Things To Do With Kids

50 Of The Best Things To Do With Kids In Auckland

By Kathryn Steane
8th Mar 2022

A man splashes a child at Rainbow's End, clearly having a lot of fun.

Being in charge of young ones can be tough, but it can also be a hell of a lot of fun. Especially when you throw an exciting adventure away from the house into the mix. That's where this list of the 50 best things to do with kids in Auckland comes in—from animal parks and art galleries to ice cream crawls and escape rooms, consider it your one-way ticket to never hearing the words 'I'm booored', ever again. You're welcome.

  1. Get your arcade fix at Archie Brothers Cirque Electrique (home to bumper cars, ten pin bowling, and some of the best freakshakes in Auckland) and a little something-something for the grown-ups too.
  2. Channel your inner Tarzan with a zipline ride above the trees at EcoZip Adventures.

  3. Take a wander 'round the waterfront and dream about owning your own superyacht (top tip: Silo Park has its own playground).

  4. Carve up the slopes at Snowplanet. A little girl pats a gigantic rabbit sitting on her lap.

  5. Cuddle baby animals, take a tractor ride and hand-feed an entire menagerie of cuteness over at Kiwi Valley Farm Park.

  6. Play astronomers for the day at Stardome Observatory and Planetarium.

  7. Witness the art of lollipop making (then create one of your very own) at the Old Lolly Shop in Takapuna. A blat around the beachfront playground will soon sort out any sugar rushes.

  8. Take a step back in time at MOTAT (tram ride essential).

  9. Make like Spiderman and spend the day scaling the walls at one of these epic rock climbing gyms.

  10. Treat your li'l bookworm with a trip to one of the best children's bookshops in Auckland, Little Unity or Dorothy Butler.

  11. Escape to the wild aka Auckland Zoo (better yet, grab an annual pass and you can visit as many times as you like).
  12. Ferry on over to Rangitoto aka Auckland's largest volcano, where lava caves, glow worms, and amazing photo opps await.
  13. Step into the realm of the weird and wonderful at Weta Workshop Unleashed.

  14. Take a trip up the Sky Tower and dare each other to walk across the glass panels (if the kids need a li'l extra encouragement, just get them to watch the poor souls doing the SkyJump).

  15. Do an ice cream crawl (yes, it's totally a thing) around some of Auckland's best ice cream and gelato shops.

  16. For those who dream of one day donning the black jersey, the All Blacks Experience is a must.

  17. Get amongst nature with a walk along one of these amazing tracks.

  18. Put your problem-solving skills to the test with a family-friendly escape room.

  19. Throw parenting caution to the wind and load up on treats and an American treasure or two from Martha's Backyard. Two boys press buttons with pictures of native birds on them, to hear their respective birdsongs.

  20. Play real-life Little Einsteins (IYKYK) with a trip to the Auckland War Memorial Museum. Checking out the resident mummy is a must.

  21. Crank out the kayaks and take a cruise around one of these stunning spots.

  22. Grab your torches (and your courage) and explore the tunnels under North Head. Don't forget a pic atop the cannons.

  23. Set sail across the Waitemata in search of marine mammals with a day of whale watching.

  24. Take a stroll around the beautiful Auckland Botanic Gardens (the Potter Children's Garden is especially fun).

  25. Putt your way to golfing glory at one of Auckland's best mini golf spots.

  26. Get up close and personal with penguins or better yet, swim with the sharks at SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton's Aquarium.

  27. Grab your tent and head away for a weekend camping.

  28. Set sail for Kawau, where you'll want to check out the amazing Mansion House homestead. Keep your eyes peeled for peacocks and wallabies (yes, wallabies!).

  29. Pack up that pocket money and take a wander around one of Auckland's many epic markets.

  30. Get tangled up in the country's only Japanese play net (yes, it's as cool as it sounds), amongst other fun at Whoa! Studios.

  31. Bust out your best trampoline moves or indulge in a li'l parkour at JUMP.

  32. Wannabe Warhols will appreciate a tour of the Auckland Art Gallery.

  33. Explore a hothouse filled with exotic butterflies, then take walk amongst (robotic) dinos at Butterfly Creek.

  34. The closest thing to a trip to Sodor aka Thomas the Tank Engine's stomping ground is a trip to Glenbrook Vintage Railway. A group of kids give the thumbs up while snorkelling in the water at Goat Island Marine Reserve.

  35. Go snorkelling at Goat Island Marine Reserve (or if you prefer to keep dry, opt for a glass-bottom boat ride).

  36. Swing from the trees like legit monkeys at Tree Adventures.

  37. Explore Auckland Domain (we recommend a walk through the Wintergardens, followed by a picnic either lakeside or in the rotunda). Please note that some areas of the Wintergardens are currently closed due to construction.

  38. Wrap up warm and hit the rink at Paradice Ice Skating.

  39. Day-trip it to Tiritiri Matangi, one of the country's oldest island sanctuaries (also home to an amazing lighthouse).

  40. Get amongst rollercoasters, bumper boats and the Fearfall, if you dare, at Rainbow's End.

  41. No matter the weather, all kids love going to the beach—here's a list of Auckland's best.

  42. Find out just how competitive you can be with a game of paintball.

  43. Or laser tag.

  44. Make friends with geese, eels and other critters at Western Springs.

  45. Take a dip at one of Auckland's best outdoor or indoor swimming pools  (find one with a hydro slide for added fun).

  46. Head north to Matakana and take a look around the art-filled gardens at Sculptureum (a pic beside the hot pink snails is a must).

  47. Treat the team to breakfast/lunch/a fluffy and something yum at one of these tasty spots (food, after all, is a kids' best friend).

  48. Take part in what is essentially the world's largest treasure hunt with a spot of geocaching.

  49. Saddle up and go for a horse trek along Muriwai Beach.A bright pink train filled with people drives around the front of the Chelsea Bay sugar factory.       

  50. Take a tour around the iconic Chelsea Bay sugar factory in a candy pink train, followed by a sweet treat at the on-site cafe.         

And finally, here are a few seasonal suggestions the whole family will love:   

Go strawberry picking in the summer at one of these delightful spots.

Stroll the daffodil-lined avenues of Cornwall Park in the spring, where newborn lambs will also be out in full force.

Wander the meadows of a local sunflower or lavender farm in the summer. 

Image credit: Rainbow's End, Kiwi Valley Farm Park by Kathryn Steane, Auckland War Memorial Museum, Goat Island Dive & Snorkel, Chelsea Bay.

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