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17 Spectacular Things To Do This Anniversary Weekend

By Hana Okada
25th Jan 2018

17 Spectacular Things To Do This Anniversary Weekend

We couldn’t be happier to tell you that you’ve made it to the first long weekend of 2018! You better make it an epic one—with so much on over four glorious days, you have no excuse! The possibilities are endless, from festivals to markets and everything in between, there’s no doubt you’ll be well-looked after in this beautiful city of ours. Come on, it’s time to start planning your fun-filled weekend right about now—it’s going to be a big one!

All Weekend

Waterfront Auckland Anniversary Weekend

The waterfront is making the most of this Anniversary Weekend with activities going all weekend long for the whole family to get amongst! Explore the interactive gallery, design your own boat, kick back and watch the Auckland Anniversary Regatta and so much more—all in one epic waterfront location! You could even jump in on one of the special Anniversary sailings for a weekend you’ll never forget.

Where: New Zealand Maritime Museum, Auckland CBD
When: Saturday 27 January—Monday 29 January
For more info, click here.

The Art Of Banksy

This is one extraordinary collection of no less than 80 original pieces by one of the most talked-about street artists today. Banksy is the mysterious painter, graffiti artists and social activist who refrains from revealing his identity and does not appear in public, but his work speaks for himself loud and clear. Featuring subversive messages, cynical dark humour and satirical art have been displayed all over the globe, and now you get to see the largest collection of these privately-owned Banksy artworks including some of his most popular works.

Where: Aotea Center, Auckland CBD
When: Until 6 Febuary
For more info, click here

The Merchant of Venice

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.

Where: Pop-up Globe Theatre, Ellerslie
When: Friday 19 January—Thursday 29 March, 7:30pm—10:15pm
For more info, click here.

Zirka Circus

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.

Where: Stella Maris Catholic School, Silverdale
When: Monday 1 January—Sunday 31 January
For more info, click here

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

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.

Where: Pop Up Globe Theatre, Ellerslie
When: Friday 15 January—Saturday 31 March, 7:30pm—10:15pm
For more info, click here.

Auckland International Busker’s Festival

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, this 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!

Where: Auckland Waterfront, Auckland CBD
When: Friday 26 January—Monday 29 January
For more info, click here

Friday 26 January

Anniversary Weekend Showcase—A HA! Event

Talk about a side-splitting treat! It’s The Classic Comedy Club’s annual showcase to kick off the year, featuring ten hilarious comedians for just 20 bucks—that’s not a joke! It’s a stellar comedy line up of brand new Pro comedians that might just become your fave. You’ll have the pleasure of seeing Jamaine Ross, El Jaguar, Ruby Esther, Finn Nicolas, Josh Davies and so many more doing what they do best—leaving you in stitches!

Where: The Classic Comedy Club, Auckland CBD
When: Friday 26 January—Saturday 27 January
For more info, click here

Bug Lab Lates

Cocktails, street foods, and… bugs? Yep, you heard that right—this adults only (a.k.a kids at heart) event starts with a complimentary cocktail and a fabulous selection of Auckland street food faves with live entertainment. Then enter the magical world of Te Papa and Weta Workshop’s thrilling science exhibition, discovering the genius of bugs bound to fascinate and delight even the harshest bug critics and scaredy cats!

Where: Auckland Zoo, Western Springs
When: Friday 26 January, 6pm—9pm
For more info, click here

Spookers—Friday Films

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!

Where: Silo Park, Wynyard Quarter
When: Friday 26 January
For more info, click here

Saturday 27 January

Moveable Feast Matakana

Make a day of it in Matakana! Hosted by Matakana’s Te Rata Wine, this scrumptious festival brings some of Auckland’s best street food right to the heart of Matakana village! There’s an unreal line-up of fabulous food—where the hardest thing you’ll be doing is choosing your feast—served alongside Te Rata’s beautiful natural wines, handmade sodas and cider, as well as craft beer on tap! Hit it up after nursing your food coma from the scrummy offerings at the morning markets.

Where: Matakana Valley, Matakana
When: Saturday 27 January, 5pm—9pm
For more info, click here.

The Extravaganza Fair

Roll up, roll up to the largest and newest travelling event, The Extravaganza Fair, making its way to Green Bay this weekend! 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!

Where: Craigavon Park, Green Bay
When: Saturday 27 January—Monday 29 January, 9am—5pm
For more info, click here

New Zealand Bloodstock Karaka Million

Auckland’s most nail-biting racing event is back for another year. We are—of course—talking about the iconic Karaka Million. Watch top jockeys compete for the million-dollar prizes (no pressure!) as you party in style. Ellerslie Racecourse will be buzzing with live music, mouth-watering food, Champers and a whooole lot of international glam. Don’t snooze when it comes to grabbing tickets—the event is guaranteed to be a sell-out with people queuing up from earlier in the day to get in early!

Where: Ellerslie Racecourse, Ellerslie
When: Saturday 27 January, from 3pm
For more info, click here

Tāmaki Herenga Waka Festival 2018

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! 

Where: ANZ Viaduct Events Centre, Auckland CBD
When: Saturday 27 January—Monday 29 January
For more info, click here

Sunday 28 January

Rooftop Summer Series—Tali & Chiccoreli

We’ll admit, there’s nothing much better than the words rooftop, music and FREE sound together. That’s exactly what the Rydges Hotel is serving up for us this weekend! Make sure you round up your troops and RSVP to this free event starring electronic dance vocalist Tali and all-rounder Chiccoreli! You’ll be dancing the arvo away into the night with the prettiest backdrops in the city on the rooftop bar—go on, you have Monday off to recover!

Where: Rydges Auckland, Auckland CBD
When: Sunday 28 January, 2pm­—8pm
For more info, click here

Ice Cream Sundae

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! 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!

Where: Silo Park, Wynyard Quarter
When: Sunday 28 January, 12pm—6pm
For more info, click here

Monday 29 January

St Jerome’s Laneway Festival

An Auckland January staple for music lovers spanning all genres, 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! This is the surefire way to have the most epic long weekend ever!

Where: Albert Park, Auckland CBD
When: Monday 29 January, 12pm—11pm
For more info, click here.

Mission Bay Arts And Craft Market

Mission Bay’s field will be transformed into a bustling market where you’ll find something for everyone! From handmade gifts, art, clothing, jewellery and a wicked food selection to boot, this is the perfect family day out. There will be more than 180 stalls to check out so get ready to find some awesome goodies. Pack a picnic, spend a couple hours in the sun and sea and hit the markets to make the most of your Monday!

Where: Selwyn Reserve, Mission Bay
When: Monday 29 January, 10am—4pm
For more info, click here.

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Image Credit: Laneway

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