Christmas in Port Elizabeth - Gqeberha

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Tuesday, 6th December 2022

By Marguerite Smit


“Christmas is like candy; it slowly melts in your mouth sweetening every taste bud, making you wish it could last forever.” – Richelle E. Goodrich

By now a few of us, maybe more have bought into the task of pulling off an awe-inspiring Christmas Tree, hanging red and green Christmas lights, or perhaps twinkling, shiny ones? And let’s not forget all the painstaking gift wrapping that’s yet to come. It has been a tough year, or three for most of us…it’s easy to forget what the holiday spirit is all about! You should be reflecting on your blessing and focusing on family and friends.

Gqeberha won’t have an official opening of the season this year, no flashy lights or fireworks. If you have water and power, YOU are one of the lucky ones…but it’s not all doom and gloom and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!

The DA’s Retief Odendaal elected mayor, has hit the ground running. Someone should give the man Bells as he’s been accomplishing remarkable things! Discover Mandela Bay, SAPS, The NMB Metro, PEMBBA and lots of passionate private companies and individuals have collaborated and have launched the Beachfront Security Sector. This initiative offers 24/7 security for the beachfront, permanently based at a joint operations center at the Hobie Beach Club…can I get an AMEN?! Finally a mayor that understands the importance of Tourism in our city and a man that clearly won’t back down!

If you drive along Beach Road in Humewood, you will notice the inviting lights flashing at Playland, Kings Beach. Rides for big and small, day and night even operational during load shedding. On Dec 8th they have a special event – Dress up as your favorite Addams’ family character and stand a chance to win prizes!

If the carnival doesn’t evoke the child in you, try bolting down the super tube headfirst at Splash Waterworld next door. R140 for a full day pass and only R100 if you’re under 1.2m tall.


If you aren’t smiling yet, hop on a skateboard and try your luck at the Kings Beach Skatepark, FREE and open daily... so is the beach by the way, extending from the Harbor wall along Humewood and all the way up to Summerstrand Beacon. What a beautiful, swimmable coastline we have here in the Bay of Blessings.


Gqeberha was named the Bottlenose Dolphin capital of the world, so hop on a boat and see the Bay from the other side – it’s whale season, so your ocean safari will be memorable!


The new Boardwalk Mall is open, offering an array of restaurant, a Ster Kinekor Cinema and shopping options ranging from health and beauty, food, sporting goods, homeware and furniture, electronics, Jewelry and clothing stores and more. There are many markets throughout the city, but the Locally Yours Market will have pop-up markets at the Boardwalk mall, in the new Sun Park Arena on Sunday Dec 4th 09:00-15:00 and again on Dec 19-21 hosting their big Christmas Market. On the 19th from 18:00-19:00 Carols by Candlelight, not to be missed. On the 21st from 17:00-19:00 you can come and meet Santa Clause in the flesh! He’s planned a stop on route to collecting Christmas gifts, this is your chance!  

Port Elizabeth Beach Front

The pop-up shop will be open daily from 12-24 Dec 09:00 - 18:00, so for any uniquely handmade items, food, gifts, art, furniture and crafts, make sure you pop in!  If you can’t make it down to the beachfront, don’t fret, Uncle Jumbo’s Christmas Party is back in town until Dec 11th, organized by the Rotaract Club of Port Elizabeth. Tickets are available on computicket and range between R55-R70. Noddy and friends would love to see you at the annual Uncle Jumbo’s Christmas bash. On Dec 16th head over to the Kouga Summer Festival Sporting Programme, its free, has live entertainment, kids’ entertainment and a sure way to end the year off in a Healthy fashion. Lifeguard games, chess, coding, beach soccer, beach netball, beach touch rugby, prizes up for grabs and it’s open to all & FREE. Dec 16-18 from 09:00-17:00.

If music floats your boat, check out the Music Kitchen. By far one of the best live music venues in SA, offering an extensive line-up over the holiday period and throughout the year. On the 27th of December they are hosting Prime Circle for, no doubt, an unforgettable performance. Roof Garden Bar also have a great lineup, including Matthew Mole and Desmond & The Tutus on the same night! But wait, Steve Hofmeyr will also be in town on the 27th. Tickets can be purchased at Westway…On the 30th Rooftop Bar will blow your hair back with the “Feel good Jazz with Curtis K and the Rhythm section of the Erle Felkers Big Band” Presold tickets are only R100 and sold on Quickest.

…And there you sat, contemplating what to do during the holidays, thinking that this little Bay of Blessings had nothing to offer. Hurry, grab family and friends, Gqeberha is here to fill your days with experiences that will leave memories forever imprinted on your heart.

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