On your bike, because you can't have too much fun on two wheels. And yes, all of these rides are suitable for capable children.
1. Birkdale/Beach Haven Circuit. Start on the corner of Waipa and Verran Rd.
This 6km trail takes about an hour or two to complete and, if the weather is kind, hardy souls might like to take their togs and have a dip in the sea. The gorgeous trees at Kauri Point Domain are a sight for sore eyes, if you've time to chain your bike and stroll into the woods.
2. Herne Bay/Grey Lynn/Ponsonby. Start on the corner of Jervois and Kelmarna, or indeed anywhere along the circuit.
This route will keep you occupied for a couple of hours and can be improvised any which way you choose. Head towards West End Road, through Cox's Bay Reserve, (off road), head up towards Richmond Rd, through Grey Lynn Park towards Williamson Ave, up Ponsonby Rd and back to Jervois. Or turn it into a figure of eight by going back down Jervois and rolling round Argyle and Sarsfields Streets in Herne Bay before heading for home.
No need to pack a lunch, as there are loads of places to stop and chomp.
3. Beachlands to Pine Harbour.
A short mostly flat ride and, if you go during the week, you can take the ferry from Auckland to Pine Harbour. From the Pine Harbour ferry building you can head through a network of offroad bike paths through to Beachlands, Omana Beach and on to Maraetai. If you're free wheeling and frisky enough to keep on going, propel yourself through to Whitford and on to the Clevedon Loop.
4. Karaka Rural Routes.
Enjoy approximately 20km of rolling pasture or take a 40km round trip. Start at the Karaka Lakes housing estate, then head along Hingaia Rd, which becomes Linwood Rd, and turn right on to Urquhart Rd. If you're on the short route turn left up Laing and if you've more time, meander to the end of Urquhart - very pretty. There are tempting food and beverage stops, but pack provisions in case you're caught short.