You're spoilt for choice tonight if you're wanting to start your Big Day Out celebrations early. Local rock lads the Datsuns will be sweating up The Bacco Room showcasing tracks from their upcoming album, while Ruban Nielson's Unknown Mortal Orchestra will be headlining the Big Night In at the Kings Arms with fuzzy electro-indie acts She's So Rad and Ghostwave in support. Meanwhile controversial rap crew Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All, led by 20-year-old Tyler the Creator will be posturing and provoking at The Powerstation.
And if you're into a bit of music, but generally restricted by babysitting requirements, then the Bloom Family Festival at Matakana from Friday to Sunday may be just the ticket, with plenty to entertain adults and kids of all ages.
Local summer blockbuster, and much anticipated sequel, Sione's 2: Unfinished Business opens today. The "Duckrockers" are reunited after a family tragedy, and sent on another quest around Auckland, searching for one Samoan in the biggest Pacific Island population in the world. There's mischief and mayhem aplenty, as the boys try to grow up and face their individual mid-life crises along the way.
Quietly simmering spy thriller Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy also opens today. The adaptation of John le Carre's famous novel features an avalanche of acting talent (Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Tom Hardy, Mark Strong, Benedict Cumberbatch, John Hurt, and Ciaran Hinds among them) in a beautifully stylised and shadowy maze of deception.
Bill Bailey may look like a character from Halo in this photo but he's actually guest starring as a sort of intergalactic forest ranger in this week's Doctor Who Christmas Special, 8.30pm tonight, on Prime. Titled "The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe", it's inspired by the first book in the Chronicles of Narnia series, and of course the spirit of Christmas.
SoHo launches into 2012 with new series Hell On Wheels, 8.30pm on Sunday. Starring Anson Mount and hip-hop star Common, it takes the Old West grit of Deadwood to the unforgiving world of the Union Pacific Railroad construction, across the US in 1865.
The annual Chinese New Year festival and market day at ASB Showgrounds kicks off two weeks of celebrations on Saturday between 9.30am and 4pm. There will be performances featuring shadow puppetry and traditional musical instruments, martial arts and tai chi demonstrations, and more than 200 specialist stalls selling traditional and exotic delicacies.