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Auckland City Centre comes Alive with the Magic of Christmas 2022

Press release
Wednesday 16 Nov 2022

Auckland city centre is the place to make memories this Christmas as it comes alive with magical and enchanting experiences for all to enjoy during late November and December. 

Heart of the City and Auckland Council, along with their city centre partners, are proud to bring Christmas cheer and delight to the city centre this year. Kicking off from Friday 25 November through to Christmas Eve, with new experiences in Te Komititanga, Aotea Square and SkyCity one visit won’t be enough with all that’s on offer.

With festive lighting and decorations adorning the streets and public spaces, entertainment and activations will take place throughout December with Saturdays set to be a calendar highlight including every Saturday on Queen Street, as well as activities in Commercial Bay, Aotea Square, Britomart and SkyCity and of course, Santa in residence at Smith & Caughey’s.

Christmas will be magical in the heart of the city this year with vibrant decorations and captivating experiences for all to enjoy. It’s a wonderful time to welcome Aucklanders into the city to celebrate and explore all that’s on offer.
Using digital, print, radio and more we will highlight the unique ways people can celebrate the festive season here; like speciality shopping, hospitality and exciting experiences.

Highlights include:

Christmas in Te Komititanga, 25 November – 24 December

A new Christmas Pavilion will light up Te Komititanga with a programme of festive performances from Wednesday through Sunday, from seasoned professionals to energetic community groups showcasing a range of joyful tunes and acts. 32 performances run from 12-2 pm Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays and 12-2 pm and 4-6 pm on Fridays and Saturdays and are brought to you by Heart of the City and Auckland Council with support from the city centre targeted rate and co-created by award-winning designer Angus Muir, Matt Liggins, and Auckland Council city centre place activation principal, Barbara Holloway.

Audiences will also be able to enjoy festive-themed roving performers moving around Te Komititanga, along with Christmas drag queens, stilt walkers, jugglers, Christmas elves and tinsel-covered friendly monsters to delight young and old.

The line-up includes the likes of:

  • 2021 Battle of the Bands winner, singer, songwriter Mema Wilda
  • The Madeleines – a vintage three-part harmony trio singing swing & jazz favourites
  • Auckland City Scoundrels - a New Orleans style marching brass band
  • Auckland Street Choir, a popular and dynamic community choir

Saturdays in the city centre will come alive this festive season and there’s more than a few cherries on top. Along with Te Komititanga performances, every Saturday in December from 11am-3pm, visitors will be able to enjoy street performers as they shop on an enhanced Queen Street, with free treats on offer to sweeten the experience.

As well as complimentary sweet treats throughout the day, Commercial Bay’s Christmas Carnival over the first three Saturdays in December will bring entertainment, giveaways and festive feels to the area. It will feature entertainment from the Auckland Gospel Choir, a Mariachi Band, live tunes from duo Paul Town Treweek and Fred Baker. Santa will roam the precinct while stilt walkers, jugglers, balloon artist and face painter provide entertainment for the kids.

During weekends at SkyCity there will be a workshop for children to make their own Christmas decorations, and ‘Scotty’s Christmas Spectacular’ will entertain visitors hourly from 5pm to 7pm. There’s also a summer garden, the world’s highest post box, and the Sky Tower will become Auckland’s biggest Christmas tree will be lit every hour from 7pm to 11pm.

Nearby, LEGO New Zealand, in partnership with Auckland Live, Heart of the City and Auckland Council will soon be revealing a magical experience at Aotea Square, inspired and supercharged by Kiwi kids across the country. Look out for a world of festive cheer, including a giant LEGO build, community performances, food trucks and an epic visual experience coming to the heart of Auckland city this December, with more announcements to come.

Of course, the annual must-see Smith & Caughey’s Christmas windows are a highlight along with a visit to Santa’s Enchanted Forest with bookings highly recommended.

See the full list of experiences on the Heart of the City website.

Proudly supported by Auckland Council and the city centre targeted rate


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