26 of the Best things to do in the July school holidays with kids
The top 26 things to do in the July 2019 school holidays with your kids and family in Auckland, New Zealand.
1. Let the kids stay up late to see the FREE Stellar Festival of Lights
Smales Farm, Teheroto Road, North Shore, North Auckland
Friday 12 to Sunday 14 July 2019: 5:00pm to 10:00pm each evening
Enjoy the interactive and engaging light installations at Smales Farm. There will be workshops and entertainment for the whole whānau to enjoy. Plus learn about Matariki, the Māori New Year.
2. Try out the experiments at The Science Roadshow at MOTAT
MOTAT, 805 Great North Road & Meola Road, Western Springs, Central Auckland
July 2019 school holidays
There’s plenty of fun activities to occupy the whole family for a day out at MOTAT throughout the school holidays!
– Try out more than 60 hands-on science experiments, activities and live demonstrations in The Science Roadshow holiday experience;
– MOTAT’s monthly LIVE Print day is on Sunday 21 July;
– Take a tram ride between MOTAT’s two museum site; and
– Don’t miss the exhibition Mighty Small Mighty Bright.
Cost: Usual MOTAT admission charges apply and include all school holiday activities.
3. Take the family snow tubing
Snowplanet, 91 Small Road, Silverdale, Auckland, North Auckland
Saturday 6 July to Sunday 21 July 2019
Have fun together as a family snow tubing at Snowplanet. Its the perfect winter family activity that everyone in your family will be able to do. Snow tubing fun for all ages and requires no skill. Or if you are up for something more challenging you could try skiing or snowboarding at Auckland’s only indoor ski slope Snowplanet.
Cost for 1 hr snow tubing: Children $26; Adults $31; Add on an extra hour for $5 per person.
4. Head into SKYCITY for the Kids Go FREE* activities
SKYCITY, Victoria Street & Federal Street, Central Auckland
July 2019 school holidays
SKYCITY has plenty of FREE things to do for the kids while you’re at SKYCITY these school holidays:
– One child goes FREE up Sky Tower with each paying adult.
– FREE entry to the SKYCITY Snow Globe
– Kids and Adults go FREE to watch a MOVIE in the SkyCity Theatre upon showing their Sky Tower tickets. If you don’t want to go up Sky Tower, but want to see the movie. Then for each paying adult, one child goes free to the movie.
– One kid goes free with a full paying adult on the SkyWalk
– One FREE kids meal at Gusto at the Grand with a paying adult for lunch or dinner
– 2-for-1 Kids’s meals at Orbit 360 Dining and Andy’s Burgers & Bar
– Parking is only $10 for the day if you go up the SKY Tower too.
Full terms and conditions are here
5. Get creative at a Matariki art class at Auckland Museum
Auckland Museum, Park Road, Grafton, Central Auckland
Weekdays from Monday 9 July to Friday 19 July 2019 at 10:30am and 1pm
Kids can create their very own Matariki Diorama at Auckland Museum in the holidays lead by professional art tutors. Class is suitable for kids aged 6 to 15 years. All children must be accompanied by an adult. Bookings are essential as spaces are limited.
Before or after the class check out the Museum, which is FREE for Aucklanders to visit. The Weird & Wonderful gallery is a favourite with the kids with lots of hands-on things to do.
Cost: Art class is $10 per child. Entry to the museum is FREE for Aucklanders.
6. Learn about "Poles Apart" at Auckland Libraries FREE kids activities
Local Auckland Libraries
Central Auckland, North Auckland, South Auckland, East Auckland, West Auckland
July school holidays
Learn about the other side at Poles Apart school holidays events at Auckland Libraries. From magnetic science workshops to explorations of the world’s most amazing locations there is lots of fun things for kids to do at their local Auckland library.
Cost: FREE activities for kids at your local library.
7. Take the kids for a FREE swim
Auckland indoor heated pools
Central Auckland, North Auckland, South Auckland, East Auckland, West Auckland
July school holidays. (Please check the pools operating hours before you go.)
Enjoy one of Auckland Council operated indoor pools where children and teenagers aged 16 years or younger get to swim for FREE.
8. Learn about the special New Zealand animals at Auckland Zoo
Auckland Zoo, Meola Road, Western Springs, Auckland, Central Auckland
Saturday 6 July to Sunday 21 July 2019: 9:30pm to 4:30pm each day.
These school holidays, Auckland Zoo has a special Matariki themed programme. Kids will learn the story of Matariki and discover the stunning nocturnal creatures that come alive at night. With a special activity sheet, families will explore Te Wao Nui (the Aotearoa precinct) to learn all about our New Zealand animals and what makes them so special to us. After journeying through the Zoo, check out the Domes and marvel at the fantastic Matariki digital installation and enjoy fun family activities while you’re there.
9. Go to the theatre to see a live family show
Choose one of these fun live theatre shows to enjoy with the kids in the winter school holidays:
- Matariki for Tamariki at the Bruce Mason Centre Show info
- Jungle Jambo at the Herald Theatre, Aotea Centre Show info
- The Glow Show at TAPAC Show info
- The Wolves at Q Theatre Show info
- We’re Going on a Bear Hunt at The PumpHouse Theatre Show info
- The Children’s Midsummer Night’s Dream at The Pop-up Globe Show info
- The Book of Everything at Howick Little Theatre Show info
- Sinarella at Q Theatre Show info
- The Perfect Gift at Te Oro Show info
10. Enjoy a winter evening at the Aotea Square Elemental Hub
Aotea Square, Auckland CBD, Central Auckland
Monday 1 to Sunday 28 July 2019
Aotea Square will come alive as the hub for Tamaki Makaurau’s sizzling new winter festival, Elemental AKL.
Aotea Square Ice Rink and Ice Slide
Take the family for a spin on the Aotea Square Ice Rink and Ice Slide. There will be theme parties and skating lessons in the holidays.
Spoil the kids with a private dining experience in one of the cozy winter Snug domes complete with comfy furniture, blankets and heaters.
Auckland Night Markets
The Auckland Night markets will be there every night with cuisine from all over the world to try.
Auckland Live Digital Stage
Kids and adults can join in the interactive activities throughout the day, and watch the stories from Auckland in the evening.
11. Go on a Mission to the Moon at Stardome
Stardome Observatory & Planetarium, 670 Manukau Road, Central Auckland
Monday 8 July to Friday 12 July 2019: 10am, 1pm and 2pm sessions
Monday 15 July to Friday 19 July 2019: 10am, 1pm and 2pm sessions
Learn all about landing on the Moon, what the moon is really like and what it’s like being an astronaut. Join in the space room fun, rocket launching and 360 degree immersive The Accidental Astronauts planetarium show at Stardome’s winter school holiday activities. Sessions are 1.5 hours long and suitable for kids aged 5 to 12 years old.
Tickets: Children $12; Adults $10
12. Dress up your families buggies, bikes, skatebaord, scooters, wheelchairs and other wheels to join in the FREE InMotion Matariki Parade
Silo Park, Wynyard Quarter, Auckland CBD, Central Auckland
Saturday 6 July 2019: 5:30pm to late
Get the kids to decorate their wheels to the theme of Matariki and join Touch Compass “in motion” on a magical journey of discovery through the urban maze of Wynyard Quarter. Whether its a bike, scooter, wheelchair, billy-cart, skateboard, unicycle, or power chair. If you do not have wheels, you can join in on foot for a lively walk. Enjoy a mix of sensory installations, art installations and live performance along the way, before a presentation of Touch Compass’ new aerial spectacle, Te Ranga Ika on the Gantry in Silo Park.
13. Take a ferry and walk to the top of Rangitoto, Te Rani-i-totonga-a-Tama-te-kapu
Fullers 360 Ferries go to Rangitoto each day in the holidays.
Check out their timetable here before you go: https://www.fullers.co.nz/
Rangitoto is just a 25 minute ferry ride from the city centre. You can walk to the top of Rangitoto on foot, or if the kids are tired then there is a 4WD train tour to the top that travels through the lava crops and pohutakawa forest. Then the kids just need to walk part of the way to the top of the summit. At the top you get a superb view of the Hauraki Gulf, Waitakere Ranges and Hunua Ranges.
Tips: There are no places to buy food on the island so remember to bring your lunch from home. You are best to bring a backpack or baby carrier for young children and leave strollers at home.
Price for Rangitoto Return Ferry Ticket: Kids under 5 years old are FREE; Children $18; Adults $36: Family (2 adults and 2 children) $97
14. Encourage your kids to donate or sell their unwanted toys
Encourage your kids to part with their toys that they no longer want by selling them at a Kids Market or donating them to charity.
Book a table to sell their toys at one of these Auckland Kids Markets:
– The Kids Only Market in Western Springs on Saturday 20 July 2019
– Howick Kids Market on Saturday 17 August 2019
Or they can donate their toys that are in good condition to:
– Auckland Women’s Refuge
– Salvation Army Family Stores
– Red Cross Shops
15. Go on an urban playground crawl
You don’t always get time to take the kids to playgrounds outside of your local neighbourhood during the school term. Make the most of the holidays and discover new playgrounds to explore across Auckland for the day.
Cost: FREE apart from your petrol or public transport fares.
16. Have dinner at one of Auckland Night Markets
Various Auckland locations
Take the family out for dinner at a night market. The Night Markets are in different Auckland suburbs each night. You can find them at:
Aotea Square, Nightly during the July school holidays
Sylvia Park, Under PK Furniture on a Monday night from 5pm to 11pm
Mt Wellington (under Countdown) on a Tuesday from 5pm to 11pm
Botany Town Centre on a Wednesday from 5pm to 11pm
Henderson (under Kmart) on a Thursday night from 5:30pm to 11:30pm
Papatoetoe (under Kmart) on a Friday from 5:30pm to Midnight
Shortland Street, Auckland CBD on Friday from 5pm to 11pm
Pakuranga under the Warehouse on Saturday from 5:30pm to Midnight
Glenfield Mall on Sunday from 5:30pm to 11pm
17. Sleep under sharks at SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton's Aquarium
SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton’s Aquarium, 23 Tamaki Drive, Orakei, Central Auckland
Saturday 6 July 2019 7:00pm to Sunday 7 July 2019: 8:30am
Get your pjyamas on for an overnight aquatic adventure at Kelly Tarltons with your family. Enjoy a guided behind the scenes tour and supper in Turtle Bay. Then you and the kids can sleep under the sharks and fish for the evening.
Cost: $138 for one adult and one child.
18. Climb to the top of one of Auckland's mountains and take in the view
Choose from Mount Eden, Mount Roskill, Mount Wellington, Mount Albert, One Tree Hill, North Head, Mount Victoria,
Open during daylight everyday in the school holidays
Pack a picnic and take the family for a walk to the top of one of Auckland’s mountains. Or if the kids have lots of energy, then you could always try climbing a few of them in one day.
19. Take a tour of the Chelsea Sugar Factory
Chelsea Sugar Factory, 100 Colonial Road, Birkenhead, North Auckland
Tours run from 10am to 4pm from Monday to Friday and are one hour long, bookings are required.
Take a tour of the sugar factory, then enjoy the free interactive kids zone. then afterwards you can enjoy coffee in the cafe while watching the kids play in the playground outside.
20. Take the kids to see a movie at the New Zealand International Film Festival (NZIFF)
Selected Auckland Cinemas
Selected dates from 18 July to 11 August 2019
Take the kids to see an international film at the NZIFF. Films for all ages include:
Animation for Kids 4+; Animation for Kids 8+; Children of the Sea; Dilili in Paris; Inventing Tomorrow and Modest Heroes: Ponoc Short Films Theatre, Volume 1
21. Go to Ambury Farm for a FREE family day out
43 Ambury Road, Mangere Bridge, South Auckland
Take the kids to see sheep, goats, pigs, turkey, cows, chickens, peacocks. Plus the Ambury lambs are due in mid July so if you visit at the end of the holidays, you may be lucky and see the baby lambs. There is always plenty of bird watching opportunities. Bring your picnic for lunch, a ball to play some games and your gumboots if its a wet day. For the family farm walk and foreshore walk maps click here.
22. Celebrate Bastille Day at the French Festival
Shed 10, Queens Wharf, Auckland CBD, Auckland Central
Bastille Day is Sunday 14 July 2019, but the festival starts on Thursday 11 July.
Experience delicious French food, clothes, beauty products, kids corner, pentanque contest, live music, movie theatre and a lot of French activities.
Cost: Entry is FREE for children and $10 for adults
23. Go on a FREE bike or scooter family adventure
Try out some new places to ride the bike with the kids in the school holidays.
Our favourite places for young kids are: Western Springs Park, Tole Reserve Ponsonby, Onepoto Domain in Northcote, Avondale learn to ride track and Greville Reserve Forest Hill. For all ages we like pink Lightpath in the City, Westhaven Boardwalk, Waterview Shared Path and Tamaki Drive.
24. Go horse riding on one of Auckland's beaches
Both horse treks cater for all levels of experience and have friendly guides who help your children gain confidence on a horse. Plus both rides go through stunning scenery and along the beaches.