We can't decide this weekend, whether we will bundle up and stay indoors or round up the spare kids and go berserk for the last week of the school holidays. Perhaps a bit of both. Here's what we're planning for small people and tall people:
It always happens about now. Our Film Festival programme is tatty and covered with Post-it notes, we're still figuring out what might come back on general release and the festival starts today. We're gonna make a run for Charles Bradley: Soul of America (tonight 6.30, but also next Thursday) and then hop on the ten-ticket train to fill our boots for the weekend. It would be helpful if it rained, but if it doesn't we can already recommend Liberace Behind the Candelabra for Rob Lowe's appearance alone, bound to come back on general release.
New Zealand International Film Festival - the Civic, Rialto, Academy, Lido, Event, SkyCity and Bridgeway cinemas, until Sunday August 4. Tickets from $14.50; ten trip $125.50
Saturday and Sunday:
Matariki grand finale:
We're hoping for a sunny but blowy day on Saturday for the biggest and best day of Matariki. Hundreds of colourful kites (starting with workshops on how to make your own) will be in the sky and then there's a hangi and performances to finish. That means we're into the new year in the Maori calendar and can make our fresh beginnings (hello spring, we're waiting for you).
The New Zealand Post Manu Atu Kite Day, Orakei Marae, Kupe St, Orakei. Saturday 10am - 4pm.
The UCI MBX world championships start on Wednesday in the city, so this weekend we need to get ourselves in the mood and head out on two wheels. When we read so much about kids not roaming outdoors, it is time to bang on a helmet, grab the wheels and go for a family pedal. Check out the Auckland Transport website for family-friendly cycle paths (our favourites are the newish one at Orewa and the Rotary Pathway that runs from Pakuranga all the way around the Tamaki Estuary, but there are ones in Devonport, Rosedale, Onepoto Domain and more). Ask if your kids' primary school is joining the 300 schools in Auckland Tranport's Travelwise programme, teaching skills and safety. If thrills and spills are more your style, head out to Woodhill or Albany for some cool mountain biking.
UCIBMX World Champs, Vector Arena from Wednesday July 24 to Sunday July 28. Tickets from ticketmaster.
School holidays when we were kids meant tearing around the Museum and the Zoo. Auckland's kids have a huge choice of both the regular exhibits, plus special programmes - Moana My Ocean at the Auckland Museum explores the wonders of New Zealand's sea creatures and birds; Epic adventures at the Auckland Zoo (trails, tricks and a boot camp based on the movie Epic); pirate adventures at the Voyager New Zealand Maritime Museum (and do check out their America's Cup exhibition too, it's time we started backing our boys in San Francisco); Sound FX at Motat (create sounds, explore science...get kids immersed in that hands on good stuff) and all over Auckland, the libraries have great jungle-themed activities. Beats mooching at home.
There's no better way to spend a cold or rainy day than pottering around in the kitchen. We love how our FoodHub has assembled some great treats for the kids to bake - from chocolate scones to rocky road tart for the sweet toothed, through to easy dishes they can make part of their dinner cooking repertoire - burgers, kebabs, sushi rolls.
* For more ideas for the weekend and holidays, see Weekend Life in Saturday's Herald.