December is nearly here, Christmas is just around the corner, and the excitement of the festive season is already ramping up across Auckland.
Getting in the mood for Christmas comes easily to some of us – the first twinkle of lights is enough to get us to don our Santa outfit and break into carolling. But some of us need a little push to get there, and some persuading that Christmas really is the most wonderful time of the year.
To help you get in the mood early, here’s a roundup of upcoming Christmas events in our region:
What better way to foster Christmas cheer than to join your local community for entertainment, food and music at one of Auckland’s many Christmas parades? If you’re lucky, you might even see Santa!
Parades are taking place across Auckland throughout late November and early December.
The Farmers Santa Parade took place on Sunday 2 December, following a postponement due to bad weather, the Westgate parade in Massey, the Takapuna Christmas Carnival and the Te Atatu parade and fun day all took place on 1 December, and the Devonport Lions parade and festival, Pukekohe parade and Papakura Rotary Santa Parade were all the same weekend.
If you've missed out on those, don't worry - even more are still coming up!
The Mangere Santa Parade and Festival takes place on 6 December, the Blockhouse Bay Village parade and the Waiuku NZ Steel parade will both be on 8 December, and the Howick Santa Parade and party will be on 9 December.
Keep an eye on the weather and the event listings for any postponements.
There are plenty of events taking place designed for families and children this Christmas. The North Pole Express allows your family to travel in comfort, meet Santa and enjoy carols and food on a magical train journey.
The Henderson Christmas Festival and Christmas in the Park in Manurewa are both packed with entertainment, games and food for adults and children, and the APO Christmas show brings the stars of The Moe Show to the orchestra for a fun and educational treat for the little ones.
Stock up on gifts, decorations and treats for yourself at one of the many Christmas markets taking place over the next month.
Following on from Howick's Midnight Madness and the Green Bay German Christmas Market, the Christmas market in St Helliers provides the opportunity to grab some festive bargains. Late Night Christmas on 20 December gives you the chance to pick up some last-minute gifts from more than 90 city-centre retailers.
Carols and music
Bring your singing voice along to one of the many carol singing performances taking place throughout the Christmas season. Carols at Potters Park is set for 9 December, and those looking for a more traditional take on Christmas can head to Howick Historical Village’s carols on 8 December.
Take a look here for a full list of Christmas events taking place across Auckland.
Plays and pantomimes
If you’ve made it past the parades, carols, shopping and parties but you still need convincing – why not check out one of the several festive plays and pantomimes being staged?
For a traditional touch, head to a performance of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol at The PumpHouse Theatre, Takapuna, or take the whanau along to Cinderella – A Christmas Pantomime showing around Auckland throughout November and December.
A Very Merry Kiwimas celebrates uniquely Kiwi Christmas traditions, and the short opera Amahl and the Night Visitor tells the touching festive story of one boy’s discovery of the true spirit of the season.
And many more!
We’re adding new Christmas events to our site all the time, and there are so many more listed than we have space for in just one article.
Check out the full list here, packed with ideas to get you and your family ready for Christmas.