We’ve got some great news: as the wonderful month of April comes to a close, May is coming in hot with a spectacular line up of things to do, places to be and so much to eat. It’s looking like a mighty fine month, with celebrations aplenty for the mums in our lives, the last of the International Film Festival, plus the beginning of Doc Edge documentary fest! Some highlights include the return of the Hot Sauce Festival, a New Orleans-themed party and lots and lots of wine. But don’t let us spoil it for you, go on—it’s time to explore all the wonderful things to get excited for this May.
AUNTY | 1 May—5 May
Fresh off sold-out seasons in Auckland and Wellington last year, as well as taking home the 2017 Winner of Best Comedy at Auckland Fringe, AUNTY is back for another run of side-splitting comedy. Johanna Cosgrove brings her award-winning solo performance to the NZ International Comedy Festival for the family reunion you never knew you wanted or needed. Delve into the family BBQ hosted by that Aunty we love, and love to hate, as you quickly realize how close to home this gets. As the Sav starts pouring, new boyfriends are embarrassed, drama ensues and everyone in the audience is part of the family.
VITAL Body Worlds | Until 13 July
The controversial Body Worlds Show has finally hit Auckland, so it’s time to get in touch with your mortality… morbid, gory or riveting—whatever way you put it, this is one rare opportunity to see the human body like never before. Showcasing real human remains preserved through plastination, you’ll see everything from the likes of a dancer and athlete, to organs, blood vessels and body slices. Body Worlds might send shivers down your spine, but the founders’ aim is to get you to think about your body and keep it healthy for many years to come.
Blues & Ewes Cheese Pairing with Urbanaut Craft Beer | 2 May
This Blessed are the Cheesemakers event has your cheese lovin’ name all over it. Get adventurous as you taste five different New Zealand Blues and five lesser-known ewes milk cheeses to learn what makes these cheeses so tasty, recognize how ripe they are and learn to describe all the flavours on your palate. Taking place in Foxtrot Parlour in Ponsonby Central, if you love food, cheese and beer—and who doesn’t—this is one event you won’t want to miss.
Pop Sake Club Night | 2 May
A night of sake and tender grilled meat… yes please! Get to En Izakaya as they are joined by Wayne Shennen, Sommelier and General Manager of Ebisu Restaurant for a night of great sake and perfectly matched food at the Pop Sake Club Night. Recently returned from Japan, Wayne Sheenan received the prestigious Kozaemon Pro badge, as the first global recipient, so it’s safe to say he knows his sake stuff. Enjoy four delicious sake matched with a yakitori grilled skewer for a night to remember!
Champagne Billecart-Salmon 200th Anniversary Event | 3 May
In celebration of Champagne Billecart-Salmon’s 200th Anniversary, get to Masu for an evening of drool-worthy Japanese cuisine paired with exquisite champagne. Join Chef Nic Watt and Puneet Dhall from Dhall and Nash Fine Wines and Maison ambassador Sebastien Papin for a wonderful night ahead. You’ll be served a delicious Japanese four-course menu paired with a selection of champagnes. Cheers!
Mexican Night | 4 May
Alexandra Park’s Mexican Night is back so it's time to get ready for a fiesta! Get your stretchiest pants ready for the all-you-can-eat Mexican feast and nab the best seats for traditional entertainment! With three packages to choose from, you can treat yourself and your crew to ice cold bevvies, a delicious Mexican buffet, carvery and hot grill, along with seafood and vegetarian dishes! With floor to ceiling windows, any spot is guaranteed to be a prime pozzy to delight in the view of the track and the city.
Kingsland Cinco de Mayo Block Party | 5 May
Kingsland is the ‘burb to be this Cinco de Mayo as they host a block party of epic proportions. Get amongst The Kingslander, Citizen Park, Portland Public House and the Neighbourhood from 8pm as they turn it on with all things Mexico, brews and good tunes! Grab your $20 Passport, which will get you a bevvy from each bar as well as a sombrero, bandana and maracas for the occasion! There will be live music and DJs at each venue to get the party started and they’ll keep it going all night long.
Bride & Groom Wedding Show | 6 May
Got a ring on it? It’s time to get to the Bride & Groom Wedding Show, as four floors of the Ellerslie Event Centre and the beautiful Ellerslie Racecourse gardens are transformed into everything you need for your big day. Packed with glitz, glamour and Pinterest-level #weddinginspo, you’ll find everything wedding to suit all styles and budgets. You’ll be able to do everything from meeting designers, viewing portfolios to hearing live music, tasting cakes, smelling bouquets, viewing table settings and so much more! Get the whole crew involved and get your game face on—you might come out with your wedding sussed!
Auckland Ocean Festival 2018 | 6 May
It’s time to get sustainable AF at the Auckland Ocean Festival kicking off at Mission Bay! There will be interactive educational stalls, scientists, and sustainable marine businesses all to get you interested and take action to love our planet. What’s more, there will be multiple sustainable food trucks, including a sustainable coffee and smoothie bar functioning solely on solar power! With heaps of competitions with sustainable goodies and live music all day, you’ll be one step closer to protecting our beautiful shores.
International Wine Tasting with Planet Wine | 9 May
Planet Wine knows all things wine, and they’re bringing you on a vino journey of a lifetime at the International Wine Tasting! Discover the stories of great people around the world producing some of the world’s finest wine. This time around, they’re inviting us to taste four different South African wines, perfectly matched with a cheese board. Hosted at The Wine Cave, this is one experience any wine-lover should be booking a spot at right about now.
Run For Your Freakn’ Life 2018 | 12 May
Your legs giving out is the least of your problems during this 5km run meet obstacle course! A first of its kind, Run For Your Freakn’ Life is back at Spookers, as you protect your flag belt (and yourself!) from the clutches of zombies. Throughout this 5km race, there will be more than 20 man-made and natural obstacles for you to conquer, as you run far, far away from the zombies—they’re out to get your flags! You’ll need cunning, speed and lightning agility to make it out alive of this one of a kind race!
The World of Wine Festival | 12 May
Nope, you’re not dreaming—the World of Wine Festival is legit and heading to the AUT City Campus. Bringing more than 140 (!) wines from all corners of the globe, 14 wine-producing countries are at your fingertips as you sip, taste and explore the wonders of wine. Your ticket gets you entry into the wine-filled fest, a Riedel Ouverture Glass to take home plus unlimited tastings when you get there! For the true wine-lover, nab yourself a ticket to one of the three workshops including themed Master Classes, A Mas de Daumas Gassac vertical tasting as well as a Riedel Sensory Workshop!
Mother’s Day Roaring 20s High Tea | 13 May
It’s time to give a shout out to the special mums in our lives, and what better way to do it than spoil them with a High Tea? DeBretts Kitchen is hosting a special Roaring 20s themed Mother’s Day High Tea with all the bells and whistles! The 20s inspired menu includes savoury delights like smoked salmon pinwheels, prawn cocktails with melon salsa, as well as a decadent sweet selection including jaffa mousse and hokey pokey tartlets! You’ll get a Easy Street cocktail on arrival, as well as a 1920’s goodie bag to help you dress up for the occasion, with everything from faux pearls, elegant headbands, and even bright feather boas!
Mother’s Day | 13 May
Treat your mum and show her how much she means to you with a spesh Mother’s Day brunch at The Hunting Lodge. If the morning isn’t your cup of tea, they’re also offering a delicious Mother’s Day lunch with a drool-worthy three course menu. Design your mum her very own wine label, which will be put on a complimentary bottle of Waimauku Sauvignon Blanc, ready and waiting to present to her on the day!
Devonport Craft & Fine Food Market | 13 May
Get to Devonport for your market fix at the Craft & Fine Food Market, where you will find a wide selection of unique and handmade crafts, as well as a top-notch market food offering. Get some handmade pickles and jams, as well as locally-produced baking, condiments and fresh produce. Make a day of it and get to one of the fine Devonport establishments for brunch or lunch, and enjoy a stroll up Mount Victoria while you’re at it!
Last Laughs—Auckland | 20 May
For the last hurrah of the International Comedy Fest, join Ben Hurley amongst a crowd of talented comedians and comedy fans to see who takes this year’s coveted prizes in New Zealand comedy—the Billy T and Fred Awards at Last Laughs. There will be jokes to be said, laughs to be had and awards to be given on this special night celebrating the finest of New Zealand comedy. You’ll see all the award finalists perform alongside this year’s winner of RAW, plus a special international guest. Grab your comedy-loving mates and make a night of it!
Guest Chef—Mark Southon: O’Connell Street Bistro | 21 May
This is one cooking class you won’t want to sleep on! Hosted by the Auckland Fish Market & Seafood School, join O’Connell Street Bistro executive chef Mark Southon as you learn to cook (and eat!) some of his specialty dishes. In just over two hours, you’ll learn the skills of a top celebrity chef and delight in the new tricks you’ll be taking home. You’ll be impressing in the kitchen in no time, and you can even grab a signed copy of his new cookbook Southon Cooking on the night!
NZ Cheese Lovers Dinner | 22 May
Cheese = life. If that’s the motto you live by—and who doesn’t—it’s time to listen up. Executive Chef Gareth Stewart is taking us on a tasty journey through New Zealand cheese, with specially designed four course menus at Euro Bar at the NZ Cheese Lovers Dinner. Including award-winning cheeses from Clevedon Buffalo, Mahoe, Puhoi and Barry’s Bay, each course will be paired with a wine from Martinborough Vineyard or a craft beer from Emerson’s. Yep, that’s delicious cheesy food, wine, and beer for a perfect night indeed.
Auckland Doc Edge Festival 2018 | 23 May—4 June
Doc Edge is back for its 13th year, bringing us Aucklanders all the feels with a variety of international documentaries. There’s 74 stunning films to catch, and no doubt you’ll find one perfectly suited to you as they cover everything from pop culture, politics to our very own Pacific. Opening with Antone’s Arc, this flick takes an up-close and personal look at the crisis faced by the low-lying atoll nation of Kiribati. Highlights include award winners Of Fathers and Sons, The Other Side of Everything and The Long Season, as well as the World Premiere of the Italian documentary Postcards from India—A Busker’s Adventure.
3rd Annual NZ Hot Sauce Festival | 26 May—27 May
Reckon you can handle the heat? The Annual NZ Hot Sauce Festival is back with a vengeance—twice the burn with TWO days packed full of hot and spicy action! With 15 hot sauce producers, live music, chili beer, a spicy menu, Sweat Shop Brew Kitchen will be turning up the heat. Don’t forget the infamous NZ Chili Eating Champs, world record chili eating attempts, homemade hot sauce competition, and the Chili Chompers Global Hot Sauce Awards plus so much more fiery goodness!
Image Credit: Body Worlds Vital