Fun for kids these school holidays

25 June 2020

Looking for nifty ways to keep the kids entertained these winter school holidays? Well look no further. We’ve compiled your guide to activities that should keep the youngsters occupied and out of mischief during the July break.

Children at the Wellington Zoo holiday programme overlooking the baboons in their enclosure on a sunny day.
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Your little monkeys will enjoy themselves with an action-packed day at the Wellington Zoo holiday programme. With each session tailored to a unique theme, there’s something for every animal lover. Walk a day in the life of a Wellington Zoo Keeper, learn how the Vet Team looks after sick and injured wildlife, or tackle conservation crimes by helping solve a baffling Zoo mystery.

Wilderkids school holiday programme is the ultimate experience for young explorers. Adventure-based and located at Innermost Gardens in Mount Victoria, every day features a different activity, from messing around in the mud and looking for tree spirits, to building sand sculptures, or designing and building a hut in the wilderness.

Children will be able to bounce around on inflatables or gain some new sporting skills at the ASB Sports Centre holiday programme. Based in Kilbirnie, the centre has a range of activities on offer that are suited to different age groups.

Young space buffs will be treated to three days of out-of-this-world action with Wellington Museum’s 3-2-1-Blast Off programme, in which they’ll be creating soda straw rockets and learning about the engineering and design process. Tamariki with a passion for animals and creativity will no doubt enjoy Wellington Museum’s Animals of the Museum programme where they will be introduced to screen-printing. 

Another reason to head to Wellington Museum is for a 'purrfect' peek into the life of Mittens the cat. Fans of the famous city feline have from 4 July to 11 October to catch Mittens - Floofy and Famous, a ‘pawesome’ mini exhibition of Mittens-inspired artwork, created by local artists and fans. Entry is free, and they welcome donations of tinned pet food to go to the SPCA Wellington Centre.

Capital E has an abundance of engaging, creative workshops for children, including a series of Matariki activities that acknowledge and celebrate the Māori New Year.

Two children sitting at a news desk and two children with camera gear in a mock television studio as part of the Digital Day holiday programme at Capital E.

Tawa Recreation Centre holiday programme has two weeks of action-packed days on the cards, with a focus on superpowers, searching for buried treasure, first aid, science, and being famous!

A Onsie Day, a Disco Day, a Gameshow Day, and a Cinema Day are just a few of the exciting activities lined up for the Nairnville Recreation Centre holiday programme in Khandallah.

Karori Recreation Centre Holiday Programme is offering baking, gymnastics, rock climbing, bowling, and a whole lot more.

If you’ve ever passed Katherine Mansfield House and Garden on Tinakori Road and wondered what’s inside, now is the perfect time to find out. Last year a major redevelopment project injected new life into the house and the current exhibition of dolls’ houses and miniatures has been extended until 30 August.

Shift offers fun, social, and low cost activities for young women (aged 12-20) who want to move more and be inspired.

If the whānau is at a loose end during the break, there’s always fun events happening at Wellington City Libraries, or the kids can splash about at one of the Wellington pools, some of which offer casual school holiday sessions.

Alternatively they could put their skates on or grab their scooters and head to the Kilbirnie Recreation Centre, which has a timetable bustling with activities.

Te Papa is a treasure trove of history, education and interesting things to be discovered. You can also catch the New Zealand Royal Ballet’s playful new interpretation of the classic tale Goldilocks and the Three Bears, with six performances between 15-17 July, including one designed specifically for visitors with autism, sensory sensitivities, or living with a disability.

Image of how the Ahi Kā projection on Te Papa will look

There will also be Matariki celebrations happening around the city, including a large scale projected story on Te Papa Tongarewa, 17-19 July and 23-26 July.

And don’t forget that there’s always rare wildlife waiting to be spotted at Zealandia, and art and inspiration to be found at the City Gallery.