The top 20 things to do in the 2017 Summer school holidays
Our pick of the best events on in the January school holidays
for Auckland children and families
for Auckland children and families
1. Vist Whoa! - Auckland's new film studio and urban park
8/14 Henderson Valley Road, Henderson, Auckland
Urban playground is open daily from 9am to 6:00pm
The live stage show "A Very Gloomy Holidays!" is on in January as follows:
- Wednesday and Thursday at 11am;
- Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 11am and 2pm.
Whoa! Studios is a state of the art film studio specialising in live action, puppetry and miniatures. See a live show based on the characters and sets of Custard’s World.
The Whoa! Studios urban park will make a great visit even better. Play on the only hand crafted crochet climbing net in NZ, that took Japanese artist Toshiko Horiuchi Macadam two years to craft. Then try the Whoa! Zone adventure playground, crafted by Whoa's own set designers and builders. The urban playground is suitable for children aged 3 to 13 years old.
Tickets for the show: FREE for under 3 years olds when sitting an an adults lap, Children and adults $25 per person (includes complimentary pass to the urban playground)
Urban Playground tickets: Casual $10, or free for children if you have seen a show.
2. Sleep over on a night safari at Auckland Zoo
Public safari nights at Auckland Zoo
Auckland Zoo, 99 Motions road, Western Springs, Auckland
Saturday 14 January 2017: 4:30pm to 10:00pm or you can sleeover until 8am the next day.
Explore the zoo after dark on a guided torch lit walk. Enjoy a barbeque dinner and if you are brave enough you can sleep over in the old elephant house too.
Minimum age 8 years. All children must be accompanied by an adult.
Price: $80 per person (BBQ, walk and sleepover) or $50 per person (BBQ and walk)
3. See Volume: Making Music in Aotearoa at Auckland Museum
Volume: Making Music in Aotearoa Exhibit
Auckland Museum (Entry view Atrium, the back entrance)
On daily until 21 May 2017: 10:00am to 5:00pm
Celebrate the music of our nation with Volume: Making Music in Aotearoa, the first-ever major exhibition of New Zealand music. A home-grown, hands-on, ears-on exhibition, Volume explores the soundtracks of our lives through vibrant and interactive displays.
During the school holidays, keep an eye out for Kiwioke Kevin and his original one-man karaoke machine as he roams the Museum’s galleries.
Cost: FREE for Aucklanders
4. Create some art
Auckland Art Gallery Family Drop in Session
Auckland Art Gallery
In the January school holidays: every Tuesday from 2:00pm to 4:00pm; Thursdays from 2:00pm to 4:00pm and Saturdays from 1:00pm to 3:00pm.
Create art together in sessions inspired by art in the collection. There is no need to book. Suitable for kids aged 4 and up. All kids under the age of 14 must be accompanied by an adult.
Cost FREE for families
5. Take the family on the free rides at Funfest 2017
Trillian Trust 2017 Funfest
Vodafone Events Centre, 770 Great South Road, Manukau
Thursday 12 to Sunday 15 January 2017: 9:00am to 5:00pm daily
Free Parking, Free entry, Free rides and Free stage prizes at Auckland's biggest free family event.
6. Learn about water at MOTAT
Water Experience at MOTAT
MOTAT, 805 Great North Road & Meola Road, Western Springs, Auckland
Saturday 2 to 29 January 2016: 10:00am to 5:00pm
Water-themed activities will be on at MOTAT:
- Design and build your own model boat in the ‘Ship Shape Shipwrights’ mini ship yard.
- Have a blast with water balloons and pistols in our games zone. Test your aim while learning all about the size, weight and force of water.
- Custom build a water way and find a way to reach the other end.
Cost: Kids under 5 are FREE; Children 5 to 16 years $8; Student $8; Adults $16; Family $40
7. Take the kids for a swim this summer at one of Auckland's outdoor pools
8. Visit the NZ Maritime Museum
NZ Maritime Museum, Corner Quay and Hobson Streets, Viaduct Harbour, Auckland
Monday 16 to Friday 27 January 2017: 10:00am - 3:00pm
See the well-loved show “The Pirate that Couldn’t Swim”, learn why different materials float or sink and take free activity trail through the museum. You can also make the most of the summer season with an hour harbour trip on Ted Ashby.
Trail — Free of charge
Explore the galleries for the best sailing, sinking and swimming stories in the museum.
“Pirate that Couldn’t Swim” show - $5
Meet Captain Flintlock, the pirate that couldn't swim and hear about how he got skilled up and conquered his fears of swimming.
Floating or Sinking — $5
Make a boat and test it out in mini regattas. Have fun with water play in the new summer garden at the end of the wharf.
Ted Ashby Heritage Sailings — $12
Enjoy the summer season and climb aboard Ted Ashby for a one hour harbour experience with her knowledgeable crew.
9. Go on an Auckland park crawl
10. Take a family train ride
Catch the train into town
To see you local timetable into town go to: Train services - Auckland Transport
Take the family on a minature steam train in Panmure or Mangere
Peterson Road, Panmure
Sunday 15 January, Sunday 22 January and Sunday 29 January 2017: 1:00pm to 4:00pm (weather permitting).
Cost: $2 per ride or a concession ticket giving 6 rides can be purchased for $10.
Mangere Centre Park,Robertson Road, Auckland
Sunday 15 January, Sunday 22 January and Sunday 29 January 2017: 11:00am to 3:30pm (weather permitting)
Cost: Train tickets: $2:00 per person
11. Let the kids stay up late to go on the rides at Rainbow's End at night time.
Rainbow's End, 2 Clist Crescent, Manukau, Auckland
Saturday nights: 7 January, 14 January, 21 January and 28 January 2017
Summer night vibes are on at Rainbow's End on Saturday nights in the January school holidays. All the rides will be open with live music from SWISS on the center stage.
Superpass tickets: Child $37 to $30; Adult $42 to $35
12. Build and fly your own kite
Out and About - Kite Days
Friday 13 January 2017: Papakura Central Park, Papakura at 1:00pm
Monday 16 January 2017: Milton Park, Papatoeote at 10:00am
Tuesday 17 January 2017: Mountford Park, Weymouth Road at 10:00am
Wednesday 18 January 2017: Seaside Park, Auckland at 10:00am
Monday 23 January 2017: Bary Curtis Park, Auckland at 1:00pm
Wednesday 25 January 2017: Kawakawa Bay, Auckland at 1:00pm
Children get to build a kit-set kite, fly it and take it home too.
13. Go on a family day out to Devonport
Take the kids on the ferry to spend the day in Devonport.
For ideas of what to do when you are there, have at look at the TOP 12 THINGS TO DO ON A FAMILY DAY OUT IN DEVONPORT
You may want to take the kids scooters too.
14. Dare to explore holiday activities at Auckland Libraries.
15. Go on a solar system adventure at Stardome
Solar system science school holiday fun
Stardome, 670 Manukau Rd, One Tree Hill Domain, Auckland, New Zealand
Tuesday 9 to Friday 27 January 2017 - Weekdays at 1pm
Go on an adventure through the Solar System with the summer school holiday programme at Stardome. Stop in at planets and other astronomical objects to find out more about Earth’s neighbourhood. Learn more about the windy weather of Mars with the interactive wind tube, touch the plasma globe and visualise the lightning of Jupiter, and understand solar radiation with sun beads.
Have fun with the new interactive displays, History of Spacecraft and Space Tracker and catch the planetarium show Wildest Weather in the Solar System in the immersive, 360-degree theatre.
Bookings required. Cost: Children $12; Adults $10
16. Ride the pop-up waterslides at Snowplanet.
Kowhai Festival – Huge Day Out
Snowplanet, 91 Small Road, Silverdale, Auckland
Saturday 14 January to Monday 6 February 2017: 2 hour sessions starting at 10:15am, 12:30pm and 2:45pm
The Wild Water Slides are a pop-up waterslide park that will run for 24 consecutive days at Snowplanet.
Cost: $10 to $20 for a 2 hour session on four slides.
17. Go on a family bike or scooter ride on the pink Lightpath
Entry points are on Union Street or Canada Street (off Upper Queen Street) Auckland
The Lightpath is not too long for young kids, and fine for scooters, bikes or to walk. You will find that the fascination for the pink path, makes it all the more fun.
If you have already tried out the pink Lightpath then there are lots of other Kid Friendly Bike Rides in Auckland
18. Head along to Silo Stories and games at Silo Park
Silo Park, Corner of Jellicoe and Beaumont Street, Wynyard Quarter, Auckland
Sunday 15, Sunday 22 and Sunday 29 January 2017
Storytelling session where favourite Aucklanders will come down to Silo park to read their favourite childhood stories to kids of all ages.
The Silo Park Games Box will be out on the green, which will have borrowable bits and pieces for you and the kids to throw around, hit, fling, jump, hula and more.
19. Learn about Auckland marine life
Goat Island Marine Discovery Centre school holiday programme
160 Goat Island Road, Leigh 0985, Auckland
Monday 2, 9, 16 and 23 January 2017
3D Life Cycles for 6 to 9 year olds
Fish Dissection for 10 to 15 year olds
Wednesday 4, 11, 18 and 25 January 2017
Building a fish for 6 to 9 year olds
Behind the scenes for 10 to 15 year olds
Book at www.facebook.com/GoatIslandMarineDiscoveryCentre or phone 09 923 3261.
Cost: $19 per child; $5 per accompanying adult (maximum of one adult per child).
20. Try rafting at the Vector Wero Whitewater Park
Vector Wero Whitewater Park, 770 Great South Road, Manukau
Open Wednesday to Fridays: 9:00am to 5:00pm and weekends 10:00am to 4:00pm
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.