Christmas & New Year in Wellington

14 November 2014

Wellington will welcome 2015 at Frank Kitts Lagoon with a free, family friendly, New Year’s Eve celebration. “The first Capital to see 2015 will celebrate in style,” says Mayor Celia Wade-Brown.

New Year’s Eve at the lagoon will kick off with free family entertainment from 8pm, followed by clips of iconic local films on the big screen with a live soundtrack from Orchestra Wellington from 10pm. The night will wrap up at midnight with a spectacular fireworks display.

“New Year’s Eve will cap off a festive season full of fun and excitement for Wellingtonians – including the much anticipated return of Christmas trees to the central city,” says Mayor Wade-Brown.

A new and improved Christmas tree in Midland Park will be joined by a second tree on Courtenay Place, which will be officially lit up on Monday 1 December, with entertainment from 8.30pm.

“We’ve listened to feedback from Wellingtonians and this year will be better than ever – with old favourites like the Santa Parade and traditional Christmas trees, as well as new initiatives including pop-up carols around the city and suburbs,” says Mayor Wade Brown.

“I’m particularly excited about dressing up the Cable Car and the entrance to the Wellington Railway Station, and helping to make Christmas in Wellington a fun and festive occasion for everyone.”

Retailers say they are pleased to see the return of Christmas trees and festivities. “With fewer than seven weeks until the big day, many consumers are already doing their Christmas shopping,” Retail NZ Chief Executive Mark Johnston said today. "The trees and pop-up carols will help shoppers feel the Christmas spirit and attract them to the CBD.”

December events in Wellington

Official lighting up of the Courtenay Place Christmas Tree

8.30pm, 1 December, Courtenay Place Park

Join Mayor Celia Wade-Brown to celebrate switching on the lights at the new Courtenay Place Christmas Tree.

Santa Parade

2pm, 14 December, Lambton Quay to Manners Street

The Santa Parade starts at the corner of Lambton Quay, travels Lambton Quay, Willis Street, Mercer Street and Victoria Street, before ending on Manners Street. Be sure to arrive early, and use public transport or walk if possible.

Santa’s After Party

3.15-4.30pm,14 December, Frank Kitts Park

After the parade, Nick Tansley will host a carols party for the kids in Frank Kitts Park – featuring a performance by Santa too. They’ll be carol singing and loads of entertainment to get you in the Christmas spirit. The Underground Market will also be open for last-minute gift buying.

Carols

While there won’t be a ‘Carols by Candlelight’ this year, there will be ‘Pop-Up Carols’ and Summer City performances around the CBD and suburbs throughout December.

New Year’s Eve

8pm-Midnight, 31 December, Frank Kitts Lagoon

Celebrate New Year’s Eve in style with music, films and fireworks by Frank Kitts Park Lagoon. The evening kicks off with free family entertainment then from 10pm there’ll be clips of iconic local films on the big screen with a live soundtrack from Orchestra Wellington. Keep an eye on the countdown clock – at midnight we’ll welcome 2015 with a spectacular fireworks display.