Get wild about Africa at Auckland Zoo's African savannah, where rambunctious youngsters can complete a self-guided training course to graduate as a Zoo Ranger this school holidays. Kids get a Ranger Academy notebook to jot down thoughts as they complete six challenges, including a fitness activity, poaching prevention training, assignments in animal monitoring and identification, going on "patrol" in a 4WD, and an interactive talk show on community support for wildlife.
Until July 24, 9.30am-5pm daily, Auckland Zoo, Motions Rd. Normal zoo admission prices apply. Friends of the Zoo, free.
Weekend and Auckland Zoo have a one-day family pass (two adults and up to four children) worth $92, to give away.
Go to winwiththeherald.co.nz and enter the keyword ZOOWIN to be in the draw.
Competition closes 11:59pm, Wednesday, July 13. Terms and conditions apply.
Barbecues aren't just for sizzling - at Motat these July holidays discover a cooking contraption that can examine the concept of sound. The gigantic "sound wave" barbecue is part of the 2016 Science Roadshow, which features more than 60 interactive exhibits - including a wind tunnel and speed ball radar - and allows visitors to examine the physical and chemical properties of different substances and see their everyday use.
Until 24 July, 10am-5pm, Motat, 805 Great North Rd, Western Springs. For details, phone 0800 MOTATNZ (0800 668 286).
It's a tournament where only the strong survive. Te Wananga o Aotearoa Kapa Haka Super 12s will take over The Cloud on Queens Wharf today, with the annual competition putting an innovative slant on the traditional Maori performing art of kapa haka - 12 teams of 12 have only 12 minutes each to impress the judges. Defending champs Whangarei Mai Tawhiti last year performed a hula-hoop piupiu to take home the top gong. There will be family entertainment throughout the day.
Today, 9am-5pm, The Cloud, Queens Wharf. Admission is free.
Take a trip down memory lane with a new exhibition at the Auckland Central Library, which shines a light on domestic life in New Zealand pre-1980. Photographs, magazines, books, posters and pamphlets from Auckland Libraries' heritage collections will explore what made a house a home before the mod-cons of today.
Until October 30, Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Central City Library second floor, 44-46 Lorne St.
The best of Auckland's Maori artists, musicians, performers and poets will have their works on display and words in the air at the museum tomorrow. The annual Matariki Art Market and Te Wiki O Te Reo Maori Film programme celebrates Maori creativity and culture with performances, carving demonstrations and artwork by artists from around Aotearoa. The day will feature Maori shorts, dramatic works and documentaries.
Tomorrow, 10am-5pm, atrium and galleries, Auckland War Memorial Museum, Auckland Domain. Free with museum entry.
The Kaporangi Kiriata Te Reo Maori films run from 11am-4pm in the auditorium.
What would a school holiday be without Scotty Skytower? This time around Auckland's tallest mascot is joined by pirates and mermaids for a swashbuckling adventure. There's a 220m-highplank to walk (indoors, thankfully) a photo station, prizes to be won, and the Sky Tower to explore.
Until July 24, 10am-3pm, Sky Tower, Federal St.
Crafty kids will be able to learn a thing or two from pre-school art hero Mister Maker, made famous by the British television series. His interactive children's music and theatre show features a big "make" to take part in, songs to join in with, a fabulous supporting cast and of course, the dancing Shapes.
Today and tomorrow, 10am and 1pm, Bruce Mason Centre, Takapuna.
NEXT WEEK: STREET PARTY
Food, fashion and music combine for Te Korakora on Federal, a street party to celebrate the final weekend of 2016's Matariki Festival. Trinity Roots will headline, with support from award-winning singer songwriter Rob Ruha and a special performance from the Patea Maori Club, collaborating with contemporary poi group POI360 on a version of their hit song, Poi E. There will be a fashion parade by Maori designers and pop-up eateries with Maori-inspired flavours.
July 15, 5pm-10pm, Federal St, Auckland.
The best of the country's underground magazine network will be celebrated this month at the Auckland Zinefest. The term "zine" is short for fanzine, and is often a self-published, small-circulation work - with subjects ranging from poetry to travelogues and illustrations. The DIY event will feature a Zine Market and workshops given by established zine-makers, designers and emerging young artists.
July 24, 11am-4pm, North Atrium, Auckland Art Gallery, corner Kitchener and Wellesley streets. All ages welcome.
Kids complaining again? Take them to the museum to give them a taste of what life was like for children last century. The school holiday programme explores what it was like for schoolkids during World War I, aided by some awesome actors and featuring resourceful crafts.
July 11-22, 10.30am, 11.30am and 1pm, Auckland War Memorial Museum, Auckland Domain. Meet in the atrium. Children $10, Institute members' children $7.50. Bookings recommended. Phone (09) 306 7048 or see aucklandmuseum.com
NEXT YEAR: SUMMER GIG
The shortest day is behind us and it's time to start planning for those summer tunes. The Summer Concert Series 2017 line-up has just been announced, with Welsh singer Bonnie Tyler, the Alan Parsons Live Project and Australian rockers Icehouse set to play Queenstown, Taupo and Whitianga each for one night only. The North Island concerts fall on Auckland Anniversary weekend. The afternoon concert finishes at 6.30pm, and kids under 14 are free.
Jan 21, 28 and 29, in Queenstown, Taupo and Whitianga respectively. Tickets $99, on sale from Monday, July 11.