To many, Auckland Anniversary marks the perfect time to escape the city and relax on some far-flung beach. For the rest, the three-day weekend creates the ideal opportunity to make the most of a quieter version of home, in which fewer crowds and lighter traffic craft the best environment for soaking up some of the city’s hottest cultural happenings. For those that are opting for a three-day staycation this weekend, these are the top eight things you really shouldn’t miss out on.
St Jerome’s Laneway Festival
Laneway is back with another blinding line up for this year’s most hotly anticipated one-day festival. Comprising acts from far and near covering all musical bases, you can rest assured there’s something to get everyone’s feet moving. Soulful songstresses Florence and the Machine and Jorja Smith are bringing UK talent to the fore, while A Boogie wit da Hoodie, genre-bending, jazz-inspired Masego and R&B singer Ravyn Lenae are here to show us what the States has to offer. Of course, a number of local voices such as Robinson and Bene are also set to light up the stage on home soil.
Monday 28th January
The Taming of the Shrew at the Pop-Up Globe
Ending its showing in just less than two weeks, this weekend marks an opportune moment to ensure you catch Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew before the doors close. Arguably the playwright’s most controversial comedy — and the story that inspired pop culture film 10 Things I Hate About You — this chaotic tale makes chauvinism, societal influences and patriarchal norms the topic of conversation in a delightfully entertaining masterpiece.
On until Sunday 3rd February
For those looking to get their funny bone tickled and their jaw dropped this weekend, circus sensation Cirque Grande is just the ticket. Award-winning performers from around the globe showcasing unique, attention-grabbing acts make this city-based event an ideal pick for the whole family.
On until Monday, 28th January
Those that paid a visit to last year’s Harbour Bridge light show will remember a veritable feast for the senses, where dazzling visuals and awe-inspiring sounds collided. It was such a crowd-pleasing experience, in fact, that this weekend will see a repeat of Vector Lights via six-minute, awe-inspiring, sustainable shows — all powered entirely by a mix of innovative technology.
Friday 25th January — Monday 28th January
The Seeport Festival is back once again with its maritime festivities, welcoming the Auckland public to take a peek behind the iconic red fence and revel in a weekend of carnival-style amusement. Food stalls, interactive games, boat tours, exhibitions, helicopter rides and more will be on hand to keep attendees thoroughly entertained — children and adults alike.
Friday 25th January — Monday 28th January
Catch an outdoor movie
Grab your blankets, pack your picnics and prepare for a movie experience under the stars. As part of Auckland Council’s Movies In Parks series, Ambury Park will be showcasing the second instalment of the Fantastic Beasts series, FantasticBeasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, alongside a whole host of other free entertainment. The wizarding world not quite your thing? Alternatively, Silo Park will be screening Whale Rider to those yearning for a Kiwi classic.
Both Friday, 25th January
The Auckland International Buskers Festival
Absolutely choc-a-block with an array of titillating entertainment — think breakdancing, hula-hooping, fire stunts, acrobatics and more — those staying in Auckland would be foolish to miss this annual street-performing experience. Day shows in the CBD begin at 12pm and evening shows run long into the night on Friday, Saturday and Sunday — free of charge. (Although donations are welcome, remember these guys are buskers after all.)
Friday 25th – Monday 28th January
The second brainchild of the creatives behind last year’s House Of Mirrors, 1000 Doors in Aotea Square is the fresh, immersive experience set to unleash the inner child of anyone who dares to enter. (NB: hours have recently been extended to 11pm on Fridays and Saturdays for those searching for a late-night thrill.)
On until 6th February