10 kid-friendly things to do in Auckland

by Vomle Springford / 01 March, 2018
Big Hoot

These giant, colourful owls painted by artists like Peata Larkin and Dick Frizzell can be found all over Auckland; find all 47 of them on The Big Hoot trail. Photo/Getty.

Where to take the kids this weekend

It’s Te Rā o Ngā Tamariki, aka Children’s Day, this Sunday, 4 March and there’s a whole lot of kid-friendly events and activities happening around Auckland over the weekend. Here are some top picks of where to take the kids.

The Big Hoot

Hunt down 47 giant owl sculptures on this public art trail around Auckland. Each owl has been customised by artists like Peata Larkin, Dick Frizzell, Jeff Thomson, Flox, and Weilun Ha. Visit www.thebighoot.co.nz for more information and maps.

3 March-6 May

Nanogirl vs.the Elements

The power of science will wow kids at Nanogirl vs. The Elements. New Zealand’s favourite science superhero Nanogirl (played by Dr Michelle Dickinson) and her trusty lab assistant Boris carry out experiments, with help from the audience, in this visually spectacular show at The Civic.

5pm, Sat 3 March
The Civic, central city

Auckland Lantern Festival

Marking the end of the Chinese New Year 2018 celebrations, the Auckland Lantern Festival is a great night out for families. There’s hundreds of impressive handmade lanterns dotted around the Auckland Domain to see, plus music, dance and theatre performances, rides, and food stalls.

1-4 March
Auckland Domain

Auckland Lantern Festival

The Auckland Lantern Festival is great for both kids and adults. Photo/Getty.

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Chinese New Year Harbour Bridge lights

A special lightshow to celebrate the Year of the Dog will be showcased on the Harbour Bridge, in partnership with the Lantern Festival. Find a spot in Silo Park, or wherever you can find a good view of the bridge, and BYO radio or smartphone to hear the synced music and sound, playing on Coast 105.4 FM and vector.co.nz/lights. The show starts at 8.30pm, playing every half hour until midnight, over four days.

1-4 March

Children’s Day Celebrations

Let the kids run wild at one of the more than 15 different Children’s Day celebrations being held over the weekend. There will be carnivals, fun days and bike rides at various places around Auckland. Click here to see what’s on in your area.



Holi – Colours in the Park

Three Kings Reserve hosts Holi, the famous Hindu festival of colour where gulal (coloured powders) are thrown at one another. The raucous affair is accompanied by music, dance and a huge variety of food.

12-6pm, Sat 3 March
Three Kings Reserve

Giselle 2018

Ballet dancers Tamara Rojo and James Streeter in Akram Khan's Giselle. Photo/Laurent Liotardo.


Older children and teenagers will enjoy the English National Ballet’s production of the classic romantic tale of Giselle, presented through a contemporary lens by acclaimed dancer Akram Khan. It explores globalisation and its imbalances of wealth, power and labour issues relevant to young people’s futures.

1-4 March
ASB Theatre, Aotea Centre

Summer Zinefest

Teenagers will appreciate the self-expression and alternative platform of zines at the Summer Zinefest, which takes over Lorne St for an afternoon outside the city library. There will be stalls from zine-makers, an ice cream truck, live performances and collaborative workshops.

12-4pm, Sat 3 March
Central City Library

Bug Lab

Bug Lab at Auckland Zoo.

Bug Lab

Te Papa and Weta Workshop’s super popular exhibition about the world of bugs is not to be missed. Featuring giant-scale bug models, interactive displays and live bugs, the engaging science focused exhibition is presented from the bug’s point of view.

On now until 30 June
Auckland Zoo

Volvo Ocean Race Stopover

Give kids a taste of sailing at the Volvo Ocean Race Stopover in the Viaduct. The fleet has arrived from Hong Kong and there’s plenty of family-friendly activities on offer, including the chance to try sailing with Yachting New Zealand and explore a full-size Volvo Ocean 65 boat display to get a real feel for every aspect of life on board. Te Wero Island becomes an entertainment hub with a programme of events every day.

On now until 18 March
The Viaduct


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