Last night, I went off to the Museum Night at the V&A Waterfront with my sisters and a couple of friends. The event is new in Cape Town – a spin off of the “First Thursdays” phenomenon, where museums and art galleries open their doors to the public in the evenings for free or discounted entry fees. With 14 participating sites, it was bound to be a great experience.
The V&A Waterfront
I really enjoyed the location compared to my previous, failed attempt at attending First Thursdays in town. The waterfront has an overload of eating places, so if you’d like to start your evening with McDonalds or fine-dining, you have plenty of options. We went with some burgers from Woodies in the food market, which are halaal and delicious as always. From there, it’s a short walk through open-air to some of the locations. All of the locations are within walking distance, and the waterfront has a very energetic and enjoyable atmosphere so you barely notice the walk. I would suggest wearing walking shoes since I did feel uncomfortable at the end of the evening.
The Art Musuems
Our first stop was the newly-opened Zeitz MOCAA. Cape Town is a very trendy place, and right now this museum is buzzing. Unfortunately, it was buzzing so much there was a 90 minute wait to get in the doors, so we decided to abandon the queue and head to the other locations. I’m hoping to visit the Zeitz in the future, so look out for that upcoming post.
Closest to the Zeitz was Art@Clocktower. There were a number of sculptures, paintings and other artworks on display at the Clocktower centre. This made up most of the art we saw on the trip, but, due to the proximity to the Zeitz, it was really full which made it difficult to view the artworks properly. One of my favourite pieces was a massive painting, covered in your typical “modern art” looking splashes of colour. I liked the painting because the longer you looked at it, the more images rose out of the chaos. I saw plenty of faces, animals and a doorway led you deeper into the picture. There’s no word for it other than trippy (There was also a metal toilet sculpture for sale for R30 000, but who am I to determine what’s art or not?).
The Fun Museums
After looking at fancy artworks, we headed over to some of the other museums. This was the fun part of Museum Night. We went into the Nelson Mandela Gateway, which was a sobering reminder of Apartheid and Robben Island. They held an exhibition on Robert Sobukwe and the museum had a breathtaking view of the harbour and the waterfront.
Next up was the Maritime Museum, which was interesting if you like boats and colonial history. We walked around for a bit before heading off to the real fun – the Springbok Experience and Museum. This shrine to South African rugby had free entry and an assortment of games and interactive displays. To enter the museum, you cross a replica rugby field. It’s fun whether you love the game or not (though I would highly suggest a visit to treat the rugby fans in your life). After leaving the museum, I was craving a Springboks vs All Blacks Rugby World Cup final and a boerewors roll.
Is Museum Night worth it?
Definitely. If there’s another Museum Night, I would be there (and leave earlier so I could make it to the Zeitz). We finished off the evening with some frozen yogurt with Marcels (the waterfront branch has so many flavours). It was a great experience, walking around at night and seeing all these interesting museums that you wouldn’t ordinarily visit. If you don’t like crowds, then it’s probably best to plan your own Museum Day when things are much quieter.
If you liked this post, please subscribe to my blog in the sidebar. My social media accounts are also linked in the sidebar if you’re interested in following me along to similar events. You can also check out my post about the Iziko Planetarium if you’re looking for other fun things to do in Cape Town. Comment below if you went to Museum Night and how you found it!