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How to keep the kids busy in the April holidays

By Catherine 5 Apr 2019

It's that time of year; the time when a familiar cry rings out from desperate parents everywhere - school holidays are coming up... again. If you're scrambling for ideas for getting the rugrats out of the house and out of your hair, read on.


Wellington Zoo Holiday Programme
Bugs at Wellington Zoo

For the animal lovers

Little monkeys causing mayhem at home? Let them run wild at Wellington Zoo instead! Aimed at 5-12 year olds, the Zoo’s holiday programmes are perfect for kids who want to learn about animals and conservation. Each session will explore a different side of the Zoo and its inhabitants. Kids will get a buzz out of the creepy crawly themed adventure, Best Bugs, while Puzzling Primates will have the young'uns creating puzzles to challenge the chimps. 

When: Various dates
Cost: $69 per child per day 
Find out more and book

Weta Sculpting Workshop
Sculpting at Weta Workshop

For the film fans

Take the kids to the heart of Wellywood and conjure up movie magic with the wizards of Weta Workshop. Choose from one of three daily workshops: mix fake blood and craft chainmaille armour with the Movie Blood and Chainmaille workshop ($22, suitable for ages 6+); create creepy fake wounds to freak out your mates in Sculpting Scars and Scrapes ($22, ages 6+); or sculpt a 3D character in the Sculpting workshop ($95, ages 13+).

When: Daily
Cost: $22-$95 per child (with paying adult)
Find out more and book

Capital E Media Lab
Music workshop at Capital E

For the budding musos

Does your tween fancy themselves a bit of a rockstar or DJ extraordinaire? Then the Play it By Ear workshop at Capital E will be music to their ears. This two-day workshop is a mash-up of sound recording experiments, music creation and technology. No need to be a musical prodigy or a technological whizz to take part - all that's needed is a groovy attitude. 

When: 17 - 18 April
Age: 10+
Cost: $99
Find out more and book

Te Papa Science Show
Science demonstration at Te Papa

For the whole fam

From magic shows to music, science to singing, Te Papa has a cracking lineup of fun, free events these school holidays. Be mesmerized by Zappo’s magic tricks, bop along to catchy tunes from much-loved book Wonky Donkey, or see science come to life with the sensational Mr Science. The Royal New Zealand Ballet will also be showcasing a magical performance of Fairy Doll Pas de trois or the littlies can bust out their own moves during International Dance Day. Guaranteed fun for the whole family. Note: these activities are for children accompanied by an adult.

When: Various dates 
Cost: Free
Find out more

Capital E Games Fest
Level Up workshop at Capital E

For the gaming enthusiasts

If you’re struggling to pry the kids away from their consoles, Capital E might be just the ticket. As part of the NZ Games Festival, they'll be hosting a series of workshops that jump into the world of games - both online and irl (that’s internet speak for ‘in real life’. Duh). Kids can have a crack at creature and character design, virtual reality gameplay, 3D pixel sculpting, video game design and more. Led by gaming industry professionals, the Level Up workshops will test whether your youngsters have got game. 

When: Various dates
Age: 9+ years
Cost: $10 per workshop
Find out more and book

Yoobee Holidays
Digital workshop at Yoobee School of Design

For the tech-sperts

If your teens are mad about all things digi, book them into one of Yoobee School of Design's epic programmes, especially for secondary school kids. From animation to digital illustration, game art to graphic design, these multi-day courses will teach practical skills in digital design and creative technologies - ideal for fledgling filmmakers or game developers.

When: Various dates
Age: 13-18 years
Cost: Various 
Find out more and book

Crave Pasta Class
Pasta class at Crave Cooking School

For the mini chefs

Do you wish that your kids would cook YOU dinner for a change? Enter Crave Cooking School. Their hands-on holiday class promises to turn your teens into pasta masters. Italian chef Nicla will teach the tricks to making fresh pasta from scratch. The chefs-in-training will make two types of filled pasta and sauce and then eat their tasty creations for lunch. Buon appetito!

When: 15 & 26 April
Age: 12-17 years
Cost: $82
Find out more and book

Space Place
Space Place

For the future scientists

Space Place's ace holiday programme will transform your wee ones into scientists, as they put the world under the microscope. In the Lenses and Lights programme, kids will have a play with telescopes and microscopes to discover things not normally visible to the eye, as well as experiment with light rays and lenses to create cool visual patterns and effects. 

When: 16 & 17 April
Age: 7-12 years
Cost: $30 per child
Find out more and book

ASB Sports Centre Programme
Sporting skills at ASB Sports Centre

For the sports stars

Let your cherubs have a good old run around and burn off some energy with the Sporting Skills programme at ASB Sports Centre. Each day of the school holidays, the Centre will coach kids in three different sports, followed by a mini tournament at the end of the day. In the spirit of healthy competition, star players have the chance to nab Player of the Day awards for each sport along with Player of the Week prizes. 

When: 15 - 18 April / 23, 24, 26 April
Age: 7-13 years
Cost: $38 per child per day
Find out more 

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