What to do on Boxing Day in Cape Town

Over the Christmas period, Cape Town is abuzz with people from all over the world, including South Africa. This, along with the brilliant festive lights down Adderley Street, the annual Carols by Candlelight at Kirstenbosch, and many other great events, creates a fantastic festive atmosphere.

Whether you celebrate the holiday or not, Christmas Day remains a day of family get-togethers and big lunches and cheerful dinners. The day after Christmas, or Boxing Day, as it’s commonly known, is usually a day of relaxing and taking it easy. However, if you do feel like getting out of the house or hotel, here are a couple of things you can do to while away the day.

The beach

Cape Town’s beaches are world famous, and a popular hangout, especially during the summer months when the weather is warm, the skies are clear. When it comes to relaxing and taking it easy, few things come close to a lazy day on one of the Mother City’s many beaches. Before you head out remember to put on ample sunblock, as the African sun can be very harsh. It’s also good to note that beaches get incredibly busy on Boxing Day, with heavily congested traffic, so try and get there early to secure your spot.

Two girls relaxing on beach

Have some breakfast

For foodies, Cape Town is close to nirvana, with tons of great eateries that serve mouth-watering food and drink. The city is also known for its laid-back, chilled vibe, which reflects in the many breakfast spots that line its streets. This makes it perfect for a delicious brunch in great company on this lazy morning. Because Christmas Day falls on a Sunday this year, the public holiday moves to Boxing Day on the Monday, this means that some eateries might be closed, so just check before you head out, and book a table if you can.

Picnic under the trees

The weather in Cape Town in summer is simply too good to spend indoors and the city has many parks and forests where you can go and breathe in the fresh air and have a relaxed picnic in the shade. The Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens is a popular place for families and its vast lawns make it a great place for the kids to play. If you’re looking for something a bit more active, head out to Crystal Pools in Gordon’s Bay and take a dip in the cool mountain pools.

Friend enjoying a picnic

Take a hike

There is no better way to work off that Christmas lunch than with a hike. There is a great spider’s web of trails spreading across the Peninsula, from Sea Point to Cape Point and even a couple of routes up to the top of Table Mountain if you’d like to give the queues at the cable car a skip. Most hikes are free, but some require an inexpensive permit from SanParks. One of the best resources when it comes to hiking trails in Cape Town is Andy Lund’s ‘Best Walks in the Cape Peninsula’. The book can be found in most book stores for around R150 ($10).

Avoid the shops!

If there’s one thing you SHOULDN’T do on Boxing Day is go shopping. Malls and shops are extremely busy during this time of year, with Boxing Day arguably one of the busiest of all. If you want to avoid huge traffic jams and malls packed with shoppers, rather leave your shopping for the day after.

By: Stefan de Klerk