Wondering what to do with the kids this July? We pulled together a list of the top Matariki events happening these school holidays.
Don’t miss this stunning showcase of Māori performance. Bringing together talented students from Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, the show explores the concept of finding yourself and combines Māori theatre with kapa haka and kōrero, and adds traditional waiata with a contemporary twist.
When: Thu 19 July
Where: Glen Innes
Help build Matariki-inspired light sculptures at Maybury Reserve while enjoying nightly performances and delicious kai.
The light sculptures reflect the Māori tradition of giving thanks for the harvest, welcoming the new year planting season and remembering loved ones. The final night also includes a spectacular fireworks display and Māori music for the whole community.
When: Sat 14 July – Sat 21 July
Where: Glen Innes
Stroll along the waterfront in this inclusive, illuminated, all-wheels parade through Auckland. Touch Compass, New Zealand’s leading inclusive performance art company, invites Aucklanders and their families to decorate their bicycles and wheelchairs and enjoy fun and informative performances.
The parade starts at Silo Park, with a karanga and collaborative performance from Toka Tu and Touch Compass, before making its way to The Cloud.
When: Sat 21 July
Where: Wynyard Quarter
Discover customary Māori practices in a fun-filled day, binding and finishing your own bone carving.
Learn from established artist Maha Tomo (Ngai Tahu, Tainui, Ngāti Kauwhata) in this interactive Māori art workshop, teaching how to incorporate values such as tikanga (protocols), whakawhanaungatanga (togetherness), manaakitanga (support), and mahi toi (the arts) into a beautiful art piece.
When: Thu 12 July
Cost: Entry by donation, advance booking required and bring a plate for a shared lunch.
Join Te Kawerau a Maki for a planting day!
Come alongside Iwi, Park Rangers and the community to help tidy up the Cascade Kauri Pā Harakeke and share mātauranga Māori. Don’t miss out on the sausage sizzle provided.
When: Wed 11 July
Where: Te Henga
Cost: Free, advance booking required
Head along to the world’s first Māori rock-art puppet production! A fun and interactive show presented by Toro Pikopiko Puppets and made by Jeffrey Addison (Ngai Tahu) and Whaitaima Te Whare (Ngāti Tūwharetoa).
When: Sat 14 July & Sun 15 July
Cost: Entry by donation
Put a smile on the face of your kids with this enchanting glow-in-the-dark puppet show to entertain both kids and adults. Watch the legend of Heaven and Earth – Rangi and Papa through singing, music and storytelling.
When: Tue 17 July – Sat 21 July
Cost: $15 per person
Bring your tamariki (children) to the edge of the forest to spend the day connecting with the taiao (natural environment).
They’ll learn how to forage, identify and harvest edible plants, weave traditional flax and finish up preparing a delicious feast. Bring suitable outdoor gear.
When: Tue 17 July
Cost: $45 per person
If you’ve been to Manu Aute Kite Day, or especially if you missed it, come along and learn how to craft a Matariki manu tukutuku (kite) of your own and then watch it fly!
When: Fri 20 July
Where: Highland Park
Head to the Maritime Museum on the Viaduct in week one of the holidays and immerse the kids in the world of stars, sea and waka-kaupapa inside a blow-up star dome. In week two, kids can cosy up to watch a short film, enjoy hands-on activities and head out to sea on one of the daily sailings on the Waitematā; bookings recommended for this activity.
When: Mon 9 July – Fri 13 July, Mon 16 July – Fri 20 July
Cost: Check website for details