Carols at Botany December 7-10pm, Town Square, Botany Town Centre, Botany. Usually, a week after deadline and just a few weeks before Christmas, the EastLife team can’t wait to fly the coop (aka our Botany base) as soon as the clock strikes five. However, most of us will likely be encouraged to stick around on Dec 7 just so we can join in as our town centre comes alive with festive revelry. Details via botanytowncentre.co.nz.
Christmas Carols in the Village December 9, 6-9pm, Howick Historical Village, cnr Lady Marie Dr & Bells Rd, Lloyd Elsmore Park, Pakuranga If you think Santa’s very busy at this time of year, spare a thought for all those poor Carols! In addition to a performance of festive favourites by the village choir, visitors can also participate in games on the lawn, pick up a gift or two at the Victorian craft market and delight in plenty of Christmas fare cooked on an old coal range. See fencible.org.nz.
Kids Christmas Disco & Howick RSA Christmas Party December 9, 3-5pm, Howick RSA, 25 Wellington St, Howick The RSA will be rocking those jingle bells loud and proud as it hosts this event, with face painting, spot prizes and more. Oh, and we hear a certain elderly gentleman will also drop by – Santa, of course! What’s more, the festive festivities continue during the RSA’s annual Christmas Party. For details about both events see howickrsa.co.nz.
Christmas Stories December 9, 11am, 1pm & 2.30pm, Howick Little Theatre, 1 Sir Lloyd Dr, Lloyd Elsmore Park, Pakuranga Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without recounting many of those timeless festive tales and fables. For more information about this show, contact Howick Children’s and Youth Theatre via hcyt.org.nz.
Christmas in the Park December 9, from 7.30pm, Auckland Domain, Park Rd, Grafton To truly have ourselves a Kiwi kind of Christmas, we need to make space in our mistletoe-hanging, present-purchasing, tone-deafcarol- singing schedule for a little blast in the park as this magical, musical performance kicks off the festive season in style. See coke. co.nz/christmas-in-the-park.
Singles Xmas Party December 15, 7-11pm, Remuera Club, 27-33 Ohinerau St, Remuera, Auckland According to its website, the Remuera Club is ‘where strangers become friends.’ But friendship will be the least some attendees at this event will be expecting! Christmas can be a tough time for singles, so this party offers those looking to meet others for a few laughs, to kick up their heels and have a bit of fun. And, if you don’t fi nd your mistletoe match, the club is holding a New Year’s Eve party too. For details, visit remueraclub.co.nz.
Christmas at MOTAT December 15-24, 8-11pm, MOTAT, Great North Rd, Western Springs For 10 nights of Christmas, MOTAT will be gearing up for the big day. With plenty on offer – including movies, carols and festive fare from Mrs Claus’ kitchen – the museum will serve up Christmas cheer by the bowlful all under a canopy of fairy lights. See motat.org.nz.
Carols by Candlelight December 17, from 8.15pm, Stockade Hill, cnr of Mellons Bay Rd & Picton St, Howick Join in the sing-alongs and hark as the herald choirs – as well as Howick’s fantastic brass band – ring and sing of good tidings for the festive season on Stockade Hill. Santa is also expected to attend to spread good cheer, and lollies, so we hear!
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas December 18 & 19, 11am-1pm, Somervell Presbyterian Church, cnr Greenlane and Remuera Rd, Remuera, and St Columbia Presbyterian Church, 480 Ti Rakau Dr, Botany Downs It’s hard to believe that Christmas is here again already as we dive into the season of good tidings and immerse ourselves in festive favourites. Expected to conjure up all the madness, magic and music of Christmas, this show is ready to set those jingle bells a-ringing once again. See operatunity.co.nz for more information.
A Christian Christmas Carol December 22-24, 7.30-9.30pm, International Baptist Church, 2 Dannemora Drive, Dannemora In the mood for Scrooge? If so, check out this performance by the International Baptist Church which presents Charles Dickens’ iconic story of a man who learns the true value of the season of goodwill. Details via ibcchurch.com.
Santa Claus Now – December 20, times vary, Basement Theatre, Lower Greys Ave, Auckland City This year no one’s been nice, as this show reveals. Whether it be parking in a spot for the disabled or simply buying cage eggs, we’ve all been bad and, as Santa is taking the law into his own hands, we’d better watch out! Billed as a ‘Chris-massacre’ this show will feature plenty of celebrity guests, including Urzila Carlson, Antonia Prebble and Chloe Swarbrick. See basementtheatre.co.nz.
The Frost Files December 18-23, 7-10pm nightly, Eastgate Christian Centre, 5 Ben Lomond Cres, Pakuranga Detective Frost and his band of quirky friends are back this Christmas to help a lots and lonely Wiseman find his friends. This 25-minute intriguing journey is suitable for all ages – an entrancing way to spend an evening with friends and family in the lead-up to Christmas. Stay for a hot drink and snacks after wards while the kiddies have their faces painted. There will also be a photo booth and it’s all free! What’s more Eastgate’s spectacular Christmas Lightshow will also be on nightly, December 3-24 – a must to see!
New Year’s Eve
AUM NYE Festival December 30 2017 – January 2 2018, 320 Wilson Rd, South Head Fancy getting away from it all this New Year’s Eve? Forget Kansas, Toto, head instead to South Head (aka somewhere over the rainbow) where Havoc will reign supreme!During four days of music fest’ fun,bands a plenty – including Mikey Havoc and the gang from Push Push – will be Trippin’ their way into 2017. Young Kim – that’s the Korean-Italian DJ, not the ‘great’ dictator! – will also grace the stage as well as many others of whom the men and women behind the curtain at EastLife know nothing…therefore they must be ‘hip’. For details, see aum.co.nz.
Auckland Cup Day December 31, from 2pm, Alexandra Park Raceway, Greenlane Rd West, Epsom. Finish 2017 with a bang during an afternoon of racing and family fun followed by an evening of fi reworkfueled celebrations. For details visit alexandrapark.co.nz.
Expos and Festivals
Auckland Live Summer in the Square Now February 24, times vary, Aotea Square, 50 Mayoral Dr, Auckland City Forget the beaches and baches this summer and stick around the city to enjoy plenty of quality entertainment. Featuring plenty of events for all ages, this series runs right through the season, with a short break to make sure we’re home for Santa, of course. For a full schedule, visit aucklandlive.co.nz/event/summer-in-the-square.
Music and Theatre
Peter Pan December 7-9, Aotea Centre, ASB Theatre, 50 Mayoral Dr, Auckland City If we need to explain what this story is about, you’ve probably been away in Neverneverland for far too long! For details of this show, by the National Youth Theatre Company, see nytc.co.nz.
Pop-up Globe Theatre 2017-18 Season From December 7, Ellerslie Racecourse, 80 Ascot Ave, Ellerslie, Auckland This summer it’s time to party like it twas 1614! The Pop-up Globe shows Shakespeare’s work as it was intended, as a feast of bawdy, hilarious and brutal stories to be devoured by the masses. Beginning with his irreverently ‘horny’ comic masterpiece, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, this season also features ‘the Scottish play’, Julius Caesar, The Comedy of Errors and The Merchant of Venice. For a full schedule see popupglobe.co.nz.
Alt-J December 12 & 13, Auckland Town Hall, Queen St, Auckland There was a time when the indie rock world was ruled by Manchester’s Oasis and the London lads from Blur; these days, all roads lead to Leeds, the home of alt-J. This month, this acclaimed band will rock the Town Hall with sounds which have made them famous. More information via frontiertouring.com.
The Obliteration Room December 9 2017- April 2 2018, 10am-5pm (except Christmas Day), Auckland Art Gallery, cnr Kitchener and Wellesley Sts, Auckland City If avant-garde Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama has her way, things will be far from all ‘white’ on the night when this exhibition opens! Obliterated (over time) by a dizzying array of brightly coloured dots, Auckland Art Gallery will be transformed from blank canvas to work of art. Intended to defy the traditional aspect of an exhibition space, The Obliteration Room invites visitors to become involved with being downright dotty. Visit aucklandartgallery.com.
Nicola Jackson: The Bloggs December 9 – January 13, Malcolm Smith Gallery, Uxbridge Arts & Culture, 35 Uxbridge Rd, Howick Who’s Joe Bloggs when he’s at home? That’s a question artist Nicola Jackson will attempt to answer with this exhibition. Intended to identify key characteristics of an everyday man through the everyday objects that surround him, The Bloggs explores the very notion of what it is to be human. Details via uxbridge.org.nz.
Tutors & Student Exhibition December 11-21, Malcolm Smith Gallery, Uxbridge Arts & Culture, 35 Uxbridge Rd, Howick Students and tutors are all masters as both display their works during this exhibition and sale. From oil and acrylic painting, to pastels, watercolours, inks, jewellery, mosaics, clay sculpture and pottery, there will be plenty on offer. See uxbridge.org.nz.
Sport, Fitness and Racing
Mad Mike’s Summer Bash December 9, 9am-5pm, Hampton Downs Motor Sport Park, Hampton Downs Rd, Te Kauwhata Some people drift through lift; others, like Mad Mike, DRIFT through life! Champion drift racer, East Tamaki-based ‘Mad’ Mike Whiddett will star during this event which sees some of New Zealand’s best petrol-headed pedalers slide their way around Hampton Downs. See hamptondowns.com.
Twilight Summer Night & Boxing Day Races December 13, 3.30-11.30pm, and December 26, 10am-8pm, Ellerslie Racecourse, 80 Ascot Ave, Remuera Providing a feast of racing – and entertainment besides – the Twilight Summer Night is the perfect preamble (albeit at galloping pace!) to festive celebrations. And, after the ‘big day’, the Boxing Day Races hits all the right notes when it comes to providing plenty more racing and other entertainment. See ellerslie.co.nz for details.