The Auckland Christmas Trail is a map to the festive fun in Auckland over the next four weeks. The sheer volume of potential activities can be overwhelming, so with that in mind, we’re going to give you weekend snapshots as well. Here are some jolly weekend happenings to watch out for as November comes to a close.
FEDERAL ST FESTIVAL
CBD // Friday / 4PM-10PM, Saturday / 11AM-10PM
The Federal St Precinct is closed to traffic and open for fun over Friday and Saturday, with some of Auckland’s top restaurants offering street food versions of their most popular dishes, as well as live music and entertainment right there on the street. It was a major hit last year, and this year looks set to be even bigger. View the full menu here, and the full line up here. Bring the kids along on Saturday for facepainting and more family fun.
TEED ST AND OSBORNE LANE CHRISTMAS PARTIES
Newmarket // Saturday 10AM-4PM
Newmarket’s coolest shopping streets are having a festive throwdown this Saturday, with street stalls, live music and entertainment, decorations and more. Aside from being fun, it’s also a great time to get some Christmas shopping done as many stores on the street will be running special promotions and sales. newmarket.co.nz
FARMERS SANTA PARADE
Queen St, CBD // Sunday 1PM
It’s an Auckland tradition, flock to Queen St on Sunday morning with thousands of families to watch a magical procession of floats, bands and dancers, followed by the man himself, Santa Claus. I have some joyful childhood memories from Santa Parades past, it always feels like the proper beginning of the Christmas season.
PONSONBY CENTRAL CHRISTMAS BASH
Ponsonby Central, Ponsonby // Sunday 11AM-4PM
The day the big rooftop reveal occurs, last year they gave us Santa dressed in drag, what will it be this year? Turn up at 11AM to find out. Stick around afterwards for fun, food and entertainment for the whole family, including performances from The Dust Palace, and Le Cirque de JP. There will also be face painting, fairies, clowns and, naturally, Santa.
JESUS CHRIST PART II
The Basement Theatre // 27th Nov – 19th Dec // Tuesday-Sunday
The Basement Christmas Show is one of our favorite events of the Christmas Season. Every year it gets bigger and sillier, and this year is no exception. The creative team behind last year’s very successful Jesus Christ Superstar have created an unoffical sequel featuring a rotating cast of actors and comedians. This is the second coming that you never saw coming. In a last ditch attempt to save humanity, God sends Jesus back for another go at it. This time Jesus is determined to nail it, without getting nailed.
Other things to watch out for this week:
FOOD SPACE arrives in Silo Park on Wednesday evening, and every Wednesday for the rest of the month. Drop by between 5PM and 10PM to enjoy a curated selection of the city’s best-loved food trucks, and have a drink at the Silo Bar while you’re there.
SUMMER IN THE SQUARE is back in Aotea Square from the 2nd of December until the 19th of February, with an incredible line up of live music and performance curated by Matthew Crawley, as well as giant games, deckchairs, and a general chill vibe.
FIRST THURSDAYS on K Rd on the 3rd is all about the silver screen, with over 30 K Rd businesses holding events inspired by film. This also marks the launch of K Rd Stories, a series of 10 short films about this iconic part of Auckland.
DECORATIONS and giant Christmas trees are popping up all over town. Watch out for the lights on Queen St, the 9m tree in Newmarket’s Lumsden Green and the Franklin Rd Christmas Lights.
Things to come next weekend:
Silo Cinema and Markets are back! ASB Santa’s Bach opens! Ponsonby Christmas Market Day is on! The Auckland Fair arrives at Shed 10! Bernie Griffen and DJ TV Disko play, and Russell Brown and Esther MacIntyre talk to the badasses of Auckland irl at Summer in the Square.
Head to the aucklandchristmastrail.co.nz for all the details, and if you’re travelling into the city to get amongst, consider catching a bus or train. The InnerLink and CityLink will drop you exactly where you need to go.
The Christmas Trail is a project curated and created by Gather & Hunt for Auckland Transport, Panuku Development Auckland, Heart of the City, Auckland Live, SKYCITY, Newmarket & Parnell.