Calling all people with small ones in tow—winter school holidays (Saturday 10th-Sunday 25th July) are looking realll good this year with a multitude of activities and events around Auckland to keep the littlies entertained, no matter what the weather.
From sea monsters to ice skating, amusement rides to rugby—you can be sure there's an outing with your little one's name on it (and yours too, just quietly). To avoid missing out—and unnecessary tears—book ahead where possible.
Auckland Museum, PARNELL
Dinosaurs are sooo last term—if you really wanna see something exciting these school holidays, check out the prehistoric ocean predators descending on Auckland Museum as part of their mind-blowing Sea Monsters exhibition. Dive into more than a dozen interactives and over 70 displays—including a 13-metre cast skeleton of an Elasmosaurus—that make Jaws himself look like mere fish bait. While you're there, don't forget to check out the museum's all-new Imaginarium—a super-sized gallery for kids filled with all kinds of curiosities like an incredible 9.3-metre indoor tree.
Make Your Own Sushi With OJI
Commercial Bay, AUCKLAND CBD
If your child dreams of becoming a sushi master, only a lesson from the best will do. Enter OJI Sushi, which is holding two Make Your Own Sushi workshops on Monday 12th and Monday 19th July as part of the Commercial Bay Kids Club. Littlies will slice, dice and roll their way to sushi greatness, before filling their tummies with the spoils.
Aotea Square Ice Rink
Aotea Square, auckland cbd
Forget roller skating, ice skating is where it's at these school holidays and Aotea Square have you sorted with the return of their much-loved ice rink. Kit the kids out in their cosiest threads, strap on some skates then glide your way around this legit winter wonderland, which also happens to include a 35-metre, multi-level icy slide.
Junior Donuteer Decorating Classes
The Pie Piper, k' rd
If you're one of those parents who told your children never to play with their food, you might want to go back on that advice NOW because The Pie Piper are inviting your littlies to get loose in the kitchen, big-time these school holidays with their Junior Donuteer Decorating Classes. Running on Saturday 17th and Saturday 24th July, kids will get to decorate up to four delicious donuts before taking their creations home to enjoy. We can only imagine the clean-up...
Winter Lights - Twilight Rides
Rainbow's End, Manukau
For peak excitement these school holidays, you can't beat a trip to Rainbow's End—especially during their first-ever Winter Lights event. Head along to the Twilight Rides sessions between 4-8pm, where your little one will be able to frolic amongst glowing light projections, cruise the famous Log Flume Enchanted Forest, decked out in twinkling fairy lights, chow down on treats from a limited edition menu and even send a letter to Santa—all before bedtime.
Bring Your Burger To Life Drawing Class & Lunch With Bobo Doodles & Burger Burger
Commercial Bay, Auckland CBD
Now one for the budding Banksys. Local artist, Bonnie Wong aka Bobo Doodles is partnering with Burger Burger for two Bring Your Burger To Life drawing classes on Wednesday 14th and Wednesday 21st July as part of the Commercial Bay Kids Club. Putting pencil to paper is hard work, so after your kiddos have finished their masterpieces they'll get to refuel with a real-life burger of their own design, complete with shared sides.
Stardome Observatory And Planetarium, Epsom
Wannabe astronauts should hyperjump straight to one of Stardome Observatory and Planetarium's 360-degree Planetarium Shows these school holidays—not least because of the incredible $8 price tag. Choose from a wide range of titles (including the popular Matariki Dawn) and session times starting on Thursday 15th July, and remember to also keep an eye out for Stardome's cool live science experiments.
Make Your Own Tacos & Do Hawaiian Crafts With Sam Choy Poke
Commercial Bay, AUCKLAND CBD
If crafting paper leis and making Hawaiian tacos to the sound of Moana sounds like your kid's dream day, you'll wanna head on over to Sam Choy Poke. These guys are hosting a rad Make Your Own Tacos & Do Hawaiian Crafts workshop as part of the Commercial Bay Kids Club on Thursday 22nd July. As Maui would say, “you're welcome”.
ALL BLACKS EXPERIENCE, AUCKLAND CBD
All Blacks fans young (and old!) have the chance to get up-close-and-personal with some of the team's most famous faces these school holidays, as legends like Josh Kronfeld, Stephen Donald, Conrad Smith and current captain, Sam Cane take 90-minute guided tours of the state-of-the-art All Blacks Experience (the only interactive All Blacks experience in the world).
DIY Tea Making Class With Harker Herbals
Commercial Bay, AUCKLAND CBD
It's never too early to instil a love of tea, so with that in mind get the sprogs along to Harker Herbals' DIY Tea Making Class, running across two sessions as part of the Commercial Bay Kids Club on Tuesday 13th July. Armed with glass jars and tea infusers, they'll learn how to make deliciously blended organic tea while you watch on, cup of steaming hot Mood Boosting tea in hand.
MOTAT, WESTERN SPRINGS
What kid doesn't love getting amongst a science experiment or two? MOTAT is here to assist, as they guide your child through all sorts of cool hands-on activities—from glamping while making paper caravans, to dissecting fake poo—as part of their Wow Science holiday experience. And don't miss MOTAT's fascinating Live Day on Sunday 18th July, where you'll get to live life a la the 1800s, complete with traditional lolly making, lawn games, and a trip to the Wainui School House.
Krispy Kreme, Manukau
The Pie Piper aren't the only ones serving up doughnut decorating goodness these school holidays—the legends at Krispy Kreme are hosting some classes of their own at their Manukau store between Monday 12th-Thursday 22nd July. With a run time of just 20 minutes, these sessions are short and sweet (ideal for those with short attention spans) and will involve decorating two signature Original Glazed doughnuts with a variety of fun icings and toppings. Plus, each child will receive a balloon and an iconic Krispy Kreme paper hat to take home. Boom.
Need more ideas? Check out 50 things to do with kids in Auckland.
Image credit: Timur Kozmenko