8 Jun 2024

Finding Auckland's best child-friendly spots

11:42 am on 8 June 2024
Children playing at the splash pad at Māngere’s Moana-Nui-ā-Kiwa Pools and Leisure centre.

Children playing at the splash pad at Māngere's Moana-Nui-ā-Kiwa Pools and Leisure centre. Photo: Supplied / Auckland Council

A recently launched app hopes to take away the time, stress and mental load of planning affordable days out in Auckland.

Roam with Kids was created by Renata Wiles after she spent hundreds of hours exploring things to do in Auckland with her three-year-old daughter.

She decided to document their adventures on social media, recommending places for other parents to take their own kids - some of which are not well known.

With 25,000 followers on Instagram, 8000 on TikTok and 3000 app downloads, Wiles is hoping to expand and see the app cover the entirety of the country soon.

Wiles told Afternoons it all began because she simply enjoyed getting out and about.

"I have a now almost four-year-old, but I was a stay-at-home mum and we were just spending heaps of time getting out and about, going to all these cool places across Auckland and, I guess at just a hobby, I was sharing things on social media, on Instagram and TikTok, making little videos and the first one that really kind-of took off is when I shared about the Grey Lynn paddling pool."

Wiles said she received a bunch of messages from parents thanking her for letting them know about the pool as they were unaware it existed.

"I leaned into that and started sharing more and more recommendations of cool places we were finding and the response from other parents is just amazing."

Wiles said the app shows an interactive map, where people can use filters such as change table or pram friendly to hone in on a location that may best suit their needs for a day out.

It includes indoor playgrounds, outdoor parks and child-friendly cafes.

The Parkhouse in Whenuapai.

The Parkhouse in Whenuapai. Photo: Supplied / Google Maps

Wiles said it was rewarding to know she was helping other parents.

"My aim is really to save them time and stress and the mental load of planning, make it more enjoyable getting out for everyone."

One of Wiles' top picks for playgrounds was My Wonderland - an indoor playground in Albany.

"That's definitely a favourite of ours - we love going there."

A top pick for cafes was The Parkhouse in Whenuapai.

"We also love because they've got a really big outdoor playground and seating outside as well so you can sit, have your coffee or your lunch and see your kids in the playground which is always awesome."

Wiles said a feature had recently been introduced on the app where users could submit their own favourite places to visit.

The goal was to expand beyond Auckland - with plans for the app to cover all of New Zealand "soon".

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