Sure, Charlie had fun at the chocolate factory, but this school holidays he’d be able to make his own giant chocolate fish cake without leaving home with the New Zealand Maritime Museum's online Make Bake Create activities – just one of an amazing range of free holiday fun options for the kids of Tāmaki Makaurau despite alert level restrictions in place.
From taking part in dance workshops, to designing and making their own book; and from making native birds come alive in a puzzle, to asking an astronomer questions about the stars above, children don’t need to get hold of a golden ticket to experience myriad online art, cultural and nature activities.
Tāmaki Paenga Hira Auckland War Memorial Museum has an array of Auckland Museum at Home activities including many kids’ favourites such as helping budding volcanologists dig deeper into our region’s explosive past by watching how volcanoes are made, and exploring the sea monsters online exhibition.
If the mysteries of the night sky above us are calling, Stardome Observatory & Planetarium has an ‘Ask an astronomer’ experience where parents can help their children submit a question online, or on social media via Instagram or Facebook.
Contemporary art space Te Tuhi has a number of self-guided online activities designed to encourage tamariki and whānau to explore art and share ideas in a fun and creative way.
On a similar theme, Objectspace has a rich range of content exploring, craft, design and architecture, and featuring making tutorials. These include a chance for parents to join their children in designing and making their very own felt book.
Most parents recognise when their young ones need a chance to get the wriggles out, and there are some great opportunities to encourage just that at home with Auckland Live’s free holiday activities, including dance workshops from New Zealand’s top creatives, plus colouring activities and jigsaw puzzles.
MOTAT has been an iconic holiday destination for generations of Auckland kids, and its online holiday activities are sure to be a hit too. Through the ‘That's So Random’ programme, based on probability and randomness, tamariki can learn about using randomness to design unusual cars or buildings, play chess, create a fun new outfit with the Wardrobe Randomiser, or create different futures with their very own origami fortune teller.
While everyone has to wait a little longer to meet Auckland Zoo’s three new lionesses, the Zoo has a fantastic range of online activities and learning resources for families these holidays, including colouring in guides to draw animal favourites such as the ancient tuatara, and puzzles.
The zoo webcams allow tamariki to get up close and personal with some of their favourite animals, and see how the animals are spending their days when no one is visiting. The Zoo staff cam playlist reveals things the lucky zookeepers get to see including lemurs grooming, red pandas exploring, and a bit of rhino pampering.
There are downloadable zoo activity books that will guide children through different themes such as wild work, bugs, summer, national treasures, or Africa. They can learn what can be done in their backyard to see what creatures live nearby, or what native species they can encourage to set up home.
The New Zealand Maritime Museum's Make Bake Create page is filled with fun activities to help kids get crafty, curious and creative these school holidays. They can make a beautiful print out of recycled objects, bake a giant chocolate fish, or set out on a digital scavenger hunt through the museum's online collection.
The whole whānau can explore art making together with Auckland Art Gallery's free, downloadable activity sheets. Each week, the Gallery releases a new 'Art Bubble' activity for whānau to enjoy from home. The latest and all past Art Bubble activities are online now, from making poi, to lightbulb landscapes.
And for school holidays and beyond, from 15 October, Auckland Diwali Festival will have fun, educational content available online at www.aucklandnz.com/diwali to help celebrate Diwali and learn more about Indian culture as a family. People can get crafty making a diya and marigold garland, or colouring rangoli, try a new recipe, enjoy a movie, listen along to local artists, and dance along with the performers who would usually be on stage.