Sports and Swimming Pools
The Wellington City Council
operates a number of pools, as does the Hutt City Council
, with facilities such as wave pools, spas, outdoor pools, dive pools and hydro slides, for less than $4 per child. Learn to swim programs run periodically during the school holidays.
Wellington LeisureCard can add discounts for Wellington residents. Click here
to check if you can get a card (for example, do you have a Community Services Card?)
Grab a Game of Mini Golf
Both Treasure Island and Carlucci offer a round of mini golf for around $10.
Bowling is a great afternoon or evening activity with a group of kids, and Bowlarama offers games for around $10 per child.
Explore the Wellington Surroundings
Wellington has some fantastic scenery and nature waiting to be discovered. Best of all, it's all free!
Visit Government House - free tours leave almost every day, but can be tricky to secure around public holidays.
Go bike riding - the Remutaka Cycle Trail, classed as a 'great ride' is one of many popular cycling routes kids love.
Explore Pinnacles Track - steep and scenic, but only to be done in good weather conditions.
- Kids can spend hours here if the right event is on and with the new Te Taiao nature exhibition, there’s plenty to do and learn about!
Garden and Harvesting
Gardening is a great way to get the kids outside with purpose, and if you don't have a vegetable garden, there are fun alternatives:
Get into the garden
If you have a vegetable garden, the Tui New Zealand Planting Calendar
guides you through what to plant at different times of the year. The kids will also appreciate eating them if they've planted them, and it is guaranteed to cut down on the grocery bills.
Pokémon Go gets kids outside running around and getting outside the house. It's free to download, but the app does use data and there are in-app purchases - unlink your credit card and set a PIN to avoid nasty bills.
Zoo and Animal Park Deals, and Children's Farms
Wellington has lots of animal experiences. Annual passes make it less expensive if you go more than twice a year.
Kids love roaming around, and there is plenty to see in the self-guided walks. The entry prices are $19.50 (Adults) and $10 (Children, up to 17 years of age), but an annual pass for $99 covers two adults and three children. This means it pays for itself after two visits within 12 months.
Adults and kids cost about $24/$12, but the annual passes pay for themselves after three visits. Their cost is $66 for adults, $33 for kids, or $200 for a family pass (2 adults/3 kids). Staglands lets you 'upgrade' day tickets to annual passes so you can try before you buy an annual pass.
Lions, monkeys, meerkats - what's not to like? Pricing is around $12 for kids (under 14), but you can get a child’s “Zoo Crew” annual pass for $39. An annual family pass costs $229 (2 adults, 3 kids).
Make Crafts for the SPCA
The SPCA always needs toys and play items for cats and dogs awaiting new homes. Their list of suggested items
has instructions on how to make them. Any kids aged 16 or over can also volunteer their time to work at the SPCA.
Make a Craft kit
Spotlight, Kmart and The Warehouse all sell dozens of craft kits, starting from around $5. Or head to your local $2 store and buy some craft items and build your own kit.
- Use Youtube to learn a card game, magic trick or origami
- Build an indoor fort with sofas and some bed sheets
- Complete a jigsaw
- Make a batch of homemade playdough
- Create a time capsule and bury it in the garden
- Get the kids to plan and host a movie night; design tickets, make popcorn and set the room up
- Have a spring clean of things you don't need (and give them away, or sell on Trade Me)
School Holiday Programmes
Wellington has a number of school holiday programmes, with something for kids of all ages and interests.
Aimed at children 5 to 12 with day prices ranging from $35 to around $45.
Full-day activities for around $69.
Aimed at kids between 6 and 16, the programs run throughout the holidays from 8am to 5pm, and cost around $40 to $60 per day.
Focuses on 'extending children's creativity through many different medias', every day from 8:30am to around 3pm for around $69 with an after-care option.
The YMCA offers holiday programs in Belmont, Upper Hutt, Raroa, Silverstream, Khandallah, Titahi Bay and Mt Cook. Prices range from $36 to $65 per day.
Baking and Cooking
Pro tip: make sure you get the kids to agree to do the dishes after, things can get messy!
New Zealand Baking Classics
Baking is guaranteed to fill a morning and popular recipes for kids, which conveniently don't require many ingredients, include:
- Kindly provided by MoneyHub