A change of season means the end of hibernation. Gretchen Carroll sends us outside to explore. A day in nature is a cheap, easy and enjoyable way to spark kids’ imaginations, and can do wonders for parents’ wellbeing too! Getting into the outdoors …
Address:Cable Street, Wellington
Opening Hours:Daily from 10am-6pm, and until 9pm Thurs
Cost: Free entry, fees may apply for special exhibits or activities
Why it's so cool: The museum of New Zealand, Te Papa has over 2 million items in it's collection, from dinosaur bones and early Maori tools to birds and animals. And it's free! There are also four Discovery Centres, each with a different theme, where children can learn by touching and exploring.
We love: Story Place, a 45 minute session of storytelling, games and art and craft especially for preschoolers ($2 charge applies).
Address: 40 Salamanca Rd, Kelburn
Opening Hours: Vary depending on season, see website for details
Cost: See Website
Why it's so cool: Preschoolers, especially boys, are often fascinated with space, and the Carter Observatory gives them an opportunity to learn more about the universe. View stars and planets thru the huge telescopes (weather permitting), and check out displays on the history of space.
We love: The beautiful surroundings - the observatory is in the middle of the Botanic Gardens, a perfect place for a picnic!
Karori Wildlife Sanctuary
Address: Waiapu Rd, Karori
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 10am-4pm, Sat-Sun 10am-5pm except Christmas Day
Cost: Adults: $18.50, Children: $9, Family Pass: $46, Preschoolers free
Why it's so cool: A safe haven for native birds and wildlife, the Wildlife Sanctuary is alive with color and sound - bound to capture the attention of your preschooler!
We love: The guided tours (a must for any first-timer) and free parking!
Address: Reynolds Bach Dr, Silverstream
Opening Hours: Sundays and Public Holidays 11am-4pm and special events (see website)
Cost: Adults: $12, Children: $6, Under 5's Free, Family Pass: $29
Why it's so cool: A ride on a real steam engine, just like Thomas the Tank Engine (well, almost!). Plus check out the other engines on site at the railway.
We love: The Silverstream Railway is manned entirely by volunteers - and these people know their trains!
Wellington Cable Car
Address: 280 Lambton Quay and Upland Rd, Kelburn
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 7am-10pm, Sat 8.30am-10pm, Sun and Public Hol 9am-10pm
Cost: Adult Return: $6, Child Return: $2, Under 5's Free, Family Return: $15, Multi-journey concessions available
Why it's so cool: A 7 minute ride from Lambton Quay to Kelburn, the cable car goes thru three tunnels and even underneath the motorway! A great boredom-buster for kids, and a great alternative to driving or taking the bus into town.
We love: The stations are child-friendly with easy access for prams/strollers
Address: Manchester St, Newtown
Opening Hours: Daily 9.30am-5pm except Christmas Day
Cost: Adult: $20, Child: $10, Under 3's free
Why it's so cool: All kids love zoos, and Wellington Zoo doesn't disappoint with more than 500 animals. Regular keeper talks and feeding sessions are sure to catch your preschooler's interest, pick up a programme from the zoo entry.
We love: $2 Winter Wednesdays during August - adults and kids get in for just $2 each!
Kids burn up a lot of energy, especially when they are out and about. Avoid lunchbox fatigue and ‘hangry’ meltdowns with these menu suggestions for dining on the run. 🥝 Make it colourfulPack snacks in an array of colours for maximum nutritional …
Alice Cranfield explores activity options for busy toddlers who are raring to get out and about! One day you’ll wake up to see that the face of your gorgeous wee baby has changed. A new face now looks at you –its shape has taken on more definition …
Clever new products and high-energy snacks take food-on-the-fly to new heights. Yumbox original BENTO lunchbox $44.95, thesleepstore.co.nz This clever lunchbox has six leak-proof compartments that can even seal in wet foods like yoghurt. …
Toddlers are masters of discovery. Every day they’re soaking up new experiences and on the look out for more. So, what better way to satisfy that urge than by absorbing the wonders of Taranaki’s three-day festival WOMAD? Sarah Bunker explains. The …
Kids and snow — sounds good in theory, but without preparation your enthusiasm could melt faster than a snowman in December. Take heed of these tips from Nicole Wyllie, mum of four seasoned young snow bunnies. What to wear • Polypropylene and …
Looking for a holiday destination that can keep the whole family active and entertained? Julia Wong suggests Rotorua may be the ticket. Being the home bodies we are, hubby Matt and I rarely venture out of Auckland with our two young children …
Escape for a mid-winter family break in New Zealand's own snow capital. Queenstown is the idyllic South Island winter holiday destination, with so much to do out-of-doors - walks, jet boating, skiing, and four-wheel driving. If you've been to …
Family Things to Do around Great Lake Taupō AC Baths Thermally heated public swimming pools. Indoor outdoor leisure pool, two hydro slides, private spas, two 25 metre pools, great family fun. Open from 6am-9pm Mon-Fri and 7am-9pm Sat &Sun. …
Make the most of family outings and holidays with the abundance of family-friendly activities in the region, whether it’s urban adventures, the great outdoors, water experiences or getting up close and personal with wildlife. The majestic parks, …