Why the cosy central hub at Auckland’s Elemental festival is where you’ll want to be this winter

The unfavourable elements that converge at wintertime usually result in a significant drop in the number of people venturing out of their homes. It’s understandable really, when the mornings are darker, the evenings are spiked with an unpleasant chill and one can never really tell what the weather will do later (hint: probably rain).

But this July, there is one thing drawing us out of hibernation. Seeing Aotea Square transformed into an all-encompassing celebration of winter, the Elemental AKL festival is offering Aucklanders a cosy hub that includes entertainment, dining experiences and the return of the highly anticipated Ice Rink and Ice Slide — the former a place to throw your skates on, the latter, a 35-metre, multi-level structure with inflatable tubes on which to slide.

Elsewhere in the hub, The Snugs offer an unprecedented, delightfully intimate dining experience. Shaped to appear like igloos, The Snugs comprise five geodesic domes that contain furniture, blankets and heaters making them perfect for midwinter date nights or catch-ups with close friends. Snugs be booked and tasting plates, platters desserts and drinks all ordered in advance.

Furthering the food offering, the Auckland Night Markets will be landing in Aotea Square for the first time, comprising a range of delicious stalls covering authentic cuisine from all around the world. Auckland Live’s BOX Container Bar will also be on hand to serve tasty bites and beverages (non-alcoholic options available too) in its new covered courtyard.

If this all wasn’t enough, Auckland Live’s Digital Stage invites those in the hub to immerse themselves in visual delights from the best of the art world, featuring works from New Zealand and overseas. See the screening schedule here.

Seeking to put a positive spin on the middle of the year, Elemental AKL has created a space where we can enjoy the best of winter. The Elemental Hub will be operating from 1st until 28th July (the Ice Rink and Slide is open now). For more information about this exciting festival, click here.


Culture fix: An epic LEGO exhibition, free music festival and more things to do this December

From cookbooks to cultural tomes, these are the books your coffee table needs

Two creatives combine their artistic talents at an intriguing new exhibition