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Auckland Anniversary Weekend 2018 in Auckland for Kids and Families

Auckland for Kids weekend what's on guide

The BEST of what's on this Auckland Anniversary weekend in Auckland for Kids: Saturday 27, Sunday 28 and Monday 29 January 2018

PAST EVENTS: Our pick of the best weekend events on for families, children and teenagers in Auckland, New Zealand

To see upcoming events in Auckland for Kids see our events calendar here.

Auckland Anniversary Weekend Events

Tāmaki Herenga Waka Festival 2018 

Editors Pick

Picture: Tāmaki Herenga Waka Festival 2018

Viaduct Events Centre and Viaduct Harbour
Saturday 27 January 2018: 7:00am to 6:00pm
Sunday 28 and Monday 29 January 2018: 10:00am to 6:00pm

Get up close to Auckland’s unique Māori heritage and culture at the Tāmaki Herenga Waka Festival on the city’s stunning waterfront. Experience the rich Māori connections of Tāmaki Makaurau, linked to 19 different mana whenua groups.Enjoy live traditional and contemporary music and kapa haka; authentic crafts and delicious kai (food). Have a go paddling waka, get out on the harbour on a sailing waka, and learn more about waka culture and history.

New for 2018 is Māori fashion and art; daily waka parades with commentary on waka history and culture; a digital space where you can play games and learn basic te reo Māori; and an audio-described tour for blind and low-vision festival goers (bookings required).

Cost: FREE entry.

SeePort Festival Editors Pick


Captain Cook Wharf, Quay Street, Auckland
Saturday 27 to Monday 29 January 2018: 9:00am to 6:00pm
Facebook: AKLPort

Each year over Auckland Anniversary weekend, Ports of Auckland invites you behind the iconic red fence to discover your port from land, sky or the glistening sea. Captain Cook Wharf is transformed into a bustling summer carnival with family-friendly rides, tours and day-long entertainment on and off the water. Sun and sea are the perfect mix for a long weekend, and best of all it’s mostly free!

Cost: FREE entry


Auckland Dockline Tram


Daldy Street, Wnyard Quarter
Saturday 27 to Monday 29 January 2018: 10:00am to 4:00pm

Tram rides on Auckland Anniversary Weekend.

Cost: Gold coin donation per person.


Auckland Museum on the Waterfront


Te Wero Island, Viaduct Harbour and Silo Park, Wynyard Quarter
Saturday 27 to Monday 29 January 2018: 10:00am to 4:00pm


Join Auckland Museum on the waterfront for fun, family-friendly activities in the new ‘Museum in a Box’ containers. Create and race your own waka, explore the navigation routes of early navigators, or create your own traditional kite.

Cost: FREE event


Bug Lab at Auckland Zoo

Picture: Bug Lab science exhibition at Auckland Zoo

Auckland Zoo, 99 Motions Road, Auckland
Saturday 27 to Auckland Anniversary Day Monday 29 January 2018
Bug Lab is on this summer at Auckland Zoo.

The blockbuster science exhibition from Te Papa and Weta Workshop is on at Auckland Zoo this summer. Featuring massive 3-D bug models within four magical chambers, Bug Lab is a spectacularly immersive and interactive experience for all ages that offers visitors the unique opportunity to learn from the genius of bugs.


Tickets to Bug Lab: Kids under 4 years old are FREE; Children $13, Student $16.50; Adult $18.50; Family Pass  – 1 adult and 2 children $36; Family pass 2 adults and 2 children $50


On Ya Bike holiday experience at MOTAT Last weekend


MOTAT, 805 Great North Road and Meola Road
Saturday 27 to Monday 29 January 2017: 10:00am to 5:00pm daily

The On Ya Bike school holiday experience will take kids on a journey into the fascinating science behind bicycles, before diving into the weird and wacky side of cycling.

Cost: Usual admission charges apply


Auckland International Buskers Festival 2018

Picture: Photo: Auckland International Buskers Festival 2018

Auckland CBD and Waterfront
Saturday 27 to Monday 29 January 2018
Sat, Sun & Mon Noon to 6:00pm: Queens Wharf, Princes Wharf, Eastern Viaduct and Te Wero Island
Sun & Mon 7:30pm to 10:00pm: Market Square and Viaduct Harbour

Auckland International Buskers Festival 2018 brings acrobatics, magic, comedy, dance and unicycles to the masses for an unmissable four days of glorious street theatre. A dozen astonishing performers will blow audiences away with shows that embody everything great about going to a modern circus and everything fun about outdoor performing.

Cost: FREE event


Oceania Champs


Vector Wero Whitewater Park, 770 Great South Road, Manukau, Auckland
Saturday 27 January 2018: 9:00am to 4:00pm Heats
Sunday 28 and Monday 29 January 2018: 9:00am to 1:00pm Semis and Finals

Facebook: CanoeSlalomNZ

Oceania canoe slalom championships.

Cost: FREE


Auckland Anniversary Weekend at the NZ Maritime Museum


NZ Maritime Museum, corner of Quay and Hobson Streets, Viaduct Harbour, Auckland
Saturday 27 to Monday 29 January 2018: 10:00am to 5:00pm

Explore the gallery with our interactive trails, design your own boat in our Blue Water Black Magic gallery looking at New Zealand’s modern sailing heroes, or decide on your own journey story using an activity booklet. Relax and watch the Auckland Anniversary Regatta from the new End of Wharf area, where kids can enjoy the free knot inspired activities and games in the sun.

Cost: FREE entry for Aucklanders.


The Extravaganza Fair


Craigavon Park, Kinross Street, Blockhouse Bay, Auckland
Saturday 27 to Monday 29 January 2018

The Extravaganza Fair is a unique market/festival across New Zealand. You will find market stalls, arts and craft, food, musical entertainment and kids shows. Watch talented musicians playing sweet tunes for your ears, with kids shows running throughout the day – where your children can shine like ‘Stars’ and get involved.

Cost: FREE entry


45th Auckland Folk Festival 2018


Kumeu Showgrounds, Auckland
Saturday 27 to Monday 29 January 2018

Auckland Folk Festival


The Auckland Folk Festival celebrates its 45th anniversary in January with an entertaining and inspiringly diverse line-up of local and international artists.  The family friendly festival showcases folk musicians from around New Zealand and the world to entertain guests of all ages. Festival goers can enjoy a full weekend of concerts, dances and educational workshops.


New Zealand Geographic Photographer of the Year


Special Exhibitions Hall, Auckland Museum
Saturday 27 January to Sunday 25 February 2018: 10:00am to 5:00pm

See the brand new photographic exhibition featuring stunning images from the New Zealand Geographic Photographer of the Year 2017 Competition. The exhibition showcases the work of some of New Zealand’s top photographers.

Cost: FREE for Aucklanders


Waterslide Mania at Snowplanet

Snowplanet, 91 Small Road, Silverdale, Auckland
Saturday 20 to Wednesday 31 January 2018: 2hr sessions at 10:00am, Noon and 2:00pm

Water slide Mania consists of five slippery summer slides; King Cobra (60m), Two Downhill Dragsters (80m), Mega Mountain (20m) and Lightning Luge (16m).

Tickets: Under 18 years old pass $20 for all slides; Lightning Luge slide $10 for younger kids.


Sculpture in the Gardens


Auckland Botanic Gardens, 102 Hill Road, Manurewa, Auckland
Saturday 27 January to Sunday 25 February 2018: 8:00am to 8:00pm

Biennial sculpture show held in the Auckland Botanic Gardens. Take a picnic for a fun free family day out to look at the sculptures and gardens.

Cost: FREE 


The Cloud Markets


The Cloud, Auckland Waterfront, Auckland
Saturday 27 to Monday 28 January 2018: 10:00am to 4:00pm

The Cloud will become a vibrant market full of tastes and exciting mostly NZ made things to buy.  There is a Kids Zone and children’s entertainment too.


Workshops on the Wharf


Playspace in Silo Park ( if it’s raining, in the Karanga Kiosk, temporarily located by the bridge hut opposite Karanga Plaza), Wynyard Quarter
Saturday 27 to Monday 29 January 2018: 11am and 2pm 

Free drop-in workshops where kids play, make, create and problem solve, at the Wynyard Quarter.  On Saturday there is a cut it out workshop with Annie Mahon, on Sunday 3 Ring Riot circus workshop and on Moday street games and creative play with The Open Fort. 


 Saturday Events

Vector Lights Launch Show FREE event

Picture: Vector Lights Launch Show

Auckland Harbour Bridge, Auckland
Saturday 27 January 2018: 9:00pm
Vector Limited

#VectorLights will be switching on the Auckland Harbour Bridge lights tonight. The show will last 5 to 6 minutes and repeat every half hour until midnight.

Cost: FREE event.


Stargazers of Auckland Public Open Day


Stardome, 670 Manukau Road, One Tree Hill, Auckland
Sunday 28 January 2018: 10:00am to 4:00pm

Curious to visit a planetarium? Or perhaps you’re just mad about Space! To celebrate Auckland Anniversary Weekend, Stardome will be having an open day. Short planetarium shows will be running every 30 minutes, there will be a bouncy castle, solar telescopes (weather permitting), popcorn and loads of science fun!

Cost: $2 donation per person


Brazilian Day Festival 2018

Picture: Brazilian Day Festival 2018, Rocket Park, Auckland, New Zealand

Rocket Park, Mount Albert, Auckland, New Zealand map
Saturday 27 January 2018: 10:00am to 6:00pm
Brazilian Day Festival – Auckland, NZ

Enjoy a fun Saturday with a vibrant atmosphere, surrounded by Brazilian culture, food, music and dance.  There is a Kids Zone, food stalls, workshops, live stage performances.

Cost: Free Admission


Movies in Parks: Cars 3

Picture: Cars 3 outdoor movies in Auckland parks

Keith Park, Roys Road, Weymouth, Auckand
Saturday 27 January 2018: 6:40pm to 10:30pm

Lightning McQueen sets out to prove to a new generation of racers that he’s still the best race car in the world. Family activities from 6.40pm. Movie starts at sunset (sunset at approximately 8.40pm).Movie run time 1hr 49min, Film Rating: G.

Cost: FREE family event


Music in Parks: NZ Opera at the Dell

Dingle Dell, Dingle Road, Saint Heliers
Saturday 27 January 2018: 6:00pm to 8:00pm

Enjoy Auckland Council Music in Parks. Be sure to bring along sunblock, drinks and snacks to keep you going through the summer sun.

Cost: FREE event


Summer Night Vibes at Rainbow’s End


Rainbow’s End , 2 Clist Crescent, Manukau, Auckland
Saturday 27  January  2018: 6:00pm to 11:00pm

Enjoy the rides and music at Rainbow’s End Summer Night Vibes.   The Kidz Kingdom outdoor area will be open until 9pm especially for children 8 years and under to enjoy the night rides as well.

Prices: Kidz kingdom tickets are $22.Online discounted superpass discounts are $35 for children and $40 for adults. 


Saturday and Sunday Events

Far, Far Away: An exhibition for the school holidays


The James Wallace Arts Trust, The Pah Homestead, 72 Hillsborough Road, Hillsborough, Auckland map
Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 January 2018
Opening Hours: Tues to Friday: 10am to 3pm, Saturday & Sunday: 8am to 5pm.
(Closed on the public holidays:  1 and 2 January 2018)

Are you curious about a world full of objects, figures and places which look unlike anything you know? On your arrival you will receive a passport and stamp, so you can travel to this faraway place. You can use the art activities in your passport to help you navigate through this foreign world. Suitable for kids 2-10 years old.

Cost: Entry by donation.


Custard of the Carribean live show at Whoa! Studios

Picture: Custard of the Carribean live show at Whoa! Studios

Whoa! Studios, 8-14 Henderson Valley Road, Henderson, Auckland
Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 January 2018: 10:30am, 12:30pm and 3:00pm shows

DR Gloom is back as Custard, Kea, Buzz, Brianna and Jazz set out on brand new 50 minute live stage adventure featuring pirates and puppets on the poop deck!
Read about our visit to Whoa! Studios here.

Tickets: Online $25; Walkup $29. Children 3 and under are free when sitting on a guardians lap. Includes free access to the park.


Rodders Beach Festival 2018

Picture: Rodders Beach Festival

Orewa Beach,
26 to 28 January 2018: 10:00am to 6:00pm

Enjoy the festivities of the Hibiscus Rodders Beach Festival.  Lots happening and all those cars roaring, gleeming, and generally looking good.


Sunday Events

SeePort Sunset Symphony & Fireworks Editors Pick

Picture: SeePort Sunset Symphony & Fireworks

Captain Cook Wharf, Quay Street, Auckland
Sunday 28 January 2018: 6:00pm to 10:00pm

Auckland, let’s ring in another birthday with a bang! Once again, Ports of Auckland invites you behind the red fence to enjoy a magical evening of music and fireworks down on Captain Cook Wharf. To round out day two of the port’s annual SeePort Festival, the Auckland Symphony Orchestra will be performing on the wharf alongside a well-known trio of iconic New Zealand vocalists; The Lady KillersWith the city, harbour and Royal New Zealand Navy’s HMNZS TE KAHA in view, bring a picnic (plus something soft to sit on!) and relax with family and friends as you take in sounds of the strings, wind and percussion. The evening will conclude with a spectacular fireworks and laser finale.

Cost: FREE event


Ice Cream Sundae – Summer at Silo Park

Picture: Ice cream sundae at Silo Park

Silo ParkCorner of Beaumont and Jellicoe Street, Auckland, New Zealand (map)
Sunday 28 January 2018: Noon to 6:00pm

Celebrate Auckland Anniversary at SIlo Park with the inaugural Ice Cream Sundae market. Auckland’s best loved Ice Cream aficionados will descend upon Silo Park with an abundance of sweet treats to scoop up and send your way.  Alongside your favourite icy delights will be other desserts, a hot selection of Auckland’s finest food trucks, hot drinks from the Good Karma coffee truck, as well as supercool DJs.

Cost: FREE entry


Movies in Parks: Sing

Picture: Sing outdoor movies in Auckland Parks

Archibald Park, Kelston, Auckand
Sunday 28 January 2018: 6:40pm to 10:40pm

A koala named Buster attempts to drum up business for his failing theatre by launching a singing competition. Family activities from 6.40pm. Outdoor movie starts at sunset (sunset at approximately 8.40pm).Movie run time 1hr 48min, Film Rating: G.

Cost: FREE family event


Music in Parks – Tommy Nee and The Pocketz, Valkyrie, SAINTZUP Performing Arts and Sonatane Kaufusi

Central Park, Wood Street, Papakura, Auckland
Sunday 28 January 2018: 1:00pm to 4:00pm

Enjoy Auckland Council Music in Parks. Be sure to bring along sunblock, drinks and snacks to keep you going through the summer sun.

Cost: FREE event


Auckland Anniversary Day – Monday events

Auckand Anniversary Day Regatta

Picture: Auckland Anniversary Day Regatta

Waitemata and Viaduct harbours
Monday 29 January 2018: 9:00am to 5:00pm

The event was first held on 18 September 1840 on the day our city was founded. It celebrates the arrival of Captain Hobson to our shores and marks a historic event when Ngati Whatua O Orakei invited English settlers to live on the land with them. It signifies the coming together of our people. Known as “the biggest one day Regatta in the world”, it is one of the oldest sporting events on our country’s calendar and precedes the first sailing of the America’s Cup by 11 years.

Cost: FREE for spectators, boat entry fees apply


Mission Bay Art and Craft Market


Selwyn Reserve, Tamaki Drive, Mission Bay, Auckland
Monday 29 January 2018: 10:00am to 4:00pm
Facebook: MissionBayArtCraftMarket

Cost: FREE entry