14 must-do school holiday activities
Visiting Hawke’s Bay for the school holidays? You’ve come to the right place as there are plenty of family-friendly activities on offer. Here are just a few boredom-busters that will keep the kids entertained for ages.
Bring your whānau to MTG Hawke's Bay - that's Museum Theatre Gallery. The kids will love the new Waka Kōrero Māori exhibition which encourages learning the Māori alphabet by pronouncing the names of the kaharehe animal treasures on display. Plus there will be an interactive space for kids to enjoy some arts and activities.
MTG Hawke's Bay
Let the good times roll at Bay Skate on Marine Parade. This giant skating area has it all: ramps, bowls, and rinks ready for some serious shredding. Hire everything you need there or bring your own wheels and get going. Keep an eye on the kids from the grandstand while you take in the incredible views of Mahia Peninsula all the way to Cape Kidnappers.
Test your mind and your patience with Enigma Escape Rooms. Mysteries, puzzles, locks, crime, magic tricks are just a few elements you will find in these escape rooms. Get your team together, decipher the clues, solve the puzzles, and accomplish the tasks set to escape! Will you make it out in time? The perfect family activity for the school holidays!
Enigma Escape Rooms
Ranui Farm Park is a working sheep and beef farm located in Central Hawke's Bay, New Zealand and only 17kms south of Waipukurau. There is a large playground for the kids to enjoy including a sandpit, a 70-metre water slide, 80-metre flying fox, archery, paintball targets, and a golf pitch or chip. Bring a picnic or try some good wholesome food from their rustic home-style café.
Discover an exciting world above and below the water. Visit Penguin Cove and watch the Little Penguins feed and play. Watch sharks, stingrays, and fish swimming right above your head in a 1.5 million litre oceanarium tunnel. Don’t miss the alligator and piranhas and take a peek into enclosures to see New Zealand’s native wildlife – the Tuatara and Kiwi. For an ocean centered environmental learning experience for the kids register on The National Aquarium website. Bookings are essential and spaces are limited (8 children per day) so enroll your budding biologist today!
Birdwoods Gallery and Sweet Shop is a local treasure housed in the original 1894 church hall from St Peter’s in Waipawa. Take in the gallery, sculpture garden and get a bite to eat from the café. The best bit for the kids? The charming old-fashioned sweet shop, where you can pick your own lollies and take them home with you.
Discover the truth behind the walls at New Zealand's oldest prison. Take a self-guided tour of the complex and listen to the unforgettable tales of the villains, victims and heroes that once inhabited these building. This tour focuses on the historical day-to-day workings of New Zealand’s oldest prison and gain insight into prison life dating back to 1862.
A perfect day for little ones, you can get up and close to a range of seriously cute farm animals. From pigs, sheep and calves to lambs and more, there’s so many animals waiting to be petted! Go for pony rides and hand feed the animals - it’s a unique experience for the whole family. Springtime at the Zoo is always a popular time with many baby animals being born.
Discover a world of bees and honey with free self-guided tours and live bee displays. You can see the bees working away in their hives and learn about their fascinating social structure and importance to the ecosystem. Then for the most delicious part of the visit, a free honey tasting. Un-bee-lievable!
Get your swing on at Par2 Mini Golf on Napier's Marine Parade. You’ll discover two 18-hole putting courses with stunning views over the Pacific Ocean, perfect for challenging friends and family at all skill levels.
Explore the Hastings City Art Gallery and its diverse exhibitions. On Monday 4 October, 10.30 - 11.30 am the Art Gallery is hosting Art for Tots, a fun art experience for under-fives, consisting of playful art conversations or whimsical storytelling and hands-on art-making. Or try some of their fun and engaging art activities online!
Grab your togs and towel and head to Ocean Spa on Marine Parade. Here you’ll find spas, sauna’s, and pools suitable for the entire family, not to mention stunning views of the Pacific Ocean. Spend as long as you like soaking and swimming, then finish off your experience with a tasty meal at The Bach Café – the kids will love it!
Located on St Aubyn Street in Hastings, Velocity Entertainment is Hawke’s Bay’s only indoor trampoline park. The kids will definitely be burning off some energy, bouncing and flipping into pits of foam. A good time for parents to catch their breath, sit back and watch the kids run wild while enjoying coffee and snacks available to purchase on site.
Housed in the old Union Bank of Australia Building, this small yet notable museum affords a glimpse into the history of the area. The museum features photographic collections illustrating the Maori and European history of the area from 1890s through to present day. You can also discover a very strong collection of Maori taonga, New Zealand war flags from Scotland and an interactive Discovery Space including educational activities and resources.
Check out our full guide of family-friendly activities.