Congrats, you’ve made it to 2018—we hope you’re ready to tackle on another year full of scrumptious new openings, exciting events and very, very unpredictable Auckland weather. There’s no time to waste, you promised yourself you’d make the most of every moment 2018 has to offer and if this list is anything to go by, there’s so much to get amongst! From carnivals of every kind to free events you won’t want to miss, kick off 2018 the right way and jam-pack your January with all these delightful things to do!
Highlife New Year’s Day | 1 January
Kick off the New Year with Highlife at Smales Farm for a party of epic proportions! Get there early and suss your dance floor spot for the day, ‘cause you won’t wanna miss any of the acts lined up! You’ll be dancing to the beats of Scotty Mayes, Murry Sweetpants, Mr and Mrs Haines, TAI, Ron Carroll, Cam Harris and so many more. You’ll be kept well-fed from the legends at Miss Moonshines, Double Dutch Fries and Lalele Organic Gelato—you’ll need it from all that dancing! Set to be a day of good vibes and even greater tunes, the party doesn’t stop once the clock strikes 12am—in fact, it’s just begun!
ASB Classic | 1 January—13 January
The ASB Classic is returning to Auckland as the highlight on every Aucklander’s January calendar. Bringing back more world-class tennis, food and drink, fashion and entertainment, expect two weeks of stellar tennis action right in our city! Forget Wimbeldon, you’ll be served up a fantastic line up of women's and men’s players on-court, as well as some of the country’s most sought-after musicians and chefs delivering deliciousness and entertainment off court.
Christmas Carnival—New Year’s Day Races | 1 January
Dust off from the night before and get on down to the New Year’s Day Races—carpe diem, right?! New Year's Day Races is the perfect way to welcome in 2018 and set your intentions for the year ahead—by seizing every opportunity for fun! Spend the day in the heart of the action in the glamourous Cuvée area where you’ll be treated to Champagne on arrival and a buffet lunch. For something more low-key, the alfresco BBQ lawn will be pumpin’ with a—you guessed it—sizzling gourmet barbecue.
Zirka Circus | 1 January—7 January
Back with its fifth tour of New Zealand, Zirka Circus is bringing even more mind-boggling, spectacular entertainment to our shores! Their new show Send in the Clowns is more spectacular than ever, with performing arts, theatre, and hilarity all wrapped up in a world-class performance! Whether you’re all about the action-packed daredevil acts or beautiful ballet, there is something for everyone in this stellar show! This is one adventure-filled (and animal-free!) circus for the whole family to love.
Wonder Woman—Friday Films | 5 January
Enjoy some sundowners at the pop up Silo Bar and a stumptuous bite food truck style before you nestle in for Wonder Women at Silo Cinema! This blockbuster hit is one not to be missed, with its action-packed scenes and girl-power galore, there’s something for everyone! Your dinner plans are looking like a bit of everything from Crepes A Go Go, Double Dutch Fries, Kraken Crumpets, Mr Dog Frites, Rack n Roll Ribs and so much more! Bring a blanket and a rug and park up for the night for a stellar movie sesh under the stars.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream | 5 January—31 March
Auckland summer staple Pop Up Globe is back for another stand out season! Regarded as Shakespeare’s comic masterpiece, A Midsummer Night’s Dream will enchant you with side-splitting comedy with a dash of beautiful poetry only Shakespeare could achieve. Fusing Jacobean costumes, lyrical poetry with Maori folklore and language, Pop-up globe introduces this flagship production to you with pride. Transport back 400 years into the past and sit amongst the space the plays they were written, whether its your first time or hundredth, it’ll be a night to remember.
The Merchant of Venice | 9 January—29 March
Pop-up Globe is back and better than ever, presenting you with one of Shakespeare’s classics The Merchant of Venice. Already deep in debt to his best friend, Bassiano requires one more loan to woo and win the wealthy heiress Portia, unaware that when the due date comes to repay the debt, he will be gambling for his life! Full of wit, drama and disguise that Shakespeare has become legend for, this is based on the performance tradition going way back to 1614, performed by the Buckingham Company—an all-male company of actors and musicians around the world.
The Extravaganza Fair | 13 January
Roll up, roll up to the largest and newest travelling event, The Extravaganza Fair, making its way to Matakana this summer. Bringing a whole lot of market stalls, arts and craft, food, musical entertainment, circus shows, performers and kids shows! Bringing back some old school nostalgia with sack races, tug of war and musical bean bags, this fair is your childhood dream come to life! Foodie delights include the Steampunk Food Truck, Dickinson’s Gastronomic Emporium, Lucky’s Fresh Juice Joint and Havana Coffee Works—even the names have us excited! Get ready for a full day of jam-packed fun for the whole family!
Auckland Live Summer in the Square: Latin Fiesta Weekend | 12 January—14 January
¡Vamos a la fiesta! Get ready to party because Aotea Square is transforming into a Latin Fiesta for Auckland Live Summer in the Square! There’s celebrations all weekend long, where the food will be delectable and the outfits delicious—we expect nothing less from our vivacious friends across the other side of the world! There will be two stages sizzing with Latin music and feel-good rhythms, including an authentic Mexican mariachi band and Cuban band Ashé Cuba’s high-energy tunes!
The Möet Ice Brunch | 13 January
This is the ultimate luxe brunch! The drink of the summer, Möet Ice, is hosting a brunch to kick off the ASB Classic Men’s Final off in style! Join this glamorous all-white brunch within the Champagne Lounge at the ASB Classic. Kick off the day right, sipping on Möet Ice and indulge in a Sugar Club-inspired menu designed by Peter Gordon himself. The resident Möet DJ will be there to get the party started before the highly-anticipated ASB Classic. In true tennis and Möet Ice fashion, make sure you don your best tennis whites for a day of sunshine and the ultimate day of tennis!
Movies in Parks: La La Land | 19 January
Did you miss one of the biggest movies of 2017?! Not to worry, watch this all-singing, all-dancing musical comedy back on the big screen and under the stars! Following a jazz pianist who falls for an aspiring actress in Los Angeles, La La Land swooped up six Academy Award wins in 2017 and it’s not to be missed! Get there early to snag a fab viewing spot and join in on the family activities starting at 7pm!
Fat Freddy’s Drop | 20 January
This is one of the first times you’ll see these Kiwi legends since they officially sold out their largest headlining show in 2017! You’ll have a chance to see Fat Freddy’s Drop live in the beautiful surroundings of Villa Maria Estate, where you’ll experience brand new songs off the upcoming album, as well as our fave summer classics we can’t get enough of. Special guests will be joining the tour including Ladi6 and Salmonella Dub!
House of Vans | 20 January
It’s been just announced that House of Vans is hitting our shores! This is one of the biggest skating events, making its home in Shed 10 for a day packed full of events and activities made of every skater’s dreams. This day-long community event, spread over two sessions, is absolutely FREE—you’ll find skating by the vans team, a skate-inspired marketplace, live grip tape application, DJs after hours and even tattooing if you’re feeling adventurous! After 4pm the event transforms into an epic R18 party with some sick international bands which will be revealed in no time. Get ready for an epic skate adventure like you’ve never seen it!
Titanic Live | 24 January—25 January
Near, far, wherever you are—Titanic Live is a must-see on the January bucket list! Celebrating the 20th anniversary of this absolute classic in style, relive the most iconic moments in cinema history like never before. Titanic will come to live at Auckland’s Civic Theatre as its screened with its original musical score performed LIVE by a symphony orchestra choir, vocal and Celtic soloists! Featuring an incredible list of talents in the music biz, including vocal soloist Clara Sanabras whose voice features in Hollywood epics including The Hobbit and The Hunger Games. The original piper in the film and American pipes and whistles soloist Eric Rigler will also be joining the musical crew. On for two nights only, this is not to be missed!
Dinner in the Square | 25 January
Waste not, want not! Using food that would otherwise go to waste, Everybody Eats is whipping up some beautiful meals for the whole community to enjoy for Dinner in the Square! Take some time to chill out and enjoy some great company in the heart of our wonderful city over a fab meal. It’s even offered on a pay as you feel basis—a good time doesn’t have to break the bank or hurt the environment!
Spookers—Friday Films | 26 January
Celebrate Auckland with some good ol’ NZ cinema this anniversary weekend! Silo Park is doing exactly that in gloriously spooky fashion with Spookers, the documentary filmed in Auckland and no points for guessing where! This charming documentary was a crowd fave and breakout hit at the 2017 NZIFF, and it’s your time to watch it (if you dare) under the stars! Taking a peek behind the gory curtain of Spookers, the horror theme park we love to hate, shows us the real lives of the actors and close-knit community that works within the spooky attraction. Grab a feed from one of the glorious food trucks including Crepes Creations, Go Go Mexico, Langos, Melt, Toro Churro and Wise Boys Burgers for a perfect night out!
Auckland International Busker’s Festival | 26 January—29 January
Back for its eighteenth time, vibrant international street performers will be hitting the streets of Auckland! Bringing acrobatics, magic, comedy, dance and unicycles to the masses, the Auckland International Busker's Festival is four days of unmissable street theatre for the whole family! It’s time to empty your piggy bank, pockets and swear jar for a handfuls of loose change because these performers will seriously blow you away with their madness and mayhem!
Tāmaki Herenga Waka Festival 2018 | 27 January—28 January
It’s time to get up close and personal with Auckland’s unique Māori heritage and culture at Tāmaki Herenga Waka Festival hitting Auckland’s waterfront! Tāmaki Makaurau is linked to 19 different mana whenua groups, and you’re invited to delve deep into these rich Māori connections in our brilliant city. Enjoy live traditional and contemporary music, kapa haka, crafts and of course, delicious kai! You can even have a go at palling waka, or get out on the harbour on a sailing waka!
New Zealand Bloodstock Karaka Million | 27 January
Auckland’s most nail-biting racing event is back for another year. We’re talking about none other than the highly anticipated Karaka Million. The international glam event is sure to be a sell-out, making it the place to be this Auckland Anniversary Weekend. Ellerslie Racecourse will be bustling with live music, mouth-watering food, million-dollar horse races and, of course, plenty of Champagne. Toast to the long weekend in style at the on-course Garden Party—it’s the place to be!
Ice Cream Sundae | 28 January
Spend your Sunday… with a sundae (or several)! Auckland’s top ice cream legends are all coming together to be scooping up all of the deliciousness for a whole day at Ice Cream Sundae! You’ll be in absolute ice cream heaven, but that’s not all—alongside your fave icy delights, you’ll find other desserts, a scrumptious selection of Auckland’s finest food trucks, some ice cream inspired drinks, coffee and super rad tunes from the DJs. Sign. Us. Up!
St Jerome’s Laneway Festival | 29 January
An Auckland January staple for music lovers, Laneway Festival is back with a sick line up ready to have you jamming the day away! Moving to the dreamy location of Albert Park for the second year, there’s tons of shade to relax and take in all of the vibes right in the city. This is one full sensory experience not to be missed, with food galore, tunes, and good vibes all around to start your year right. The killer line up includes Aldous Harding, BAYNK, Mac DeMarco, Melodownz and so much more!
Image Credit: St Jerome's Laneway Festival