Brain-boosting indoor activities for kids

Looking for something to keep your children and teenagers engaged throughout these summer holidays? We’ve compiled a list of indoor activities to help stimulate the synapses.

This comprehensive list of Hawke's Bay experiences will keep youngsters busy discovering and learning these school holidays!

MTG Hawke's Bay

Every day there is something new to do at Museum Theatre Gallery (MTG), home of Hawke’s Bay’s cultural treasures. You'll find fun, interactive activities for children, a weekend Drop-In Zone, workshops for young and old alike, and school holiday education programmes. The education programmes are designed especially for Year 1 – 13 students and offer a fun, hands-on learning experience for young students in a unique, inspiring environment. While the kids are busy with their education programmes, adults can explore the rest of the museum, which includes the Napier library, and changing exhibitions of art, culture, and social history. There are old artefacts in the Maori gallery plus discover the remarkable story of the region's recovery following the devastating 1931 Earthquake. The MTG's Century Theatre features a great programme of events, film, live theatre, and music. Check the website for movie times and event details.

MTG Hawke's Bay on Napier's Marine Parade

The Faraday Museum of Technology

Look back in time and immerse yourself in Hawke's Bay's very own museum of technology. This is a favourite place to take the kids to learn about and explore the evolution of technology. It's a place of discovery where history comes alive through hands-on experience. Rather than read and look at pieces of history, they encourage you to touch, hold items, pull levers, and truly discover how things would've been in days gone by. The Tesla coil is great to watch if you are lucky enough to be there when they start it up. A huge variety of technology and interactive equipment to keep the family entertained for 2 - 3 hours!

The Tesla Coil at the Faraday Museum of Technology

Hastings City Art Gallery

The Hasting City Art Gallery offers a space for national and international contemporary art exhibitions to Hawke’s Bay. The art gallery keeps children in mind with a range of holiday activities, online art activities and spaces to develop their creative abilities. The gallery is set on Civic Square with Nga Pou o Heretaunga on the foreground and alongside the historic Hastings War Memorial Library. Hastings City Art Gallery offers 12-16 exhibitions per year across four spaces. The Main Gallery and the Holt Gallery flow nicely into the Alcove and the Foyer which often have an interactive wall, specially designed for young artists in the making or those young at heart.

Hastings City Art Gallery

Arataki Honey Visitor Centre

The Arataki Honey Centre is an enjoyable experience for all ages to visit and learn about bees and honey! Bees are vital to our world food supplies and are used all over the globe to pollinate valuable food crops. Learn about the process of making honey and best practice beekeeping with close-up indoor displays and an observation window looking out to the outdoor hives. In summer at selected times, you can even watch the beekeeper at work! The friendly staff are informative and help kids identify the Queen Bee. On your way out you can visit the shop and tasting room, with honey tasting stations to sample free honey, yummy yummy!

Arataki Honey Visitor Centre

Escape Rooms 

Become a Wizard for a day? Or help a Detective solve the mystery of the Gemini Killer? Atmospheric themed Escape Rooms. Physical, digital, AR and interactive problem-solving puzzles. There is something for every age! The goal is to progress and accomplish a specific goal in a limited time. Usually, you need to escape from the site of the game (but don't worry they don't lock you in). There are mysteries, puzzles, locks, crime, and magic tricks, these are just a few elements you will find in the innovative, narrative-driven stories of Enigma Escape Rooms. 

Using your eyes, ears, wits, and wiles figure out the clues presented to you at Napier Prison Escape Rooms! This escape experience is a great way to keep your family and friends busy. Attempt to beat the clock and escape from a fiendishly locked room. Open the locks that keep you from your goal and gather what you need to escape. If you get stuck, ask for a clue from the gaoler using the walkie-talkie provided. You have 60 minutes to break out!

Enigma Escape Room, Napier


Libraries are a great way to keep your family engaged these summer holidays. Hawke's Bay libraries are an entertainment hub for books, eBooks, DVDs, talking books, magazines, newspapers, online databases, events, summer holiday programmes, social groups and more!

Napier Public Library, photograph from Napier City Council