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Source: Auckland Council

After the COVID-19 blues of the past year, some jolly old cheer is top of everyone’s Christmas list as Santa prepares to head into town.

To help with that cheer, Auckland’s city centre has plenty to offer to get you dancing and prancing into the summer break.

Christmas magic

Seeing all the decorations go up is a sure sign that we are nearing the end of the year. Heart of the City have brought back their giant decorations to give the city centre some extra holiday bling.

Look for giant baubles, LED Christmas stars and trees, angels floating above Elliot Street, doves and globes in Durham Street East as you take the kids for an adventure around the city or spend time browsing the shops for that special gift.

Lighting up

Auckland Council and Vector are once again bringing some illumination to your summer nights with the sustainable energy show Vector Lights.

From 13-24 December the Harbour Bridge will be lit up with a light interpretation of the 12 Days of a Kiwi Christmas.

Head to the end of either Queen or Princes Wharf or at the end of Silo Park for the best views of the show.  

Kicking off at 9pm every evening, the show will be repated every 15 minutes until midnight.

Tune in on your mobile phone to listen to the music that accompanies the light show.

Activations on Queen

Why not have a bit of fun as you do some Christmas shopping.

With nearly 70 performances along Queen Street from 16 December, there is plenty of opportunities to rock around the Christmas tree or carol your way through the day.

Late nights on Thursday and Friday extend the most wonderful time of the year so keep a look out for the diverse and talented musicians performing daily between Victoria and Customs Streets.

Magical Mail

Have you forgotten to send your Christmas wish list to Santa and think it is too late?

Or perhaps you want to send Santa and his helpers some encouragement as they rush around?

Head to the bottom of Queen Street and discover the Magic Mail Machine – a fun activation for kids to send letters to the North Pole.

Check out the displays

Many shops in the city centre really get into the spirit of the season.

Wander around and check out what different places have done with their displays, including a beautiful window display halfway up Queen Street that has entertained children for years.

Caroling with a difference

With this weekend the last before the big day, why not take the family to Aotea Square for a good old sing-along.

Don a Santa hat and warm up the vocal chords with some fa-la-las for Christmas Karaoke.

Jackie Clarke will be the emcee so be prepared for a night of delight that will have you dashing through the square and rocking around the Christmas tree.

Leave the car at home

Auckland Transport (AT) are wanting people to stay safe in the build up to the festive break.

AT are asking people to use public transport to travel, particularly over the final weekend before the break.

From 4pm on Friday 18 December, most services will be free to use to get home.

The free service continues all day on Saturday 19 December.

It’s a great opportunity to leave the car at home and make the most of all that the central city has to offer for Christmas.

In addition, there are a lot of other great events happening in the city.

Check out Heart of the City for other cool things for families to do in the build up to Christmas and OurAuckland for events on now and throughout the summer months.