December means a whole lot of revelry and cheer, as we wrap up another year and get into the heat of summer. The last month of 2018 is bringing it all—from boozy outdoor festivals, Christmas events across the city and of course, a variety of ways to ring in the New Year, so it’s safe to say Auckland is the place to be this December. Between drinking, eating and a whole lot of dancing, boredom is totally off the agenda. Get ready to make 2018 the most memorable yet, Aucklanders.
Here are the best things to do this December.
The Glass Goose Christmas Pop-Up | 1 December—31 December
“I don’t want any more incredible, boozy pop-ups this summer”, said no one ever. The Glass Goose is hosting a special Christmas pop-up for festive fun on their rooftop. Relax in the sun and choose from their epic line up of Christmas cocktails including Gingerbread Eggnog, Christmosas, Snow Coladas and Santa’s Sangria. What’s more, you will receive a non-perishable food item to put under their Christmas Tree, where all gifts will be donated to Auckland City Mission at the end of the month.
NZ Yoga Day | 1 December
No matter your experience, you’re invited to experience the magic of yoga and meditation at NZ Yoga Day. This family-friendly event will have a whole lot of unique yoga sessions for all levels, including a class with Taane Mete, infusing Te Reo Maori and DJ-powered beats, and a mass meditation followed by a sound journey. We guarantee you’ll be hooked, so you’ll even get a chance to find your local yoga studio and sign up! Once you’re blissed out, find some goodies at the eco-marketplace, take part in the workshops and fuel up for another yoga session at one of the delicious food trucks.
Fête de La Pêche | 1 December
La Pêche is coming out to play from their usual evening pop up restaurant, to a summer day of day drinking, petanque, grooves and a whole lot of eating for Fête de La Pêche. What more could you wish for? Herne Bay Petanque Club is transforming into a little slice of the south of France meets NZ summer, with freshly shucked oysters, market fish and merguez hot dogs hot off the grill and live music, this is the start to summer we’ve been waiting for.
Light Path Festival | 1 December
Auckland’s beloved pink light path Te Ara i Whiti is turning three, and that’s a cause for celebration! Bike Auckland is throwing a massive block party and you’re invited. The Light Path Festival is a FREE family-friendly event has it all—entertainers, music, art and of course, a whole lot of bike fun. Enjoy the city by night and celebrate this iconic addition to our city’s landscape.
Fumi’s Sake Club | 1 December
Back by popular demand, Fumi’s Sake Club is ready to take your senses on a ride at MASU. This sell-out event gives you a chance to discover Japan through sake, as taught by New Zealand’s only internationally certified sake educator Fuminobu Nakatani. Learn about the varieties and tastes of sake, accompanied by small dishes from the MASU team. Get ready to flaunt your new sake knowledge!
Orakei Bay Village Christmas Night Market | 6 December
Head to Orakei Bay Village for a spot of late night shopping at the Christmas Night Market, so you can start ticking off that Christmas list. You’ll find something for anyone, from homewares to workout gear and artisanal food and drink (which you’ll get to sample with Farro’s Christmas showcase). What’s more, Auckland Food Truck Collective is bringing you a line-up of some of Auckland’s best street food vendors, including Bacon Brothers, Double Dutch Fries, The Rolling Pin, Wise Boys Burgers and more.
Christmas at La Zeppa | 7 December—31 December
La Zeppa made our dreams for epic rooftop parties come true all year, and this is no exception. You’re invited to join them in decking the halls and embrace all things Christmas, and 2018 with a bang. All month, they’re serving up special cocktails, tinsel, mistletoe and more. In its second year, Jingle Bell Boom is back as the silly season’s most festive rooftop soiree on the 14th, so we suggest you mark that in your calendar stat.
Coca-Cola Christmas in the Park | 8 December
Back for its 25th year, the iconic Auckland Christmas institution, Coca-Cola Christmas in the Park, invites you and your family to mark it in your calendar. One of the country’s biggest multi-cultural showcase of singers, dancers and musicians, this FREE outdoor party is a must visit. You’ll hear your all-time Christmas favourites, along with top hits from the country’s best-known singers. There’s no forgetting the food, stalls and of course, the fireworks to top it all off.
Studio One Toi Tū Makers Market | 8 December
Head along to Studio One Toi Tū to find delightful handmade gifts at their Makers Market. 30 local shakers and makers will be selling original homemade ceramics, photography, textiles, macramé, painting, prints and more. Support our local creative community, and come out with a unique gift that will be very hard to part with. Delicious food served up by Otherside and coffee from Good Karma Coffee means you’ll be well-fueled for some epic shopping.
Wizardry High Tea | 8 December
Gather your hats, brooms and wands and make your way to the Stamford Plaza for a truly magical high tea. Step into the magical world of delicious feasting and drinking at the Wizardry High Tea—dress as your favourite character from the wizarding world and you could be into win! Enjoy a cocktail or mocktail potion on arrival, create your very own wand and get ready to eat a mouth-watering selection of food fit for a wizard. You’ll find Hedwig’s Popping Red Velvet Cupcakes, Dobby’s Herb Foccacia, Thunderbolt Green Eggs and Ham and so much more.
Dinner at French Bay | 8 December
After the epic night that was round one of Dinner at French Bay, they’re back with another awesome line up of food trucks, music and a whole lot of good vibes. You’ll need your best stretchy pants to handle all of this goodness—expect Mediterranean street food from Mama Tahina, dumplings from Akemi’s Gyoza, a juicy burger from Bacon Brother’s and so much more! Topped off by music by Alex London Music and an incredible view to boot, get ready for a fun night by the bay.
The Cult Project presents Noche Buena | 9 December
The traditional Filipino Christmas Eve feast Noche Buena, Spanish for “night of goodness” is one you don’t want to miss. The Cult Project is bringing a little slice of Filipino cuisine and culture into your Christmas season at Gemmayze Street, so bring a few mates and get ready for a lip-smacking multi-course feast. Considered a time for extended friends and family to gather at one house, celebrate Christmas with your nearest and dearest Filipino style.
Barfoot & Thompson Twilight Summer Night | 13 December
As work winds down for the year, your social calendar is no doubt heating up. It’s time for the Barfoot & Thompson Twilight Summer Night, as hundreds of Aucklanders descend on Ellerslie Racecourse for this sell-out party. With entertainment on the track and around the bar, ring in summer with this iconic event on Auckland’s summer calendar.
SKYCITY Christmas Wonderland | 13 December—24 December
SKYCITY is transforming into a little Christmas Wonderland with big heart. Every day leading up to Christmas, they’re bringing all the things we love about the festive season to the heart of the city. Head to the Christmas markets and get your shopping done and see the dancing pixies or get a photo with Santa and enjoy the sounds of the Christmas choir.
SKYCITY Christmas Markets | 13 December—24 December
Can’t be bothered leaving the city? You’re in for a treat! Under the Sky Tower legs, you’ll find Coatesville Market making its home in the CBD! Get your Christmas shopping done and find some unique gifts (and maybe a treat for you!) under the Sky Tower. Once you’ve meandered through the stalls and filled your bags, grab a bite to eat at some of the delicious food trucks and stalls, and take in all the Christmas excitement.
I Love Ponsonby Christmas Fest | 14 December—16 December
For three nights only, Western Park is transforming into a festive wonderland for the I Love Ponsonby Christmas Fest. With Christmas-themed musical performances, roaming entertainers, carnival rides for the kids and some of the most magical Christmas lights in the city, it’ll put a smile on even the biggest Christmas Grinch.
Buko x Taste of a Traveller | 15 December
Buko returns for another mouth-watering event, teaming up with New Zealand’s original MasterChef Brett McGregor. Bringing you a South Pacific culinary experience, this four-course menu paired with Noble & Savage Tea or Mills Reef Wine will transport you to balmy shores. In support of Women’s Refuge, a portion of the ticket sales will go toward supporting the amazing work they do, and you can even bring a gift to put under the Christmas tree that will also go to these women.
Silo Cinema: People’s Choice | 21 December
Silo Cinema is back for summer, and thank goodness for that because we couldn’t wait any longer. This season kicks off with a special Christmas film as chosen by you. Get into the festive spirit, and vote for your favourite between Christmas classics Love Actually, Home Alone, Gremlins and It’s a Wonderful Life. You know the drill: grab an after-work drink at the Silo Bar, a feed from the delicious food truck selection and get cosy for the movie.
Work Do | Until 21 December
What’s Christmas without an office party gone rogue? Work Do is Rose Matafeo and Alice Snedden’s Basement annual Christmas show, as always filled with Basement-bred talent and a guest cast of some of New Zealand’s most famous faces. The year is ’97 and Go Away Travel agency are preparing for their end of year Christmas party—the middle shelf Charddonay is ready and the team are letting loose. What could possibly go wrong?
Resolution NYE Festival | 30 December
Want to start 2019 right? This is where you need to be. If you’re done with your raucous days of hazy New Year’s Eve memories, or you just want to start “new year, new me” early, Resolution NYE is your ticket to inner bliss. Reach the height of health and happiness with this three-day festival of yoga, forest raves, dance therapy, markets, and interactive art installations. This all ages family-friendly event is an unforgettable way to ring in the New Year.
Britomart Block Party NYE 2018 | 31 December
One huge party across nine venues in the heart of the city—how else would an Aucklander ring in the New Year? Britomart Block Party returns, with nine venues and multiple stages featuring a massive line up of music, performers and DJs. Travel across AV Club, 1885 Britomart, Orleans, Racket Bar, Talulah, Mexico and more—where will you be when the clock strikes 12? The last six years have sold out quick smart, so you know what to do.
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Image Credit: Britomart Block Party