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Kelly Tarlton Bus

Why Britomart Is An Amazing Playground For Kids

Up until recently I’ve always seen Britomart as a very grown up place. Now while I’m not advocating that the kids come and join in on a Friday night, Britomart is actually a pretty sensational playground for kids.

We ended up in Britomart the way we end up in most places – quite by chance. We were playing the Getting Lost Game with my 3 girls and my 5 year old nephew. A few lefts, rights, heading south and we ended up in the city. It was here we got the stop for a treat card.

“I know the perfect place” said my 12 year old. I knew without a doubt she was talking about Giapo. Giapo was a new discovery to me. I went there for the first time with my 12 year old on our Tuesday night date night. But it seems the rest of Auckland is talking about it and rightly so. Their icecream creations include wearable ice cream cones and each visit includes an icecream tasting – but more on that later…


Where to park and how to make it part of the adventure

Once we decided to head to Giapo I figured we’d make a day of it in Britomart. Now there are two ways to look at parking in the city. You can head to the cheapest parking spots (which are in my opinion the Civic and Downtown) and leg it. It was pouring down so that didn’t seem like a great option with 4 kids. So that led me to my second way to look at parking in the city. Valet Parking!!

Valet Parking at Britomart is $30. Which is actually pretty good value when you take into account the novelty of pulling up and giving your keys to someone, not getting wet and standing under all those twinkly lights in the Britomart Carpark while you stand there like a VIP while someone races off to get your car. For the kids it was all part of the experience and totally out of the norm!

Where to lunch?

First stop lunch! My youngest is obsessed with pork buns so when we spotted yum cha by the door to the Britomart carpark she was literally running. There is so much on offer in Britomart you are literally spoilt for choice so if yum cha is not your thing there is plenty that will be.

Stuffed full of pork buns and prawn dumplings we went on a hunt for some Lime Scooters.

Try a bit of scootering

I’ve been watching these with an equal mix of joy and trepidation – imagining myself wiping out on the first corner. My eldest daughter taught me how to ride them on a quiet Tuesday night in Britomart (the aforementioned date night). They are actually surprisingly easy to use and so much fun!!


We went up and down Britomart as they sped along and practiced their cornering.

And a lot of icecream

We scootered over to Giapo and the kids piled in for the icecream tasting.


And then they all picked their favourite flavours. There was a surprising lack of chocolate going on in their orders which shows just how good their flavours are!

Check out this amazing hotel

On the way we’d spotted So Hotel across the road. The kids had seen it on the Instagram feed of Kiki’s mentor Holly and they were so keen to go and have a look. So after icecream we went and snuck in (actually we asked if we could look around but snuck in just sounds so much better).

The girls were busy striking their best interpretation of an Instagram pose as we strolled around under the chandeliers.

Grab a free coffee!

From there we headed down to Nespresso so I could stock up on coffee and we could all get a free coffee. Decaf for the kids and yes, that is my 10 year old with her favourite drink – black coffee with no sugar!

And stopping for the obligatory perspective picture with the Kelly Tarlton’s Bus!

Kelly Tarlton Bus

Get lost on the trains and buses

Back to Britomart we spotted a double decker bus. My eldest has never been on one so we raced to catch it and all piled on. It was only when the bus driver asked us where we were going that we had no idea where the bus was actually going…

Turns out it was heading to Mount Eden so we took a leisurely cruise up Symonds street before jumping off at Eden Terrace and heading to the train station where we caught a train back into Britomart.

More exploring through the awesome glass viewing domes above the train station and a little more lime scootering and we were ready to head home.


All up we spend 4 hours exploring Britomart with the kids on a wet rainy Saturday – the perfect inner city escape.

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