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How to keep the kids busy in the July holidays

By Catherine 20 Jun 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.


Bird-spotting 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 can hop into the boots of a zookeeper for the day in The Zoo Keeper Apprentice, learn how to care for sick and injured animals with Animal Ambulance, or play hide and seek with the Zoo's clever creatures in Masters of Disguise. 

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

City Gallery Craftcamp
City Gallery Craftcamp

For the budding artists

Let creative kids unleash their inner artist with hands on, art-making workshops at City Gallery. Inspired by the Gallery's current exhibitions, this July young artists can get crafty in a Sculpture workshop, inspired by Eva Rothschild's quirky works. Or let your future Picasso put paintbrush and pencil to paper in the Painting and drawing workshop, with inspiration from the amazing video artworks of Semiconductor, which explore nature and the universe. 

When: Tuesday 9 - 12 July
Age: 5 - 12 years
Cost: $50
Find out more and book

Wilderkids in Mt Vic

For the adventure-seekers

Get your wild things into Wellington’s great outdoors with Wilderkids, an awesome adventure-based holiday programme, run by the Sustainability Trust. Each day of the holidays, kids are invited to 'go bush' for a day of exploring and hands-on learning. The programme is designed to teach children about caring for the environment, connecting with nature and being curious. This July, Wilderkids will take young adventurers into Mount Victoria to forage for forest food, make musical instruments with natural materials, and enjoy a warming winter campfire.

When: 8 - 19 July 2019
Where: Innermost Gardens, Mount Victoria
Age: 5 - 12 years
Cost: $56 per child, per day. There is a 10% discount on full week bookings.         
Book now 

Weta Sculpting Workshop
Sculpting at Weta Workshop

For the film fans

Send your young film buffs to the heart of Wellywood to conjure up movie magic with the wizards of Weta Workshop. Choose from one of three workshops: craft your own leather and chainmaille keepsake with the Leather and Chainmaille workshop; learn to mix blood and create creepy fake wounds to freak out your mates in Intro to Make-up Effects workshop; or sculpt a 3D character from clay in the Sculpting workshop.

When: Thursday - Sunday (1.5 hours duration)
Age: 14+
Cost: $79 per workshop
Find out more and book

Cheer up Tink! at Te Papa

For the whole whanau

With magic shows, ballet workshops and musical extravaganzas, Te Papa is sure to have the kids moving and grooving these holidays. See what tricks Zappo the Magician has up his sleeve, bop along to songs and stories with Mr Lam Sam's Musical Mayhem Show and be whisked away to Never Never Land with Peter Pan, Wendy and Captain Hook in the magical theatre performance, Cheer up Tink! The Royal New Zealand Ballet will also be hosting a series of special dance workshops, teaching kids aged 5-11 about the wonderful world of ballet. 

When: Various dates 
Cost: Free (note there is a $5 fee for the Royal NZ Ballet workshops)
Find out more

Yoobee Holidays
Digital workshop at Yoobee School of Design

For the tech-sperts

Is your teen keen on a career in the creative industries? Get them prepped with one of Yoobee's epic short courses, especially for secondary school kids. From 3D animation to digital illustration, game design to photography, these hands-on 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

Space Place v2
Space Place

For the future astronauts

If your kiddies are fascinated by space, they'll be over the moon with Space Place's ace holiday programme. This interactive science and technology focused programme will take aspiring astronomers on an exciting voyage into the galaxy, without leaving Wellington! 

When: 15 & 16 July
Age: 7-12 years
Cost: $30 per child
Find out more and book

Capital E Media Lab
Digital Day at Capital E

For the digital whizz kids

If your children are mad about the digital world, they'll sure get a buzz out of Capital E's Digital Day Lucky Dip. Whether it's creating a mini TV show in the OnTV studio or designing a computer game in the MediaLab, this full day programme will offer up a surprise selection of creative experiences that are sure to challenge and excite. 

When: 10 July & 17 July 
Age: 8+
Cost: $59
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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