Let’s go to the Mall, Today!!!

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Channeling my inner Robin Sparkles (If you haven’t watched How I Met Your Mother you need to asap Sean and I are Marshall and Lily in a lot of ways) or my teenager years here. I have to be honest as an adult I am not a huge fan of the Mall. I would much rather shop at bargain clothing stores like TJMax, Target, or a good second hand shop. Oh how I love browsing thrift stores for vintage and unique clothing and one of kind items. Throw bargain price in and I’m in heaven. Stay focused Lorena, back to the mall. This being said we went at the mall several times while in Auckland. We probably visited the mall more times in that one month then we had in the past year. Why!? Below are the top 5 reasons we found ourselves at the mall at least once a week.

  • We have and are traveling with our 18 year old daughter who loves to shop
  • It gave us something to do on the rainy days (there were a lot of these)
  • We were curious what they would be like compared to the malls in the USA
  • They have grocery stores inside the mall so I can get the grocery shopping done while the teenager shops and its a win win situation
  • They also have several restaurants, a movie theater, and playground so it really was a good time for everyone

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So how did the malls here in New Zealand compare to the malls in our hometown of Oklahoma? They are similar in a lot of ways and have some our of favorites stores like MAC, H&M, Cotton, and more. However, they differ in that they also have grocery stores, liquor stores, bowling alleys, arcades, bookstores, toy stores, and lots of outdoor areas to enjoy. They really have something for everyone and every occasion. Some of the malls are probably the same size in square footage as the malls we had back home and other’s are a lot larger. I really enjoyed the way the malls where all kind of fragmented yet were all one building (most of the time) by the use of courtyards, outdoor seating for restaurants, and play areas for children. 

New Lynn Mall was the closest mall so we found ourselves here the most. It was roughly a 5 minute bus ride from our airbnb in Auckland and had a countdown-grocery store, a movie theater, and play area that Gabriela really enjoyed. It was sort of basic in that it was a big building with lots of shops inside and a small courtyard that housed the kid play area with restaurants surrounding the perimeter with outside seating so parents could grab a bite to eat and a drink while the kids played. I thought this was pretty clever and I will be keeping this in mind for work-design purposes in the future.

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SkyWorld  is the next mall we will discuss and is one of the malls that we just happened to stumble across while walking the streets in search of ice cream. We were blown away!! If the Jetsons had a mall this would for sure be it. It had a very futuristic look to it and it truly felt like you had been transported in time. If I was a teenager this would have been my spot. It had six different levels that housed shops, a movie theater, an arcade, two bowling alleys, and restaurants. It was truly and overload on the senses and the people watching was reason enough to spend several hours here. There was such a huge diversity from people to fashion it was really incredible. This was more of an entertainment center then it was a shopping mall but it did have a few stores so we are going to classify it as a mall. We highly recommend visiting because it is so different and  you just have to ride the escalators and rocket elevator. 

Britomart was our very first mall/shopping area in Auckland and again we accidentally found it while exploring downtown on foot. Its crazy how much you see when you walk everywhere. We miss so much when we are in our cars zipping from one place to another. Britomart is a very high end shopping district with lots of name brand stores and a very sophisticated feel. The design and layout of the area, shops, and restaurants make spending the day here easy. Most of the people we saw were in business attire and looking sharp as hell! People shopping on their lunch breaks or taking coffee breaks to chat. To be honest we felt a little out of place in our jeans, sneakers, t-shirts, and superhero costumes (Gaby-who actually was probably the only one who felt completely comfortable) but we enjoyed ourselves none the less. The shops and patios/courtyards all have a clean and modern feel. The lights strung between the shops also give it a very fun and romantic type of flare. This was not only our first shopping experience in Auckland but also the first place we saw the use of green walls which we absolutely love. If we were living and working full-time office jobs you could probably find us here having coffee in our all black attire (the unofficial but sort of official architect wardrobe). It is a fun and attractive spot and definitely worth a look if you are downtown or in need of some designer duds. 

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Sylvia Park mall was one of the last malls we checked out and once again stumbled across in search for food. We like to eat and sometimes when we are out exploring we just google restaurants nearby and go based on what we feel like eating, the photos they have, and the reviews. This mall was also very modern in design and had lots of name brand stores. It had a huge kids area in the center and with trampoline jumps, zorb balls, and more. You have to pay in order to do any of these things and we aren’t really down with paying for these kinds of activities with our tight travel budget so Gaby was a little bummed but when she heard the word tacos she got over it pretty quick. This was our first (but would not be our last) time to have tacos in New Zealand. We went to a restaurant called Mexico and enjoyed some really great food in a pretty cool  atmosphere. So if you want to get some shopping done while having your kids work on their trampoline skills this is definitely the place for you.

 

Overall thoughts: 

  • The mall is actually not a bad place to hang
  • The malls here in NZ have so much more then just shopping to offer its customers
  • The architecture and design alone are reason to pay them a visit
  • If you have a teenager go ahead and take them it will actually not be as bad as you think (if you are anything like me and dread the mall)
  • The food is pretty good 
  • Exploring on foot really is a great way to explore a city
  • We find the coolest places on accident when we are looking for food

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