It's no secret we love long weekends, especially the kind where we're actively encouraged to eat chocolate for not one, but four consecutive days (genius!). However it's not all about the choccy, there's also a slew of special events happening around the city; as well as the chance to check out new openings, embark on new adventures... and catch up on new Netflix. So without further ado, here are the most egg-citing ways to spend Easter weekend in Auckland this year.
Laugh Yourself Silly At The Book Of Mormon
From March 6
See what all the song and dance is about, literally, by grabbing yourself a ticket to the worldwide phenomenon that is The Book Of Mormon. Co-written by Trey Parker and Matt Stone (the pair behind South Park—mind-blow, we know), this Broadway musical has awards coming out of its metaphorical ears, including nine Tony's and a Grammy—but what's it ACTUALLY about? The play follows two mismatched American missionaries as they embark on a trip to Uganda, in what is essentially a satirical examination of the Mormon church and its beliefs. So leave the political correctness at home for a night (anyone who's seen South Park will know what we mean) and head along to The Civic for what has been described as the musical of the century.
Admire Works Of Art At The Civilisation, Photography, Now Exhibition
From April 4
Head along to the iconic Auckland Art Gallery for an epic new exhibition that takes a fascinating look at life in the 21st century. Entitled Civilisation, Photography, Now, it features the work of more than 100 photographers from around the globe, all with the common goal of capturing modern-day civilisation—from where we live and work, through to how we produce, consume, think, create, and play. Art-lover or not, this is one event you don't want to miss.
Unleash Your Inner Child At The Royal Easter Show
Are you even an Aucklander if you haven't been to The Royal Easter Show, still going strong after more than 175 years? Just as much for the big kids as it is for the littlies, this iconic event is the ultimate Easter good time with live stage shows, carnival rides, exhibits and more. Zirka Circus will be returning for another year with their trademark brand of death-defying stunts; as will the much-loved A&P Show, where all sorts of argricultural fun awaits, including cute animals aplenty. Plus, there'll be an epic fireworks display blasting off from 9pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. So grab the gang—or the fam bam—and head along to the ASB Showgrounds for a day of pure, unadulterated fun (you'll find us at the candyfloss stand).
Take A Trip To Waitomo
There's certainly no shortage of things to see and do in the city this long weekend (we have a whole article here, people); however we also know that four days off work opens the door to the possibility of a good old-fashioned road trip. One spot we're totally digging at the mo is Waitomo; a destination that's long been popular with international tourists but has gone largely under-the-radar for many Kiwis. So quit the hustle and bustle of Auckland for a few days and head down country to this picturesque little town, best-known for its thrill-seeking opps and breathtaking glowworm caves. Yip, these really are something you need to see to believe—book in an underground boat ride to find out for yourself what all the fuss is about (trust us, you won't be disappointed).
Load Up On Easter Eats
What's Easter without treats? Be it chocolate eggs, hot cross buns or a slice of Simnel cake (Google it!), tis the season to stuff your face full of sugar. Many of our fave cafés and restaurants are getting in on the act, whipping up creations that the Easter Bunny himself would be proud of. From Ima Cuisine's queue-causing hot cross buns, through to Milse and Miann's Insta-licious choccy treats, and Amano's cheekily-named Not Cross Buns (fluffy, fruit-filled brioche stuffed with custard and topped with citrus cinnamon glaze and cream cheese)—there's something for everybunny. For the ultimate Easter experience, however, we recommend nabbing yourself a spot at Hotel DeBrett's Eggstremely Chocolatey High Tea. Head along to this choc-fuelled feast on Easter Monday for chocolate hot cross buns, Kiwi Nest pavlovas and their signature DeBrett's golden easter egg, all washed down with a suitably indulgent Choc-tail or two. Hellooo, food baby.
Eat Out Somewhere New
Likewise, make the most of four free days with a visit to a new restaurant or café. While traditionally many eateries close their doors over the Easter period, more and more are staying open these days to cater to holidaymakers (read: us) looking for their next coffee/brunch/cocktail/dinner fix. We recommend hitting up somewhere with an outdoor area, so you can make the most of those fine autumn days that—you know as well as we do—will be coming to an end very shortly. Watch this space for an extensive list of eateries open over the long weekend, so that you can start making a plan of attack STAT.
Catch A Movie (Outside)
We've never been to a drive-in, but we reckon a movie enjoyed in the company of hundreds of other peeps at one of our city's beautiful public parks could be the nearest thing to it. That is, of course, the premise of Movies In Parks—an initiative from Auckland Council that's been bringing us fantastic films all summer long and which, sadly, comes to an end at Easter. Get along to Woodall Park in Devonport on Thursday April 9 (a.k.a Easter Eve) for a showing of Steven Speilberg's classic 80's flick, E.T.; or settle in for the local love story, Daffidols at Waiake Reserve in Torbay on Saturday April 11. Oh, and FYI: there'll be food trucks at both events, should you wish to partake in a few movie-time treats.
Visit An Easter Market
Markets are always a good idea, especially if you're like us and forever thinking about food... Amongst those happening over the long weekend are an Easter Pop Up Market in Mount Eden on Saturday April 11, and Alberton's Easter Market Day on Sunday April 12. Hop along for some great local bargains including handcrafted goodies and tasty Easter treats.
Get Amongst The Great Outdoors
This is the last long weekend before winter officially arrives, so with that in mind pop on your walking shoes and get amongst nature while the weather's still (fingers crossed) fine. Whether it's a hike up one of Auckland's famous volcanoes, a seaside sojourn around the likes of Catalina Bay, or a trek amongst some of the city's beautiful bush, there's certainly no shortage of Insta-worthy spots to get your heart pumping. Finish things off by loading up with brunch from a nearby café, and we reckon you have the recipe for a perfect weekend, long or otherwise.
Flick On The 'Flix
Finally, if you'd rather just stay indoors and blob (an entirely appropriate way to spend a long weekend, just saying), grab the popcorn and tune into Netflix (or Amazon Prime, or Lightbox...). As always, you'll find a huge selection of movies, new and old, as well as television shows just begging for a binge—click here to see a list of our current faves.
Image Credit: Royal New Zealand Easter Show