There’s something about December that is slightly electric. Bustling crowds, busy offices, everyone having to do ridiculous amounts of work before Christmas but at the same time there’s excitement behind it. Excitement because maybe you’re finally going to get a day off work or go on holiday, because you’ve found the perfect present for a friend or family member or even better a family member or friend is coming home for the holidays. December is a month when things happen, it’s party season, the bottles begin to pop open and just for a moment you might think that hey, I actually like my work mates.
What I really love about December though is that it’s one of the months where Auckland really starts to show its potential, acting up like the big city it sort of is. Every year, I think the city gets a little bit better at playing its role and this year is no exception. But it’s pretty easy to miss what’s going on so I thought I’d make up a bit of an itinerary. With a Christmas theme, of course.
Christmas in the Park is this Saturday, the 8th of December . Set in the Auckland Domain, if you’ve lived in Auckland for a while then you’ve probably had a look in before. If you haven’t then expect Christmas Carols, live performances from varying calibres of New Zealand celebrity, carnival rides and food and no cellphone reception.
Carols by Candlelight is a smaller affair but in previous years that I’ve attended it’s surprised me with how enjoyable it is. This year it’s at Western Park in Ponsonby on the 9th of December (this Sunday).
Stepping up from last years markets in Aotea Square, The Edge is stepping it up putting on a range of entertainment under the banner, ‘Unwrapping Christmas.’ Head down to Aotea Square throughout December to join in dancing lessons, watch live performances and listen to music. You can find more details on The Edge website, here.
The Enchanted Forest at Smith and Caughey’s was possibly my favourite Christmas event last year. Rooms full of Christmas trees, a snowy hallway, a candy caned gift store and then Santa himself. If you want to see some beautiful decorating, have the smalls completely enchanted and also get a free gift for you troubles then I’d definitely recommend it. The Enchanted Forest is open until Christmas time and costs between $5 and $10 per person, you can find more information here.
You all know who Kim Dotcom is right? You should also know what The Basement is and who David Farrier, Jacinda Ardern and Kimberley Crossman are. If this has you intrigued then you’ll probably want to head along to Basement Space’s Mega Christmas. With Dotcom as Santa, and a whole lot of other well known faces and talented actors on board it runs at The Basement from the 12th – 22nd of December. It’s probably going to sell out but you can book tickets and read more here.
If you don’t know what Franklin Road is then you should just stop now. But seriously, Franklin Road in Ponsonby is always amazing – a whole street of houses adorned in copious amounts of fairy lights. This year it’s up a notch as Telecom have set up their annual Christmas tree at the base of the road in Victoria Park. Franklin Road is an institution and always worth the visit. If you’re not too late at night you may even be in luck for the coffee and ice cream carts (think peanut butter hot chocolate).
A new addition to the Christmas festivities is Silo Park’s giant Advent Calendar (apparently the largest in Auckland). I haven’t seen this yet but I’m super excited to. Silo park hasn’t left it at that however. There’s also movie screenings in Friday nights, markets and other attractions. You can see the full calendar of events here and it’s all free.
Not being one to miss out, MOTAT has set up its own fairy lights, kicked open the Victorian village and is running, MOTAT Nights, Christmas Lights each Friday, Saturday and Sunday night until Christmas, plus Christmas Eve. I’ve never been to a MOTAT event before but if my sisters experience over Halloween is anything to go by then it will be brilliant. Link!
Following on the Victorian theme, Auckland War Memorial Museum is running its own night at the museum featuring a Victorian market. Um, yes please? This only runs for two nights, the 20th and 21st of December. Presale tickets cost $20, you can check it out here.
Last but not least, there’s going to be a Christmas Gift Market on the 18th and 19th of December in Freyburg Square. Looking at the Facebook page it looks like it could be well worth a look!
I’m sure that I’ve missed out some great events but hey, sharing is caring – if you know of any other great things on this month then pop it down below!