For all the parents of dino-loving kids in Auckland, we’ve decided to give you a hand with your little palaeontologists by going on a dinosaur hunt of our own. Here’s our mega list of everywhere to find this, that and the othersauruses in Auckland.
Check out the real underwater dinosaur and T-rex skeletons at the Auckland Memorial Museum and take a wander around the Origins exhibit on the first floor. The kids can see a real megalodon tooth (think prehistoric shark, and note: The megalodon's great-great-grandson is still around).This display give kids a real sense of how big these creatures really were.
DINOS THAT BREATHE AND ROAR
Take the train around Dinosaur Gully at Crystal Mountain in Swanson, where you’ll find life-sized dinosaurs that move, breathe, and roar.
Just two minutes away from the Auckland Airport, visit the Dinosaur Kingdom at Butterfly Creek. Here you can trek around the habitat of more than 60 dinosaur replicas with amazing sound effects. There are also photo opportunities for a fun family portrait (plus a toothy dino in the background).
MAMMOTH MINI GOLF
A more active approach for those with ants in their pants is the Lost in Time Mini Golf in Skycity, 219 Queen Street, Auckland. Take the rocket-shaped elevator to the top, then make your way around the prehistoric course crawling with dinosaurs. For enthusiasts, it doesn't stop there, you can also putt your way around dinosaurs at T Rex Alley, 3 Tamaki Drive, Auckland.
Magical Park turns a normal urban city park into a digital fantasyland on your device. The kids can run around the park chasing virtual dinosaurs or walk through an enchanting world of fairies and kittens. It has geo-fenced boundaries, so the app stops working beyond the edges of the park, making it completely safe. Great free entertainment outside for the kids – just download the app when you get to the park and enter another land. The app works in the regions of Auckland, Hastings, Dunedin, Wellington, and Christchurch.
DINOS AT DUSK
Have a lie down while watching the stars (and some dinosaurs!) on the roof of the Auckland Stardome Observatory and Planetarium . Running every Saturday and Sunday in November from 3 till 4 in the afternoon.
Look Sharp can fit you out with a dino costume, complete with tail, teeth, and hoodie (available in both pink and blue) for only $30. Costumes change regularly here, so keep an eye out for what’s in stock.
DINOS AT HOME
Make use of all the empty tissue boxes circulating around the house in the winter months by creating dinosaur feet. Paint the outside of the tissue box, create the texture of scales or, if you're feeling particularly artistic, use papier-mache. To add dino claws to the front, cut triangles out of sponges, and glue them sticking outward. Slip those little feet inside and roar!
Got some hungry budding palaeontologists? Create your own fossil footprint cookies by simply choosing your favourite biscuit recipe and letting the kids choose their favourite dinosaur toy. Press the foot of the toy onto the middle of the cookie dough to create a fossil effect, then bake.
Snuggle up for some movies and get ready for the greatest dinosaur-themed weekend in. We recommend The Good Dinosaur, Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, the classic self-titled Dinosaur – or, for a more educational approach, BBC's Walking with Dinosaurs.
Ultimate dinosaur den
If your child is in need of a new bedroom look, theinside.co.nz supply a range of awesome sustainable dinosaur wallpapers. For the ideal dinosaur den, they also have fabrics, pillowcases, and bedside lamp covers to match.
Board game night
Your kids will love the Tyrannosaurus Rex Game from Toyworld for $24.99. It includes 17 different dinosaurs and is simplistic, strategic, and super enjoyable. For kids age six and up, this is a great afternoon timewaster for a gang of budding Jurassic Park wardens.