It’s the first school holidays I’ve experienced as a mother, and I haven’t so much as scheduled our two weeks of holidays with activities bursting at the seams, but more so I’ve made a list of the things we could do together to make these holidays fun, and make the most of the opportunity to spend this time together.
On the list is a balance between cosy down time at home, where there’s things that need to be done and things that can be enjoyed, and then when we need to escape the escalating cabin fever, there’s a few activities we can get up to out of the house. During the winter school holidays, all these activities are weather permitting of course, but we get bonus points for things we can get out of the house to do with the kids, yet still be protected from the wintery weather outside!
Westfield is exactly one of those bonus points places to go during the holidays! Get out of the house with the kids to do something fun, but stay warm and dry, and overall less traumatised by the drama of weather bombs. Plus, we can tag onto the fun a few necessary bits ‘n bobs we might need to do too, like picking up a few things at the supermarket, or slip into a store, the bank, the chemist.. and who needs an excuse for a Kmart tour!
The Secret Life of Pets Activity Zone
We booked into a session upon arriving at the mall, and were able to get into one in 25 mins, just enough time to try and buy some new school shoes before the boys took their place at the activity zone.
A cute, wee, picket fenced zone with the kids set up at tables to do their activity. The staff are super friendly and there to help. My 2 year old isn’t quite ready to sit still, the call of the mall is strong and he was desperate to escapade in it. He settled with a snack in his pushchair while watching the trailer for The Secret Life of Pets 2. My 5 year old took to making and decorating a cat ear headband, to celebrate our feline friends!
One of the staff members stepped in to help out and she and my son decorated his headband, twisty tape, felt ears on top. Monty the Westfield mascot turned up to say hi and hand out jellybeans. At this stage the helper was abandoned to continue the craft work, while my son had the important task of eating the jelly beans. The 20 mins flew by, and at the end of it we had a cute cat ear headband (which was immediately placed on the head of his brother), and jelly beans in tummy. High fives all round and off we went to Speedway (confused? So was I, till I figured out it he wanted to get a ham & cheese sub from “Speedway” 😂).
Big thanks to the friendly staff for their help, always welcome for a mum juggling everything!
Week 2 at The Secret Life of Pets Activity Zone
10.30am – 2.30pm; Monday 15 – Friday 19 July
Unleash your creativity by decorating a bandana for you or your pet. Colour, design, and have a howling good time.
Fetch a pic
Make sure you grrrr-ab a selfie in the cool character zone.
*Terms and conditions: Limited to 18 children per session. First two sessions of the day are first in first served, booking can then be made on the day for the following sessions. Bookings can only be made on the day. Parental supervision is required at all times.
There’s plenty of kid related activities to slot into your day, around the things you might like to do, or need to do too. All the while with plenty of food and drink stops along the way, an essential ingredient to a successful day out for me and my boys!!
Other Fun Stuff
- Go see a movie
We would have caught a movie as well if it wasn’t for our carpark time allowance running out! But if you plan to just go to the cinema, or time things more efficiently than we did, you can take the opportunity to see a film too!
The Secret Life of Pets 2 – in cinemas now! Rated G.
- Kiddie Kruzzers
Add a little extra treat to your outing, and save the kids tired legs (and grumbling about it) by hiring a Kiddie Kruzzer. In single or double seater options, they are the ultimate awesome way to travel – keeping the kids, and mum, happy!
By the time we’d finished our Speedway the little one was ready to let loose. We headed for a quick play break at the free Kids Play Area, so he could muck about and stretch those legs.
Westfield Albany: There are two fantastic Kids Play Areas at Westfield Albany. Discovery Island is on Level 1 near Stirling Sports. There’s also a new play area on Level 2 outside New World for kids under 5 years.
Westfield Manukau: Discover the Kids Play Area unique to Westfield Manukau, located next to Muffin Break. This play area is for kids under 5 years.
Westfield St Lukes: Head to Level 2 near the Customer Service Desk to find the preschoolers Kids Play Area. Westfield St Lukes also has a Shopper’s Crèche who can take care of the kids for a couple of hours while you shop in peace. The Crèche is on Level 2 opposite Muffin Break.
Westfield Riccarton: Entertain the kids during a break in shopping at the Kids Play Area on Level 2 (near Bed Bath N’Table). All children are welcome.
Get your pet in the movie poster competition
Here’s your chance to get your pet to star in the exclusive The Secret Life of Pets 2 poster!
- Illumination will use photos of the winning pet, illustrate them as a character, and create a bespoke movie poster including their name featuring as a special guest.
- The movie poster will be framed and delivered to you.
- You will also receive a digital image as an extra keepsake.
Either post a picture of your pet to your local Westfield Facebook page OR tag them on Instagram and use #petsatWestfield(enter you local Westfield).
For Under 5s outside school holidays
Monty Mornings with LEGO® DUPLO®
Looking for a fun outing for your parents’ coffee group? Monty Mornigs are all about stress-free fun. Monty the Monkey will entertain your under fives with colouring, crafts and stories while you enjoy a free coffee. Plus, the kids can play with thousands of LEGO® DUPLO® bricks!
You can join the Monty Mornings fun at Westfield Manukau at centre court on the ground level or at Westfield St Lukes in the food court on Level 1. Terms and conditions apply. See in-centre for dates and more detail.
Find out what’s happening at your local centre
What do you do during the school holidays?
Written by Ronnie Swainston
Online Producer & Experiences Editor Ronnie is mum to two spirited kids who keep her on her toes. With a love for travel, film, tv, photography & (eating) food keeping her wishing for more time, & having a keen curiosity means she’ll give almost anything a go making her, and her family, up for the job!
Favourite place to be: On an adventure