Your school holiday survival guide

One of the rides at Rainbow's End.
One of the rides at Rainbow's End.

The guide for those who want to avoid children over the school holidays

There are 927,000 people under the age of 16 living in the greater Auckland region. That's not true. But it will probably feel that way from next Saturday, when the footpaths, buses and library escalators become clogged with children on yet another school holiday break.

Where to go to avoid them? Your first and most obvious solution: Work. Children hate work and even those parents who are forced to bring them in to the office usually have the good sense to clamp them in headphones and pop them in front of a screen. Bonus? You get paid for being at work. Assuming you won't be at work for the entire holidays, here are some other places we're picking will be child-free.


Nothing bores children like music made more than two minutes ago. It's a given you won't bump into anybody under the age 50 at this adult only event ($35 admission includes a glass of wine) featuring Dark Side of the Moon and The Wall in surround sound with laser beams and lighting effects.

All together now, "We don't need no education . . ."

Pink Floyd double feature, Stardome Observatory and Planetarium
April 19 and 26, 8pm


The clue here is the start time. Your child should be asleep. You should be asleep. But if you'd rather be raucous, impromptu, unpredictable and hilarious (actually, that's the comedians - keep your heckling for the kids who won't give you a seat on the bus) then this R18 offering from the NZ International Comedy Festival is the ticket. Go to the website and click "controversial/dark" on the drop-down genre menu for more inappropriately adult options.

Late and Loose, Montechristo (downstairs), April 23, 29, 30 plus more dates in May, 11pm


This is an all-age event, and children are quite interested in money (your money), but the impossibility of getting them dressed and out of the house by 7am makes it unlikely you'll see any listening to well-known ASB chief economist Nick Tuffley discussing how the global environment will be heavily influenced by China's growth trajectory. Etc.

Economic Update Breakfast, The Northern Club, April 20, 7am.


Naked yoga is a big deal in the US and Australia and it's becoming popular here. The idea is to practice yoga without the restriction of clothing. In the words of one yogi, based in Auckland: "Being naked can also bring up many of our vulnerabilities. By facing these fears in the context of a safe and supportive environment, we naturally become more grounded and comfortable with ourselves."

Nude Yoga at


Have a quiet dinner for two, a blind date with the one you love. "Blind" not as in love, though it is, but blind as in the Grove's blind degustation dinner on Monday nights, which features a surprise, five-course menu decided by the chefs that evening. And at $65 a head, it's an affordable treat.

The Grove, St Patrick's Square, Wyndham St.


Nothing says "me-time" more than whiling away the time, late at night, wandering lonely as a cloud between the aisles, having the time to read the ingredients on the side of the packets, taking a moment to read the recommended recipe flyer for persimmon, planning what you might graze on for the next few days, without having to bear witness to a child's meltdown. Walk right past the multi-packets of individually wrapped rice crackers, and the nasty Squiggles. Think wine, choice cuts, and cheese from the deli. It's liberating.

Supermarket shopping at midnight: Countdown Supermarket, 76 Quay St, Open 24 hours.
New World Victoria Park Supermarket 2 College Hill Open until 12am.


It's official - Kidz Kingdom at Rainbow's End was judged best in the world. Kidz Kingdom at Rainbow's End took out the prestigious 2015 IAAPA Top Family Entertainment Centre of the World Award at a ceremony in Florida earlier this year.

Beating entries from around the globe, Kidz Kingdom took out the award from stiff competition and is a first for New Zealand.

Kidz Kingdom features a number of rides for younger thrill seekers age 8 and under and is completely covered allowing for year-round fun, but it's the overall attention to detail and ease for parents that really caught the judges eye.

And the guide for those who do. And can't.


In the NZ International Comedy Festival there are two shows that are for kids: Side-splitting laughs meets amazing circus stunts as three dexterous dummies take out the trash and take to the stage.

With astonishing feats of balance, acrobatics and juggling, these absurd garbologists take the household wheelie bin to new heights.

Winners of Best Children's Presentation at the 2015 Adelaide Fringe, the Trash Test Dummies are as full of laughs as their bins are full of surprises.

Book a family of four for $70 (save up to $10). (There's a family pass).

Stand up for kids: A family-friendly, interactive show featuring awesome local and international festival comedians bringing their stand-up, physical comedy and magic to the stage for your 4 to 8-year-olds to get a bit silly. With our powers combined, this is set to be a riotous event reminding us adults that laughter rules the Universe.

You can also search categories - Take your teen throws up quite a few options (plus take your dad, mum and grandad).


Snowplanet offers a great environment for children aged 5-16 years to learn and progress in the world of snow sports. Throughout the program, the children are separated into groups depending on their age, skill level and choice of skiing or snowboarding, to be instructed by friendly Ski & Board School instructors to advance their snowsports skills.

The school holiday program includes:
• A two-hour lesson each a day (includes snow pass) with Ski & Board School instructors as per session times above.
• Rental equipment for each day (skis, boots and poles or snowboard and boots and a helmet, excludes clothing).
• A small snack at break time each day.
• Awards meal on Friday.

• Date: Week 1: 18th April-2nd April
Week 2: 25th April - 29th April
• Time: 9.30am-11.30am | 1pm-3pm
• Cost: $349
• Choose which week you want and choose the morning or afternoon session.

You can register online, call on (09) 427 0044 or email


Play olden days at Highwic mansion in Newmarket. Highwic has free onsite parking, and is close to bus stops and the Newmarket railway station.

Upcoming events include: Anzac Biscuits (April 20, 11am and 3pm; and April 29, 11am and 3pm): Mix and bake Anzac biscuits on Highwic's working coal range just like our great-grandmothers during World War I. Anzac Crafts and Victorian Fun and Games (April 21, 10.30am-4pm): make crafts or enjoy playing some Victorian-era Fun and Games outside (croquet, stilts, Blind Man's Buff to name just a few). Suitable for all ages; Adults - $10; Children - $5. Entry fee charge for children includes cost of materials. Those Magnificent Flying Machines (April 28, 10.30am-4pm): Kids can recreate the early days of flying by designing and making their own paper planes in the historic Ballroom, and then test them outside. They'll also be able to enjoy a range of Victorian Fun and Games in the award-winning garden. Suitable for all ages; Adults - $10; Children - $5. Entry fee charge for children includes cost of materials.

To book - or for more information - Ph 09-524-5729 or email


Make your own story at Auckland Libraries these April school holidays and imagine the tales you can tell at our fun, free and creative events across Auckland. Have a go at a variety of free activities such as digital storytelling, puppet theatre, drama games, zine making and more.

Find out more at your local library, check out the event listings on the website or phone 09 301 0101


Each provides a unique view of Auckland - in terms of its geography and history.

Maungawhau-Mt Eden
At 196 metres high, Maungawhau is the highest of the Auckland volcanoes. Cycle or climb up to the summit for a stunning expansive outlook over the city and the Waitemata Harbour beyond. No vehicles allowed.

Maungakiekie-One Tree Hill
Maungakiekie is one of Auckland's largest and most culturally significant volcanoes. The highest point is topped with a monument, and the grave of Sir John Logan Campbell, the "founding father" of Auckland City. Opening hours may vary.

Takarunga-Mt Victoria - and Maungauika-North Head
These two volcanic cones sit side by side in the scenic suburb of Devonport, surrounded by sweeping sea views. The walk to Mt Victoria's summit takes around 10-20 minutes, and you'll be rewarded with vistas across the North Shore, the Hauraki Gulf and across to the city. After a wander at Mt Victoria, spend a few hours at neighbouring North Head.

Mangere Mountain
If you're keen to learn more about the history of what you'll discover on the trail, pop into the Mangere Mountain Education Centre at the base of the mountain first - the centre is open 9am to 4pm, Monday to Friday.

Pukekawa-Auckland Domain
Erupting more than 100,000 years ago, Pukekawa is one of Auckland's oldest volcanoes - and one of the most popular.

Auckland Domain is more than a volcano, it's also Auckland's oldest park and home to the Auckland Museum, a spectacular building sitting prominently on the crater rim.

Te Rangi-i-totongia-a-Tama-te-kapua- Rangitoto
Rangitoto Island is arguably Auckland's most iconic natural landmark, with its distinctive symmetrical cone and superb location just off the coast.

Walk through New Zealand's largest pohutukawa forest, see the lava caves and breathtaking views from the 260 metre-high summit.


Get creative these April school holidays with a series of workshops inspired by exhibitions in the Auckland Art Gallery.

Spaces are limited and advance booking is required. Workshops include Cosmic Worlds and Asteroids - sculpture; Rock the Casbolt - photography workshop; Pattern, Poi, Etch - art and poi workshop; Express Yourself - drawing workshop: Each workshop runs twice so book the date that works best for you.

Bookings are via Eventfinda. To book, follow the link and purchase your ticket online.

For further information regarding these workshops, bookings, programme policies contact the Community Learning Coordinator on 09 367 1930.

The gallery also has a series of free family drop-ins taking place in the atrium from 11am - 3pm each Monday, Thursday and Saturday over the School holiday period. There is no need to book and you can stay as long - or as short - as you want. Children under the age of 14 must be accompanied by an adult.


Give your kids a retro movie experience by exposing them to some of the classics. Make a day of it, and choose an old-school theme by taking them to a DVD store (a place where you hire films) and get out any or all of the following: Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Flashdance, Footloose, Stand By Me, Labyrinth, Grease, Rebel Without A Cause.


School holidays are not just about fun you know. Why stop their education? If the kids want to go to Kelly Tarlton's - make them work for it. See if the small people in your charge can name four species of fish in peril, or four sharks (common and scientific names). Finish the day with sustainable fish (hoki, trevally, green-lipped mussels, gurnard) and chips at Mission Bay.

- Weekend magazine

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