Youth Day long weekend: Where to get out and about across SA

Youth Day in South Africa is celebrated annually on 16 June. 

The day is set aside to commemorate the courageous youth in Soweto, who in 1976 under apartheid government, protested against black school children being taught in Afrikaans and English.

About 20 000 students participated in the march to Orlando Stadium which ended in bloodshed, followed by weeks of riots and fatalities. This resulted in international pressure on SA’s government to change its educational policies.

Youth Day now serves as a reminder of the progress SA has made with respect to equality for youth, as well as the importance they play as agents of positive change and hope for the future. This year 16 June falls on a Sunday, which means a nice, long weekend ahead.     

SEE: WATCH: #MadeInAfrica: Celebrate being African this Youth Day

While there’s a dark history that all South Africans face, there’s also a lot of positive growth to rejoice in, and Youth Day – which is now celebrated with activities throughout the month of June – is one of the reasons to celebrate our heritage and our future.

Here are some events to celebrate this important day in SA, together with family and friends:

Cape Town

Iziko Museums of South Africa wants South African to make museums their own, more often. On special commemorative days you can visit the Iziko Museums for free - even on Youth Day. The Planetarium and Digital Dome, Castle of Good Hope and Groot Constantia however are not free but will offer discounts on these days. 

READ: Next time you see the penguins at Boulders Beach they will have GPS trackers and pink spots

  •  Miles for Smiles

This trail run is so much more than just get a good run in. You can actually help change a child's life by taking part the Trail Fun: Miles for Smiles this Youth Day. Takes place Sunday 16 June in Melkbos at 10:00am. Registration opens at 09:00am.  

  •   Make like a local in Muizenberg

Download the VoiceMap App – and explore Muizenberg like a Local. This surfing corning in the Western Cape may also just inspire you to try a surfing lesson - so you can catch a wave or two. 

READ: This is Cape Town's most Instagrammed beach

The Two Oceans Aquarium is open 7-days a week and offers an inspiring experience for young and old. As a treat, you can also attend a feeding talk, presented by their in-house experts.

Catch feedings at the following times: 

  • I&J Ocean Exhibit: Daily at 12h00 and 14h00
  • Penguin Exhibit: Daily at 11h30 and 14h30 
  • Predator Exhibit: 15h00 on Sundays
  • Kelp Forest Exhibit: Feeds at 13h00 on Mondays, Wednesday and Saturdays. Presentations on other days at 13h00. 
  • READ: Vredehoek is home to Derry Street, Disa Towers and the best Kwik Spar in Cape Town


    Celebrate Youth Month at The Playhouse Company, with five productions produced by young talented KZN Producers, including the following productions: Khuluma Ngoma, Ibhutho LakwaZulu - The Musical, Umnotho - The Economy, Last Chapter and Encryption.  Click here for full details.   

    • Make it a fun Father's Day / Youth night 

    Create new memories with your loved ones and join us at the Durban ICC Figtree Courtyard on Saturday, 15th June 2019 from 19h00 pm – 22h00 pm. Take the family to watch the all-time family favourite, Mrs Doubtfire whilst you relax on our outdoor grassy lawn, eating popcorn and enjoying cinema treats. 

    Catch this event at the Cecil Emmett Rugby Stadium in Vryheid. Set to be an annual event it will promote and support local artists in a showcase of diverse art & cultural experiences. Sunday 16 June. Contact 0 86 1915 8000 for more info. 

    This one-day event offers Durbanites and visitors to the city an opportunity to enjoy a fun filled day of fitness, family time and great entertainment. Come together in the true spirit of ubuntu to celebrate life in the beautiful coastal city of Durban.  

    READ: Fresh bread, garden courtyards and graffiti in Durban's leafy-green Glenwood


    • Market vibes and live music 

    If you're a weekend foodie markets lover, you can't go wrong in Joburg. Get your fix at one of these over the Youth Day long weekend: Try Neighbourgoods Market (Saturdays in Braamfontein) or Market on Main (Sundays in Maboneng). And for the after-market party, check out Great Dane or The Living Room to get your groove on. The Orbit and African Freedom Station (for jazz), Bassline and Kitcheners are all good options too.  

    • Shop and See

    Go check out No End Contemporary Art Space. Run by artists for artists, its main objective is to support young artists and curators by providing a platform to showcase their work.

    • Take a hike 

    Head to Klipriviersberg, an extensive nature reserve that covers more than 600 hectares and is a popular city escape in south Joburg. The circular 8km Dassie Trail starts at the Silent Pools entrance and winds its way to the top of the hill, or take the slightly shorter and flatter Bloubos Trail that follows the river. Entrance at Silent Pools, Frandaph Drive, Mondeor. Inquiries: 082 458 2816.

    • Celebrate the UJ Art Gallery

    The UJ Art Gallery moved into its current home at the UJ Art Centre in 2005. Expect everything from fine art drawings and paintings, to sculpture and ceramics, performance art, installation art and visual poetry. Entrance is free, so you really have no excuse for not visiting the UJ Art Gallery this month. We’ll see you there!

    For the past seven years Constitution Hill has commemorated the youth of ’76, through a celebration of creative expression at its annual Basha Uhuru Freedom Festival, happening this year from the 26th until the 29th of June 2019. Showcasing art, design, film, poetry and music, it also provides inspirational workshops and entrepreneurial support programmes for young creatives.  All events are free, aside from the concert. Tickets for that are R75 online at and R100 at the festival gates.   

    READ: Sitting on a slope, Linden could straight-up be Jozi's most charming neighbourhood

    Find Your Escape by searching and comparing flight prices hereYou can also sign-up for the Traveller24 Weekly Newsletter – Subscribe hereOr download the News24 App hereto receive expertly curated travel ideas and deals directly to your mobile.