Welcome back to the weekend, Aucklanders. It’s going to be short, so you better live it up while you can. Thankfully, we’ve rounded up a bunch of fantastic events for you to indulge. With both Chinese New Year celebrations and the pride festival still going strong, this weekend’s looking like a goodie. On top of that, we have a Cirque Du Soleil show hitting our shores, a top-notch drag show, some fantastic gigs and a whole lot more.
Here are the best things to do this weekend in Auckland.
The Lantern Festival
The Year of the Pig is approaching and what better way to celebrate than The Lantern Festival? Chinese New Year is a big deal and if you want a good year ahead, you better start it off with a bang. Head along to the Domain and feast your eyes upon beautiful lanterns glowing against the evening darkness. Enjoy cultural performances of dance, music and martial arts, shop Chinese crafts and fill your belly with Chinese cuisine.
Meatstock is a two-day music and barbecue festival that started in Sydney but spread its basted barbecued wings to Auckland in February 2018. Held at the ASB Showgrounds, the protein-filled event promises to serve up the best of the best bands and barbecues, butchers, bourbon and beer.
Take a stroll down K' Rd and pop into St Kevin’s Arcade to check out Uncurated—an exhibit housing the work of 27 Auckland creatives. The artworks have very little in common and are basically a mix of fun, eclectic sculptures, ceramics, illustrations and textiles that you wouldn’t expect to see together. The artists, however, do have something in common with each other—they all work in galleries, displaying the work of other people, daily. Uncurated, is their chance to step into the limelight and play the artist, rather than the curator.
Cirque Du Soileil KOOZA
You haven't seen circus ‘till you’ve seen a production from Cirque Du Soleil. That’s right, the company is back on our soil with their newest production, KOOZA, and we couldn’t be more thrilled. Featuring an international cast of 50 acrobats, musicians, singers and actors, KOOZA is all about rubbery contortionists and gravity-defying daredevils. Stare in awe as performers execute impossible tricks that’ll have your heart skipping beats.
Check out everybody’s beloved street thief, Aladdin, as he graces the stage of the Civic. Young or old, we’re all brimming with excitement. The musical has the most dazzling of costumes, impressive sets and decorations, a myriad of special effects and all the magic you’d expect from the live adaptation of a Disney classic. In awe of the performance, you’ll be singing Arabian Nights long after you’ve left the theatre.
Vector Lights For The Lantern Festival
In celebration of Chinese New Year and The Lantern Festival, Vector is putting on a light show at the Waitemata Harbour. The show will tell a story about the Year of the Pig through light and sound. The display will be visible from various vantage points across the city, from 8pm till midnight. If you’re a fan of strolling through the city at night, this is the time to do it.
Auckland Pride Festival
Auckland’s annual Pride Festival is here to honour and support the LGBTQI+ community. The festival is full of exciting activities designed to unite our community, break stereotypes, question boundaries and educate the public. This weekend we have all sorts of events from art exhibitions and plays to a potluck lunch and jazzercise classes.
Friday 15 February
Celebrate fifty years of bFM with three consecutive parties. Kicking off in Mt Eden, The Corner Store welcomes you to a pre-drinks with a live broadcast of 95bFM Drive. Once you’ve worked yourself up with a few brews, pop round the corner to the Powerstation for the main event. Featuring a stellar line-up, the night’s sure to get wild. Catch Miss June, Coco Solid and Beastwars ripping up the stage as you load up on whiskey and a very limited edition of bFM’s very own lager, brewed by Deep Creek. And if you’re still standing post-gig, your Powerstation wristband will get you into the Whammy afterparty for free, where you’ll be able to party till the wee hours to bFM’s finest DJs.
Silo Park Cinema
If a free film screening under the open sky sounds like a bit of you, then head to Silo Park to catch Jurassic Park projected onto the silo. On the grounds of Silo Park, you’ll also find a night market full of arts and crafts, clothing and accessories, and a variety of food trucks to satisfy your taste-buds. Make a night of it and explore the stalls before settling down with a snack to watch the film.
Saturday 16 February
Ponsonby Road Festival
Ponsonby’s all about community and what better way to love thy neighbour than to party alongside them? Come long to the Ponsonby Road Festival and enjoy a day of glorious food, drink and entertainment complete with live music, dancers and buskers plastered down the road.
Takapuna Food, Wine and Music Festival
Get a taste of a quintessentially Kiwi afternoon at Takapuna Food, Wine and Music Festival. Chill out in the sun and work your way through stalls of popular eateries, tasting offerings from New Zealand’s top wineries and local craft breweries. With live music and entertainment all day long, the festival promises a fun atmosphere and energetic vibes.
City Of Ales
If beer’s your poison then City of Ales is one event you cannot miss. Taking place in Westhaven Marina’s Ponsonby Cruising Club, the event is known as ‘Auckland’s best little beer festival’. Taste over twenty Kiwi beers alongside each other, accompanied by tasty food offerings. Featuring unique and hard-to-find varieties, this is a beer-enthusiasts dream.
Sunday 17 February
Yoga With Kittens
Auckland’s favourite cat café, Barista Cats, is hosting a yoga-with-kittens class and it’s going to be the cutest thing, ever. Get some peace of mind, some exercise AND save some cats while you’re at it. The feline yogis will be brought by Franklin Cat Rescue and will be available for adoption in case you fall in love with a specific furball. The booking includes a free drink, yoga, and 45 minutes chillout time with the cats post-exercise, with part of the fee going straight to the Franklin Cat Rescue.
Trixie Mattel Skinny Legend
Prepare for a night of big wigs, bold makeup and fabulous outfits as Trixie Mattel takes to the stage of the Auckland Town Hall. Shooting to fame as the winner of the third season of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars, Trixie is known for putting on unrivalled comedy shows featuring country music and hilarious stories. This is a must-see for drag and comedy fans alike.
Ninja Sex Party At The Powerstation
Ninja Sex Party are set to play a single Auckland show, only, and you better not miss it. Combining music and comedy, NSP is an 80s-style Los Angeles comedy band that has found viral fame online. With an incredibly successful YouTube channel and four albums, the boys making up the band have proved themselves, powerful performers. This gig will make you laugh, it will make you cry and it well most definitely, make you sing along.
Prefer to stay in? Here are the best movies on Netflix right now.