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Activities for your child

Things for your child or young person to do while they are at Starship Hospital.

The Atrium

The atrium is a large space in the centre of Starship on Level Two.

The design of the atrium centres around a fantasy rain forest theme which includes recycled timber telegraph poles as 'trees', stepping stones, rocks, canopies and log benches.  It also has specially printed rain forest flooring and walls.

The hospital usually holds events here such as concerts, visits from celebrities, launches of new services, openings of new departments and celebrations such as the annual Christmas party.

Koromiko Garden

Access to the Koromiko garden is beside Tiny Bites on Level Three of Starship. The theme of the garden is New Zealand natives and fairy tales. The name Koromiko was gifted through Starship's Maori Health team. The Koromiko shrub has small white flowers and has long been known for its medicinal properties. This outdoor area is for Starship patients and their families to relax, away from the hospital wards.

Pet Programmes at Starship

Pet programmes at Starship are held in "Ella's cuddle corner", a purpose-built enclosed area in the Atrium on Level Two of Starship, where long term or critically ill children can have a visit from their pets.

Dog2Children's personal pets

Pets may be brought into Starship Hospital for visits with a child who:

Any visit must be arranged through the nursing staff. Families must provide verification from a vet that the animal is suitable for a visit. This includes up-to-date vaccinations, confirmation that the animal is in good health and their behaviour suitable for a visit. A time can then be booked to bring the pet in.

Pet Outreach programme

Each Wednesday afternoon, a volunteer from the Pet Outreach programme brings their dog to Starship to visit the children. Find out more about our pet programme.


There are playrooms available for children, families and whanau on each ward at Starship and in the Outpatients Department. These playrooms are open Monday to Friday (generally between the hours of 8.30am-3.00pm) and most are run by hospital play specialists who are qualified Early Childhood Educators.

Playrooms are equipped with many activities such as play dough, puzzles, books and crafts. These rooms are great in providing a non-threatening space for children, families and whanau to relax and have fun. They are also a good place to explore medical equipment and learn more about being in hospital.

There is also a teen lounge available for patients 12 years and older. This is open seven days a week, usually for 2 -3 hours per day.

Radio Lollipop

Radio Lollipop provides a play and radio programme in Starship on Sunday to Thursday evenings from 6:00 - 8:00pm. 

Radio Lollipop volunteers visit the children in the wards and Day Stay Unit with games and entertainment and also take children to the studio area in the atrium on Level Two for extra activities such as table tennis. Parental consent is required before a Radio Lollipop volunteer can be alone with a child or take a child off the ward.


The Northern Health School in Starship caters for children from year one to 13 who have been, or are expected to be, absent from their regular school for ten days or more due to illness.

Children need a specialist's medical certificate in order to qualify and must be enrolled in a New Zealand primary or secondary school.

For more information see  Northern Health School in the Directory of Services.

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