Charlotte, Sophie and Alice at Browns Bay

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Names: Charlotte (7), Sophie (4) and Alice (4 months)
Location: Browns Bay, Auckland NZ
Favorite Family-Friendly Place To See or Thing To Do Here: We spent a fabulous week’s holiday in Auckland, during June 2010. There are so many family friendly places to visit and things to do. We visited Auckland Zoo; Marveled at Emperor Penguins from the comfort of a Snow Cat at Kelly Tarltons Aquarium; Became enthralled by butterflies landing on us at a wonderful place called ‘Butterfly Creek’; (cont&hellip)

Had a sparkling time at a magical place called ‘Crystal Mountain’ – with a small farm, a roller coaster and an amazing crystal and gem museum; Took in a 360 degree vista of Auckland from the heady hight of the Sky Tower; Took to the water on a harbour cruise and learned about how the first people came to New Zealand at the wonderful Maritime Museum; Went skiing at Snow Planet; And relaxed at a wonderful holiday home in Browns Bay, on Auckland’s North Shore. We documented our holiday on our family blog, Chez Lee, and for our account on Auckland in 7 days please do visit.

Best Tip for Traveling with Kids: Children really need ‘down time’ and so we didn’t try to do too much in one day. We would return to our holiday home by mid-afternoon and spend time simply playing, reading, watching a movie and chilling out together. Some morning’s we’d start later and start the day with a walk on the beach and a coffee at the local cafe.

Older children love to have a part in the decision making, so we talked about the different activities and involved Charlotte and Sophie in choosing our day trips. Before we went away on holiday we gave our older children new stationery and a scrap book each. They loved collecting brochures, scrap booking and sticking in photographs that we got developed at the local pharmacy. This was a wonderful quiet activity for them to do in the morning’s whilst we were getting ready for the day, or in the early evening.

Favorite Way to Make it Feel Like Home: We always take a few of their favourite books, teddy bears and let them pack a little bag each. Our four year old has a favourite duvet and pillow set – so we let her take one pillow case to put on the bed at the holiday home – little things make a big difference 😉

An Item you MUST Take With You While Traveling: Hard to choose just one item! I have several ‘must’ haves on my travel list – including….

  • First Aid Kit, insect repellent, sun-screen
  • Notebook & pens for instant games/drawing/quick distractions in cafes and whilst waiting for transport.
  • Lollies to suck on for take off and landing (preferably on a stick so they don’t choke on hard boiled sweets!)
  • Water – dehydrated children – and parents – can get awfully grumpy!