Britomart highlights this week – Thursday 13 December to Thursday 20 December

Street Kai on Takutai – the Christmas edition, more Strange Summer Sounds and visit an NYC icon at Britomart

We’re on the seven-day countdown to the second edition of Street Kai on Takutai on Thursday 20 December. This time the trucks we’ll be welcoming are The Rolling Pin, Double Dutch Fries, Peach’s Hot Chicken, Grub, Sweet As Crepes, Hapunan Filipino Cuisine, Ola’s Latin Food, Grown-Up Donuts, Kraken Crumpets and vegan eats from Otherside, Get more details on all the mouth-watering offerings here. And our our own Mexico, Orleans and Miann will be repeating their popular street-food stands. Bring your biggest appetite – choosing what to have is the only hard part! The fun starts at 11am and goes all day till 9pm, which is when our shops are staying open till as well, so you can sneak in a bit of Christmas shopping on the side.

At the dawn ceremony to celebrate the installation of Charlotte Graham’s Te Waiora artwork last week, one of the highlights was the hula dance performed by Aruna Po-Ching. We talked to her about the history and significance of hula dance in the Pasifika region – click here to read it. And if you’d like to see Aruna Po-Ching perform again in real life, come along to Takutai Square next Wednesday 19 December at 5pm to see her perform again

If you’re passing through the Atrium on Takutai before Christmas, you can take a detour up the stairs to Level 1 to get a #selfie on Santa Throne. It’s been put there by the good people at Westpac, who are collecting unwrapped gifts and non-perishable food items for the Auckland City Mission in the boxes by the throne. The boxes are being collected Monday 17 Dec, so tomorrow’s your last chance to spread a little Christmas cheer there.

Chris Hutchison, aka @chippydraws, is a man of few words and many, many pictures. His artworks often feature strange and adorable creatures, swarming en masse to mysterious ends. He created the burger character who’s the face of our recurring Street Kai on Takutai event, and he’s designed ‘Side-Eyes’, one of two custom-made wrapping papers (above) available at our Christmas gift-wrap stand in the Atrium on Takutai. Come and get your gifts wrapped for free every day from 11am-5pm until Sunday 23 December – we’re collecting donations for Auckland City Mission at the same time. We had a brief but rewarding chat with Chris about his gift-wrap design, his work and summer holiday plans. Read it here.

The sunset glow and fizz of an Aperol Spritz is everything we love about summer in a cocktail glass. So we’ll be sure to enjoy a few up at Seven, as Aperol does a summer takeover of the rooftop bar at Seafarers. “Club Aperol” as it’ll be called, will serve a calendar of events to celebrate the herbaceous Italian aperitif throughout the sunny months of the year.

This Christmas, Tiffany & Co are bringing a little piece of New York to Britomart, in the form of a genuine NYC taxi cab in signature Tiffany blue. Keep an eye out for it, parked outside the Tiffany & Co store at 33 Galway St, or cruising the streets of the city spreading a bit of Christmas cheer from Thursday 13 to Saturday 15 December, starting at 10am and signing off at 6pm.

This Saturday sees the second session of Strange Summer Streets in the Square. (Wow, that was a lot of assonance.) This week the line-up of young Kiwi singer-songwriters includes jazz-inspired Ella Barwick from 3pm-3.40pm, Jimmy Earle (pictured) from 3.40pm-4.20pm and Ella Crooks from 4.20pm-5pm. Plus, the team from Sweet As Crepes will be on site, serving up their circles of deliciousness to stave off listeners’ hunger pangs as you enjoy the music all afternoon

Here’s how to start your weekend feeling great – join Lululemon’s free Spin+Yoga class this Saturday at 9.30am in Takutai Square alongside the La Cigale market. Sam Berryman will lead a 30-minute Spin class (book your bike here) followed by Juan Diaz leading 30 minutes of yoga. For added feel-good factor, bring a non-perishable can of food, toy or piece of clothing to donate to Auckland City Mission.

Seems like lunchtimes happen early at Britomart. Our 12.30pm Tuesday and Thursday meditation sessions with Nick and Danica from Bikes and Bends have been really popular, but the 1pm ones appear to be running a bit late for the lunch crowd. So we’re switching the time of the first daily session to 12pm, with the second at 12.30pm, to give you more of a chance to chill out before you chow down.