Staying in town over the holidays? Here’s how to keep the whole family entertained

While it’s true that we could all probably do with a holiday right now, the kids are getting in there first. And if you have decided to spend their time off school by staying put, we have rounded up a list of activities that are sure to keep not only the children entertained these school holidays, but hopefully, you too.

Go ice skating in the city
Aotea’s ever-popular ice-skating rink is back for another winter and we couldn’t be more excited. Designed for skaters of any ability, this activity truly is a delight for the whole family, with the rink’s 35-metre ice slide also returning to provide some extra fun. (We recommend securing your tickets now.)

Shrek The Musical, Shrooms at Elemental Hub.

Book tickets to Shrek The Musical
Broadway’s smash hit Shrek The Musical has come to delight Auckland audiences, promising to be a show the whole family will love. Based on the Academy-Award-winning animated film of the same name, the musical version will be bringing the beloved ogre, Shrek, to life on Aotea Centre’s Kiri Te Kanawa stage, telling the story we all know and love in enthralling, live-action style.

Be entertained at the Elemental Hub
Aotea Square has been transformed into a wonderful world of entertainment and delight thanks to the Elemental Hub, on until the 31st of July. From giant, inflatable, light-up mushrooms to roaming LED cats to pendulum-like light shows and even live music, there is so much to experience and look at that a night wandering around will be a night well spent.

Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki, MOTAT.

Go to the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki
The Auckland Art Gallery offers a range of activities via its Creative Learning Centre, designed to keep the whole family engaged. Or, if you’re after something more immersive, the Gallery’s dedicated School Holiday Programme promises to get the kids up close with a variety of art practices and themes. With classes running daily from 9am until 3pm, children are taught new skills and encouraged to experiment and to create their own unique works of art.

Play with science
MOTAT is always a great place to take the kids over the school holidays thanks to the fact that it always has some kind of interesting, immersive programme running. This year, MOTAT’s July school holiday experience is called Urupare React that celebrates actions, reactions and how energy is transferred. Allowing the kids to get involved in a range of fun, hands-on activities that are as educational as they are engaging, this is the perfect place to while away an afternoon.

Embark on a teddy bear’s picnic
Get the kids to grab their favourite teddy and head along to the New Zealand Maritime Museum’s Teddy Bear’s Picnic, onboard the vintage vessel, ‘Ted Ashby.’ Taking place this Saturday (the 9th of July) the experience will include an afternoon of sailing on the beautiful Waitematā as well as a fun teddy-bear-themed goodie bag and a photo to remember the day. So pack your favourite lunch and set sail.

The Snugs; Sculptureum.

Book a Snug
Part of the Elemental Hub is its unique, pop-up dining experience, The Snugs. Comprising a series of enclosed, igloo-like structures made cosy with heaters and blankets, The Snugs can be booked for parties up to six people to enjoy a variety of delicious food and drinks in an entirely unique way. So if you’re looking for something different for dinner, take the kids along for an unforgettable evening.

Daytrip to the Sculptureum
If an escape from the city is needed, head north to Matakana’s Sculptureum for a delightful artistic and culinary experience. Offering six spacious indoor art galleries and three outdoor sculpture gardens, as well as exceptional food options (including widely-lauded restaurant Rothko) and a number of opportunities for littlies to get up-close with the animals that reside on the property (think birds, turtles, rabbits, pigs and more) there really is something for everyone here. Our advice? Plan your daytrip and book tickets in advance.

Head along to It’s Alive!
Promising to be ‘a silly show for the whole whanau,’ It’s Alive is a brand new, immersive and educational theatre show for the whole family (although more specifically designed for five-to-ten year olds) that features science experiments live on stage, and calls on the kiddies in the audience to get involved. Taking place at The Factory Theatre in Onehunga, It’s Alive! combines theatre, puppetry, comedy, science and improvisation in one seriously fun show that parents are guaranteed to get as much out of as their kids.

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