Children of all ages who’ve dreamed of finding a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow will have a chance to do just that on a daily basis in Auckland’s city centre during the April school holidays.
Thanks to Auckland Live, an amazing rainbow machine created by artists, architects and scientists will be in Aotea Square from 13 April to 1 May. The machine creates rainbows, rain or sunshine – a free centrepiece amid lots of exciting holiday activities for the whole whānau to explore in the vibrant heart of Tāmaki Makaurau. But those stuck at home during the holidays won’t miss out, with the Auckland Live Kids Club having pulled together fun online activities.
While there are still some visitor restrictions in place for the region’s Auckland Unlimited-operated cultural institutions due to the Government’s COVID-19 red setting, there are still some amazing holiday activities available – from a dastardly rubbish pirate terrorising the high seas to an Easter egg hunt, and from secret zoo missions to button-badge making.
Creative brains will be energised by a holiday visit to Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki.
The Gallery’s Whānau Drop-in programme offers free take-home activity packs for collection from the Gallery between 10am–5pm daily. Containing all the materials needed to complete some cool activities, take-home packs include Pysanky (available 15–24 April and supported by the Ukrainian Association) enabling tamariki to make current-day versions of traditional decorated Pysanky eggs given as good luck to loved ones at Easter; as well as Straw sculptures (available 25 April–1 May) using straws, pipe cleaners and embellishments to create 3D structures; a self-guided scavenger hunt and badge-making inspired by the Gallery’s current exhibitions.
The school holidays are the perfect time to make a trip to Auckland Zoo this ‘Ape-ril’, where lucky visitors may catch a glimpse of the Zoo’s newest arrival – baby male Bornean orangutan Bahmi snuggling in the ready made furry orange blanket of mum Melur.
This precious primate, the second offspring of Melur and dad Charlie, is the Zoo’s latest contribution to the international breeding and advocacy programme for this critically endangered orangutan species. Melur and baby are doing well and beginning to explore the Zoo’s state of the art High Canopy habitat, part of the South East Asia Jungle Track development, which is due to open in full later this year.
Autumn is a time of change and the Zoo’s Changing Times, Changing Colours programme from 14 April – 1 May will encourage families to also take time to notice how colours and times have changed at the zoo – which turns 100 this year.
Some animals, including the Zoo’s historic and mythical much-loved Cedric the Dragon, go through colour changes during their life – while animal habitats and environments at the Zoo have changed in other exciting ways. Participate in an interactive game which involves visiting the zoo to complete missions, and be in with a chance to win a great prize pack.
The New Zealand Maritime Museum Hui Te Ananui a Tangaroa holiday programme will feature fun, interactive performances by Pirate Jean, ‘The Rubbish Pirate’ three times a day from 19-22 April. It’s a chance to learn about the importance of caring for our marine environment. From 26-29 April, kids have a chance to create and take home a beautiful, glowing reef inspired by the magical I Am Island and Sea exhibition in which the voices of young Aucklanders guide visitors through works by artist Kate Parker, in collaboration with Sarah-Jane Blake, Mixit and students from six Auckland schools. Check the museum’s website for entry details, event times, and bookings, including sailing opportunities aboard the heritage scow Ted Ashby.
At Mt Smart Stadium, the exciting new Café, Garden Bar and Event Hub Lilyworld will feature a Kids Eat Free promotion throughout the school holidays, and a Kids Easter Egg Hunt on Easter Sunday.
Kids dine free with a dining adult from 16 April through to 1 May. There are lots of things to keep the whole whānau entertained with mini putt, table tennis, giant outdoor games, sandpit and volleyball.
On Easter Sunday, children can enjoy an egg hunt with Easter treats hidden throughout Lilyworld (from 11.30am).
Across Tāmaki Makaurau, Auckland Council and a range of partners have a great programme of holiday activities – including events, exhibitions and shows – at its community centres, venues and libraries as well as pools and leisure centres.
NOTES TO EDITOR
In the event the COVID-19 protection framework changes later this week, under Orange the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki. will have its Whānau Drop-in programme based at the North Atrium every day from 11am – 3pm. Visitors can explore some cool activities as a family including: Pysanky (available 15–24 April and supported by the Ukrainian Association) enabling tamariki to make current-day versions of traditional decorated Pysanky eggs given as good luck to loved ones at Easter; as well as Straw sculptures (available 25 April–1 May) using straws, pipe cleaners and embellishments to create 3D structures; a self-guided scavenger hunt and badge-making inspired by the Gallery’s current exhibitions. Visitors can also enjoy new-opened ArtLab presents Squiggla – a gym for creative visual thinking that encourages children to explore their curiosity and unleash new ideas. Squiggla encourages everyone to make their mark with dots and lines to play, make, imagine and invent.
Additional school holiday information can be found here: Heart of the City