What's On

What’s On In Auckland This Week, This Month And This Year, 2022

By Lauren Sanderson
6th Dec 2022

This week fill your face with festive treats and check out MOTAT's Christmas lights, treat yourself to a night at the theatre, put your Xmas musical knowledge to the test, spread Christmas cheer by singing loud for all to hear and celebrate the longer days at a sunset market. Later this month explore foodie deals, gigs galore, New Zealand’s famous Christmas show in the park and so much more. Not to mention, Barbara the T.Rex joining Peter and the Red Bull Flugtag this month, and Hamilton the musical plus the incredible Cirque Du Soleil on ice landing on our shores in 2023.  

Here’s what’s on in Auckland this week, this month, and this year. 

What's On In Auckland This Week

Get Lost In The World Of Classical Music 

Walk In A Winter Wonderland 

MOTAT | Wednesday 7-10 December 

MOTAT is spreading the Christmas spirit this year by turning their heritage buildings, streetscapes and trams into beautifully lit works of art. There will also be plenty of entertainment to keep you feeling festive—think movies, tram rides, crafts, and carolers. After filling your face with delicious treats,  visit Santa in his grotto—be on your best behaviour as you don’t want to make it on the naughty list.

Jingle Your Bells And Embrace The Festive Season

The Good Home | Thursday 8 December 

Gather your music-loving pals and head to The Good Home this week for a night of festive musical madness. Beats by bingo will have you jingling your bells and embracing the festive season in no time. This is no ordinary bingo night, no siree! It’s a Christmas musical experience where song titles take over numbers on your bingo card. All you’ve got to do is get the right songs in the right line and you're a winner. Simples. Expect cheesy festive tunes, plenty of sing-alongs,  prize-winning and a jolly good time.

Spread Christmas Cheer By Singling Loud For All To Hear

ASB Waterfront Theatre | Thursday 8-11 December 

Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year and the best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear. Nobody spreads Christmas cheer quite like Buddy the Elf, so if you can't get enough of the much-loved Xmas movie, Elf, then hold onto your stockings as it's being brought to life at The ASB Waterfront Theatre this week. Follow buddy, as he navigates life in NYC as an Elf from the North Pole. Don't be a cotton-headed ninny muggins and be sure to check this show out, it's going to be festive AF! 

Celebrate The Longer Days

Takapuna | Thursday 8 December 

Who doesn’t love a good market? Treat yo'self this Thursday by filling your bellies with some tasty grub from Takapuna Sunset Markets, with their epic line-up of food trucks and vendors, you’ll be spoilt for choice. You can also do a spot of shopping as there will be plenty of boutique stalls as well as live music to keep you entertained way into the evening. Celebrate the longer days and warmer weather with friends, there’s fun to be had for everyone, so get amongst it

Deck The Halls With Joy And Laughter

Basement Theatre | Until 23 December 

It doesn't quite feel like Christmas until you've been to Basement theatre's annual Christmas show. Get ready to jingle your bells as this year's show, Sleigh is brought to life by Heartthrobs—a  collective of Auckland's most hilarious improvisers led by Brynley Stent, Alice Canton, and Rhiannon McCall. Watch in awe as they take you and a celebrity guest on a ride on their sleigh, spreading Christmas cheer along the way. 

What's On In Auckland In December 

The head of Barbara The T.Rex.A Female T. Rex Joins Peter At Auckland Museum

Auckland Museum | Friday 2 December until the end of 2023

From December 2, Auckland Museum will be the first place in the world to ever exhibit a female T. Rex skeleton alongside a male one. While Peter has been installed at the museum for some months, soon he will be joined by Barbara who is also one of only three pregnant, female T. rex ever discovered. “This is an incredible coup for Auckland Museum and all New Zealanders, to have a unique opportunity to see a male and female T. rex in the same space, at the same time. This dramatic display will be the envy of every museum around the world”, says Dr David Gaimster, Chief Executive of Auckland Museum. You can see the scientific report here. What a time to be alive.

Frida Kahlo And Diego Rivera: Art And Life In Modern Mexico

Auckland Art Gallery | Until 22 January 2023

Art lovers unite! An exciting new exhibition had landed at the Auckland Art Gallery. Explore the fascinating collection and discover the art of cultural icons Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. Cast your eyes on over 150 artworks, including Kahlo's stunning self-portraits, and learn all about their drive to articulate a new Mexican art. Alongside beautiful paintings, you can expect drawings, murals, photography and work by other leading artists. 

LEGO Christmas In The Square

Aotea Square | 9 - 26 December

Who said LEGO is just for kids? Whoever they are, they’re wrong. Let your imagination run wild as giant LEGO® Christmas baubles take over Aotea Square this month, showcasing the ultimate Kiwi Christmas. From playing backyard cricket and building sandcastles to eating ice cream and chocolate fish, four giant baubles will be decorated with intricate LEGO® bricks featuring all the amazing Kiwi things that epitomise Christmas in Aotearoa. Made from over 42,000 bricks and a total of over 551 hours to build, be sure to show this festive pop-up some love. 

People cheer as one more creation drops into the water at the Red Bull Flugtag.Red Bull Flugtag

Wynyard Quarter | 10 December 

Red Bull’s Flugtag is coming to Wynyard Quarter. The world-famous flying competition, which means ‘flight-day’ in German, sees challenge competitors attempting to be birds as they launch human-powered flying machines like ‘Flying Jab’ and ‘Great Kiwi BBQ’ off a 6m high ramp in the hope of out-flying the other teams. They’ll scoop up points for creativity, distance and flair, plus, this year rugby union star Beauden Barrett has set a bonus distance of 55m. Any team managing to beat this will score themselves a year’s supply of Red Bull. Will they crack it? Head along to catch the highs (and the inevitable lows) for free.

Christmas In The Park 

Auckland Domain | 10 December 

Can you really call yourself an Aucklander if you haven't spent at least one Christmas celebrating amongst the crowds at the city's biggest Christmas party, a.k.a Coca-Cola Christmas in the Park? Pack a picnic, brush up on those carolling skills, and head along with your friends and fam to this epic event, which descends on Auckland Domain on 10 December. Headlining the festivities this year are L.A.B, who will be joined by a number of other talented performers like Lavina Williams, Vince Harder, Tom Batchelor, Ella Monnery, and Nyree Huyser. After a 2-year break, the Xmas party is bigger and better than ever before with a 22m state-of-the-art upcycled Christmas tree, and a spectacular fireworks finale. Remember what the Grinch said ('what if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more') and be sure to donate some coin on the night—all proceeds go to Youthline, which lends a helping hand to more than 50,000 young people each year.

Guns N' Roses

Eden Park | 10 December 

Rock fans unite! Musical legends Guns N' Roses are still going strong and are set to wow us at Eden Park this month. They'll be rocking out to some of their greatest hits such as 'Sweet Child O'Mine', 'Welcome To The Jungle', 'Paradise City' and many more of their much-loved classics. It's going to be the biggest night of rock and is guaranteed to blow your mind. 

Love Actually In Concert 

The Civic | 17 December 

Hooray for the festive season! It's that magical time of the year when we spend all of our time watching our fave Christmas films and devouring festive treats. Add a little bit of festive spice to your movie nights by watching the ultimate Xmas flick, Love Actually, at The Civic on 17 December. This is no ordinary viewing, no sirree! It's extra magical as it features a full symphony orchestra that will perform the hit soundtracks live while the film is being projected onto a huge screen. Wear your fave Christmas attire loud and proud and snuggle in as the rom-com is brought to life in concert. 

Britomart Block Party NYE Festival

Britomart | 31 December 

George FM presents Britomart’s famed Block Party with a bangin’ lineup across two main open-air stages and your favourite Britomart haunts. Flock here for The Upbeats, Etherwood, Upgrade & Trigger, Gentlemen's Club, Bcee, Modestep, State Of Mind, Trei, Weird Together, Dick Johnson, Katayanagi Twins, Body Ocean, Twentytwo, Blanc, and more. 

Highlife NYE Festival 2022

Ascension Wine Estate | 31 December 

Serving boutique Ibiza-style vibes Highlife Festival is another classic New Year's Eve party that’ll you want to experience at least once. Every year the top-notch lineup features world-renowned DJs, entertainers and dancers, along with delicious eats and a strong beverage game. Transport is available from Auckland CBD and other cities.

Northern Bass 

Mangawhai | 29-31 December 2022

Think you’re all about that bass? Then Mangawhai’s Northern Bass is where you need to be this New Year’s. Last year, for the first time in 11 years, there was no Northern Bass, which means this year is going to be pretty damn huge. The lineup is locked and loaded with big names like Joey Bada$$, Sampa, Andy C, Chase & Status, and more. So if you haven't already be sure to snap up your ticket pronto.

What's On In Auckland In January 2023

Juicy Festival

Various locations | 5-11 January 2023

If 90s music is your jam then Juicy Festival is the place to be this summer. Step back in time and party it up with hip-hop legends Chingy, Lloyd, Nelly, Ne-Yo, Ja Rule, Bow, Wow, and heaps more. Juicy Fest is a one-day festival that will travel around New Zealand, playing in Tauranga, Napier, Palmerston North, Auckland, and Whangārei, before jetting off to Australia. If you grew up in the era of hip-hop and R&B then it's time to jump on that nostalgia train and reminisce on the sounds of the 90s and 2000s.

Plane Sailing

Auckland | 6 January 2023

Aucklanders listen up. Victoria Park is where it’s at this coming summer as Plane Sailing returns, bringing us an epic lineup of artists right on our doorsteps— Think Diplo, SG Lewis, Elderbrook, and heaps more. The electronic music fest was a sell-out last year, so be sure to get your tickets pronto. Grab your mates and make some epic memories this summer at Plane Sailing.

Auckland Folk Festival

Auckland | 27-30 January 2023

After a hiatus in 2022, Auckland Folk Festival is back with a bang celebrating its big 5-0. This celebration will span across Auckland Anniversary weekend for three days at The Kumeu Showgrounds. The lineup features a stellar selection of local and international artists including Folk Bitch Trio, The Jellyman’s Daughter, TE KAAHU (aka Theia), Sneaky Bones, We Mavericks and Kerryn Fields. And because it wouldn’t be a birthday bash without fun and games, expect songwriting competitions, traditional dance performances and dancing workshops too. It’s a 50th you don’t want to miss out on, so grab your tickets pronto.

Gardens Music Festival

Western Springs | 29 January 2023

Dance lovers rejoice! A new dance festival is coming to Western Springs in January 2023 and we can't contain our excitement. Clear your calendars as Gardens Music Festival is one not to be missed as the legendary UK DJ Fatboy Slim is the headlining act. Party it up with the renowned dance pioneer who has been wowing audiences since 1996 as he embarks on his largest New Zealand Tour to date. It's going to be lit, so be sure to get your tickets pronto.

Laneway Festival

Western Springs | 30 January 2023

Grab the crew as the hottest festival in town is back, bringing with it one hell of a party. After nearly a three-year hiatus, Laneway Festival is making a mighty return on 30 January 2023. It's the only place to be on Auckland Anniversary Day and the return festival line-up has just been announced. Haim, Joji, Phoebe Bridgers, Finneas, Fontaines D.C, Fred Again, Girl In Red, Slowthai, Turnstile, Fazerdaze, Erny Belle, Bbyfacekilla and The Beths form part of the stacked lineup with more to be announced. So, if it’s a good time you’re after, then look no further as this event needs to be on every Aucklander’s calendar. See you there!

What's On In Auckland In February 2023

Auckland Pride Festival 

Various locations | 1-25 February 

Get ready as our favourite iconic festival is back, and it's back with a bang. With its largest line-up of events to date, there is something for everyone to get involved in and show their pride. Join in the fun at Auckland Pride Festival and celebrate the unique mix of cultures, sexualities, and gender identities in our diverse city. Pop the vino and put on your disco pants—the line-up for this year's festival boasts a month of inspiring antics and epic festivities. From a saucy pride gala to the iconic Pride March featuring theatre, cabaret, comedy, dance, art, live music, film, literature, poetry, drag, burlesque—you name it they’ve got it! Get involved, it’s going to be fabulous.

What's On In Auckland Later In 2023

Hamilton Comes To NZHamilton the Musical.Hamilton

Spark Arena, May-June 2023

After thrilling international audiences worldwide, the multi-award-winning musical Hamilton is finally making its way to Aotearoa. Having scooped Tony, Grammy, Olivier Awards and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, now Kiwis will finally have the chance to get in on the critically-acclaimed act. Featuring a score that blends hip-hop, jazz, R&B and Broadway, Hamilton tells the story of American founding father Alexander Hamilton which has created a revolutionary moment in theatre. “Australia has embraced Hamilton with an enthusiasm we could never have imagined,” Hamilton Producer Jeffrey Seller said. “Now it is time for our sensational Australian cast to continue their success in the southern hemisphere when the show premieres in New Zealand.” Can we get an amen? Tickets will go on sale from Monday, December 5, go shoot your shot.  

Two acrobats perform a stunt.Cirque Du Soleil - Crystal 

July 2023

Circus extraordinaire, Cirque du Soleil is bringing its one-of-a-kind acrobatic show—Crystal—to Auckland and Christchurch in 2023 but this time the magic will be served over ice. That's right—expect incredible acts on the trapeze, banquine, hand-to-hand, aerial straps, juggling, and hand balancing—but this time all performed on ice for the first time. Watch in awe as the performers lace up to deliver a spellbindingly mesmerising experience combining the art of skating with adrenaline-inducing acrobatics and aerial feats. Thrilling more than 1.8 million people worldwide since its creation in 2017, Cirque Du Soleil's news that it'll be performing on ice for the first time is a big deal. With tickets on sale from 16th November 2022, they'll be performing at Christchurch Horncastle Arena on Friday 16 June, Sat 17 June and Sunday 18 June before landing at Auckland's Spark Arena on Tuesday 4 until 9 July. Get in.

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Image credit: MOTAT, Red Bull Flugtag by Philip Platzer / Red Bull Content Pool, Hamilton by Daniel Boud, Cirque Du Soleil by Olivier Brajon.

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