The things our family enjoy doing in Downtown Tauranga

11 May 2022

By Suzanne Shilton


Our family love coming to the city centre! We love the atmosphere and feeling connected to the city by exploring shops, eateries, art, and events when they're on. Here are some of our favourite things to do!


- Checking out the artwork dotted throughout the city

- Pottery classes at The Pottery Studio.  Penny is amazing at helping with guidance and support to create your own masterpieces. They have toddler classes during the school term and holiday classes during the school holidays as well as adults wine and pottery classes most nights. I've been back multiple times and learnt new things each time 

- Of course, the playground on the waterfront is a hit with the kids.  Arlo loves the digger (though requires a little help to get it going). Livy loves the climbing frame and they all enjoy trying to find fish and starfish. We always have to say hi to Hairy McClary and the gang

- We go to Bay Barbers in the Piccadilly arcade for the boys' haircuts.  They have a little fire engine pedal car seat, complete with fireman's jacket and hat for toddlers' haircuts. Books for the kids to read while waiting. Also handy that you can book online for these guys

- The Tauranga Library is somewhere we go almost every week. The temporary spot they have in the Goddards Arcade is way fancier than I was expecting for a temporary solution while the new library is being built. We love that they put on activities during the school holidays and have toddler time each week

- Craniums have great educational and fun toys. They have a great stock of kiwi books and pressies for all budgets as well as lots of STEM products. The staff are so friendly

- The Boho Store have a beautiful stock of vegan body care products which they hand craft. They do 'lucky dip' crystal packages for kids too

- Places we like to eat are Zozo Street Foodtheir crispy aubergine is heaven on a plate (this is a date night option for us. Barrio Brothers are awesome and have a kids special on Sundays nights. Falafel Metro make the most delicious pita pockets in town. The Nourished Eatery hands down serve the best vegan food in town, and they have a recipe book you can buy to recreate all their yummy goodness at home. Arirang Sushi is a hit with the kids they love being able to select lots of different sushi pieces rather than a packet with everything the same in it. Macau is another fav for date night. We actually had our engagement party here years ago and that staff were amazing to deal with

- Escape Rooms Tauranga - we've been to for our Xmas staff function. This is so fun, just the right amount of tricky. You certainly learn a lot about each other when you are stuck in a room, with time pressure and the challenge of figuring out puzzles as a team 

- We enjoy checking out the Tauranga Art Gallery and the kids have also been here on school trips

- We have been to lots of events put on by Downtown Tauranga. One's that have stood out to our family have been Easter Egg Hunt, Xmas Elf Hunt, Xmas Parades, the outdoor light show, outdoor movie nights, the Jazz Fest (way back in the day) and checking out the outdoor photo exhibitions they run in conjunction with Trustpower.