There’s always plenty to do in summer on the Shore – beaches are a magnet for swimmers, sunbathers, paddle-boarders, kayakers. And where better to exercise than on the beach, or along many of the walking and cycling tracks around the area.
But sometimes you need a little extra. Or maybe you just want a round-up of where to go and what to do. Here’s the Channel team’s selection of the best of what’s happening on the Shore in December and January.
Until 21 December Tim Bray Theatre Company presents The Santa Claus Show ’19 at the PumpHouse Theatre, 10.30am & 1pm. This popular show returns for the 17th time, with the tale of how Kelly learns about the true meaning of Christmas.
15 December, Christmas Carols in The PumpHouse amphitheatre, 6pm. Join Harbour Voices and The PumpHouse Community Choir as they – and you – sing everyone’s favourite Christmas songs and carols. Don’t worry about the words as you’ll get a songbook to sing from.
19-21 December, A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, with foolish wit theatre at The PumpHouse Coal Bunker, 8pm. A performed reading of this classic tale in the spooky environment of The PumpHouse’s Coal Bunker Studio. No set, props or special effects – just talented actors, the magic of storytelling and Charles Dicken’s beloved story.
25 December End of the Golden Weather, 10.30am, Takapuna Beach Reserve. Stephen Lovatt performs a special extract of Bruce Mason’s enduring classic, that recalls Christmas in Te Parenga (Takapuna) in the depression years. Free. Koha to Oxfam appreciated.
<< End of the Golden Weather pic>>
18 January – 15 February, Auckland Shakespeare in the Park 2020 – As You Like It and/or Macbeth, 7.30pm. Traditional presentations of two of Shakespeare’s finest plays performed in The PumpHouse Amphitheatre. Book one or book both to make the most of Shoreside Theatre’s 24th season of Shakespeare Summer in the Park.
Until 21 December, Gifting Tree for De Paul House. Tim Bray Theatre Company and The PumpHouse Theatre have a gifting tree in the theatre foyer until 21 December. The tree is decorated with tags with the name of a child and their age. Choose a tag and attach it to an unwrapped gift to leave under the tree. On 22 December the Christmas presents are delivered to De Paul House in Northcote, which currently cares for more than 200 homeless children.
18 January, I Love Takapuna Summer Days Festival, Gould Reserve, The Strand, Takapuna, 10am-7pm. The ultimate summer event – free and open to the whole community, so bring your friends, family, and loved ones along and celebrate summer. Full programme of entertainment, starting with family entertainment at 10am. From 3pm, jam with local artists as they perform favourite hits on stage. Wear your jandals, grab some takeaways from the 150 different hospitality outlets in Takapuna, or the food trucks on site and get ready for a brilliant summer’s day.
<<Takapuna Beach Summer Days Festival pic>>
20-25 January, Waterworld inflatable water park, Lake Pupuke. Waterworld is an amazing floating inflatable water park, fun for all ages 5 years and up. Includes the Blob, swing, slides, trampoline,
15 February, Sunsetter Food Wine & Music Festival, Smales Farm. Music from local and international acts that include Swedish DJ Stone Bridge, My Baby, Bermuda Social, Automatic 80s, Lou’ana, Prins and more. All to be enjoyed as you sample the best from New Zealand wineries and craft breweries, popular eateries and food vendors.
Auckland Council's 2020 series of free family Movies in Parks.doesn't reach the Shore until 20 March, when Secret Life of Pets screens in Milford. Spiderman, Daffodils, ET and Dumbo are also on the roster for North Shore parks during March and April. Check out all options at www.moviesinparks.co.nz..
20-22 January, North Shore Cricket Club’s 2020 Junior World Cricket Series. Watch budding young cricket stars play under the flag of a national team in three days of intense competition. There are no selection criteria, except first in, best dressed. Cricketers of all abilities can take part. Players are selected into teams to represent the major cricketing countries of the world, and games are played on grounds around the Devonport/Belmont area. More info at https://northshorecricket.co.nz/junior-world-series
Every Sunday morning, Takapuna Northern beach reserve, 10am. Les Mills’ free Outdoor Body Balance classes. If you want to get the body in shape for summer, get on down there. They take a break over Christmas until mid-January, but otherwise, just turn up and take part.
Right through summer – Harcourts Cooper & Co Takapuna Beach Series, Takapuna Beach, Tuesdays from 5pm. Beach run, coastal run, stand-up paddle and ocean swim series on. Register for the 18-week season, or enter on a week by week basis.
<< photo Takapuna Beach series>>
If running is your thing, in Devonport, check out the Wednesday night Jets runs. Or enter the Harcourts Cooper & Co North Shore Run Series with events at three different locations: Run Devonport in January at the Navy Fields; race two at Hobsonville Point, and the grand finale at Albany Lakes where the series first started. Details at https://northshorerunseries.nz
Right across the Shore, you can walk the beaches anytime, but there are also walking paths and shared cycle paths to explore, that can take you from where you are to pretty much wherever you’d like to get to.
Try Channel Magazines favourites: the Devonport to Takapuna shared path; North Head (Maungauika) and Mount Victoria (Takarunga) walks; any of the Centennial Park trails in Campbell’s Bay; Le Roys Bush from Shoal Bay to Birkenhead central – or take side trips; the Chelsea Heritage Walk, also in Birkenhead; a circuit of the Tuff Crater on the edge of Northcote near the northern motorway. The Doc and Auckland Council websites have plenty more suggestions – and your local community centre will also be a mine of info about local walks. Watch out for any tracks closed to prevent kauri dieback.
<< photo of Centennial park>>
Right through summer – H.M Bark Endeavour: Paintings of Captain James Cook's Voyage to the South Pacific, the lobby, Spencer on Byron Hotel, Takapuna. An exhibition of paintings by Alan Sanders, capturing moments from the voyages of H.M. Bark Endeavour. Each piece illustrates one day's diary entry from Cook's travels to Aotearoa and the South Pacific.
13 December, St George’s Church, Takapuna, 7.30pm. Harbour Voices presents ’twas the Night before Christmas. Mystical renaissance carols, ancient Latin advent hymns, Nutcracker’s crackers,
and the whimsical musical setting of Clement C. Moore’s beloved Christmas poem ‘Twas the Night before Christmas’.
13 December, The Christmas Spectacular, City Impact Church, Brown’s Bay, 7.30pm. Free Christmas Variety Show – a travelling circus embarks on a journey around Russia as they discover the true meaning of Christmas. Singing, dancing and even a little snow!
School Holiday programmes:
Most local community centres offer programmes before and after Christmas. For those with an “arty” bent, try:
6-13 & 19-25 January, A Shakespeare Sampler, a drama programme to demystify the Bard, for 12-16 year olds. Two five-day blocks, 8.45am-3pm.
13-19 January, 8.45am-3pm, Under the Big Top, giving 7-11 year olds the opportunity to learn how to put on a circus-themed show.
From 13 - 24 January 2020, from 10am - 3pm Lake House Arts has a comprehensive programme of art-based holiday programmes. Details at https://www.lakehousearts.org.nz/class/school-holiday-classes/
16-21 January, Mairangi Arts Centre kids’ School Holiday Programme, 10am-3pm daily. A range of art classes – fun for kids that also teach valuable art skills. Details at www.mairangiarts.co.nz.
<<Lake House Arts pic>>
In summary, whether your “thing” is arts, sport, theatre, or simply getting out into the outdoors on the many walkways and cycleways, the Shore has plenty to offer. Enjoy summer and make the most of it.