Your May budget-weekend things to do across SA

If your wallet feels as though it’s January again, you’re not alone.

Following the number of public holidays, extra-long weekends and recent school vacations over the last few weeks, you’ve probably splashed out on events and treats with your loved ones and now you’re wondering how to get through the next few weekends until your next pay-day.

SEE: #WheresMyLongWeekend: 6 Ways to fight the return of the 5-day working week

Fear not, as we have a list of events and activities to enjoy across SA in the upcoming weeks.

From a book fair that helps save donkeys, to food markets, theatre shows and museums, here’s what you can make the most of for less until your next pay-day.

Western Cape

Eseltjiesrus Book Fair

When: From Friday, 18 May to Sunday, 20 May.

Where: Municipal Hall, Voortrekker Street in McGregor.

Cost: Free entry.

This year will mark the 12th anniversary of the Eseltjiesrus Book Fair that aims to draw bookworms from around the country, while serving a good cause for donkeys.

The Book Fair aims to help donkeys in need by aligning with Eseltjiesrus Donkey Sanctuary. Every book purchased will see proceeds that go towards aiding abused, neglected and elderly donkeys at the sanctuary. 

READ THIS for more: Buy a book and help a donkey in need at McGregor's Eseltjiesrus Book Fair

Books available: non-fiction, the latest novels, books on travel, poetry, self-help, cookery, children's or Afrikaans books.

For more information phone: 023 625 1593, email: bookfair@donkeysanctuary.co.za or visit the official website. For accommodation options contact McGregor Tourism: 023 625 1954.

The Neighbourhoods Market

When: 9:00 - 15:00 on Saturdays only.

Where: The Old Biscuit Mill, in Woodstock.

Cost: Free entry.

Enjoy the delicious artisanal foods, buy some crafts or clothes, enjoy the live music, beers and wine, and use this creative space to socialise with friends and meet with family. Click here for more information.

Iziko Museums: The Planetarium

When: Tuesday to Sunday from 9:00 to 17:00 and Wednesday evenings at 19:00. Closed on Mondays.

Where: 25 Queen Victoria Street, Cape Town.

Cost: R60 for adults, R30 for children, students and SA pensioners.

Spend a few hours exploring one of many Iziko Museums in Cape Town and open up your mind to the many fascinating fields of science, nature, art, heritage and history.

The Iziko Planetarium and Digital Dome offers perspective-3D edu-tainment through a completely unique experience, one that is now able to be updated with new data and information as new discoveries are made. Check out the show-times for a one-of-a-kind viewing and be sure to explore the rest of the museum after the show.

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Hike Lion’s Head

When: Preferably during daylight on a mild day.

Where: Lion’s Head, Cape Town.

Cost: Free.

The hike can be a challenging for young kids, but children over 10 should do perfectly fine. It’s well worth it even if you’re a not much of a hiker as you get to enjoy a 360 view of Cape Town.

Garden Route

Pink Loerie Mardi Gras and Arts Festival

When: 24-27 May 2018.

Where: Knysna.

Costs: Price varies for different shows in the festival. Click here for more information.

The Pink Loerie Mardi Gras and Arts Festival promises a long weekend of dancing, fun and music, with daily shows held at various locations throughout the town of Knysna.

MUST-SEE: #LoveSA: Pink Loeries makes history by hosting 10th Mr Gay World competition in Knysna

This year’s event will make history by hosting the 10th edition of the Mr Gay World competition. Bookings and info: Contact John ONeil at 083 347 9570 or john.oneil@pinkloerie.co.za.

KwaZulu-Natal

Shongweni Farmer’s Market

When: Every Saturday from 6.30.

Where: Shongweni Resource Reserve, Shongweni.

Cost: Free entry.

Shop, eat and relax in a country setting at the Shongweni Farmer’s Market. You can bring your family, pets and picnic blanket and indulge in the wide selection of foods, art and craft stalls. For more information, check out the Shongweni Farmer's Market website or Facebook page.

Rickshaw ride

When: Any day of the week.

Where: Golden Mile, Durban.

Cost: R20.

Durban’s Golden Mile - a strip of some of the city’s beaches – is always abuzz with activity. Apart from strolling along the Mile while enjoying an ice cream and spotting surfers or creative sand sculptures, the Golden Mile is used and loved by joggers, cyclists and people walking their dogs – a space that can be used free of charge.

It is also one of the most popular places to enjoy a proudly South African rickshaw ride. With only less than 20 rickshaws left, according to Durban Tourism, why not try out this ride the next you’re at Durban’s popular beachfront.

You can’t miss the brightly coloured rickshaws – each uniquely hand-crafted - and its pullers who sport extravagant head-dresses made from beads and other traditional decorations.

Theatre: Camelot

When: 18 May – 3 June.

Where: Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre

Cost: From R185 per person. Book at Computicket, or for the early bird special deal available until opening night, buy 8 tickets and get 10, for all performances after 20 May. (Not suitable for children under eight years old)

Camelot is a musical by Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe based on the King Arthur legend as adapted from the epic TH White novel The Once and Future King. It features some of Lerner and Loewe’s most beautiful music, with songs like Camelot, If Ever I Would Leave You, It’s May and I Loved You Once in Silence

Mini Town

When: Monday to Sunday from 09:30 – 16:30.

Where: Snell parade Beach front in Durban.

Cost: Adults - R25, children - R20.

Feel like a giant in Mini Town, a replica 1:24 scale of Durban and some of its most iconic landmarks. With its mini-planes and mini-trains, and even a bridge that needs to be lifted to give way to incoming mini-boats, Mini Town’s detail will be appreciated by family members of all ages.

Gauteng

Winter Sculpture Fair

When: 12-13 May.

Where: NIROX Sculpture Park, 24 Kromdraai Road, Krugersdorp, Cradle Of Humankind, Johannesburg.

Cost: R220 (early bird) and R240 (general admission) per person - tickets can be bought here. Children 12 years and under enter for free.

Take a break from the rush of Jozi city life and take in some incredible art sculptures while enjoying food and wine from the Franschhoek Valley brought to the Fair in partnership with Franschhoek Tourism.

Expect top restaurants and wineries offering artisanal cheese, charcuterie and even chocolate stands. Visitors can also wander the park, discover the artworks and picnic among the sculptures.

Click here for all the details.

Across SA

Picnics

Enjoy the simple pleasure of a picnic with your loved ones at one of South Africa’s many National Botanical Gardens.

In Gauteng choose from one of these nature escapes in and around the city - From concrete to jungle: Your nature escapes in Joburg.

Suikerbosrand, in the Heidelberg area, places you in a massive Nature Reserve just an hour's drive from one of SA's busiest cities, and is ideal for some quality time in nature. You can also spot wildlife like zebra, black wildebeest, red hartebeest, springbok and more, as well as 200 different South African bird species. Entry is R22 per person and R11 per vehicle - visit their website or call 011 439 6300 for more details. 

SEE: Winter mini-break: Enchanted family spoils at Cellars-Hohenort

In Cape Town, there are a number of picnic spots and nature escapes to choose from. Kirstenbosch Gardens - which has a Boomslang Walkway named SA’s most beautiful object in 2015 - is perfect for families. Entrance to the gardens is R60 for adults, R15 for children (6 - 17 years). Children under 6 years and BOTSOC members can enter free of charge. 

Also see Tygerberg Nature Reserve in the northern suburbs of Cape Town. Proclaimed as a Local Authority Nature Reserve in 1973, it supports one of the last remnants of the critically endangered Swartland shale renosterveld vegetation type. Pack a picnic and work up a great appetite with one of the 13km of trails which range from easy to moderate. 

SEE: Top Five Family Walks in Cape Town

The beautiful and tranquil KwaZulu-Natal National Botanical Garden in Pietermaritzburg specialises in the conservation of plants from the eastern region of South Africa and of rare and endangered species from elsewhere. One of the most spectacular features the garden has on offer is the avenue of London Plane trees, which form a breathtaking canopy over a leafy walkway.

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Also check out the Durban Botanical Gardens which is the oldest surviving botanic garden on the continent. This green oasis in the middle of a bustling city boasts significant collections of cycads, orchids and palms. It’s peaceful, beautiful and free to enter. The gardens contain both indigenous and exotic plant species from all over the world and trees that are over one hundred years old.

Port Elizabeth, visit St George's Park in Park Drive. Enter for free with some picnic goods, a group, with pets, or alone with a book and laze under PE’s sunshine. 

The beach

If you are in KwaZulu-Natal, head to the coast to soak up some sun and make the most of its warm beaches all year round. In Port Elizabeth, King’s Beach is an ideal place for swimming and bodysurfing.

Road trips for the day

Take a scenic drive just about anywhere in the Western Cape. Whether you opt for the scenic Atlantic Seaboard route passing Camps Bay, Hout Bay and toward Cape Point, or if you prefer a winelands escape through Franschhoek, Stellenbosch or even Paarl, you’re bound to enjoy beautiful sights and a getaway from the city.

Up north in Mpumalanga, take a tour along the Panorama Route boasting some of the most stunning natural sights in SA, or even check out the Genesis Route to see some of the oldest mountain ranges.

These #ProudlySA road trips are sure to be #Insta-worthy!