It's the school holidays and our Weekend editor, Catherine Smith, has picked the five best things to do with the kids. Enjoy.

1. Waterfront wandering - Head down to the Waterfront and breathe in the salt air. Kids can pick up a Waterfront Explorer kit to navigate their way and find clues around Wynyard Quarter, Queens Wharf and surrounds (packs at Queens Wharf and Karanga Plaza kiosks). Join in the daily workshops and games at Wynyard, or check out the Myths and Legends activities and stories at The Voyager New Zealand Maritime Museum. Shed 10 has open days with activities, brass bands and food this weekend (10-4pm) and the Maritime Museum will have some of their old-time sailing ships, the Ted Ashby and Breeze, for Heritage Festival. Aucklanders still have salt in their veins.

2. Baby, baby, baby - Shira the baby giraffe is a big enough girl now to be fully integrated into the Pridelands herd at Auckland Zoo. She's still adorable and, giraffe-wise, tiny. But if you want teeny, tiny babies, the meercats have clambered out of their dens with four darling pups - you'll have to squint hard to spot them, but they're out and about.

3. Flying high - Disney mega-hit Planes will be running at a cinema near you. But if your small co-pilots want to experience the real thing, head along to Motat where they have planes just like in Planes (and activity packs and prizes). The Sky Tower, too, has Planes-themed activities for those with a head for heights.


4. The play's the thing - Take the small sorts to some wild and wacky kids' theatre - you may inspire your future thespian and you'll all have a laugh. Takapuna's Pumphouse is showing Tim Bray's Mrs Wishy Washy (until October 12) while Bruce Mason Centre has Rumplestiltskin (runs Monday, October 7 through October 12).

5. Road trip - If you want to get out of town for the day, pack up the bikes and a picnic and head down to the newest addition to the Hauraki Rail Trail, connecting Waikino to Waihi. There's the best-ever railway cafe at Waikino, old gold battery museum, a spooky tunnel, waterfalls, rocks - and all on wonderful flat, off-road cycle paths even a tot can manage.