Weekend What's On
Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 December 2017
Our pick of the best weekend events on for kids and families in Auckland, New Zealand
Kiwi Forest exhibit opening weekend at Butterfly Creek
10 Tom Pearce Drive, Auckland Airport, Auckland map
Saturday 16 December 2017: 9:30am – 5:00pm
It’s finally here! After much anticipation, Butterfly Creek is excited to announce that their new exhibit Kiwi Forest is now open. Come along this weekend and be one of the first to see Kiwi Forest. There will be spot prizes for shared photos of your visit, plus a visit from Dinomite our walking dino over the weekend. Check out the latest additions to the Butterfly Creek family including kiwi, otters, eels and other NZ native species.
Cost: Children $16; Adults $28
Stand Up Stand Out Auckland Live Summer in the Square
Aotea Square, Queen Street, Auckland, New Zealand
Saturday 16 December 2017: 12:30pm
Prepare to be wowed by exceptional live performances, fresh from Auckland’s up-and-coming, young music talent. Don’t miss the chance to catch the young stars who recently took part in this year’s Stand Up Stand Out competition in action, as they perform their own original music and new takes on well-known songs. Stand Up Stand Out is an annual music and dance competition for Auckland secondary school students, delivered by Auckland Council. Each year, the competition offers a thrilling showcase which focuses on the energy of live performance, but represents a stunning and positive expression of youth from all backgrounds.
Cost: FREE family event
Jellicoe Park playground opening
Auckland Art Gallery Family Drop in Session
Auckland Art Gallery
Saturday 16 December 2017: 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.
Celebrate Christmas 2017
Holy Trinity Cathedral, Parnell Road, Parnell, Auckland
Saturday 16 December 2017: 3:00pm
December is a time of tradition and happy rituals: the pine tree, the presents, the roast turkey and the APO’s annual Yuletide celebration in the Holy Trinity Cathedral. Come along, bring your family and your friends and join us to sing the tidings of comfort and joy.
Tickets: Children $23; Adults $37
Porter Hire International Sprintcare Series
Avondale Community Carnival
Encounter Christain Centre, 495 Rosebank Road, Avondale, Auckland
Saturday 16 December 2017: 11:00am to 3:00pm
Avondale Community Christmas Carnival
FUN FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY, Cookie Bear rides. Carnival games, photo booth, bouncy castles, face painting, Carols food stalls and more.
Cost: FREE entry;
Ormiston Family Market
Ormiston Primary School, 291 Ormiston Road, Flatbush, Auckland
Saturday 16 December 2017: 9:00am to 2:00pm
Come and experience an affordable and family friendly market. This local market is about connecting communities/families and instilling in children good work ethics. Check out the "Kids Village" where you will find young entrepreneurs selling their baking, pre loved toys/clothes and unique creations. Most importantly the children here are making memories with their parents and connecting with their friends and community. At this market you will find sustainable products, affordable goods, plenty of food, free entertainment, an awesome playground and plenty of lounge out areas for parents and kids to enjoy. And yes parents, there will be COFFEE.
Cost: FREE entry
Christmas Night Rides at Rainbow's End
Rainbow's End , 2 Clist Crescent, Manukau, Auckland
Saturday 16, 23, and 30 December 2017: 6:00pm to 11:00pm
Enjoy the Christmas lights, rides and music at Rainbow's End three Christmas Night Rides evenings in December. The Kidz Kingdom outdoor area will be open until 9pm especially for children 8 years and under to enjoy the Christmas nights as well.
Prices: Kidz kingdom tickets are $22.Online discounted superpass discounts are $35 for children and $40 for adults.
Saturday and Sunday Events
Christmas Lights at MOTAT
MOTAT: 805 Great North Road, Western Springs, Auckland
Saturday 16 to Sunday 24 December 2017: 8:00pm to 11:00pm
(Closing Eve will be closing earlier at 10:30pm)
MOTAT is bedazzled with fairy lights and opens its gates for ten enchanted evenings in the build up to Christmas. The Museum will be bustling with festive activities including movies and carols that are sure to get you into the spirit of the season. Escape the holiday chaos with an evening amongst friends and family in a fairy-lit wonderland capturing the magical atmosphere of Christmas. Don’t miss your chance to catch up with Santa, visit Mrs Claus’s Kitchen, enjoy the festive fare and much more. All proceeds go towards buying gifts for the Auckland City Mission and Auckland Women’s Refuge.
Cost: $2 Entry and FREE for under 5s
Yayoi Kusama: The obliteration room
Auckland Art Gallery
Saturday 16 December 2017 to Monday 2 April 2018
The obliteration room is a family-friendly and participatory installation by one of the world’s most popular, well-loved artists, Yayoi Kusama. Beginning as a stark white interior, it encourages you to transform the Creative Learning Centre space with a rainbow of brightly coloured dots. Watch as, over time, a dizzying blur of colour is built up by visitors applying brightly coloured stickers in various sizes to every surface.
Image Credit: Yayoi Kusama, The obliteration room 2002-present. Collaboration between Yayoi Kusama and Queensland Art Gallery. Commissioned Queensland Art Gallery. Gift of the artist through the Queensland Art Gallery Foundation 2012. Collection: Queensland Art Gallery, Australia. Photograph: QAGOMA Photography.
Santa in the Sky!
Sky Tower, Corner Federal and Victoria Street, Auckland
Saturday 16 to 24 December 2017: 11:00am to 3:00pm
Come up the Sky Tower and have your photo taken with Santa and create your very own Christmas decoration to take home!
Plus, bring a present to put under the Charity Tree to gain special ‘Elf Status’. All presents placed under the Charity Tree will be donated to Variety - The Children’s Charity.
Entry prices: Kids under 5 are FREE; Children 6 to 14 years $12; Adult $29; Family Pass (2 adults and 2 children) $65 (additional Child Pass purchased with a Family Pass $9)
The Corsini Collection
Auckland Art Gallery, Corner Kitchener and Wellesley Streets, Auckland
Saturday 16 to Sunday 21 January 2018
From the private collection of the eminent Corsini family in Florence, Italy, comes this fascinating exhibition featuring Renaissance and Baroque painting by artists such as Botticelli, Andrea del Sarto, Caravaggio and Pontormo.
There is a fun family trail for the kids to enjoy the exhibition too.
Tickets: Children 12 and under are FREE; Members FREE; Adults $19
Far, Far Away: An exhibition for the school holidays
The James Wallace Arts Trust, The Pah Homestead, 72 Hillsborough Road, Hillsborough, Auckland map
Saturday 16 December 2017 to Sunday 28 January 2018
Opening Hours: Tues to Friday: 10am to 3pm, Saturday & Sunday: 8am to 5pm.
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.
The Great Christmas Giveback at Stardome Last weekend
Stardome Observatory & Planetarium, 670 Manukau Road, One Tree Hill Domain, Royal Oak, Auckland, New Zealand
Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 December 2017
Stardome is embracing the spirit of giving by giving back to our customers and two important, local charities. Bring along an item to donate to Auckland City Mission or SPCA Auckland and you’ll get into a Stardome show for $6! (Excluding Tuesday Night Shows and Special Events.)
Zirka Circus - Send in the Clowns
A&P Showgrounds, Railway Street, Helensville, Auckland
Saturday 16 December 2017: 2:00pm and 7:00pm performance
Sunday 17 December 2017: 1:00pm and 3:00pm performance
Tickets: Child $19 to $35; Adult 29 to $45; Family pass ( 2 adults and 2 children or 1 adult and 3 children) $86
Visit Butterfly Creek’s exciting new attraction, Kiwi Forest!
10 Tom Pearce Drive, Auckland Airport, Auckland map
Sunday 17 December 2017: 9:30am – 5:00pm
Open 7 days a week (excluding Christmas Day & Boxing Day)
Butterfly Creek’s latest attraction, Kiwi Forest is a must see in Auckland this summer. Kiwi Forest features the newest additions to the Butterfly Creek family, Brown Kiwi – Ipo & Tapu, a family of 5 Asian Short-Clawed Otters, Short-Finned Eels, Wetapunga as well as various other species. Plus see all the Butterfly Creek favorites: Dinosaur Kingdom, Tropical Butterfly House, Buttermilk Farm, Crocodiles and much more.
Cost: Child $16; Adult $28
Bugs, Bugs, Bugs Auckland Live summer in the Square
Aotea Square, Queen Street, Auckland
Sunday 17 December 2017: 9:00am
Join Auckland Zoo at Auckland Live Summer in the Square for a fascinating talk with one of New Zealand’s pre-eminent bug experts on stage – hosted by comedian Tom Sainsbury.
Cost: FREE event
Weet-Bix Kids Tryathlon 7 to 15 year olds
Henderson High School, Henderson
Sunday 17 December 2017
Complete all three legs (swim, bike and run) of the TRYathlon individually. The swim will take place in the school’s outdoor pool, followed by a bike ride around Henderson Park and local roads, ending with a run on Henderson High School fields.
- 7 years olds: 50m swim, 4km cycle and 1.5km run.
- Ages 8 to 10 year olds: 100m swim, 4km cycle and 1.5km run.
- Ages 11 to 15 years old: 150m swim, 8km cycle and 1.5km run.
Online registrations close on Monday 11 December 2107. Register here
Christmas in Poland Workshop
Polish Heritage Trust Museum, 125 Elliot Street, Howick, Auckland
Sunday 17 December 2017: 2:00pm to 4:00pm
Polish Heritage Trust Museum in Howick, New Zealand
Celebrate a Polish Christmas at the Polish Heritage Trust Museum. Hear stories, traditions and make decorations, using paper and wool.
Workshops for families include:
•Create your own unique paper Christmas star
•Taste the Polish ginger biscuit called Pierniki
•Learn some Christmas Eve traditions, watching the first star and Wigilia supper.
Ring 09 533 3530 to book.
Cost: $8 per person.
Custard of the Caribbean Live Show at Whoa! Studios
8-14 Henderson Valley Road, Henderson, Auckland
Sunday 17 December 2017: 11:00am and 2:00pm 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!
Tickets: Online $25; Walkup $29. Children 3 and under are free when sitting on a guardians lap. Includes free access to the park.
Polish Christmas Market 2017
Auckland Polish Association, 1 McDonald Street, Auckland
Sunday 17 December 2017: 12:30pm to 3:00pm
Auckland Polish Association - Polonia Auckland
The Chrismas Market is an excellent opportunity to obtain exclusive products made by the members of the Polish community.
Cost: FREE entry
A Pirate's Tale
LIFE, 95 Mount Eden Road, Mount Eden map
Sunday 17 December 2017: 8.40am, 10.15am, 11.50am, 4pm and 6pm shows
Take the whole family on a musical adventure on the high seas at this year’s Christmas at LIFE production. This production, written, produced and performed by our in-house team, is packed with catchy songs, colourful characters and a cast of both kids and adults.
Cost: FREE, but bookings essential
Christmas at the Beach - Blockhouse Bay
Blockhouse Bay Beach Reserve, 69 Endeavour Street, Blockhouse Bay, Auckland
Sunday 17 December 2017: 5:00pm to 9:00pm
Blockhouse Bay Beach Reserve will be transformed into the biggest Christmas party in the Bay. From 5pm children's' activities start with a beach treasure hunt, special guest Santa available to take selfies, bouncy castle, nail art and face painting. In addition to balloon twisting, fun and games with Party DJ Dave, and an extra special nativity trail with prizes. Bring a picnic or make use of the wonderful food vans, grab an ice cream, and kick back as the Band and choir sing your favourite Christmas carols, and then enjoy performances on stage by Shane Hales and the Shazaam Band.
Christmas Carols in The PumpHouse Amphitheatre
The PumpHouse Theatre, Killarney Park, Takapuna, Auckland
Sunday 17 December 2017: 6:00pm
The PumpHouse Community Choir and North Shore Chorale will be performing everyone’s favourite Christmas songs and Carols which the audience can to sing along to. Don’t worry if you don’t know the words, you will receive a songbook to sing from. Make sure you bring some gold coins for the sausage sizzle.
Tickets: Children under 12 are FREE; Adults $5
Out of Date
Avondale Town Centre Stage, Great North Road, Avondale
Sunday 17 December 2017: 10:00am
The Creative Souls Project
“On this day of good food, good music and good company …. what could go wrong. When four friends prepare their tastiest dish for the great pacific feast, everything that could go wrong goes wrong. Can the dishes be saved and the day be celebrated?” A cast of young actors bring this story to life in a children’s play. A story in spirit of the holiday - celebrating the greatest, grandest, tastiest pacific feast of the year.
Christmas at the Races
Ellerslie Event Centre, 80 Ascot Avenue, Remuera map
Sunday 17 December 2017: 12:30pm
Auckland Racing Club are putting on a free Raceday event for the community on 17 December at Ellerslie Racecourse with FREE sausage sizzle and FREE children's entertainment from 12.30pm onwards.
Cost: FREE entry,