One of our fave months of the year has come right round and all we can say is “falalala laaaa”! It’s time to turn Bublé up to full volume and don your ridiculously festive and totally seasonally inappropriate sweaters and socks! Have you decked out your house with the fairy lights and ornaments yet? Decorated the tree? Started ticking off the Christmas list? Yep, we know how hectic this wonderful holiday season can be but no fear—all of the good times can be found right here in this handy list. It’s time to round up the troops and make the most of this holiday season with all of these fabulous things to do in Auckland this festive month!
Night Noodle Markets | 1 December—10 December
Yasss! Our fave slurp-tastic night market is back and our stomachs are grumbling already. Sink your teeth into an array of scrumptious Asian food and soak up the bustling hawker-style atmosphere at this year's Night Noodle Markets. Make your way through the different lip-smacking Asian flavours from top-notch local vendors, as you treat yo’self to everything from Asian-style loaded fries, mango sherbert from cult ice creamery Gelato Messina, to Hanoi street food and fresh-off-the-grill BBQ skewers. Prepare your stomach for the Asian foodie feast of the year!
TEDxAuckland 2017 | 1 December
It’s not too late to make 2017 your best yet, and these talks might just do the trick! Taking place over two life-changing days, you’ll experience more than 20 incredible speakers and performers from around the world at TEDxAuckland 2017. Get ready to be inspired and challenged by the makers and shakers of today who are changing the world with the way they think. Speakers announced so far include New Zealand’s very own Blade Runner Liam Malone, Senior Academic Advisor at NASA Alex MacDonald, Founder of Eat My Lunch Lisa King, Los-Angeles-based improve guru David Razowsky and so many more amazing speakers, that you won’t have the chance to candidly listen to quite like this!
Dinner at French Bay | 2 December
Street food with a view? Yes please! Whether it be rain or shine, Dinner at French Bay at French Bay Yacht Club has you covered. There’s an amazing line up of deliciousness from Mama Tahina, Puha & Pakeha, Little Yellow Food Truck, The Marilyn Ice Cream and The Fab Truck to name just a few! Megan from Harmony Yoga will even be offering yoga on the deck from 4pm to get your belly grumbling for a feed. Take your nosh to the ocean or nestle up inside overlooking the ocean, this event is filled with yum, yum and more yum!
Grey Goose Pop Up | 1 December—9 December
Start your summer right with a Grey Goose experience not to be missed! Custom Lane is partnering with Grey Goose vodka to bring a slice of France to the heart of Auckland. Make your way through the dedicated Grey Goose cocktail list matched with French-inspired food pairings to mark the beginning of the warm summer evenings. The signature serve cocktail is one of magic—the Grey Goose Le Grand Fizz is a long, light and refreshing combination of Grey Goose vodka, St-Germain Elderflower liqueur and fresh lime all topped with chilled soda. Perfectly matched with Roquefort blue cheese, pear and honey crostini, aaand we’re drooling already. Once you’re done with that, move onto the Grey Goose Espresso Martini (a.k.a. an Aucklander's kryptonite), paired with petite chocolate truffle tart with a poppy seed tuille. If they’re not tickling your fancy, they’ve even got a decadent crepe cart with live crepe creations and everyone loves a crepe! DJ Karn Hall will be kicking off Thursday and Friday evenings with electronic summer vibes from 5pm, so you know exactly where to make a beeline for post-work!
Crafternoon Tea Market | 2 December
Tick off your Christmas list early for even those hard to buy friends and family at Crafternoon Tea Market packed with makers and creators. Aucklanders are notorious to leave the gift shopping hours before Christmas, so forget that stress and hit this shopping paradise quick stat! Opt for something a little different this year, shop local and handmade with love and mark it down on the calendar for an easy, breezy shopping experience at this crafty market.
Christmas in the Village | 2 December
The wonderful ‘burb of Mt Eden is getting into the Christmas Spirit with their much-loved Christmas festivities in the Village! The annual tree decorating fiesta brings about dozens of wee Christmas trees waiting for the young ones to let their creativity run wild and decorate them in alllll of the colours and styles! The good fairy and naughty fairy will also be casting their wand and giving out prizes for the best-decorated trees. What’s better, the proceeds from this fiestra will be returned back to the wonderful community and support even more Mt Eden community projects! There’s loads of fun to be had with trees, crafts and families all gathering together for a festive day out.
SKYCITY Christmas Markets | 3 December—24 December
One of our fave Auckland markets Coatesville Markets, is coming to the heart of the city during December allll the way up to Christmas Eve transforming into SKYCITY's Christmas Markets! On Sunday mornings from 10am until 2pm, you best mark it in your calendar to rock up to SKYCITY’s charming we market to tick off the Christmas list… and then some! The stallholders will showcase their creative and unique gifts all made with love, covering everything from jewellery, arts and crafts, to textiles and homemade preserves. Sounds like Christmas is just about sorted to us!
The Factory Markets | 3 December
The funkiest boutique market in Auckland is back and is celebrating their second birthday! Making a home in Albany, The Factory Markets presents more than forty makers, shakers and bakers, arters and crafters, and so much more promising something for you, your mum, your dad, your groms, your neighbour and even your dog! Expect stalls full with fashion, earrings, vintage, upcycled furniture and even a major line up of the best food trucks the Auckland scene has to offer! What’s not to get excited about?! That’s not even all, either—there’s BAVHU on the airwaves, an on-site florist, hairdresser, tarot card reader, and even a crazy cool kids cave to drop the young ones off at while you shop!
Devonport Ethical Christmas Market | 3 December
Contribute to making the world a better place this Christmas whilst making your way through your gift-list! The way you buy can make a difference and even change lives at Devonport's Ethical Christmas Markets. Head to the Devonport Community House to weave your way through loads of stallholders that ethically source, create and sell their products all made with love! You’ll find perfect gift ideas from 5TKT, Above Rubies, Holding Hope Collection, Charity Tea, Make It Ethical and Duffle & Co! These stallholders focus on ethical issues of today including eco-friendly and sustainable goods, or others helping to provide people with employment, health care and education. Take the stress out of the Christmas shop and make a feel-good change in the world this Chrissy!
Poochi Sushi | 3 December
No doubt your dog has been a gvery ood boy/girl all year, and they totally deserve a spoil! The Parnell markets designed for dogs is getting a sushi bar called Poochi Sushi for this December only so you can treat your dog to an authentic sushi experience, minus the chopsticks, 'cause opposable thumbs are overrated. Your furry best friend will be chowing down a platter of sushi and sashimi, matched with an entire bowl of Pawl Ale all for just 15 bucks! Your fur babies will be getting the best of the best, with a holistic, raw, all-natural, preservative-free meal made from the best King Salmon sourced from Malborough Sounds and the freshest Coromandel Hoki. Any chance we can get in on this?!
Urban Street Fest—Milford | 7 December
This legendary street fest made for good times is heading north! For a fantastic night out, head to the Milford Shopping Centre where you’ll find food truck faves like Double Dutch Fries, RAWE. Organic Smoothies, Judge Bao, Temaki Truck NZ, Wise Boys Burgers, Moustache Milk & Cookie Bar and So. Much. More. Be prepared for a street food feast of your life and expect to have to roll home full to the brim with delish food! Music-wise, you’ll be in good hands as Lee Gray Music takes the mic and sings the night away. This is one street food fest you don’t want to miss!
Wine Tasting in the Dark | 7 December
We’re all taught not to judge a book by its cover, right? Well it’s time to learn not to judge a wine by its label! The team that have brought you countless exciting dining in the dark experiences, Dans les Noir? have partnered up with Top12Wines to bring to you a unique blind wine tasting at Wine Tasting in the Dark. In pitch darkness, you’ll be tasting the best-ranked Pinot Noir from New Zealand accompanied by a plate of canapés perfectly matched to the drop. More than just a blind tasting, it brings a human, social and sensory experience that wine-lovers will never forget.
Auckland Coca-Cola Christmas In The Park | 9 December
Something of an Auckland institution by now, Coca-Cola Christmas in the Park is heading into the 24th year of New Zealand’s biggest showcase of talented singers, dancers, and musicians at this FREE outdoor Christmas party! Preparations are well-underway for the family night of the year, jamming to Christmas faves and the hottest hits. Hit up all of the food stalls for a classic fairground feast, hop on the rides and attempt to keep that food down, and dance the night away with your friends and family. Once again this feel-good fest is getting behind Youthline, developing and supporting youth across New Zealand. It's time to celebrate 24 years of happiness at the event signaling Christmas is just around the corner!
Soltide | 9 December—10 December
This is the summer party you’ve been waiting for! Soltide is a massive rooftop summer beach party is one right out of our dreams. With piña colada slushies, paddling pools, deck-side pong, giant water guns, margaritas on tap, rooftop volleyball, bucket coctails and corona floats, we have a feeling your expectations will be blown out of the water. This summer party on steroids is your childhood dream come true (with a boozy twist!). That’s not all—there’s no tapping out of this day fest ‘cause you’ll be well-fed with the tapas bar at $1 a plate, bubble machines blasting and La Zeppa’s famous Iced Blanc and Frosé pouring all day and all night. Gather up your squad and find a comfy spot ‘cause there will be no going home!
Moët Ice Summer Sessions | 8 December
‘Tis the season… for champagne! HeadQuarters will be home to the Moët Ice Summer Sessions all summer long, where you’ll be sipping on goblets of champagne on ice with show-stopping views. Moët Ice Imperial is the first champagne designed to be enjoyed over ice, embracing everything summer is all about—fun in the sun of course! Make your way through the curated Möet Ice Imperial cocktail list and groove to the beats from DJs Jamie Webster Haines, Justin Sweeney and Gracie Taylor. After-work drinks just got a whooole lot better!
Mr Toms Charity Christmas Dinner | 12 December
Christmas should be full of cheer and excitement, right? Let’s bring both of these things to as many families as we can this Chrissy! Mr TOMS is teaming up with Christmas Box to make things a little easier and a little brighter for families in need this festive season. Nab yourself a $60 ticket that includes a delish three-course meal, where half of your ticket price goes directly toward sponsoring a Christmas Box full of food worth $75! Plus, if you bring a small gift to put under the giving tree to be donated to Kiwi kids, you’ll receive a raffle ticket with heaps of amazing prizes up for grabs for every present you donate! There’s nothing like some Christmas warm fuzzies!
Barfoot & Thompson Twilight Summer Night | 13 December
The festive season is upon us and, let’s be honest, you’ve mentally clocked out of work… all the reason to make mid-week partying a thing! Make the most of these magical summer evenings and head down to Barfoot & Thompson’s Twilight Summer Night at Ellerslie Racecourse. Nothing like your standard raceday, the event features the launch of the international Jockeys’ World Cup and sees guests partying until late. Stick around until after the horses are tucked up in bed because it will all be going down at the after-party in the exclusive Cuvée Champagne Bar.
The La Zeppa Jingle Bell Boom | 15 December
Nurse your egg-nog by the fire any other night of the week, because this night you’re going out to La Zeppa's Jingle Bell Boom! Even better, it probably coincides with your last day at work before you clock out for the year—hell yes! Ring in the official beginning of the silly season at La Zeppa with candycane frozen cocktailes, mistletoe (oooh), pressies, snow (!!), Christmas dress-ups, live music and even a roaming tapas tidings bar! Revel in all things festive and celebrate the year that was on the rooftop as DJ Arii Jade has the tunes covered.
Christmas Carnival | Boxing Day Races | 26 December
The Christmas Carnival’s ultimate party—aka the Boxing Day Races—is back. Now in its 160th year (!), the iconic event is filled with high fash, entertainment and a whooole lot of racing. It’s the perfect excuse to round up your squad, get your hair did and dress to the nines (oversized hat mandatory). Who knows? If you’re really dressed up, you may even win the massive best-dressed comp that’s going down. Make it a day to remember with exclusive Cuvée tickets or hit up the brand-new infield precinct, The Paddock. This space will come alive with live beats, pop-up food trucks and ALL the partying.
New Year Masquerade Ball 2017 | 31 December
Don't forget, New Year’s Eve doesn’t have to be all glamping and vines and bass! Mikano Restaurant is hosting a glamorous Masquerade Ball, joined by world famous illusionist Andre Vegas, as well as singers, dancers, bands and DJs! It's time to dust off that outfit you never thought you could wear but loved too much to pass up—tonight’s the night! This night will be full of glitz and glamour so it’s strictly black tie attire—not something you get to can always indulge in! A dinner service will be kicking off the show, and to top it all off $1 from every ticket will be donated to the Red Cross!
Wondergarden | 31 December
Wondergarden is looking to be an absolute cracker of a night! The line up, for starters, is amazing and features Unknown Immortal Orchestra, Leisure, SWIDT, MAALA and Bailey Wiley just to name a few. Expect a whole lot of installations, yummy food, and the view of the Sky Tower fireworks you won’t want to miss! Get your butt down to Silo Park for a NYE festie the whole fam can enjoy and let’s get ready to ring in 2018!
Image Credit: Coca-Cola Christmas In The Park