Stuff to do
Last updated 8 September 2022
Activities for babies and young children
Music and Fun Playgroup - for babies and children with special needs
Music & Fun Playgroup in Remuera gives children with special needs, age 18 months to 5 years, and their parents/carers the chance to play and socialise in a fun and supportive environment. Run by retired paediatric therapists & parents. Find out more by visiting the Community of St Luke website.
Skills Through Play
A playgroup session for children on the Autism Spectrum hosted by the team from Children's Autism Foundation. Running from 10am to 11am, these relaxed sessions are an opportunity to learn about play & communication for your pre-schooler with ASD. Available in North Shore and Manurewa.
Activities for young people
Here's a great list of things to do for your school aged child after school, during the weekend or on school holidays. The list was compiled by Disability Connect -a Disability Information Advisory Services (DIAS) in Auckland
Glass Ceiling Arts Collective
Glass Ceiling Arts Collective is a youths arts programme for young people with disabilities. Their services are available in the North Shore, Rodney, West and South Auckland.
Interactive free play at Ōtāhuhu Pool & Leisure Centre
In 2021, Ōtāhuhu Pool & Leisure Centre opened their swim school for FREE interactive play sessions for young people with disabilities.
Lot of pool toys will be provided and swim centre facilitators will be available to support visitors. Participants are required to wear proper swim attire, but those who don’t have one can purchase swim gear from the swim shop onsite. To enquire about session times, contact the Ōtāhuhu Pool & Leisure Centre on 09 276 68207.
For people with disabilities (16 and over). Run by Chewy from Rhythm for the Soul, these sessions are designed to teach life skills, rhythm, movement and to have fun! Every Tuesday during school terms.
Phab provides weekly social experiences for people with disabilities aged 16 and over. They run weekly social groups, holiday programmes, exercise programmes and life skills day programmes and more. They are based in Takapuna.
Tai Chi for young children and young adults with disabilities
Tai Chi Earth offers free Tai Chi and qigong classes every Saturday morning at Cornwall Park and online classes for those who want to practice at home. Follow them on Facebook for more announcements.
Kidza Cool Adventure
They provide respite programmes over five days for 3 weeks a year - one each in January, April and July during the school term holidays. The Programme offers a balance of sports, art and craft activities and outdoor adventures, tailoring each session to suit the age and ability of the children.
They organise camps, getaways and all kinds of outdoor adventures across Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty and Christchurch for young people with disabilities. From cycling the Otago Rail Trail to a night out for dinner and a movie, they have something for everyone.
Please note that due to popular demand, you may need to be on the waiting list to join their activities. Please contact them first before making any plans.
Auckland Council Leisure and Pools
From school holiday programmes, out of school care (OSCAR) to term time recreation programmes, Auckland Council runs a a series of activities all-year round to keep tamariki (and you) active.
Our Auckland Council programmes are MSD approved and registered. Families may be eligible for the WINZ Family Support Subsidy. Please go to your nearest Work & Income
office or download the application form online at workandincome.govt.nz.
Special Olympics provides free inclusive sport and play programmes for children with and without intellectual disabilities, aged 2 to 10 years.
Activities for all ages
Interacting Theatre Disability Arts Theatre Company
Weekly drama, filmmaking and hip hop classes throughout school term for a wide variety of people.
Board gaming and roleplaying
Dice Goblin is a board gaming and roleplaying community that gives autistic young people aged 13-18 the chance to enjoy tabletop gaming with their peers.
The group meets Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 3pm till midnight and Saturday and Sunday from 10am till midnight, at Royal Oak Mall on level 2. There is a lift access via the mall.
For more info, contact Mo on 021 1596894 or email@example.com.
Spectrum Care Media Lab
Courses that teach people how to make music and create YouTube content.
ACE - Active Choice Exercise
This is an award-winning fitness and nutrition programme designed for disabled young people living on Auckland's North Shore. The aim is to create lifestyle change in young adults through exercise and nutrition education. Current participants include young adults with physical, sensory, and intellectual impairments. Parents and caregivers are welcome to attend. Exercise and nutrition sessions are run weekly by local personal trainer. SESSIONS ARE FREE. To find out more or to join firstname.lastname@example.org or call 09 488 7490.
Hearts and Minds offers Art Therapy, a gentle way of tapping into and expressing feelings. They can support people to further their understanding of how the Art process can help them connect with one's self and others (no art experience or knowledge required). Cost is $105 (FREE with referral).
For school age art therapy classes, check out Disability Connect's list of things to do in Auckland.
People with disabilities can still have fun (and the right amount of challenge) playing sports. Find out about what types of adaptive sports are available in your community.
Hike a trail, walk the dog or follow a walkway or track to a lookout. Auckland Council provides an interactive map of places you can visit by filtering search results according to your requirements. For example, selecting 'wheelchair accessible', 'push chair friendly', 'flat surface'.
Easy access walks
The Department of Conservation has a list of easy access walks at some of the most beautiful spots in New Zealand.
Accessible beaches and water activities
Takapuna Beach is the first accessible beach in Auckland, which wheelchair users can access via a beach mat. Find out more about other accessible beaches in New Zealand, where to hire a beach wheelchairs and other accessible water activities.
Accessibel is a new tool which helps communicate the accessibility of walkways, waterways and cycle ways. Initially places in Dunedin and Christchurch are profiled, with the plan to extend across New Zealand.
Able Tours offer tours around New Zealand and overseas for tāngata whaikaha/disabled people with experienced carers. All meals and transport are provided & they can offer door to door service.
Auckland Zoo discounts
People with disabilities can take their carers with them to the zoo, for free, if they have an annual zoo pass.
For children 0-14 years old
- $155 annual zoo pass. You can bring a guest/friend 15 years and older for free, plus a carer for free.
For students 15 years and older with a valid student ID
- $68 annual zoo pass. You can bring a guest/friend, plus a carer for free.
- $95 annual zoo pass. You can bring a guest/friend, plus a carer for free.
If you want to renew your annual zoo pass, you will get a renewal discount of 25%.
The annual Auckland Zoo pass gives you 10% to 20% discount on day admissions at MOTAT, Stardome, SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton's Aquarium, and NZ Maritime Museum.
If you only want to visit the zoo once or twice a year, you can still get discounted rates. The entrance fee will be waved for the person's carer. Note that the person with the disability still need to purchase a single pass ($13 for children and $24 for adults).
Other holiday programmes
- Waiuku Rugby League Club offers free breakaway programmes for ages 5 to 17 on second week of holidays at the Waiuku Rugby League Club.
- Clendon Recreation Centre provides breakaway holiday programs.
- Lifekidz have youth workers that provide care for young people. They can also support young people with disabilities and special needs.
Other discounted rates for people with disabilities
Disability Connect has put together a list of many activities you can do in Auckland at a discounted price. Check it out!
This space is growing! Email us other great and positive activities you've recently used and we'll put them here!