Warm up with winter fun

By Danielle Wright

Wondering what to do for school holidays? Danielle Wright investigates.

Kids won't be bored at the interactive Aqua family exhibition at Auckland Museum. Photo / Supplied
Kids won't be bored at the interactive Aqua family exhibition at Auckland Museum. Photo / Supplied

School holidays in winter can seem like a challenge, but start looking and you'll discover loads of activities going on under cover over the next two weeks.

Auckland Museum
The Auckland Domain, Parnell. Tel: (09) 309 0443, free for Aucklanders with proof of address, but some activities have a charge. Open seven days, 10am-5pm

This July, a special interactive Aqua family programme, created by One Drop in collaboration with Cirque Du Soleil, is the focus. Tickets are $15 adults and $5 children over 5, or family passes $35. There's also the watery wonders craft activities, curator trolley talks and an Aqua trail.

Museum of Transport & Technology
Great North Rd, Western Springs. Tel: (09) 815 5800, open 10am-5pm, seven days a week. $35 for a family of two adults and up to four children

"Sense It" is an interactive experience about our senses. Kids can get hands-on with Braille typewriters and card games, musical sports equipment and the scents of a memory wall. The Fonterra Science Roadshow is also stopping in at MOTAT. Other activities include a children's bookbinding workshop on Sundays in July from 10am-4.30pm, and a lolly-maker is there today from 11am-3pm.

Voyager NZ Maritime Museum
Corner Quay and Hobson sts, Viaduct Harbour. Tel: (09) 373 0800. Open 9am-5pm, seven days a week (last entry at 4pm). Free entry to the museum for Auckland region residents with proof of address, with harbour sailing included it's $12 for adults and $6 for children

A Land Ahoy! holiday schedule encourages kids to dress up in maritime-themed outfits such as sailors and sea creatures, make and take home a porthole jigsaw, and use a stamp-and-discover guide through the galleries. There are also harbour sailings, which are one-hour heritage vessel trips aboard the sailing scow, Ted Ashby, and for children who have passed their day skipper certificate Voyager has partnered with Coastguard to provide a boatmaster's course from July 18 to July 29, 9am-3pm, for $365 for the full two-week course.

Auckland Zoo
Motions Rd, Western Springs. Tel: (09) 360 3805. Open 9.30am-5pm, with last admissions at 4.15pm, seven days a week, $20 for adults and children over 15, $10 for children, free for children under 4. Seniors and students $16 or a family pass is $36 (1 adult, 2 children) or $54 (2 adults, 2 children)

Prospective young rangers will be given a trail map and a 10-minute briefing on how to discover all the red pandas hiding around the zoo. There will be special red panda encounters (noon daily) and prizes.

Stardome Observatory
670 Manukau Rd, One Tree Hill Domain, Royal Oak. Tel: (09) 624 1246. Open Mon 10am-3pm, Tues-Fri 9.30am-4.30pm and 6.30pm-9.30pm, Sat-Sun 1pm-4.30pm and 6.30pm-9.30pm. Entry to foyer displays and exhibits is free, special planetarium show entry charges apply during school holiday sessions of $10 for children 3-15 and $7 for adults

Twice-daily sessions (10am and 1pm weekdays) for children aged 5 to 12 years include the popular animated planetarium show Big, followed by a short tour of the night sky.

Snowplanet
91 Small Rd, Silverdale. Tel: (09) 427 0044. Open weekends, school and public holidays 9am-10pm. Day passes are $59 (adults) and $39 (children/students)

The school holiday programme is run either morning (10am start) or afternoon (1pm start) and costs $299 for five consecutive days of snow, rental equipment and two hours of skiing or snowboarding lessons each day, as well as a lunch on the last day.

Pick & Mix at The Edge
Aotea Centre, Auckland Town Hall, The Civic and Aotea Square sites. Tel: (09) 357 3355. Pick & Mix is free for the whole family

Choose from the Royal New Zealand Ballet (July 23, 11am performance, noon workshop) or comic magician Jarred Fell (July 30, 11am performance, noon workshop).

Auckland Libraries
Tel: (09) 301 0101. Opening hours vary. On the website select your region to find the nearest library with school holiday activities.

The Winter Warm Ups programme includes a Snuggle Up Storytime (4-6 year olds), where children can wear their pyjamas and bring a sleeping bag and soft toy to hear songs and stories. There's also a Great Winter Freeze Treasure Hunt, and a short story competition.

Auckland Art Gallery
Corner of Wellesley and Lorne sts. Open 10am-5pm. Art gallery entry is free, KidsClub 10am-noon, $12 including materials and snacks

The gallery's KidsClub is for 5 to 10 year olds, who can recreate themselves as a robot sculpture in Roboboy, Robogirl, or try Fab Fabric Painting, combining creative energy with special fabric paint.

- NZ Herald

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