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school holidays

Sometimes it feels like they only just went BACK to school, yet here we are again, getting ready for a new set of school holidays.

No matter the weather, we’ve gathered some of our tried and tested family favourite crafts and activities to keep the kids busy in-and-out of the house, please you’ll also be able to see what is happening around the nation these holidays and find more fun ideas in our Parenting Directory.

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In cinemas December 19


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In cinemas January 1


In cinemas January 9

Alexandra Park

Alexandra Park’s FREE Family Fun Day

Location: Auckland

When: From 3pm, 31 December 2019

Cost: FREE

Looking for something fun to do on New Year’s Eve but can’t find a babysitter? You don’t have to! Alexandra Park has you covered with Auckland Cup Day starting from 3pm. We’re combining thrilling racing action for you and a fun-filled activities area for the kids. Jumping castles, rides, face painting and more with an amazing firework display once the racing is over! Best of all, it’s FREE!

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Troll Cave

Encounters with a Troll Cave


When: Open now

Cost: from $37 per person

Waitomo Adventures have a wide range of activities including caves, abseiling, blackwater rafting, glowworms, and much more. The new Troll Cave is perfect for families – work as a team to navigate the troll’s lair and complete your mission!

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Rainbow Springs

Kids Go Free at Rainbow Springs

Location: 192 Fairy Springs Road, Fairy Springs, Rotorua

When: 21 December – 9 February 2020

Cost: One child free with every paying adult. Adult day passes start from $45pp.

Play, discover and explore this summer at Rainbow Springs Nature Park, home of The National Kiwi Hatchery. There’s so much to see and do, including the legendary Big Splash, play stations, kiwi, kea, tuatara and so much more! Plus don’t forget their Taonga Show and the new free Junior Explorer Activity Books!

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Energize at MOTAT

Location: Auckland

When: 3 – 27 January 2020, 10am-5pm

Cost: Included in normal MOTAT admission fee

This January MOTAT’s School Holiday Experience ‘Energize’ invites kids to explore the science of energy. This action-packed programme is aligned with new summer exhibition ‘Machine Makers,’ an immersive installation exploring concepts of engineering and physics. Featuring a variety of thrilling and engaging activations located around the Museum, this experience is sure to keep the kids thinking, active, and entertained over the holiday period.

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Capital E

Sustainaville Summer

Location: Capital E, Wellington

When: 13 January 2020 – 29 February 2020 (Closed on public holidays)

Cost: Free

Discover the joy of planting in the play garden, and wriggle through the imaginative compost worm world! Enjoy sustainability themed activities and crafts for children of all ages at Capital E.

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a lion in the meadow

Celebrating 50 years of  ‘A Lion in the Meadow’

Cost: FREE

The little boy said, “Mother, there is a lion in the meadow.”

The mother said, “Nonsense, little boy.”

Do you think there is a lion in the meadow? Award-winning author Margaret Mahy’s delightful story of truth and imagination, A Lion in the Meadow’ is a classic tale for every child, illustrated charmingly by Jenny Williams. These holidays you can download & print lion ears and tail for the kids to colour and wear!

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Stories in the Garden

Location: Garden Place, Hamilton

When: Various Saturdays until 28 March 2020, 11am (Check the link for dates)

Cost: FREE

Come on a magical adventure with characters from Enchanted Entertainment providing an outdoor storytelling experience! Sit back and enjoy listening to some classics along with new children’s books with your family in the lovely setting on the grass under the trees.

December 21st – Superhero Christmas Storytime with Batman, Spider-Man and Wonder Woman. Check the link for more details.

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Caroline Bay

Caroline Bay Carnival

Location: Timaru

When: 26 December 2019 – 12 January 2020 (Check the link for each day’s programme and times).

Cost: Free admission, plus cost of rides

The 109th Caroline Bay Carnival is 18 days of carnival rides, concerts and family fun at the waterfront in Timaru. There’s plenty to keep everyone entertained including free live concerts and a New Year’s Eve fireworks display.

Find out more

The Penguin and the Sea Monster

Location: Capital E, Wellington

When: 21 December

Cost: FREE

Join the PlayHQ team for a starry-eyed String Bean puppet show about a little blue penguin who seeks help from the night sky when his friend is captured by a sea monster. Meet the puppets and make your own little rubbish monster from recycling after the show.

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Family Holidays and Travel Directory

Planning a family getaway? Find online family friendly travel options, accommodation, things to do, where to dine and travel products, so you can make the most of your trip.
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family fun

Family Activities Directory

Family fun can be the best part of childhood! Whether it’s free and on the local playground or requires a bit more investment check out all these options covering all ages, stages and weathers.
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School Holidays Directory

School holiday classes activities are organised during each term break. School holiday camps and programs are offered by local city councils, art and dance studios, sport organisations.
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