Spend a magical time at StoryPlace, where your pre-school children and you can explore museum-related themes through play, games, stories, and songs.

StoryPlace birthday parties are available, so you can make your pre-schooler’s birthday extra special.

Current programme: Aotearoa – fun in the sun

Picture of the seaside

Come on an imaginative trip to New Zealand’s great outdoors!

Through storytelling and waiata (songs), play and make-believe, children discover the summer activities Kiwis enjoy in the natural environment. We explore the beach, the ocean, and the creatures that live there. We also talk about staying safe in the sun, and ways to protect our forests by sticking to walking tracks and taking rubbish away.

Activities are led by a friendly Te Papa Host.

When: Mon–Fri (excluding Public Holidays), 10:30am, 11:30am, 1:30pm 
Duration: 45 minutes
Where: StoryPlace, Level 2
Cost: $2 per pre-schooler and $2 per adult

Buy your tickets from the Information Desk, Level 2. Babies under 12 months free but require a ticket. Please get your tickets at least 5 minutes before each session. Secure a date and time by buying tickets early – up to 7 days before a session.
Sessions take a maximum of 25 people (pre-schoolers and adults). It is not uncommon for sessions to sell out quickly.


StoryPlace is designed for children aged 12 months to 5 years. We ask that those over 5 explore the museum with another adult while your pre-schooler enjoys StoryPlace with you. 

Prams, pushchairs, scooters, and bikes

Prams and pushchairs can be parked in the stroller park just outside StoryPlace for the duration of the session.

For health and safety reasons we are unable to accept prams, pushchairs, scooters, bikes, or tricycles in Coat and Bag.

Scooters/bikes/tricycles are unable to be taken into the museum, please use the bike or scooter park outside the museum to store these items; you will need to bring your own lock.

Early Childhood Centres and Play Groups

Mat time

Early Childhood Centres and Play Groups can join a public session at the usual cost or book out an entire StoryPlace session just for their group.

Cost: $45 (this is for up to 15 pre-schoolers), $3 per extra child. Teachers, accompanying adults, and children under 1 years old are free of charge.

Numbers: 25 people maximum (includes children and adults).

Bookings must be made at least 7 days in advance.

StoryPlace group bookings

Birthday parties

Mat time

Make your pre-schooler’s birthday extra special. Our popular StoryPlace parties include stories, songs, dress-ups, and art activities – 45 minutes of jam-packed fun!

Afterwards, enjoy a birthday meal at Te Papa Cafe (this is optional and extra costs apply).

Booking details

  • Cost: $120, plus Te Papa Café catering (this is optional and extra costs apply, see below for catering options)
  • Availability: Saturdays and Sundays only, excludes school holiday periods.
  • Times: 10:30am–11:15am or 1:30pm–2:15pm.
    Your meal at the Te Papa Café will be directly after your StoryPlace session, and it will be for 1 hour.
  • Number of attendees: 25 people maximum (includes pre-schoolers and adults).
  • Age group: Sessions cater for children under 5 years old.
  • Bookings: Must be made at least 7 days in advance.

Book a birthday party

Catering options


You can select one of the following themes for your party:

  • Dinosaurs,
  • Fairies,
  • Jungle,
  • Pirates,
  • Princess',
  • or Transport.


– Awesome that the children had lots of time to explore. Cool idea closing the session with a story. Keep up the great work!

– Good flow for parents to be involved.

– Great length of time, lots of activities.

– Really good that kids can choose what to do and when, and don’t have to sit still all the time.

– Great props and facilitator. Thanks – the kids loved it.

– Very playful and fun. I really enjoyed it!

– Staff are great with kids!

– The programme had lots of variety and was clearly thought through.

– Lots of free active exploration, not too structured.

– It was good at the beginning to have an introduction to the theme and each other. Just long enough. Love the free play and story at end. Just perfect.

– We will be back :)