Here’s a list of 37 things to see and do in Auckland that are perfect for entertaining kids.
1. Sky Tower
The epitome of Auckland, the Sky Tower. If you haven’t been in a while, the school holidays are the perfect time to head up.
2. Auckland Zoo
Fun for kids of all ages, Auckland Zoo is the perfect school holiday activity. Walk through the safari to observe the giraffes and zebras, watch the elephants play, the cheeky monkeys swing and more. You can even take a picnic lunch to munch on in Western Springs park.
MOTAT (or the Museum of Transport and Technology) is home to some super-cool vintage machines that the kids will have a blast looking at. Planes, trains, and automobiles can all be found at MOTAT. Not to mention some cool technology bits like old printing presses and telephones.
4. Mini Golf
Mini golf is simply a load of fun for everyone. Head to one of these mini golf courses in Auckland – just be cautious, it could get competitive.
5. Rock climbing
Rock climbing is a fun and challenging activity for the kids these holidays. We’ve rounded up all the places you can go climbing in Auckland.
Escape the summer sun and head to Snowplanet for some snowy fun. You’ll be able to get the kids skiing and snowboarding without leaving Auckland.
7. Butterfly Creek
Butterfly Creek doesn’t just have butterflies … Crocodiles, monkeys, reptiles and farm animals abound! If you’re brave, you might even venture into their realistic, super-sized Dinosaur Kingdom! Don’t forget the miniature train rides and playground. So much to do!
8. Kelly Tarlton’s
Go on an underwater adventure to Kelly Tarlton’s, explore Scott’s Base and see sharks and stingrays.
9. Kiwi Valley
Get in touch with your rural side at Kiwi Valley Farm yard. The farm has horses, as well as other farmyard animals such as pigs, goats, donkeys and alpacas.
10. High Ropes Confidence Courses
High ropes are a great way to build confidence and have fun at the same time. There are a few around Auckland, including Rocket Ropes, where you can choose from 3 courses with over 50 different challenges. Or, head out to Tree Adventures at Woodhill Forest, where up in the sky you can unleash your inner monkey and choose from one of 10 courses with over 100 different activities.
11. Trampoline parks
If the kids are driving you up the wall, head to one of these trampoline parks, where they can jump and bounce around to their hearts’ content.
12. Odyssey Sensory Maze
Send the kids on a sensory journey through the Odyssey maze. The maze will invigorate and indulge the sense and challenge the mind, plus they will have a load of fun.
Turn the kids into mini astronomers at Stardome. Head along at night to observe the stars or go during the day to catch the planetarium show ‘We Are Stars’, an immersive show that takes you on an adventure through time and space to discover our explosive origins.
14. Junior Zookeeper
Sign the kids up to be a zookeeper for a day. Spend the day doing all the things a zookeeper would do: feeding, cleaning and caring for various animals.
15. Ice cream
Try out some seriously impressive ice-cream haunts in Auckland that we know your kids will want to visit (possibly the begging has started already). We’re not just talking large or good value cones here, we’re talking marvellous creations that will knock their socks off. And parents, the best news is that you’ll be more than excited to share in the delight.
16. Silverdale Adventure Park
Head to the Silverdale Adventure Park for a day of thrilling fun. The kids will have a blast going down the luge and the dual zipline, playing in the cosmic zone or heading to space in the spaceship simulator.
17. Whoa Studios
Whoa Studios out West is a brand new family destination. Showcasing the film industry to the young’uns is a fun day out. Head to the Custard of the Caribbean show, then to the playground, and if you fancy a snack there’s a restaurant on-site with a yummy and healthy menu.
18. Party Kingdom
If your child has a birthday these school holidays or you’re just looking for somewhere fun to have a group of friends out for a playdate, head to Party Kingdom, a magical land of fun and excitement. There’s a pirate playground, a bouncy castle and lots more.
19. Water fun
If you have some water babies in the family then we’ve got you covered. Head to one of these places to have some wet and wild fun (some are even free).
20. Parakai Springs
Parakai Springs has large indoor and outdoor pools, as well as two thrilling hydro-slides, which makes for a fun day out for the whole family.
21. Interislander Summer Festival
When the hustle and bustle of Christmas ends, it’s the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind, and create new memories. And when you’re in the mood for a fun and exciting day out with the whole family, the races are the place to be: Action-packed, full of interesting things to see, and accessible to all ages. There are so many great reasons to make a special day of it!
24. Fantastical treasure hunt
Oh, how kids love treasure hunts. There seems to be no end to their excitement when in pursuit of hidden treats or messages. Luckily, we’ve found a few treasures of our own (of the app variety), that you can add to your bounty of tricks for getting the kids outdoors.
25. Auckland Museum
The Auckland Museum is free for the Auckland ratepayer, so make sure you take something with your address to avoid paying. Home to loads of different exhibitions that the kids will love, including the Weird and Wonderful section where they can explore in a little more hands-on way.
26. Flying foxes
Flying foxes can keep kids entertained for hours, and we’ve found the best ones right here in Auckland. Explore the list here.
Kids love playgrounds, especially young ones. We’ve found the best playgrounds in Auckland, see if you can work your way through them all these holidays. Find the list here.
28. Bike tracks
One for the more adventurous kids. If bike riding down the street is getting a little boring, then head to one of these bike tracks and let them loose.
29. Auckland Art Gallery
The Auckland Art Gallery is free entry except for some exhibitions. Wander around the gallery, but then don’t forget to go to the Creative Learning Centre where the kids can use all the inspiration from around the gallery and channel it into their own art.
30. Auckland Maritime Museum
Much like the Auckland Museum, the Maritime Museum is free for Aucklanders. Take the kids along to learn all about our maritime history.
31. Arts and Crafts
If you’re planning on staying home, then have a go at some of these arts and crafts.
32. Buggy-friendly walks
If you have a smaller child where long walks involve a pram, then never fear, take the kids on one of these walks, buggy included.
33. Rock painting
Rock painting is taking over. Get the kids involved, they’ll have loads of fun. Get all the deets here.
34. Nerf war
Round up the neighbourhood kids and their nerf guns and have a nerf war. Set up some challenges and hiding places, the kids will be out playing for hours.
35. Splash Pads
Now that the weather is warming up, break out the togs and head to one of these splash pads for some aquatic fun.
36. Outdoor Movies
Auckland Council are putting on free open air movies in the parks this summer. Take along a picnic and you’ll be set for the evening.
37. Beach fun
New Zealand boasts 29,000 kilometres of coastline, and Auckland has more than its fair share of great beaches. Kids love to play in the sand for hours (and hours!), so take along accessories for their creations like little trucks, diggers and racing cars. Another favourite is beach cricket, which can also be played using tightly packed sand balls and driftwood bats. There’ll be sand everywhere, but kids love it!