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Top 28 things to do in the ​April school holidays 2018

LEGO® Wonders of the World at Auckland Museum - AUCKLAND FOR KIDS

Top 28 things to do in the April school holidays in Auckland with kids

Our pick of the best events in the school holidays for Auckland children and families in Autumn 2018

1. Discover the LEGO Wonders of the World at Auckland Museum

LEGO® Wonders of the World at Auckland Museum - AUCKLAND FOR KIDS

Special Exhibitions Hall, Auckland Museum, Parnell, Auckland
Saturday 14 April to Sunday 13 May 2018: 10:00am to 5:00pm

Come and visit the Taj Mahal, Great Wall of China, Empire State Building (complete with King Kong), Leaning Tower of Pisa and the Arc de Triomphe – all made exclusively from LEGO® bricks. Explore these ‘Wonders of the World’ on a different scale, learn more about the history of these global attractions and then get hands-on with your own imaginative masterpiece.

2. Make a cardboard city at Auckland Art Gallery

Art Gallery Cardboard

Special Exhibitions Hall, Auckland Museum, Parnell, Auckland
Drop in workshops: Saturday 14 to Sunday 20 April form 10:30am to 3:30pm daily. Exhibition: Saturday 21 April 2018

Take part in a community-based project led by internationally acclaimed artists Alfredo and Isabel Aquilizan. Drop in during the school holidays and create the home of your dreams from recycled boxes, cardboard, tape and glue.

These cardboard structures will then form part of the new Creative Learning Centre installation, From Pillars to Posts: Project Another Country, and later, Pillars: Project Another Country 2018, a large-scale, suspended artwork to be installed in the Gallery’s North Atrium.

Cost: FREE for New Zealanders.

3. Go to the theatre to see a live family show

Scooby Doo Live! Musical Mysteries - AUCKLAND FOR KIDS

There are lots of shows on in the Autumn school holidays for children.
Choose from:
– The Perfect Gift
– The Wizard of Ōtāhuhu
– Scooby Doo Live! Musical Mysteries
– Disney’s Alice in Wonderland Jr
– The Perfect Gift
– Beauty and the Beast Jr

For more information on shows for children in the April holidays click here. 

4. Take the kids for a swim

Otahuhu pools for families - AUCKLAND FOR KIDS

Auckland Indoor Heated Pools.
Find your local Auckland indoor swimming pool here

Try out one of your local indoor pools with your family. 

Cost: FREE access for Auckland council-operated pools for Aucklanders under 16 during standard operating hours

5. Become a Tower Champ at Sky Tower

Become a Tower Champ at Sky Tower

Sky Tower, Cnr Victoria and Federal Streets, Auckland, New Zealand  map
Saturday 14 to Sunday 29 April 2018: 10:00am to 3:00pm daily. 
Last tickets sold at 2:30pm

Tower Champs have arrived at Sky Tower for the April school holidays.   Sky Tower have teamed up with Athletics New Zealand to bring you a day full of fun activities including a relay race on the secret floor up the Sky Tower. Receive your very own racing bib, compete in the challenges and earn all three of the collector’s wristbands to become a sporting legend. There are over $1,000 in total prizes to be won. You can find the entry forms are in the activity booklet.

Entry prices: Normal Sky Tower admissions apply.

6. Take the kids to Ambury Farm to see a working farm


43 Ambury Road, Mangere Bridge, Auckland
Ambury Farm is open daily in the school holidays: 6:00am to 7:00pm

Take the kids to see sheep, goats, pigs, turkey,  cows, chickens, peacocks, and watch the dairy cows being milked at around 10:00am.

Cost: FREE

7. Uncover the secret world of bugs at Auckland Zoo

Children visit Bug Lab at Auckland Zoo - AUCKLAND FOR KIDS

Auckland Zoo, 99 Motions Road, Auckland
Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 April  2018

Uncover the secret world of bugs at Auckland Zoo and Bug Lab these school holidays. Explore Bug Lab – home to Te Papa and Weta Workshop’s magical interactive exhibition. Out in the Zoo there’s live bugs to check out, and daily bug encounters with zoo keepers where you can learn more about their unique super powers.
Read about Auckland for Kids visit to Bug Lab here

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
Ticket to Bug Lab and Zoo: FREE; Children $17.50, Student $28.50; Adult $35.50; Family Pass  – 1 adult and 2 children $65

8. Discover how Auckland port works

Ports of Auckland Boat Tours - AUCKLAND FOR KIDS

Ports of Auckland Public Boat Tour

Boarding takes place at Pier 4, Ferry Building, Quay Street, Auckland
Tuesday 17 April 2018: 12:30pm
Tuesday 24 April 2018: 12:30pm

The  tours weave in and out of the busy commercial wharves to give you a close-up look at the big ships, cranes and other machinery at work in Auckland PortBookings are essential, phone 360 Discovery on 09 307 8005.

Cost: Children under 16 are FREE; Adults are $5

9. Place a poppy message for peace


Ports of Auckland Public Boat Tour

Depot Galleries, 28 Clarence Street, Devonport, Auckland
Monday 23 April to Wednesday 25 April 2018

Artist Tony McNeight invites you to  to participate in The Giant Poppy Peace Project. Come and write a personal ANZAC message on a poppy petal/disc, to honour loved ones who gave their lives in all wars. 

Cost: FREE

10. Attend the Dawn Parade with your family on Anzac Day

Dawn parade at Auckland Museum

Auckland Museum, Auckland Domain, Parnell, Auckland
Wednesday 25 April 2018: 6:00am

Honour the soldiers who fought at Gallipoli and other conflicts in which New Zealand has been involved in Anzac Day.

Cost: FREE. Entry to the Museum is free to everyone on Anzac Day. The Museum will open immediately following the Dawn Service.

11. Go on an urban park crawl

Sherwood Playground in Auckland for Kids

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 see: 10 TOP PLAYGROUNDS  or visit our friends at Playground Auckland who always has lots of videos of the newly opened Auckland parks.

Cost: FREE (apart from your transport costs)

12. Get out on the harbour, see a show or try hitching knots at the Maritime Museum

Auckland for Kids on the Ted Ashby

NZ Maritime Museum

Whether its rain or shine you can enjoy the activities at the NZ Maritime museum in the April school holidays:
– Watch the Stories of Manukau Harbour Show (Monday to Fridays),
– Make and take a Knot Board (Monday to Fridays)
– Get out on a real sea experience on the Ted Ashby (Tuesdays to Sundays).
– Enjoy the Knot Touch exhibition which is designed to be touched and played with.

Cost: Museum entry is FREE for Aucklanders, Knot Touch exhibition is FREE with museum entry, Ted Ashby sailing is $12 for children and $25 for adults, Knot Board activity $5, Show $5.

13. Go on a giant owl hunt in Auckland

Big Hoot owl by Auckland Harbour Bridge

Various public locations around Auckland 
On daily until Sunday 6 May 2018

Super-sized owl sculptures have descended on Auckland for the Haier Big Hoot art trail. Over 100 owls are in parks, public spaces, malls and libraries, turning Auckland into a virtual aviary. There are 47 giant owls (1.65m) that have been individually designed by Kiwi and International artists.  The giant owls at the end for the trail will be auctioned off to fundraise for Child Cancer Foundation. Find them all using the trail map within the Big Hoot 2018 app.

Cost: FREE

14. Ready Steady Go! these school holidays at MOTAT

Read Steady Go April school holiday experience at MOTAT

MOTAT, 805 Great North Road, Western Springs map
Saturday 14 to Sunday 29 April 2018:10:00am to 5:00pm

Race through the school holidays with MOTAT’s “Ready, Steady, Go!” holiday experience. Jump into the fast lane to explore all the ways to travel. This experience gets back to the basics by looking at the most fundamental element of transportation – getting from A to B! Test your design skills by building and customising the cardboard body of a radio-controlled car and then race your creation in the action-packed Turbodrome on a purpose-built track. See marbles cascading down a giant, custom-made marble run and then have a go at building your own with magnetic boards. Make time for a pitstop and create your own weird and wonderful vehicle on the magnetic wall or participate in the transport-themed fun and games on offer.

Cost: Normal MOTAT admission fees apply

15. Enjoy a family picnic in one of Auckland's gardens or parks

Visit the summit of Mt Wellington | Photo Credit: Auckland for Kids

Auckland Parks and Gardens  or your own backyard
Auckland Parks and Gardens

Choose a fine autumn day and a park or garden you haven’t been in Auckland before for a family picnic. Let the kids choose the picnic menu (within reason) and help to make the food.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 EdenMount WellingtonOne Tree Hill or North Head. At North Head kids can complete a Kiwi Guardians adventure and receive a certificate and medal (you need to print off the adventure map before you go).

Cost:  Your picnic food and transport

16. Dance with your family on the Dance-O-Mat in Aotea Square

Dance-o-mat in Aotea Square

Aotea Square
Saturday 14 to Sunday 29 April 2018: 8:00am to 11:00pm a token in the vintage washing machine-come-jukebox. Plug in your phone or music device and play your favourite song. Then dance! 

Cost: FREE

17. Explore the world of water and ice at Stardome

Aqua Adventures at Stardome

Stardome, 670 Manukau Rd, One Tree Hill Domain, Auckland, New Zealand
Monday 16 April to Friday 20 April 2018: 10:00am,  1:00pm or 2:00pm
Monday 23 April to Friday 27 April 2018: 10:00am,  1:00pm or 2:00pm

Catch the planetarium show Perfect Little Planet at 10am or 1pm and We are Aliens at 2pm. Explore the world of water and ice through interactive experiments and activities in Spaceroom. Water-powered rockets will be launched outside if the weather is fine. Suitable for ages 5 -12 years.

Tickets: Children $12; Adults and seniors $10

18. Visit one of Auckland's libraries

Auckland for Kids visits Devonport Library

Various public locations around Auckland 
Saturday 14 April to Sunday 29 April 2018

Take your children to your local library and join in one of the free Up and Away activities happening in the April school holidays.

Choose from paper car making, bubblemania, bird feeders, nerf wars, Harry Potter evening, LEGO rocket building, science wizard and more activities.

Cost: FREE activities

19. Have dinner at one of Auckland's Night Markets

Night Market in Auckland, New Zealand

Mt Wellington (under Countdown): Tuesday nights
Botany Town Centre: Wednesday nights
Henderson (under KMart): Thursday nights
Papatoetoe (under Kmart): Friday nights
Pakuranga (under The Warehouse): Saturday nights
Glenfield (under Countdown): Sunday nights

Fun  night out for the family, and the undercover location means it’s an all-weather event. The kids can experience food from other cultures, hear live music and watch performances.

Cost: FREE entry

20. Take your family on the night rides at Rainbow's End

Rainbow's End Night Rides

Rainbow’s End, 2 Clist Crescent, Manukau, Auckland
Saturday nights:  14 April, 21 April and 28 April 2018

Grab your family and head along to experience the fun and excitement at Rainbow’s End. All the rides will be open with awesome Kiwi entertainment on Centre Stage.

Superpass tickets: Child $35 to $40; Adult $40 to $45

21. Take the family on a train ride

Manukau live steamers | Auckland for Kids

Take the family on a minature steam train ride

Maunkau Live Steamers, Mangere Centre Park,Robertson Road, Auckland
Sunday 15, Sunday 22 & Sunday 29 April 2017: 11:00am to 3:00pm (weather permitting)
Cost: Train tickets: $2:00 per person, Under 2’s ride FREE.

ASME, Peterson Road, Panmure
Sunday 15 April, Sunday 22 April and Sunday 29 April 2017:  1:00pm  to 4:00pm (weather permitting)
Cost: $2 per ride; concession ticket for 6 rides $10.

Train in Auckland

Catch an electric train into town

Head into town for the day on the train. The train journey in will be as much fun for the kids as being in the city, plus you won’t need to find a carpark.

To see you local train timetable go to: Train services – Auckland Transport

22. Visit the Botanic Gardens

Butterfly at the Botanic Gardens

Auckland Botanic Gardens, Auckland
Open daily 8am to 6pm. Visitor centre and cafe are open from 8am to 4pm

The Gardens have fun school holiday drop in activities from 10am to Noon as follows:
Learn about native plants on Tuesday 17 April
Create your own mini rare plant book  on Friday 20 April
Make your own collageon Thursday 26 April
Be a conservation hero: kids activity  on Friday 27 April

Don’t forget to see the Potter Children’s Garden and bring a picnic as there are lots of lovely spots in the gardens to enjoy an afternoon.

Cost: FREE family day out.

23. Try one of Auckland's best ice creams

Boy eating an ice cream

The best ice cream places in Auckland

Take the kids (and yourself) out for an ice cream treat at one of Auckland’s best places for ice cream.

24. Visit one of Auckland's black sand beaches

Piha Beach

Who doesn’t love going to one of Auckland’s wild black sand beaches on an autumn’s 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:

Piha for a walk on the beach and a short climb up Lion Rock for a stunning view,  Followed by Fish & Chips on the beach from Blair’s on the Beach. Or if its too cold try The Piha Cafe.

Bethells -Te Henga for a play on the beach and in  the enormous sand dunes. The Bethells Cafe is shut during winter, so make such you bring some food from home with you.


Muriwai to explore and to see the ganet colony. If you get hungry the Sand Dunz Beach Cafe is only a short stroll back from the beach.

Whatipu is at the end of a long gravel road, but it is worth the drive.  Keep a look out for the caves to explore on your walk too.

Karekare for a walk and play on the beach.

Remember to dress warmly and to watch the tides so you don’t get stuck.

Cost: FREE apart from the petrol to get there.

25. Get creative at the Arataki Visitor Centre

Rocks at Arataki Visitor Centre - AUCKLAND FOR KIDS

Arataki Visitor Centre, 300 Scenic Drive, Oratia, Waitakere map
Open Monday to Friday: 10am to 4pm, Saturday and Sunday 9am to 5pm
Facebook: Arataki Vistor Centre

Although the tracks in the Waitakere Ranges are closed, there are still fun FREE drop in activities happenend at the Arataki Vistor Centre for the April school holidays. Choose from:
Arataki Rocks   Tuesdays 17 and 14 April: 10am to 2pm
Forest Gold activity workshop Wednesdays  18 April and 24 April: 10am to Noon

Cost: FREE

26. Walk among the dinosaurs and go an animal encounter at Butterfly Creek

Dinosaurs at Butterfly Creek - AUCKLAND FOR KIDS

Butterfly Creek, 10 Tom Pearce Drive, Auckland Airport
Saturday 14 to Sunday 29 April 2018

Butterfly Creek has lots of fun activities on for the school holidays. Go on the daily animal encounters. Check out the Kiwi Forest, meet Scar the Crocodile,  walk amongst over 800 butterflies. Go back in time and walk amongst the dinosaurs at Dinosaur Kingdom. On weekdays you can enjoy the Dinomite show and mask colouring too.

Cost: Usual admission charges apply.

27. Play outside at a Magical Parks digital playground

Magical Parks digital playground - AUCKLAND FOR KIDS
Magical Parks digital playground - AUCKLAND FOR KIDS

Do you remember when you were little and had an imaginary friend? Maybe you had a spaceship or an enchanted forest only could see. Well now your kids can play outside on a MAGICAL PARK  game that uses augmented reality to turn a local park into their own digital fantasyland using a tablet or smartphone.

There are 13 Auckland Magical Parks children can play at:
Coyle Park, Point Chev 
Auckland Domain, Parnell 
Onepoto Domain, Northcote 
Barry Curtis Park, Flat Bush 
Harbourview People’s Park, Te Atau 
Milton Park, Mangere East 
David Lange Reserve, Mangere 
Imrie Ave Reserve, Mangere
Hayman Park, Manukau 
Bruce Pulman Reserve, Takanini
Pear Baker Reserve, Otara

Cost:  FREE  (You need to download the app for FREE from Google Play or the App store before you can play at one of the 13 Auckland parks.)

28. Go rafting with your family at Vector Wero Whitewater Park

Auckland for Kids visits Vector Wero

Vector Wero Whitewater Park, 770 Great South Road, Manukau

For kids aged 8 years plus you can go rafting on the Grade 1-2 Tamariki River white water course. Your rafting guide will help you go through the gentle the dips and eddies of this 200m water course. Its perfect for beginners, kids and families.

Cost: Rafting: $45 per child, $55 per adult; Wetsuit hire $10.
Park entry: FREE  so you can walk around and watch with family and friends.