What’s on: kick-starting summer with some seriously fun events

Pic 1_Ellerslie

As the weather heats up, your social calendar will too.

With only two weeks left of November, summer is well and truly around the corner – now that’s what we call a reason to celebrate! In order to help you toast the incoming warmer weather, we have rounded up our pick of the best events over the coming weeks to help you kick off your summer fun.

Barfoot & Thompson Twilight Summer Night

Wednesday 13th December, Ellerslie Racecourse, Gates open at 3.30pm

Make the most of your favourite summer dresses and soak up the late afternoon sun at everyone’s favourite evening racing event at Ellerslie Racecourse, the Barfoot & Thompson Twilight Summer Night. This year’s event is set to be extra special, with the addition of the international Jockeys’ World Cup Prelude (JWC), with a number of spaces to be enjoyed including corporate tents, private rooms and balconies, shared dining spaces and the infamous Garden Party. The party doesn’t stop when the racing does either, with the on-site after party taking place at Ellerslie’s Cuvée Champagne Bar so you can keep going even after the sun goes down. Grab your friends and your fascinators and get ready for the evening event you do not want to miss.

Tickets start at $10pp. For more information visit


Moët Ice Summer Sessions

Friday 8th December, Friday 19th January and Friday 16th February, 4pm – 7pm, HeadQuarters

Nothing says summer more than a glass of Moët Ice in the sun. And what better way to enjoy it than at the Moët Ice Summer Sessions? Taking place over December, January and February at HeadQuarters bar in the Viaduct, the events will feature DJ sets from Jaimie Webster Haines, Justin Sweeney and Gracie Taylor as well as a curated Moët Ice Impérial cocktail list. A little bit different to your traditional glass of champagne, Moët Ice is made to be enjoyed over ice with the addition of garnishes to enhance its flavour, such as mint leaves, lime or white grapefruit zest, cucumber peel, slices of ginger, cardamom seeds and any red fruit. The ultimate summer drink and the ultimate summer evening – you know where to find us over these three Fridays!

For more information visit


Toast Martinborough

Sunday 19th November, 9.30am – 7.00pm, Martinborough Vineyards

Celebrate the upcoming warm weather with a day of food, wine and music in one of the country’s most beautiful wine regions at Toast Martinborough. With a circuit of nine different wineries, spend your day strolling (or taking the shuttle bus if walking isn’t your style) between the vineyards, sampling the wine and food on offer. Finish up back in The Square, where Steve Carlin and The Beat Girls will keep the party going into the evening. Perfect for a weekend away from city life, Toast Martinborough is the perfect way to kick off your summer event calendar!

For more information and tickets visit


Air New Zealand Queenstown International Marathon

Saturday 18th November, Queenstown

Fast-track your summer body by entering the Queenstown International marathon! With 42km, 21km, 10km, and 2.2km kids run options, you can pick the option that suits you and your fitness levels, while being able to run through one of the New Zealand’s most beautiful spots. The best part about this marathon? The abundance of food and wine destinations for post-run celebrations!

For more information and registration, visit


Kaleidoscope at Auckland Art Gallery

Wednesday 22nd November, 7.00pm, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki

The shining star of Auckland’s art scene, the Auckland Art Gallery is not only the home of a plethora of local art, but also hosts a number of internationally acclaimed exhibitions.However, due to a reduction in council funding, the gallery is having serious issues with carrying on the amazing work that they do. Rather than accept defeat, they are hosting a one-night-only event, that will no doubt be an evening to remember. Kaleidoscope will feature DJ sets from Jaimie Webster Haines, along with original compositions from brothers Nathan and Joel Haines, as well as an abundance of food and drinks. All funds raised will support the work of the Auckland Art Gallery via the Auckland Art Gallery Foundation. Music, dancing, art and a good cause? Count us in!

For more information and tickets visit eventfinda.


Jingle and Mingle

Wednesday 6th December, Britomart

Due to the sold-out success of Britomart’s previous annual progressive dinners, they are holding an extra special festive edition for one night only in December – lucky us! The progressive dinner visits four of Britomart’s most popular spots – The Store, Ebisu, Amano and Ostro, with good food and drinks aplenty. The evening will begin at the Store with canapés, before moving to Ebisu for entrée, Amano for the main course, and finally, upstairs to Ostro to finish the evening with cheese, a nightcap, and some of the best views in Auckland. Four start times are available – 5.30pm, 6.15pm, 7pm, and 7.45pm, but get in quick as tickets sell out every time. An amazing way to sample four of Britomart’s most popular dining destinations, meet new people and make the most of the longer days.

For more information and tickets visit


Grey Goose Pop-Up at Custom Lane

Thursday 24th November – Saturday 9th December, Custom Lane

For a fortnight only, Grey Goose will be bringing a slice of France to Auckland with a pop-up bar at Custom Lane. Featuring a list of cocktails with canapés to match, as well as a crêpe cart and a live DJ, this new spot will be the perfect place to ring in the first weeks of summer. The menu features cocktail pairings such as the Grey Goose Le Grand Fizz, a long, light, refreshing combination of Grey Goose vodka, St-Germain Elderflower liqueur and fresh lime, topped with chilled soda, paired with Roquefort blue cheese, pear and honey crostini; and the delicious Grey Goose Espresso Martini, paired with petite chocolate truffle tart with poppy seed tuile. With all the makings to transport you to France – or at least your transport your tastebuds there – all we can say is bon appétit!

The Grey Goose pop up at Custom Lane runs from Thursday 24th of November to Saturday 9th of December, from 3pm.

Words: Molly Codyre
Photos: Supplied