Rainy day activities to keep the kids entertained

Publish Date : 24 Apr 2024
Rainy Day Image 4
Enjoy an interstellar experience in the planetarium at Stardome Observatory.
Library Reading
Curl up and read a good book at one of Auckland’s Libraries.

Don’t let rainy days dampen your spirits. When the weather outside is frightful, there are plenty of delightful indoor activities around Tāmaki Makaurau for the whole family to participate in. Here are some rainy-day ideas to keep kids smiling, rain or shine.

Enjoy a sea change at New Zealand Maritime Museum

Our beautiful coastlines are one of the reasons Auckland is so special, but when stormy seas call for a day on dry land, the New Zealand Maritime Museum is a bounty of family fun.  Kids can deep dive into New Zealand’s fascinating maritime history – from waka used by Polynesian voyagers to the sailing vessels of early European immigrants on their months-long journeys to our shores.

Kid and elder on a boat.

Kids who are members of the Mini Māui Club at New Zealand Maritime Museum can receive a free sailing on their birthday.

Every Friday, tamariki can enjoy a free storytime in the museum’s retro bach and they can also join the Mini Māui Club to receive free quarterly activity packs and free sailings on New Zealand Maritime Museum vessels on their birthday. When you’re back in your home quarters, visit the museum’s website for fun craft activities.

Explore galaxies far, far away at Stardome Observatory

The kids will have an out-of-this-world experience at Stardome Observatory – the coolest planetarium this side of Neptune. The daytime shows are for younger children and evening planetarium shows allow older kids and adults to lay back and gaze up at the galaxy. The Zeiss telescope is also open for viewings from 9pm (weather permitting) for ages 14 and over.

From 27 March until 11 November, check out Sci-fi at Stardome, where blockbuster sci-fi films such as The Martian, Interstellar and Alien are screened on the planetarium ceiling – popcorn is included but booking is essential.

Stardome's flagship show Our Sky Tonight is a beautiful and immersive experience whatever the weather outside. There's a version just for kids too, Looking Up at 4.30pm on weekends.

Matariki shows will be running from 14 May-27 June, and for people seeking a less intense experience there's low-sensory quiet hours on Tuesday 30 April.

Have a page-turning adventure at your local library

Through the power of reading, kids can visit faraway lands and have magical adventures without leaving their seat. At Auckland Council Libraries’ 56 branches, kids can explore their own special section where specialist children's librarians have curated the latest and greatest pukapuka (books) – including e-books and audiobooks through the Libby and Borrow Box apps – to help kids on their reading journey.

There are also regular activities for kids of all ages, from Wriggle and Rhyme programmes designed to stimulate the brain development of babies and toddlers, to Rhymetime songs for preschoolers and Storytime for kids aged three to five. Some libraries also hold Storytime sessions in languages other than English.

Get crafty at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki

The budding creatives in your family can embrace their artistic side at the Te Aka Matua | The Creative Learning Centre at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki. This free, family-friendly space located on the mezzanine level of the gallery features activities and interactive art events to help children embrace their creative spirit.

Make a splash at an indoor pool

When it’s rainy outside, there’s no reason you can’t make a splash inside as well at one of Auckland’s fantastic heated indoor pool facilities. To really make waves, visit the hydroslides and wave pools at West Wave Pool and Leisure Centre in Henderson or Mount Albert Aquatic Centre – these all-ages centres also have toddler pools and play facilities.

Rock out at Birkenhead Pool and Leisure Centre

Challenge yourself to climb to the top of the indoor rock climbing wall at Birkenhead Pool and Leisure Centre. Climbers of all ages, levels and abilities are welcome at the facility, which features a five-metre training wall suitable for beginners. Avoid getting stuck between a rock and a hard place by getting training from one of the facility’s instructors. Climbers under 14 must have their parent or guardian complete a disclosure of risk form on their behalf.

People on a rock wall.

Set your ambitions sky high by challenging yourself on the climbing walls at Birkenhead Pool and Leisure Centre.

Embrace the rain and enjoy the outdoors

Our rainy climate is one of the reasons Tāmaki Makaurau is the vibrant, lush city we all love. When it’s raining buckets, there are still bucket loads of fun to be had outdoors. Kids can enjoy one of Auckland’s thousands of parks by donning raincoats and gumboots and splashing through puddles. Because if it weren't for your gumboots, where would you be?

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