1. Discover the Arataki Nature Trail in the Waitakere Ranges
Start from the Arataki Visitor Centre, 300 Scenic Drive, Oratia, Waitakere
Open Monday to Friday: 10:00am to 4:00pm, Saturday and Sunday 9:00am to 5:00pm
Start with a vist to the Arataki Vistor Centre, look at the displays inside and see the stunning views. The Arataki Nature Trail starts from the Visitor Centre and is a network of three gravelled loop walks - The Upper and Lower Loops and the shorter plant indentification loop. The identification loop, is a flat loop suitable for buggies and has the trees and plants named. The upper and lower loops have gentle gradients and some steps There is a large grove of kauri trees at the end of the lower loop. School aged children will enjoy the walk.
2. Take the kids snow tubing, skiing or snowboarding
Snowplanet, 91 Small Road, Silverdale
Open daily from 9am until midnight in the school holidays.
Take the kids for fun family day out of snow tubing, skiing or snowboarding at Auckland's only indoor ski slope Snowplanet.
3. Visit the Winter Gardens and explore the Auckland Domain
Auckland Domain, Park Road, Grafton, Auckland
Choose a sunny day to take the kids for a picnic and discover all the hidden gems in the Auckland Domain. Don't miss the duck ponds, the Wintergardens and the fishpond, or the band rotunda. Give the kids the challenge of finding the eight sculptures in the domain during the day. Go for a short native bush walk, choose from "Lovers Walk", "The Nikau Walk" and more. Visit the kiosk for an ice cream or coffee. Then if you bring a ball from home, you can play a game on one of the sports fields.
Cost: FREE family day out (apart from your food and drinks)
4. Become an animal champion at Auckland Zoo
Auckland Zoo, Western Springs, Auckland
Saturday 8 July to Sunday 23 July 2017
Become an animal champion at Auckland Zoo these July school holidays and be in to win great prizes. On arrival, choose from among five incredible species you’d like to help - the elephant, kiwi, tuatara, tiger or giraffe. Collect the activity sheet for the animal you’d like to champion, then venture around the Zoo to take part in interactive activities and complete your animal activity sheet to gain your certificate as official animal champion.
Cost: Normal Zoo admission prices apply.
5. Go on an urban park crawl
Public playgrounds in Auckland
Instead of going to your local park, take your family on an urban park crawl to discover some new or different parks in Auckland.If you are looking for ideas on parks to try: visit our Top 10 Playgrounds Page or visit our friend at Playground Auckland who always has lots of videos of the newly opened Auckland parks.
Plus to add a bit more fun to you day, why not add in a lunch time stop at the top of one of Auckland's mountains such as Mount Eden, Mount Wellington, One Tree Hill or NorthHead.
Cost: FREE (apart from your transport costs)
6. Go to the theatre to see a live family show
There are lots of shows on in the July school holidays for children. Choose from:
- Auckland Live's FREE fun Pick & Mix series is on each weekend;
- The Very Hungery Caterpillar at the Bruce Mason Centre
- The Great Piratical Rumbustification at The PumpHouse Theatre
- The Road That Wasn't There at the Aotea Centre
- The Lorax and the Moneybays at the Hawkins Theatre
- The Wiggles at the Bruce Mason Centre
- The Little Mermaid JR at the Playghouse Theatre
For more information on the July school holiday shows for children click here.
7. Go fishing with your family from an Auckland wharf
8. Take the family for some intergalatic fun at MOTAT
MOTAT, 806 Great North Road, Western Springs, Auckland
Saturday 8 July to Saturday 23 July 2017: 10:00am to 5:00pm daily
Experience being a rocket scientist for a day in Starbound - Mission: Solar and discover the secrets of the Sun in the newly opened exhibition, Sunlight – Ihi Kōmaru. Consider the thrills and challenges of space exploration and figure out how technology could help humans colonise this vast frontier. Putting their creative skills to work, kids will also get to build and launch their very own air-powered rocket.
Read about our visit to the Sunlight – Ihi Kōmaru Exhibition here.
Cost: Kids under 5 are FREE; Children 5 years plus $10; Adults $19; Family pass $45 (2 adults and up to 4 children)
9. Visit your local library to find out "What Lies Beneath?"
Auckland Public Libraries
Saturday 8 to Sunday 23 July 2017
Auckland Libraries have put together a great range of events to keep kids busy these holidays, all related to the theme 'What Lies Beneath...' Explore under the sea, under the mountain, under the rocks, under the garden and more. Find out what activities are on at your local library here
10. Visit the yacht in which Sir Peter Blake explored the world
Karanga Plaza, Viaduct Harbour, Auckland
Saturday 8 to Sunday 9 July 2017
The French vessel, Tara, is in New Zealand for the first time since the death of Kiwi yachtsman, environmentalist and hero, Sir Peter Blake. Tara is halfway through a 2 year oceanographic voyage studying coral reefs in the Pacific Ocean.
Tara is open to the public until 9 July with crew on board to share knowledge and understanding of the scientific work Tara conducts with a focus on the ocean. Also there is an outdoor exhibition, so everyone will be able to get a great understanding of the fantastic work that this vessel has, and still does achieve around the world. Bookings are recommended to secure a time slot to tour Tara here
11. See the Wild Things in the Auckland Museum Sold out
Monday 10, Saturday 15, Sunday 16, Tuesday 18 and Saturday 22 July 2017
Families, answer the call of the wild. Bring a torch and explore Auckland Museum after hours and meet creatures with stories to tell. Packed full of performances, quirky characters, music and fun,
Tickets: Advance $20; Door Sales $25
12. Take the family for a day out of fun at Rainbow's End
Rainbow's End, 2 Clist Crescent, Manukau
Open daily in the winter school holidays from 10:00am to 5:00pm
If your children and teenagers like theme parks, then Rainbow's End should definitely be on the list these school holidays. There are lots of rides to suit everyone, bumper boats, roller coasters, AA Drivers Town, the classic log flume, stratosfear and Kidz Kingdom with rides especially for the Under 8's. Plus in the holidays. Read about our visit to Rainbow's End here.
Online tickets: Kidz Kingdom $17 to $38; Superpass child $48; Superpass adult $59;
13. Explore a different part of Auckland: Orewa & Silverdale
Instead of leaving Auckland for the holidays, take the family on daytrips to discover a different part of Auckland and be a tourist in your own city.
These holidays spend a day discovering Orewa and Silverdale. Here are our pick of the Top 11 things to do in Orewa & Silverdale on a family day out.
14. Learn about dinosaurs and dragons
Stardome Observatory Planetarium
Monday 10 July to Friday 14 July 2017: 10am; 1pm & 2pm sessions
Monday 17 July to Friday 21 July 2017: 10am and 1pm & 2pm sessions
Dinosaurs, Dragons, claw and roars! Stardome has turned their attention to real and mythological creatures these school holidays. Catch Dinosaurs at Dusk at 10am or 1pm or Dragons: Real Myths & Unreal Legends at 2pm in the planetarium theatre. Then head into the space room for activities, dry ice experiments and interactive fun. If the weather is nice watch water-powered rockets being let off outside.
If you are looking for something to do after your visit to Stardome, there is a fun playground right next to Stardome, or you can take the kids on a loop walk to explore Cornwall Park.
Tickets: Children $12; Adult $10
15. Meet the living volcano Mataoho
Mangere Mountain, 100 Coronation Road, Mangere Bridge, Auckland
Monday 10 to Friday 14 July 2017: 10:00am to 3:00pm
Monday 17 to Friday 21 July 2017: 10:00am to 3:00pm
With more than 50 volcanoes in Auckland; did you know this is the only one that is alive – everyday? See live simulations of how the lava flows, hunt for volcanic treasure and make your own volcano to take home. You can explore the volcanoes sites and sights too. Story experiences are on at 11;00am, 12:30pm and 2:00pm. To ensure you don't miss out bookings are recommended
Tickets: $10 per child
16. Play on the urban playground and see a show at Whoa!
Whoa! Studios, 8/14 Henderson Valley Road, Henderson
The live stage show "Space Aliens from Outer Space" is on:
Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 July 2017: 10am, 12:30pm and 3pm show
Wednesday 12 to Sunday 16 July 2017: 10am, 12:30pm and 3pm show
Wednesday 19 to Sunday 23 July 2017: 10am; 12;30pm and 3pm show
The Urban playground is open:
Mon to Wed: 9am to 3pm, Thurs to Sun: 9am to 6pm
See the new Custard's World Adventure live show "Space Aliens from Outer Space" at the state of the art movie stage set. Plus the kids can burn off some energy having fun playing on the urban playground before and after the show. The kids never seem to tire of playing on the giant crochet net.
If you are hungry you can always grab a bite to eat at The Grounds modern family eatery, or get one of the stunning handmade ice creams, coffee or drinks from their Tuck Shop.
Tickets for the show: Online special Children and adults $21.45 per person (includes complimentary pass to the urban playground for kids);
FREE for under 3 years olds when sitting an an adults lap,
Urban Playground tickets: FREE on the day you see a show or $10 per child
17. Discover the Torpedo Bay Navy Museum
Torpedo Bay Navy Museum, 64 King Edward Parade, Torpedo Bay, Devonport
Museum opening hours: Daily from 10:00am to 5:00pm
Holiday fun sessions on weekdays at 10:30am, 11:30am, 1:30pm and 2:30pm
On weekdays take the kids to take part in the "Action Stations: Off the charts" holiday activities at the museum. Plus afterwards the museum has a fun outdoor playground next right next to their cafe to keep everyone satisfied. You can just turn up for the holiday activities, but bookings are recommended on 09 445 5186 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to get the time slot you would like.
For more ideas of what else you can do in Devonport read more here.
Cost: Admission to the museum is FREE. "Action Stations: Off the Charts" holiday activity is $4 per person.
18. Visit one of Auckland's black sand beaches
Who doesn't love going to one of Auckland's wild black sand beaches on a winters day? If you are lucky your family may even have the beach almost to yourself. There are plenty to pick from, some of our favourites are:
Cost: FREE apart from the petrol to get there.
19. Check out the school holiday fun at Butterfly Creek
Butterfly Creek, 10-12 Tom Pearce Drive, Airport Oaks, Manukau, Auckland
Open daily: 9:00am to 5:30pm
Butterfly Creek is the perfect family place to hang out these school holidays. There’s heaps to do, visit Scar the crocodile or experience the amazing butterfly house with over 700 butterflies. Don’t miss the Dinomite Show and enjoy mask colouring in the Boneyard room. Check out Butterfly Creek's School Holiday Calendar for lots of other fun activities.
Tickets: Save 10% when you buy your tickets online for the school holidays, using the promo code HOLIDAY10
20. See the Mountain of Light installation in Aotea Square
Aotea Square, Auckland CBD
Saturday 8 to Sunday 23 July 2017 (Go after sunset to see the coloured lights)
Take the kids to see Angus Muir Design and Puck Murphy's impressive digital light installation Mountain of Light. Reminiscent of an iceberg by day, at night the sculpture lights up in an interactive display of changing coloured light, prompted by the movements of those around it.
21. Go ice skating or play in the Snow Dome in Aotea Square
Aotea Square, Auckland
Ice Rink: Saturday 8 July and Saturday 22 July 2017: 10am to 10pm
Sunday 23 July 2017: 10am to 9pm
Snow Dome: Monday to Friday: Noon to 6pm; Saturday and Sunday: 10am to 6pm
Enjoy ice skating and the giant Snow Dome in Aotea square in the winter school holidays. Plus during the weekdays of the school holiday there is a snow foam party when snow falls on the ice at 10am and 1pm on weekdays.
Ice Skating Tickets (including 90 mins skate hire): Children under 12 years $15; Adults $20; Family pass (2 adults and 2 children or 1 adult and 3 children) $55
Helmets and skating frames for beginners available for hire
Snow Dome Tickets: $5 for 30 minutes.
22. Build, decorate and fly your own kite
Out and About Kite Day
Allenby Road Park, Papatoetoe Tuesday 11 July 2017: 1:00pm to 3:00pm
Howick Domain, Howick: Wednesday 12 July 2017 :1:00pm to 3:00pm
Rowandale Reserve, Manurewa Tuesday 18 July 2017: 1:00pm to 3:00pm
Bledisloe Park, Pukekohe Wednesday 19 July 2017: 1:00pm to 3:00pm
Facebook page: OutandAboutAKL
Build, decorate and fly your own kit set kite at your local park.
Cost: FREE family activity
23. Visit the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition
Auckland Museum, Auckland Domain, Auckland
Saturday 8 to Sunday 3 December 2017
If your children love animals, make sure you go to see the breathtaking wildlife photographs from the Natural History Museum in London.The exhibition illustrates the majesty and vulnerability of life on our planet – from spotted hyenas to humpback whales, from urban leopards to wild orangutans.
Kids can create their own curious creature in the Wildlife Studio with a hands-on activity too.
Cost: FREE entry for Aucklanders
(Bring proof of Auckland residence with you, such as a library card or power bill)
24. Go out for a family dinner
25. Take the kids to see a working farm at Ambury Farm
43 Ambury Road, Mangere Bridge, Auckland
Open daily: 8:00am to 6:30pm
Take the kids to see sheep, goats, pigs, turkey, cows, chickens, peacocks. Plus the Ambury lambs are due in mid July so if you are lucky you will be able to see the baby lambs. Watch the dairy cows being miled at around 10:00am. Plus there is plenty of bird watching opportunities. You may want to bring your gumboots in winter.