Get the little ones into the festive gees with holiday activities at these shopping centres

Reach for a Dream is wrapping shoppers’ gifts at the Gift Wrapping Concierge outside the Ted Baker store in return for a donation

Even if you’re not one for Christmas decorations adorning your local shopping centre, by now your children may be fully into festive mode.

Whether it’s a visit with Father Christmas in the centre court or popping their gift wish lists into letters to the North Pole, it’s hard for the little ones to not to get excited every time they visit the mall.

For parents, it can be a major headache while shopping for last-minute presents and groceries, but the good news is that many shopping centres across the country have specially-curated festive activities planned for the holidays.

Cape Gate’s Festive Market is definitely not to be missed. With more than 300 vendors, there’s also a gift wrapping service.

For the kids, the Festive Village, inspired by Disney, is open from December 14 – 24. Tickets are available at, and walk ins are also welcome.

The area offers an art studio where kids can unleash their inner Picasso on pre-stenciled Disney themed canvases, then dress up as their favourite princess or superhero and have their photo taken at the Disney themed backdrop.

Sticking with the Disney theme, the Main Promotions Court is transformed with craft activities, dress-up, photo opportunities, and more.

Let your little ones transform themselves into Disney Princesses or Marvel Superheroes, complete with face painting, costumes, and tiaras.

Capture the magical moment at the photo booth with instant prints.

And don’t miss the opportunity to sign up the kids for the Kids Club while they are showing off their capes and crowns.

Dates and times: 10am to 5pm (until 3pm on Dec 23, 2023)

Ticket prices: R65 per child. Includes an art studio canvas, face-paint, dress-up and photo. Sessions are booked hourly. Extra photos and crafts are available for R20 and R30 respectively.

Hyde Park Corner, Joburg

With every purchase of R500 or more at any Hyde Park Corner store, little ones can be part of the giant human-claw-machine experience.

Picture this: they’ll be hanging over a pit of prizes, ready to snatch up incredible gifts.

From Disney goodies to toys, Hyde Park Corner gift cards, and surprises from other stores – it’s a festive adventure inspired by the classic arcade game.

Dates: Dec 9 – 23, 2023

Times: 11am to 4pm (11am to 3pm on Sundays)

Closest Parking Level: P4 Parking (Clicks Entrance)

Gateway Theatre of Shopping, Durban

Gateway Theatre of Shopping has partnered with Reach for a Dream, which raises funds to bring hope to children diagnosed with life-threatening illnesses.

Reach for a Dream’s KwaZulu-Natal Regional Manager, Kerry Donkin said the funds raised through donations at the Gift Wrapping Concierge and Disney Chari-tree go directly towards making children’s dreams a reality.

Reach for a Dream is wrapping shoppers’ gifts at the Gift Wrapping Concierge outside the Ted Baker store in return for a donation.

“There’s no fixed fee, but an R20 donation is the base rate. Last year we raised R180,000 at Gateway which enabled us to do so much. This year we’d love to improve on that,” added Donkin.

At the impressive Disney Chari-tree, decorated with character plush toys, love is channelled to ‘Dreamers’ in two ways.

Firstly, in partnership with Toys R Us, R5 is donated to the charity for every Disney plush toy bought from the store. Secondly, all the adorable Disney plushes on the tree are donated to the charity once the tree comes down.

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