Auckland Arts Festival has a renewed focus on whānau and tamariki in 2018, with a line-up of spectacular shows that will ignite the imagination and inspire young people and their families to get out and play.

Junk Carousel1

JUNK is a production by young circus performers from Australia’s Flying Fruit Fly Circus. Set in a junkyard inhabited by the spirits of children from the 1940s, JUNK uses awe-inspiring acrobatics by young people and quirky shadow puppetry, to explore a time when young people were encouraged to take risks and use their vivid imaginations - when playtime wasn’t wrapped in cotton wool or in front of a screen.

 À Ố Làng Phố is a brilliant circus from French–Vietnamese company Nouveau Cirque du Vietnam. Set to contemporary music, performers use huge bamboo poles, baskets and other astonishing props to tell a story of tradition vs modernity in Vietnam. À Ố Làng Phố is a delightfully poignant production that’s seen sold-out performances at festivals the world over.

Boasting beautiful puppetry and huge inflatable creatures, Erth’s Prehistoric Aquarium immerses its young audience in the giant fishbowl under the sea and gives them a chance to meet some of the greatest marvels of prehistoric marine life face-to-face. A not-to-be missed enchanting and educational journey into the world of dinosaurs and natural history.

 Kids are invited to sing along with beloved NZ musician and wicked wahine Anika Moa in Chop Chop Hiyaaa!, a delightful show for young ones based on her successful 'Songs for Bubbas' albums. Moa and her special witchy friend (Bella Kalolo), take tamariki on a 45-minute rollercoaster ride of terrific stories, terrible taniwha and good old-fashioned singalongs. This show is taking the Auckland Arts Festival out of the city and into the regions.

Science superhero Nanogirl (played by Dr Michelle Dickinson) is back with Nanogirl vs The Elements. Showcasing an adrenaline-filled line-up of huge experiments that demonstrate the power of science. Budding scientists and lovers of explosions, illusions and brilliant bangs should see Nanogirl vs The Elements.

The Festival ends with a huge, free event at the Festival Playground, Whānau Day. Music, food, fun and whānau: it’s what the Festival is all about.