: If you're not disappearing out of the city then the Royal Easter Show is an easy pick. It's truly fun for the whole family. Kids can be entertained by shows from the superhero troupe PJ Masks, the animals in Farmworld's petting zoo, the award-winning Zirka Circus and all the kid-friendly rides. Older thrill-seekers can seek out attractions like the Turbo Boost, NZ's most extreme carnival ride, which hits 120km/h and pulls 3.5 Gs, the Hurricane which shoots you 12m into the air or the self-explanatory Scream Machine. During the weekend, the main stage is filled with music from the likes of Che Fu, Sons of Zion and lounge trio Velour Estate — among many others — as well as the more esoteric strong-man competition and Timber Tina's Lumberjack and Jill Show. Each night closes with a bang as a firework display lights up the sky at 9pm. Entry is free and there are various deals and ride packages to choose from. Visit eastershow.co.nz for all the details and the programme.
Easter Show, ASB Showgrounds, Friday — Tuesday
: It's not a school night — and they've got extra days to recover, anyway — so a Good Friday movie could be in order and who doesn't love
The Lion King
? Based on Shakespeare's
— only in Africa, with animals — young Simba has to flee his home after his evil Uncle Scar takes over the lion pride. Simba finds as new home and friends in the jungle and spends his days enjoying life until his past comes back to haunt him. Bring along a rug to sit on, enjoy a food truck dinner and a classic flick.
The Lion King, Silo Park, Friday at 9pm
: Following a set at the Splore festival, local rockers Racing perform a special Easter midnight show. To work around Good Friday, the gig kicks off at midnight, with DJs Caston Major and Tony M opening, and a closing set from Sal Valentine. Racing last year released
EP, a groovy selection of four rock/electronica tracks. Worth staying up late for.
Racing, Cassette Nine, Good Friday at midnight
: If you're up for some hairy prog-metal, you'll want to be at Trusts Arena on Saturday night. That's where Atlanta genre titans Mastodon perform. A show highly anticipated by metal fans, the Grammy winners are known for their grinding riff-fests and three vocalists and will be playing in support of their latest album
Emperor of Sand
. Other acts on the bill include Gojira and Kiwis Just One Fix and Mothra.
Mastodon, Trusts Arena, Saturday night
Bruce Mason Centre
: Is there a surer sign that winter is on its way than the clocks going back this weekend (Sunday at 2am)? So the temptation to keep that summer feeling going a little longer is strong and a musical set on a sunny Greek island paradise where everyone sings and dances despite the trying circumstances — a young woman's quest to discover the identity of her father — is surely tempting.
is back in Auckland with the dancing-in-the-aisles musical numbers set to Abba's hit songs.
Mamma Mia, Bruce Mason Centre, evening and matinee performances all weekend except Good Friday