So I thought I would share my top picks for the impending school holidays if you are living in or planning on a visit to The City Of Sails Auckland. These are some of our favourite places to visit and are great any time of the year as well.
I have included a few inside options for those rainy days and if the sun does decide to shine bright theres a few that involve outside play too.
Well you all know we are kind of movie buffs over here and there are numerous theatres scattered throughout the city. We recently saw the fabulous remake of Roald Dahl’s famous book that a lot of us grew up with – The BFG. Directed by Steven Spielberg it captures the story perfectly and it is a film to be enjoyed by the whole family. In cinemas 7th July, make it a day out with a train into the city to see it these school holidays.
2. Howick Colonial Village is one of my children Favourite place to visit, they’d have me there every weekend if I allowed it. Its a little hidden treasure here in East Auckland and full of yesteryear charm. It has schoolhouses and churches, a working children Museum where they can play with toys from the past and plenty of little cottages to gaze in the windows at of how they lived back in what my kids call The Olden Days. There is always little surprises like women dries up showing you how to do washing and outdoor games set up. The last Sunday of each month is also a working day where it all comes alive and theres so much going on. Horse and cart rides, stalls, lucky dips etc but no two are the same and everyone is dressed up in character. Just a fun place to visit and with a cafe attached and a marble run right next door you can easily stay all day.
3. We love Snowplanet, its a great place to take the whole family, even ones that don’t like the cold as they can stay put in the cosy cafe and watch from the large viewing windows. If you want to try the little ones on skis or just enjoy flying down the hill on a tyre this is the place to go. Afterwards a hot chocolate and some winter warming food is all on hand in the restaurant as well as a small play area to keep the kiddies entertained. You can rent everything you need there so you don’t necessarily need all the gears either.
4. Where the fun never ends, you guessed it Rainbows End! A firm favourite over here though we are still at the stage where we just head to the Kids Kingdom Part of the park. It is a lot less expensive than heading into the big park and with children 8 and under they can still have a great day of fun. In the school holidays there is also shows going on at a couple of venues so we head to those in the main park so you really do get bang for your buck. There are about 8 rides that they can enjoy though there are high restrictions still on some so they may need a adult. There is an inside part with a motorbike ride and a indoor playground to run wild in. My kids love a day out here and also love participating in the shows that include the kids to be involved and Franca even won the dance off one year. Its also all under cover so a all weather venue.
5. Rocket Ropes and Butterfly Creek are right next door to each other out by the Auckland airport. They are both fabulous places to visit together and aimed at the under 10 year old age group, though there is a bigger rope course next door as well. You’ll want good weather to do these though Butterfly creek has some indoor areas with a butterfly house, Crocodile enclosure and small aquarium. But outside is a petting zoo, train ride, playground and the great dinosaur encounter. The cafes also great and the ice creams are huge! well worth a visit.
Just a few more favourites that are worth a mention are
A trip to Waiwera Hot pools.
Rock climbing in Pamure with the newly opened Adventure land part.
Uptown bounce in Grey Lynn.
The ice skating rink in Aotea this holidays and a visit to the mini golf in the Mall next door
The zoo and Motat and good oldies that never fail to amuse.
Auckland Museum and visit the Winter Gardens.
The new playgrounds and Madills Farm and Westmere.