Dearest first years, you may possibly not be able to fathom this now, but there comes a time during your university career when you realise that there’s more to life than the four corners of Hatfield Square. You’ll get tired of its barely clothed frequenters, its repetitive playlists and the lingering stench of sweat, ego and alcohol. Every now and then, you’ll want to try something new. Fortunately, Perdeby has compiled a list of alternative things for you to do with your time.

Channel you inner fashionista

How? Stitching Nations Art Market The brainchild of Maryann Mda and Genevieve Booysens, Stitching Nations Art Market is a relatively new venture that focuses on elevating fashion and the arts in the capital city. If you aren’t really interested in trendy attire, the market also places an emphasis on design, food and culture. Each market has a theme and each exhibitor receives a brief relating to the chosen theme. There are also live performers from various genres, traders selling jewellery, clothes and arts and crafts, as well as food stalls, a bakery and an exhibition area. Where? Paul Kruger Street, between Visagie and Minaar Streets. When? Last Sunday of every month, between 09:00 and 16:00.

Channel your inner foodie

How? Hazel Food Market Offering an array of scrumptious food products, Hazel Food Market is like Pretoria’s version of Neighbourgoods Market (minus the hipsters, of course). Feast on samoosas, mini hamburgers, Moroccan soup, lasagne and dainty cupcakes while sipping on a virgin mojito or a cappuccino under an umbrella of trees. With the cold meats, wide variety of cheeses, freshly baked bread and organic vegetables, you can easily do your grocery shopping there too. Warning: don’t eat for at least 24 hours before going to Hazel Food Market because you will want to taste a bit of everything without someone having to roll you home. Where? Greenlyn Village Centre, corner of Thomas Edison and Mackenzie Streets, Menlo Park. When? Every Saturday between 08:00 and 14:00.

Channel your inner hippie

How? Klitsgras Drumming Circle Once you have your drum (which you hire for R35), you sit in the amphitheatre around a snug fire where professional drummers take the lead and everybody else follows. Well, that’s the idea. Everyone eventually does their own thing, but it’s a good way to release some of that pent up pre/post-exam frustration. Fire dancers, didgeridoo players and percussionists are sometimes added to the mix. There’s a bar where you can buy homemade pies, pizzas and mince buns, as well as a coffee shop where you can get your hands on some freshly baked goods. Where? Out on a plot, just past Mooikloof. It’s best you check their website for directions ( When? Every second Friday, from 20:00.

Channel your inner historian

How? Freedom Park Freedom Park is a heritage project undertaken by the government in an attempt to portray South Africa’s history, including colonialism, the industrial era and the freedom struggle. There are different elements that make up Freedom Park. Among them are isivivane, a symbolic resting place for those who lost their lives in the freedom struggle. There’s also isikhumbuto, which includes the Wall of Names, the Amphitheatre, the Eternal Flame, the Gallery of Leaders and the Sanctuary. If history doesn’t do it for you, the panoramic view of Pretoria definitely will. Where? Corner Kock and 7th Avenue, Salvokop (very close to the Voortrekker Monument). When? Freedom Park is open to the public daily. Free tours take place at 09:00, 12:00 and 15:00.

Channel your inner Marie Antoinette

How? High Tea at Rosemary Hill Channel your inner Marie Antoinette and go for high tea at Rosemary Hill, an idyllic organic farm setting about ten minutes from Silver Lakes. Nibble on egg and watercress sandwiches or rosewater-glazed scones while drinking speciality teas or a cappuccino. If the pomp and circumstance doesn’t appeal to you, there’s also a mountain bike and running trail open every Saturday, Sunday and on public holidays. Where? Ten minutes from Silver Lakes. Visit the website ( for directions. When? The tea garden is open every Saturday, Sunday and on public holidays between 09:00 and 14h00. The mountain bike and running trail is open on these days too.

Channel your inner geek

How? Philosophy Café at Café Riche Café Riche is a quaint little bistro situated in Church Square. It was originally established in 1905, making it the oldest café and bistro in Pretoria. Once a month, the Philosophy Café meets to discuss different attitudes, beliefs and ways of thinking, and sometimes includes well-known local and international guest speakers. Where? 2 Church Street, Church Square. When? Last Friday of every month.

Photo: Melissa Kemp

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