We have a stunning museum in Auckland. The building is in the middle of a massive park which is over an ancient volcano. The building itself is a beauty.
My hint for going to the museum with children is to have very low expectations. Very very low. I knew we would speed through the exhibition halls so did not use this visit as chance to brush up on any personal general knowledge. And speed we did.
The Origins hall has dinosaur models and skeletons and we spent a bit of time here. Luka loved this hall. Grace not so much. In my view it was one of the best halls for kids- large displays, well lit and lots to look at.
The Coastal and Oceans halls were also popular. They were packed. Despite loving sharks Luka would not get close to the life size models. He admired them from the other side of the room. Grace on the other hand tickled the Great White shark under the chin. She is fearless that one
The museum also has a volcanoes hall which has a "live" exhibition where you enter a room made out to be a living area. You then watch a huge screen looking at Rangitito and the "evening news" pretending to talking about rwhat it would be like to be ion the north shore of Auckland with Rangitito blowing it's top. Ummm. Scary. Super scary. Luka thought so too and hid under the couch.
We saw the Maori hall in about two seconds flat. The picture is a bit rude. Sorry but it IS culture.
Up on the top level was a whole setup for the school holidays and children called Matariki. There was live entertainments and crafts. It was awesome. My goldfish-attention-span children were interested in the show for 2.5 minutes so we took off again.
We broke for lunch and I was so grateful that the museum entry was free as the cafe food in the Ground Floor Lobby was certainly NOT. Super expensive and very (very) ordinary. However the troops were hangry and we needed to refuel. Hint of the day, pack a lunch or eat before/ after somewhere else.
The kids area "Weird and Wild" is awesome. There is so much to look at and experience. I loved the human-size wire nest so you get to see what it would be like to be a bird in a nest. The children were a little freaked out by the full size stuffed animal heads but I thought they were awesome. This was my favourite place.
The last place we visited was the conflict hall. It was beautiful and very sobering. It was a quiet moment to end the visit and very much appreciated.
The museum was fabulous. Free (for Auckland residents) and well worth the visit. There is so much to see that you can do it at warp speed and still feel like you have seen a lot. The kids loved it which was the best part and are still talking about it. Win all round!