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

StoryPlace runs from Monday to Friday. Activities are led by a friendly Te Papa host and reflect New Zealand’s Early Childhood Education curriculum.


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 preschooler enjoys StoryPlace with you. 

Tickets and times

To check availability for sessions, phone: (04) 381 7000

  • 10.30am–11.15am (purchase tickets by 10.25am)
  • 11.30am–12.15pm (purchase tickets by 11.25am)
  • 1.30pm–2.15pm (purchase tickets by 1.25pm)
    Buy your tickets from the Information Desk, Level 2
    • $2 per preschooler and adult
    • Babies under 12 months free but require a ticket
    • Secure a date and time by buying tickets early – up to 7 days before a session.

Our host will meet you outside StoryPlace. Please arrive promptly to avoid disappointment.

Sessions take a maximum of 25 people (preschoolers and adults). It is not uncommon for sessions to sell out quickly.


All of our programmes are linked to the New Zealand Early Childhood Curriculum, Te Whāriki.

Nature Discovery | Tūhuratia te Taiao

23 Apr – 7 Aug 2015

Budding scientists! Come to StoryPlace and discover the wonders of the natural world. Find out more about the creatures that make our gardens, forests, oceans, mountains, and shorelines their home.

After your session, check out recent discoveries by Te Papa scientists at the exhibition DeCLASSIFIED! Nature’s secrets exposed, Level 3.

Find out more about DeCLASSIFIED!
Visit the Discovery Centres

Matariki for under 5s

27 Apr – 3 Jul

Check out our free and interactive Tīrama, Tīrama Tamariki Ma! performances for under 5s. 
Find out more

For Early Childhood Centres, some places are available for the Matariki education programme in our new digital starlab.
Find out more

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).

Book a birthday party

Booking details

  • Cost: $100, 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 children and adults).
  • Age group: StoryPlace birthday party 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.

Book a birthday party

Early Childhood Centres and Play Groups 


Early Childhood centres and play groups – you can join a public session at the usual cost or book an entire StoryPlace session just for you!

  • Cost: $45 for up to 15 children (minimum charge), $3 per extra child. Teachers and accompanying adults free.
    • Numbers: 25 people maximum (pre-schoolers and adults)
    • Bookings must be made with at least 7 days in advance.

Book now


– 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 :)