre, before the pandemic, it enjoyed a successful revival and received multiple awards for both London West End and Broadway productions in 2019 and 2020.
Where: Artscape Theatre Centre, D.F. Malan St
When: Depends on booking
Cost: R100 – R200

Tribute to a legend
20 to 21 October 2022

This two-day event aims to honour jazz singer Sylvia Mdunyelwa whose career spans over 50 years. It’ll kick off with an album launch by legendary jazz saxophonist McCoy Mrubata which will be followed by performances by various guest artists. Mdunyelwa who is affectionately known as "Mama Kaap" will also take to the stage. Organisers contend that South African legends rarely “smell their flowers” while they are still alive and it’s time to change that narrative.
Where: Artscape Theatre Centre, D.F. Malan St
When: Depends on booking
Cost: R200 – R300

14 to 15 October 2022

Talented dancers from His Kingdom Dance School will take to the stage at Artscape Theatre Centre in a production aimed at inspiring “worshippers who have lost their faith”.
Where: Artscape Theatre Centre, D.F. Malan St
When: Depends on booking
Cost: R120 – R150

Ndlovu Youth Choir in Concert: Cape Town
7 to 9 October 2022

The Ndlovu Youth Choir stole many people’s hearts when it made it to the finale of America’s Got Talent in 2019 with its unique song arrangements and dance. The group, from Limpopo, has graced world stages since then reaching critical acclaim. The performers are now back for their first-ever tour on home soil. The show will feature the choir’s much-loved songs and new music.
Where: Artscape Theatre Centre, D.F. Malan St
When: Depends on booking
Cost: R150 – R350

Desmond Tutu 12th International Peace Lecture
7 October 2022

“A vision for hope and healing” is the theme for this year’s annual Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu Lecture which will be held on his birthday to honour and reflect on his extraordinary life and legacy. This will be the first Lecture since Tutu’s passing at the end of 2021. Guest speakers are deputy secretary-general of the United Nations Amina J. Mohammed and best-selling author Doug Abrams. A children’s art exhibition at City Hall forms part of the event.
Where: Cape Town City Hall, Darling St
When: 18h15
Cost: Free but tickets must be booked via Quicket

Pepperclub Hotel

Pepperclub Hotel Spring Deals
Now on till 30 November 2022

Pepperclub Hotel has exciting deals to welcome spring. These comprise a Spring Pamper Package valued at R2 650 for two people sharing per night. It includes a welcome drink and platter, accommodation in a deluxe studio and a 60-minute full-body massage at Cayenne Spa. Other great deals are date night every Friday with a two-course set menu priced at R275 per person, dinner and a movie for R195 per person and a spa treatment for R680.
Where: Pepperclub Hotel, cnr Loop & Pepper sts
When: Depends on booking 

Rhapsody: A Philharmonic Circus
3 to 6 November 2022

Treat yourself to a thrilling performance by Zip Zap Circus before the performers jet off to Paris for a three-month run at Cirque Phénix. It’ll feature talented musicians who will be accompanied by an orchestra and Zip Zap’s aerial and circus performers. The show was first performed in October 2021 as “Journey Returns” as a collaboration with the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra. It has now been revamped as “Rhapsody” and aims to showcase “Africa’s magic to the world stage in foot stomping music and daring acrobatic acts”.
Where: Artscape Theatre Centre, D.F. Malan St
When: Depends on booking
Cost: R190 to R350

Artscape Lunch Hour Concert
4 October 2022

The Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra will be hosting its much-loved free Artscape Lunch Hour Concert where conductor Brandon Phillips will present “a light festival programme of evergreens”. Don’t miss it!
Where: Artscape Theatre Centre, D.F. Malan St
When: 13h00
Cost: Free

District Six Museum & Koe'sister Magazine Expo & Market
Last Saturday of every month

The CBD’s East City now has a market that takes place on the last Saturday of every month. It’s called the District Six Museum & Koe'sister Magazine Expo & Market and comprises food and drinks, sit-down areas, entertainment and vendors showcasing a range of products. Organisers say it’s part of efforts “to assist in re-building our economy and community in a meaningful way”. Catch the next edition on 29 October.
Where: District Six Homecoming Centre (HCC), Corner Buitenkant and Caledon Sts
When: 10h00 – 16h00
Cost: R45


Kids who cook

The Chef’s Studio offers interactive cooking classes for children’s birthdays or special occasions. Professional chefs supervise and inspire aspiring young cooks between 10 and 16 years. On the day, parents are invited to join the Chef’s Table while watching their kids work their magic in the kitchen.
Where: The Chef’s Studio, 103 Bree St
When: Depends on booking
Cost: R445

Live Jazz at The Athletic Club & Social

The Athletic Club & Social hosts live jazz musicians on Thursday nights. Aside from the great line-up of artists each week, the three-storey venue has impressive food and cocktail menus and offers great views of Signal Hill. Tickets are available via Quicket. There is also a bar service.
Where: The Athletic Club & Social, 35 Buitengracht St
When: 21h00 – 23h00
Cost: R80 – R100

Sky-Hi Ride at Hotel Sky

Hotel Sky, the Cape Town Central City’s sparkly new hotel, has a 35-metre Sky-Hi Ride on its rooftop. Thrill-seekers take a chair lift up and then drop down at a free-fall speed of 100 km/hour. The ride offers the best views of Cape Town and is reportedly the first of its kind in Africa and only one of seven in the world. You can purchase a ride or observer ticket. Have a look at what’s in store for you here and be sure to book your ticket here.
Where: 28th floor, Hotel Sky, 9 Lower Long St
When: 12h00 – 20h00, Wednesday to Sunday, weather permitting
Cost: R200

Friday Night Live at The Royal Oyster Bar

Catch live music at The Royal Oyster Bar on Friday Night Live. Diarise it so you can ease into the weekend with good music, a selection of oyster and cocktail specials, and good food. To book, call 071 490 2834.
Where: The Royal Oyster Bar, 17 Bree St
When: 19h00
Cost: Free

The Blue Room at Grub & Vine

Treat yourself to the sounds of jazz and blues, delicious cocktails and food at The Blue Room at Grub & Vine. There are two sittings for the evening performances, which take place from Wednesday to Saturday. Thursday nights are reserved for Jazz Jam Sessions, while the other nights are reserved for performances by headline artists. Cocktails and tapas are served from 16h00 daily except on Sundays. Check out the venue’s website and social media pages to see who is performing next. A selection of spirits, wine and beers are also served.
Where: Grub & Vine, 103 Bree St
When: 20h00 & 21h30
Cost: Cover charge of R150 per person (R200 for both sittings) on Wednesday and Friday, and R120 for Jazz Jams on Thursday night.

Live music at Local at Heritage Square

Catch gifted local musicians singing live at Local at Heritage Square on Wednesdays. The food and drink emporium has various venues, including Mazza and Penny Noire Wine Bar, offering a variety of food and drink options.
Where: Shortmarket St, Local at Heritage Square
When: 18h00 – 21h00⁠
Cost: Free

City Sightseeing South Africa

Discover or rediscover Cape Town and its surroundings by hopping on the popular Red Bus by City Sightseeing South Africa. Choose from a range of packages available for adults and kids, including a Hop on Hop Off Tour between the CBD and the V&A Waterfront. The two-day Premium Hop On-Hop Off Ticket includes an option to choose between a Harbour or Canal Cruise inbetween the three stops.
Where: City Sightseeing South Africa, 81 Long St
When: 09h00 – 16h52
Cost: R49 – R499

Fable Music Sessions
Every Saturday

On Saturdays, Fable hosts DJ Tanner Mason who keeps patrons entertained with great music as they indulge in cocktails and good food.
Where: Fable, The Block, cnr Bree and Wale sts
When: 07h00 – 22h00
Cost: Free

Gin Saturdays at The Station On Bree
Every Saturday
: The Station On Bree (five double G&Ts with garnish)
When: 13h00 – 17h00
Cost: R200

Story time for children at the Book Lounge
Every Saturday

Where: Book Lounge, 71 Roeland St
When: 11h00 (all kids are welcome and there’s no need to RSVP)
Cost: Free

First Thursdays
First Thursday of every month

Where: Cape Town CBD including inside galleries and restaurants
When: 17h00 till late
Cost: Free

IMAGES: THK Gallery, Joan Ward, Zombie Walk, Pepperclub Hotel, Night on the Square, Dinosaur World, Mr Gay World