Things To Do With Kids

50 Of The Best Things To Do With Kids In Auckland

By Kathryn Steane

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 shops and escape rooms, consider it your one-way ticket to never hearing the words 'I'm booored', ever again. You're welcome.

Archie Brothers Cirque Electrique

Westfield Newmarket, 277 Broadway, Newmarket, Auckland

Get your arcade fix at Archie Brothers Cirque Electrique (home to bumper cars, ten-pin bowling, and some of the best freakshakes in Auckland). Parents will be pleased to know that they also offer a cheeky cocktail menu, whoop whoop! 

Take A Trip To Waiheke

Waiheke Island, Auckland

Escape to beloved island hideaway Waiheke. The littlies will love the ferry over, and with plenty of games to play at Wild On Waiheke, you can also channel your inner Tarzan with a zipline ride above the trees at EcoZip Adventures which is the closest thing you'll ever get to flying. Check out more booze-free Waiheke adventures.

Silo Park

Corner Beaumont Street & Jellicoe Street, Auckland CBD 

Take a wander 'round the waterfront and dream about owning your own superyacht. Or if that idea doesn't float your boat, visit the Silo Park playground and follow up with an ice cream from the nearby Wynyard Quarter.


91 Small Road, Silverdale, Auckland

Kids enjoying their time on the slopes at Snowplanet.Image credit: Snowplanet | Supplied

Carve up the makeshift mountain that is Snowplanet. Unlike real ski slopes, this spot is open for skiing and snowboarding 365 days a year, with a whopping 8000 square metres of powder at your disposal.

Kiwi Valley Farm Park

308 Henderson Valley Road, Henderson, Auckland

Cuddle baby animals, take a tractor ride, and hand-feed an entire menagerie of cuteness over at Kiwi Valley Farm Park. Think of it as a day in the countryside, without leaving the city.

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Stardome Observatory And Planetarium

670 Manukau Road, Epsom, Auckland

Budding astronauts will love Stardome Observatory and Planetarium. Peer through telescopes, watch sci-fi films and check out their amazing night sky presentations.

The Old Lolly Shop

480 Lake Road, Takapuna, Auckland

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

MOTAT (Museum of Transport and Technology)

805 Great North Road, Western Springs, Auckland

Take a step back in time at MOTAT (Museum of Transport and Technology). Famous for its heritage trams and historic buildings, as well as a slew of cool science-y stuff.

Clip ‘N Climb

Capitol Cinema Building, 610 Dominion Road, Mount Eden/Balmoral & Unit 1/59 Corinthian Drive, Albany, Auckland

Make like Spiderman and spend the day scaling the walls at Clip 'N Climb. Pop a few lollies in your pocket if you think your kids might need some extra encouragement (trust us, it works).

Little Unity

Corner Vulcan Lane & High Street, Auckland CBD 

Take your little bookworms on an outing to the magical Little Unity bookstore. As a sibling to the hugely popular Unity Books, located right next door, you know it's gonna be good.

Auckland Zoo

Motions Road, Western Springs, Auckland

Escape to the wild side at Auckland Zoo (better yet, grab an annual pass and you can visit as many times as you like). For the chance to get up close and personal with red pandas, giraffes, and other animals, check out their range of behind-the-scenes Zoo Experiences. 

Rangitoto Island

Hauraki Gulf, Auckland

Ferry on over to Rangitoto Island aka Auckland's largest volcano where lava caves, glow worms, and amazing photo ops await. Don't forget to bring along your togs for cooling off at one of the island's two safe swimming beaches.

Wētā Workshop Unleashed

Level 5, 88 Federal Street, Auckland CBD 

People stare at a spaceship at Weta Workshop Unleashed.Image credit: Wētā Workshop Unleashed | Supplied

Blow the kids' minds with a visit to the award-winning Wētā Workshop Unleashed. A word of warning: younger kids may want to stare clear of the horror section (and maybe even some adults, too!).

Sky Tower

Corner Victoria Street and Federal Street, Auckland CBD, Auckland

Take a trip up the Sky Tower and dare each other to walk across the glass panels. If the kids need a little extra encouragement, just get them to watch the poor souls doing the SkyWalk and SkyJump.

Duck Island Ice Cream

1/182 Ponsonby Road, Ponsonby, Shop 8/2–8 Osborne Lane, Newmarket & Shop 3, 67-73 Hurstmere Road, Takapuna, Auckland

No kid has ever turned down ice cream, and Duck Island Ice Cream does some of the best. Even the flavours themselves have a childlike quality to them (Fairy Bread and Peppermint Slice, we're looking at you). Scope all the best ice cream shops in town.

All Blacks Experience

Level 4, 88 Federal Street, Auckland CBD 

For those who dream of one day donning the black jersey, the All Blacks Experience is a must. Rumour has it that real All Blacks have even been spotted here from time to time.

Odyssey Sensory Maze

297 Queen Street, Lower Basement Level, Inside Sky World Entertainment Centre, Auckland CBD 

Overload their senses (and tucker them out) and the fantastic new Auckland tourist attraction Odyssey Sensory Maze. With 19 awe-inspiring rooms including a colour maze, an underwater adventure, musical stairs, a miner’s cave, a spaceship room, the interior of an Egyptian pyramid and so much more, this is like a jacked-up old-school funhouse, but better.

Tāwharanui Ecology Trail

Takatu Road, Tāwharanui Peninsula, Auckland

Get amongst nature with a walk along the amazing Tāwharanui Ecology Trail. Taking you from beach to bush and back again, this is especially popular for its native NZ birdlife. Add these great Auckland walks to your list.

Great Escape

28 Lorne Street, Auckland CBD 

Put your problem-solving skills to the test at Great Escape. Participating in one of their escape rooms will either bring your family together... or tear it apart. Browse more great Auckland escape rooms.

Martha's Backyard

44 Mount Wellington Highway, Mount Wellington, Auckland

Throw parenting caution to the wind and load up on treats and an American treasure or two from Martha's Backyard. For a true taste of all things red, white, and blue, visit at Halloween or Christmas time.

Auckland War Memorial Museum

Auckland Domain, Parnell, Auckland

Two boys press buttons with pictures of native birds on them, to hear their respective birdsongs.Image credit: Auckland War Memorial Museum | Facebook

Play real-life Little Einsteins (IYKYK) with a trip to the Auckland War Memorial Museum. Checking out the resident mummy is a must, as is a photo with the two T-Rex skeletons in the foyer. Check out Auckland's top museums.

Auckland Sea Kayaks

384 Tamaki Drive, St Heliers, Auckland

For low-key pirate vibes, visit Auckland Sea Kayaks. They'll let you captain your own kayak for as little as an hour, which is perfect for those with a short attention span (and if they do misbehave,  simply tell them there have been Kraken sightings in the area). Got the bug? Here are some excellent kayaking spots around Auckland.

North Head

18 Takarunga Road, Devonport, Auckland

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

Auckland Whale & Dolphin Safari

New Zealand Maritime Museum, 175 Quay Street, Viaduct Harbour, Auckland

Set sail across the Waitemata in search of marine mammals with an Auckland Whale & Dolphin Safari. Bryde’s whales and common dolphins are spotted on the reg but don't discount seals, turtles, sharks, and even manta rays.

Auckland Botanic Gardens

102 Hill Road, The Gardens, Auckland

Take a stroll around the beautiful Auckland Botanic Gardens. Boasting more than 10,000 plants from across the globe (and a dedicated garden for the kiddos), this sure is an incredible introduction to the world of botany. 

Holey Moley

204 Quay Street, Auckland CBD 

Putt your way to golfing glory at Holey Moley. The nine-hole course is perfect for families, with holes inspired by everything from The Simpsons and ET, to The Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones (admittedly that last one's more for the big kids). Do a tour of Auckland's best mini-golf spots.

SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton's Aquarium

23 Tāmaki Drive, Ōrākei, Auckland

Get up close and personal with penguins, sharks, and other aquatic creatures at SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton's Aquarium. Be sure to pay the rockpools a visit, where you can touch real-life starfish.

Ōrewa Beach Holiday Park

265 Hibiscus Coast Highway, Ōrewa, Auckland

Pitch a tent at the famed Ōrewa Beach Holiday Park. This spot has been beloved by families for decades thanks to its glorious beachfront location and proximity to playgrounds, eateries, and other amenities.

Kawau Island

Hauraki Gulf, Auckland

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

Matakana Country Park Market

33 Omaha Flats Road, Matakana, Auckland

Put some gas in the tank and make the trip up to Matakana Country Park Market, where food trucks and other vendors await beneath beautiful overhanging maple trees. An animal park and cafe can also be found here. Make a list and seek out the best markets in Auckland including Clevedon Village Farmers Market.

Whoa! Studios

8/14 Henderson Valley Road, Henderson, Auckland

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. Adults will appreciate the on-site eatery, conceived by top chefs Ben Bayly and Mike Shatura.


48 Arrenway Drive, Rosedale, 6 Jomac Place, Avondale & 212 Great South Road, Takanini, Auckland

Bust out your best trampoline moves or indulge in a li'l parkour at JUMP. You may even want to give your Ninja Warrior skills a whirl.

Auckland Art Gallery

Wellesley Street East, Auckland CBD 

Wannabe Warhols will appreciate a tour of the Auckland Art Gallery. Be sure to stop by The Creative Learning Centre, where they can get their hot little hands on a variety of interactive projects. Fired their minds? Check out the best art galleries in Auckland.

Butterfly Creek

10 Tom Pearce Drive, Auckland Airport, Auckland

Explore a hothouse filled with exotic butterflies, check out the crocs, and then take a walk amongst (robotic) dinos at Butterfly Creek. Top tip: wear bright colours—they're the butterflies' fave.

Glenbrook Vintage Railway

Glenbrook Station Road, Waiuku, Auckland

The closest thing to a trip to Sodor aka Thomas the Tank Engine's stomping ground is a trip to Glenbrook Vintage Railway. Even better, visit at Christmas time when the whole place—trains included—is decked out with twinkling lights.

Cape Rodney-Okakari Point Marine Reserve (Goat Island)

Leigh, Auckland

A group of kids give the thumbs up while snorkelling in the water at Goat Island Marine Reserve. Image credit: Goat Island | Website

Go snorkelling at Cape Rodney-Okakari Point Marine Reserve (Goat Island) (or if you prefer to keep dry, opt for a pootle around in a clear kayak). Expect to see snapper, red moki, leatherjackets, banded wrasse, and if you're lucky—a stingray. Snorkel up a storm at these other great snorkelling spots.

Tree Adventures

Boundary Road, Woodhill Forest, Auckland

Swing from the trees like legit monkeys at Tree Adventures. They have all your bases covered, from a Tree Huggin' course (2-3 metres above ground) for younger/less confident kiddos, through to a 14-metre-high obstacle-filled High Flying course for the older/more daring darlings out there. 


Auckland Domain, Parnell, Auckland

Nothing beats a walk through the Wintergardens (the carnivorous plants are especially fascinating!) followed by a picnic in the Domain, either lakeside or in the rotunda. Anyone who says the central city isn't pretty clearly hasn't spent much time here.


150 Lansford Crescent, Avondale & 490 Ti Rakau Drive, Botany, Auckland

Strap on your ice skates and glide to your heart's content at Paradice. Or if hitting the rink isn't quite your thing, why not try your hand at a round of laser tag instead?

Tiritiri Matangi Island 

Hauraki Gulf, Auckland

Day trip it to Tiritiri Matangi Island, one of the country's oldest island sanctuaries (also home to an amazing lighthouse). If you're lucky, you might even see dolphins on your way over/back.

Rainbow's End

2 Clist Crescent, Manukau, Auckland

Get amongst rollercoasters, bumper boats, and the Fearfall, if you dare, at Rainbow's End. Don't leave without hopping aboard the iconic Log Flume.

Purrs & Beans

188 Hinemoa Street, Birkenhead, Auckland 

Nothing beats cuddles with a cat. Get your fill at Purrs & Beans, where they have a 12-strong crew of felines to get amongst along with cookies, smoothies, and coffee (because adults deserve a treat too). Up the ante by heading along to one of their exclusive movie nights. Can't get enough of the pats? Here are the best cat cafes around Aotearoa.

Good Planet

340 Riverhead Road, Riverhead, Auckland

Go strawberry (or raspberry, blueberry, blackberry, or boysenberry) picking at Good Planet. Follow up with a turn on their epic adventure park (ft. an inflatable obstacle course and a zorb race track), a train ride, and a real fruit ice cream. Find more great strawberry-picking spots around Auckland.

World Challenge Tag

170 Ararimu Valley Road, Riverhead, Auckland

Is blood thicker than paint? No one will ever know unless you decide to play paintball on opposing teams at World Challenge Tag. These guys also offer a low-impact paintball option, which is ideal for younger family members (or just scaredy-cat adults).

Western Springs Reserve

820 Great North Road, Western Springs, Auckland

Make friends with geese, eels, and other critters at Western Springs Reserve. There's also an epic playground to explore and pleny of pathways for hooning on your scooter.

Cornwall Park

Green Lane West, Epsom, Auckland

Stroll the tree-lined avenues of Cornwall Park, where springtime is especially magical thanks to an influx of daffodils and newborn lambs. The cherry blossoms are also a sight to behold from mid-September through mid-October.

Parakai Springs

50 Parkhurst Road, Parakai, Auckland

Hot pools are always a good time, especially when you throw not one but two hydro slides into the mix. You'll find all this and more at the long-standing Parakai Springs. Check out the top swimming pools in Auckland.


40 Omaha Flats Road, Matakana, Auckland

Head north to Matakana and take a look around the art-filled gardens of Sculptureum (a pic beside the hot pink snails is a must). You can even show your kids some legit Picasso and Andy Warhol.

Muriwai Beach Horse Trek

HorsePark, Coast Road, Muriwai, Auckland

Round up your wee cowboys and cowgirls for a Muriwai Beach Horse Trek. Think of it as the Wild West (it is out west, after all) but with lush forests and black sand beaches in place of abandoned towns and tumbleweeds. Yeehaw.

Brick Bay Sculpture Trail

17 Arabella Lane, Snells Beach, Auckland

Get amongst some incredible local art at the Brick Bay Sculpture Trail. Set in a dreamy rural location, you'll wander over farmland and through the bush in search of exhibits, including several the kiddos can interact with. Grab a coffee on the way in for you, and an ice cream for the kiddos on the way out.

Chelsea Bay

100 Colonial Road, Birkenhead, Auckland

A bright pink train filled with people drives around the front of the Chelsea Bay sugar factory. Image credit: Chelsea Bay | Website    

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. We highly recommend the Lamingtons, famous for their big-as-you-face portion size.

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Main image credit: Rainbow End | Facebook

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