This ship is so big it can't berth at Auckland's wharf, but there's another way to glimpse the largest cruise liner to sail our waters. The New Zealand Maritime Museum is running sailings to get you up close to Ovation of the Seas.
Saturday, 10.30am-11.15am, 12.30pm-1.15pm or 2.45pm-3.30pm, New Zealand Maritime Museum, Corner Quay and Hobson Streets. Prices range from $12-$50. See maritimemuseum.co.nz for booking details.
WILD WATER SLIDES
Once again this summer Snowplanet has set up its wild water slides. The pop-up waterslide park runs until Waitangi Day and includes everything from the fun to the freaky of slippery slides.
Until February 6, 10am-5pm, Snowplanet, 91 Small Rd, Silverdale. $20 for 2 hours. See snowplanet.co.nz.
Let those toddler tantrums burn themselves out at Gravity NZ Trampoline Park. A new toddler session has been added to Sunday mornings. Parents can grab a coffee or channel their inner child with the kids.
Sunday (today) 9-10am, Mondays and Wednesdays, 10am-midday. Gravity NZ, 77b Morrin Rd, Mt Wellington. Free entry for parents, toddlers $10. See gravitynz.co.nz to book.
Dance or hula hoop to jazz, Motown, and soul bands in Aotea Square as it turns vintage. There will be classic cars, a market and fashion parade. Wear your best vintage threads and get down there.
Saturday and Sunday (today), Aotea Square, Auckland. Free entry. See aucklandlive.co.nz for full schedule.
The ASB Classic comes to an end today, with the top men competing on court. Tickets will be hard to come by, so we suggest finding a comfy spot with Sky Sport. The Britomart Country Club is among the inner-city bars planning to screen the tennis.
Saturday, midday, ASB Tennis Arena, 1 Tennis Lane, Parnell, Auckland.
MOTAT MAKES A SPLASH
MOTAT is tapping into the science behind water these school holidays. Children can build and race a boat, fix leaking pipes or play water games. We're guessing the water pistol section will be a winner for young visitors.
Now until January 29, 10am-5pm, MOTAT, 805 Great North Road, Western Springs, Auckland. Entry adults $16, children $8, under-fives free.
Explore Auckland's newest regional park. Great Barrier Island's Glenfern Sanctuary is home to the rare chevron skink, the black petrel and brown teal, or pateke. The sanctuary was placed in the ownership of Auckland Council last year. There is a one-hour loop walk suitable for all ages.
Every day, 10am-sunset, Great Barrier Island, 100km northeast of Auckland.
MUSIC IN PARKS
We're loving the free music concerts on offer. Auckland Council's Music in Parks sees everyone from hip-hoppers to opera sensations entertain the crowds. Sunday's gig coincides with Takapuna Summer Days Family Beach Day. Listen to live music while getting involved in the children's beach dig, sandcastle competitions and markets.
Sunday (today), 11am-8pm, Gould Reserve, Takapuna. See musicinparks.co.nz for the summer concert schedule.
Summer festival Soundsplash promises music, sun, sand and surf in Raglan. Kiwi band Six60, soul singer Hollie Smith and Little Bushman, who mixes blues with psychedelic rock, are among the acts playing across three stages. Pack the tent, sunblock and togs.
January 20-22, Wainui Reserve, Raglan. Tickets from $110-$145, under-14s free. See soundsplash.co.nz for more.
COFFEE AND CROISSANT
Pompallier Mission in the Bay of Islands is providing a little taste of France. The historic mission is drawing on its French influence by offering imported French croissants and a "Bishops Brew" coffee. The newly opened coffee house will be running throughout the summer season.
Every day, 10am-5pm, Pompallier Mission, Russell, Bay of Islands.
THIS MONTH: FREE CONCERT
Enjoy local music at the Volume Sunday Sessions at Auckland Museum. The free event will run on the last Sunday of each month until the Volume: Making Music in Aotearoa exhibition ends in May. The January gig includes folk artist Graeme James and singer-songwriter Ciaran McMeeken. Remember to check out the exhibition while you are there.
Jan 29, midday-2pm, War Memorial Museum, Auckland Domain, Parnell.
Free with museum entry.
NEXT MONTH: HERITAGE HOMES
Two of Auckland's exclusive heritage homes are opening their doors for free on Waitangi Day as part of Heritage New Zealand's national open days. Explore Alberton, an 18-room mansion built in 1863 in Mt Albert. Rambling Gothic home Highwic, in Newmarket, will also be open.
February 6, various locations including Mt Albert and Newmarket. Free entry. See heritage.org.nz closer to the date for details.