The best of what's on this weekend in Auckland for Kids
Saturday 17 and Sunday 18
Auckland St Patrick's Day Parade and Irish Music Festival
Ponsonby Road, Ponsonby, Auckland
Saturday 17 March 2018: Parade starts at Noon
Festival at Western Park is from 11am to 6pm
St Patrick's Festival NZ
New Zealand becomes the first country in the world to mark St Patrick’s Day in 2018, and there’s no better way to mark Ireland’s national day than by joining the St Patrick’s Festival fun! Enjoy the parade from Noon on Ponsonby Road with more than 60 floats and acts. In Western Park there is an afternoon of family fun and fare and the Irish Music and Dance Festival takes over this inner-city park and there is an exclusive kids-zone boasting a bouncy castle, face painting, and crafts galore.
Family Open Day - 50th Anniversary University of Auckland Medical and Health Sciences
85 Park Road, Grafton, map
Saturday 17 March 2018: 9:30am to 4:00pm
What better way to celebrate the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences' 50th anniversary than to share it with everyone who has helped or been helped by them in some way over the last half century?
Join in the free festivities with live entertainment, children’s activities, games, campus tours, medical wonders, MED Talks, wacky science, robots and a range of food offerings on site to satisfy your appetite throughout the day. Bookings are essential here.
SKYCITYLive, Corner Victoria and Federal Streets, Auckland
Saturday 17 March 2018: 1:00pm to 10:00pm
A street festival with a difference, paradise will come to Auckland for this one day event featuring a food market, kids zone, entertainment and fashion show.The entertainment line-up includes; Ardijah, Brotherhood, Ministry of Tone, Soul Central and more… The Vodafone Warriors will also be there to meet fans from approx 8pm following their first home game of the season.
Cost: FREE entry. Donations accepted for the Red Cross Pacific Disaster Fund to assist those affected by Pacific disasters like Cyclone Gita.
Trolls - Movies in Parks
Lloyd Elsmore, Sir Lloyd Drive, Pakuranga, Auckand
Saturday 17 March 2018: 5:45pm onwards
Find your happy place. The '90s hair-crazy toy sensation goes big screen in this DreamWorks animated family musical. Features the singing voices of Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake and more. Family activities from 5.45pm. Movie starts at sunset (sunset at approximately 7:45pm). Ratings G
Cost: FREE family event
Fair On The Hill 2018
Devonport Primary School, 18 Kerr Street, Auckland
Saturday 17 March 2018: Noon to 6:00pm
Devonport Primary School
All the whānau fun of the fair and more on lucky St Patrick's Day! Entertainment, food, goodies and bargains galore for all
Cost: FREE admission.
Smales Farm Outdoor Movie - Thor: Ragnarok Ages 13 plus
Smales Farm, 74 Taharoto Road, Takapuna, Auckland
Saturday 17 March 2018: 3:00pm to 8:00pm
Facebook event page: Smales Farm
Starting with activities for the kids (and kids at heart) to enjoy from 3pm, then sit back and relax from 5pm enjoying the movie thor: Ragnarok (PG13)
Cost: FREE event
Music In Parks- Jazz in the Gardens featuring Twistin' the Swing, Joe Carbery Swingtet and the Manurewa High School Jazz Band
David Nathan Park, Hill Road, Manurewa, Auckland
Saturday 17 March 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
Tawharanui Snorkel Day
Tawharanui Regional Park (at Jones Bay or Anchor Bay depending on sea conditions), New Zealand
Saturday 17 March 2018: 10:00am to 3:00pm
EMR Facebook Event page
Explore the waters of the Tawharanui Peninsula. Find crayfish, parore and goatfish. Fun for the whole whanau. Bring your own gear or get free hire of a mask, snorkel, fins and wetsuit. Recommended for everyone 5 years and up. All children under 15 years must be accompanied by an adult beach observer. Experienced guides and advanced safety procedures will be in place on the day. Register at the event on the day. Sea conditions permitting.
Cost: FREE, Koha/donations welcome.
Mairangi Bay Playcentre - Playground Fundraising Fair
Mairangi Bay Playcentre, 1222 Kowhai Road, Mairangi Bay, North Shore, Auckland map
Saturday, 17 March 2018: 10:00am to 1:00pm
Come and join Mairangi Bay Playcentre for their annual Fair, a day of family fun. There will be something for everyone, including haunted house, disco, pony rides, baking stall, sausage sizzle, silent and live auction and much more entertainment.
Cost Free entry, various charges per activity
Saturday and Sunday events
A Day out with Thomas
Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 March 2018: 9:30am to 4:00pm
This is a fabulous event for the little "Thomas" fans (and the family too!). Join Thomas & Friends to enjoy train rides and take part in many Thomas-themed activities, most of which are free when you purchase tickets for the 12km steam train ride.
Thomas the Tank Engine will be offering rides in his trucks. His friends Rusty and Bulgy will be there. Bulgy will be taking passengers on trips around the beautiful local countryside. And of course Sir Topham Hatt, the Fat Controller will be in charge for the day. Face painting, storytelling, bouncy castle and other fun activities will be available free with your GVR Train Ticket.
Steam Train Ride Ticket - Babies and toddlers under 2 years old are FREE; Children $10; Adults $25
Thomas Ride Ticket - Babies and toddlers under 2 years old are FREE; Children & Adults $5 each
Erth's Prehistoric Aquarium Auckland Arts Festival Event
Bruce Mason Centre, 1 The Promenade, Takapuna Beach, Auckland
Saturday 17 March 2018: 2:00pm and 7:00pm
Sunday 18 March 2018: 1:00pm and 5:00pm
Following on from their much-loved Dinosaur Zoo, the team at Erth have built an aquarium and filled it with prehistoric marine reptiles. Either from the safety of their seats, or right up close to the action, families and their children are invited to interact with these majestic aquatic creatures and learn about some of nature’s greatest mysteries along the way.Boasting beautiful puppetry, inflatable environments and an immersive underwater atmosphere, this live-theatre performance is at once an enchanting and educational journey into the world of dinosaurs, natural history and the science of palaeontology.
Recommended for ages 5 years plus.
Tickets: Child $19; Aduilt $25; Family $78
Let Me Be Myself - The Life Story of Anne Frank
Sainsbury Horrocks Gallery, Auckland Museum, Auckland
Saturday 17 March to Sunday 13 May 2018
Imagine spending years in hiding because of prejudice and hate. Developed by Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, the international exhibition Let Me Be Myself – The Life Story of Anne Frank explores how life was for Anne Frank and her family, and looks at the events surrounding the Holocaust and the rise of the Nazi Party in Germany. Auckland Museum is the first to host this exhibition in New Zealand as part of a three-year tour supported by The Holocaust Centre of New Zealand.
Cost: FREE for Aucklanders
The Haier Big Hoot Auckland 2018 Public Art Trail
Various public locations around Auckland
Saturday 17 March to Sunday 6 May 2018
Super-sized owl sculptures will descend on Auckland for the Haier Big Hoot art trail. Over 100 owls will roost 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. Joining the giant owls are 60 owlets (90cm) – many designed by Auckland school students. 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 – available to download from the App Store or Google Play from 01 March, and collect rewards as you go.
A O Làng Phố Auckland Arts Festival Event
Yayoi Kusama: The obliteration room at Auckland Art Gallery
Auckland Art Gallery, Corner Kitchener and Wellesley Streets, Auckland
Saturday 18 March to Monday 2 April 2018: 10:00am to 5:00pm
The obliteration room is a family-friendly installation by one of the world’s most popular, well-loved artists, Yayoi Kusama. Beginning as a stark white interior in December, it encourages you to transform the 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.
Read about Auckland for Kids visit to the obilteration room here
House of Mirrors Auckland Arts Festival event
Festival Playground, Silo Park, corner of Jellico and Beaumont Street
Saturday 17 March to Sunday 25 March 2018: Weekdays Noon to 10:00pm, Weekends 10:00am to 10:00pm
Prepare to get lost in this grand reimagining of an amusemnet park classis: a massive outdoor walk-through installation composed of a labyrinth of seemingless endless mirrors.
Tickets: FREE for kids under 4; Children 4 and over are $12.50; Adults $12.50
Knot Touch at NZ Maritime Museum
Bug Lab at Auckland Zoo
Auckland Zoo, 99 Motions Road, Auckland
Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 March 2018
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.
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; Family pass 2 adults and 2 children $50
New Zealand Association for Gifted Children Conference 2018
ACG Parnell College, Parnell, Auckland
Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 March 2018
NZAGC's national student and adult conference is in Auckland this year. Enjoy a whole catered weekend of inspiring national and international expert speakers on the learning, social and emotional needs of gifted children, in the company of other families with shared interests. Bookings are essential
Tickets: Children $80; Adult $220:
Art Club at The Pah Homestead
The Pah Homestead, TSB Wallace Arts Centre, 72 Hillsborough Road, Hillsborough, Auckland map
Sunday 18 March 2018: 2:00pm to 4:00pm
Facebook event page
Drop in and create art inspired by the latest exhibitions in the gallery. The Arts Centre will be presenting fun free art-making sessions for kids on the third Sunday of each month, exploring different art topics and set of techniques each time.
Goat Island Snorkel Day POSTPONED TO 25 MARCH 2018
Goat Island, Auckland
Sunday 18 March 2018: 10:00am to 3:00pm
POSTPONED TO 25 MARCH 2018
Postponements announed on www.emr.org.nz and and Facebook.com/mtsct.emr
Explore the waters Goat Island - NZ's oldest marine reserve. Find snapper, parore and goatfish. Fun for the whole whanau. Bring your own gear or get free hire of our mask, snorkel, fins and wetsuits. Recommended for everyone 5 years and up. All children under 15 years must be accompanied by an adult beach observer. Experienced guides and advanced safety procedures will be in place on the day. Register at the event on the day. Sea conditions permitting.
Cost: FREE event. Koha/donations welcome.
Sunrise Walk for Hospice
102 Hill Road, Manurewa, Auckland map
Sunday 18 March 2018: 7:45am
Gather friends, family and your work colleagues and enjoy a 5km walk/fun run around the Auckland Botanic Gardens. Step by step you will be remembering and honouring someone special you love, whilst raising vital funds for Totara Hospice South Auckland. Dress to the theme of the Rainbow to receive fun prizes. After the walk enjoy a free sausage sizzle, face painting for the kids and a few giveaways.
Cost: Dogs FREE; Children 9 and under are FREE; Children 10 to 15 years old $15; Adults $35;
Fishing Competition and Summer Festival
Wainui School, 492 Waitoki Road, Wainui, Auckland map
Sunday 18 March 2018 11.30am to 3.00pm
Fish from 4pm Friday until weigh in on Sunday between 12.30-1.30pm. Win fabulous prizes and enjoy the Summer Festival on Sunday with entertainment, games and food. Stay on and purchase fresh fish for your dinner at the fresh fish auction at 2.30pm. Fun for the whole family.
Fishing competition registration cost: Kids FREE; Adults $35;
Brass at the Falls: Waitākere Auckland Brass Band
Falls Park, Alderman Drive, Henderson
If raining, the event will be relocated to the adjacent Korean Presbyterian Church.
Sunday 18 March 2018: 2:30pm to 4:00pm
Henderson-Massey Local Board
Enjoy the summer sounds of brass with the Waitakere Auckland Brass Band. Bring a folding chair and a picnic for an afternoon of free entertainment.
Cost: FREE event
RNZAF Black Falcons and Royal New Zealand Airforce - MOTAT Military Day Display
Pt Chevalier Beach or MOTAT
Sunday 18 March 2018: 1:00pm to 1:15pm
RNZAF Black Falcons and Royal New Zealand Air Force
Come and check out the RNZAF Black Falcons and Royal New Zealand Air Force at the MOTAT Military Day Display. The display will be best viewed over Point Chevalier Beach.
IMPORTANT: timings and display could change due to weather or operational requirements so please check our Facebook page on the day for any changes.
Meet the Villagers
Howick Historical Village, Bells Road, Lloyd Elsmore Park, Pakuranga, Auckland
Sunday 18 March 2018: 10:00am to 3:00pm
Howick Historical Village
Howick Historical's Living Museum bursts into life with costumed villagers going about their day to day life as if they were living in the 19th Century. Some old fashioned delights include; Old Fashioned Crafts; Toys and games; A Victorian School; Rope making and Traditional Trades. Don’t forget to visit Johnson’s Sweet Shop for a sweet treat and the Howick Arms for a refreshing drink and pub games.
Cost: Usual admission charges apply.
Live Day, Military at MOTAT
MOTAT: 805 Great North Road & Meola Rd, Western Springs map
Sunday 18 March 2018: 10:00am to 4:00pm
Motors turn over, gears crank, and steam engines burst to life on the third Sunday of every month when MOTAT fires up a range of impressive machines from their collection, celebrating New Zealand’s history of transport and technology. This March, Live day will showcase their Military collection with a host of interactive activities, displays, and more. There will be face painting, model displays, armoury activities, flyovers, and the always-popular Military Rides will be in operation. As will all the usual live day favourites including Little Flick mini fire-engine rides, the Blacksmith working in the forge, tram rides, and lolly-making demonstrations.
Cost: Usual MOTAT admission charges apply.