Sometimes life's not all sunshine and roses and even the smallest of things that can trigger a bad day. Whether it is a fight with a loved one, getting stuck in typical Auckland traffic or simply just waking up on the wrong side of the bed, sometimes things just get to you. Having a bad day happens to everyone, so to help turn your frown upside down, we've put together a list of the happiest places in Auckland when you're having a bad day.
So, don't worry, be happy!
While Auckland isn’t (yet) home to the happiest place on earth, AKA Disneyland, we do have our own gold found at Rainbow’s End. Pretty much everyone has a memory of hitting the theme park during their childhood years, so why not recreate it? Get drenched on the log flume, scream through the terror of the roller coaster or hop on one of the more recent rides to take your fear next-level. If fear isn’t really your thing, head to the bumper boats to smash out your woes in freedom or hit the karts for a good time. You’ll find there’s a smile on your dial in no time at all!
Well, the name says it all really! Happy Boy is a sure-fire way to vanquish those blues. Why? Because this restaurant is so bright and vibrant, you’ll find yourself smiling as soon as you walk in the door—because who can be miserable when around such pops of colour! But, not only does it have a great vibe, it also serves up great food…and yep, we’re talking the goodness that is bao bun burgers. With options such as free-range cornflake katsu pork patty with white cabbage, tomato, curry mayo and bull dog sauce or Korean fried chicken, lettuce, pickled daikon, cheese gochujang and aioli, these mouth-watering delights will keep your belly happy. Embrace your inner child and order a slushy to wash it all down with. Pro tip: save room for dessert and BYO stretchy pants!
Boost those happiness levels at Woah! Studios. Situated in West Auckland, it has a restaurant, pantomime studio and an epic playground. While you’re probably (read: you are) too old to climb on it, the colourful hand-crocheted climbing net will make you smile. The Grounds restaurant, under the helm of Ben Bayly, has plenty of delicious sharing dishes and even delightful ice cream to sweeten your mood. If a pantomime sounds a bit of you, head along to their studio to watch a show. The sound of children laughing will surely cheer you up!
Another way to kick that bad mood to the curb is to chuck on your party pants, round up the crew get ready to smash out the hits that you grew up on. Yep, we’re talking Karaoke! Sing loud and sing proud (just make sure you choose happy songs—now ain’t the time for Sad Songs Say So Much) and feel those blues slip away. We recommend heading to the Vodka Room where they have private Karaoke rooms with a ‘press for Vodka’ button so you can let loose (responsibly) and have a great time! Or, hit up any one of our favourite Karaoke bars.
The Classic Comedy
Laughter is the best medicine. Doctors’ orders! For a sure-fire way to cheer up, head to The Classic for some belly laughs. Have a bite to eat at Tanuki’s Cave beforehand. Open most nights of the week and with a pretty stellar line-up, The Classic is a fantastic destination for a fun night out with all the LOL’s. Stick around the bar after the show, as the comedians will often come for a drink, too.
Have you ever tried frowning while bouncing? It’s pretty much impossible. And as you’re probs too old to have a tramp in the backyard, head to Uptown Bounce to (literally) bounce your woes away! This indoor trampoline park will boost those endorphins and make you feel like a giant kid. Here you’ll be able to do some rock climbing without worrying about the consequences if you fall, and bounce to your heart’s delight. With sessions every hour, make sure you book so you’re not disappointed!
There's nothing like animals to release those endorphins, which is why a visit to Auckland Zoo is a fantastic idea when you’re having a bad day. Soak in the elegance of the giraffes, giggle at the cheeky monkeys or hear the lion’s strength during feeding time. If you’re up to it, head to the children’s area to get up close and personal with animals and relive your childhood with a snap in the dragon’s mouth. Pro tip: grab a hot dog and an ice-cream, soul food is proven to lift the spirits—that's a fact!
Head to Queen Street to let your inner kid run wild at Timezone. Grab a bunch of friends and have some good ol' fashioned fun in the arcade. Shoot some hoops on the basketball game, get super competitive at air hockey, squirt the ducks for an oversized soft toy and put your dancing skills to the test with Dance, Dance, Revolution! You'll forget about the stresses of the outside world in no time!
Two words—laughter club. Yep, it’s a thing and we think you should give it a whirl. The founder of laughter yoga, Dr. Kataria, explains "we don't laugh because we are happy, we are happy because we laugh." And, the proof is in the pudding! Find out where your nearest laughter club is and pop on down to say goodbye to your bad day.
If all else fails, we recommend taking part in a happy hour at any of these bars. Happy hour is all about knowing that as soon as people leave work and get themselves a drink without spending a small fortune, they feel nothing but pure happiness! Okay…we kinda made that up, but we like to think it’s true! Whether it’s cocktails, a beer or a soothing glass of wine, hit up one of Auckland’s best happy hours to be more…errr…happy!
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Image Credit: Yes Man