Top Things To Do These School Holidays

October school holidays are here1 From exploring the outdoors to indoor fun, family-friendly events, and where to eat with kids, Hawke's Bay has you covered.

Outdoor adventures

Family-friendly outdoor experiences are a great way to experience our beautiful region. Cycle the super-easy sections of the Hawke's Bay Trails along Marine Parade and around to Ahuriri. You'll also find great cycling along Central Hawke's Bay's popular Tukituki Trails, while the Wairoa River Walk and Cycleway is a cruisy way to experience Hawke's Bay's northernmost town. 

As well as being great for cycling, Marine Parade is home to an incredible array of family-friendly stops including Par2 mini golf, Bay Skate and Ocean Spa, not to mention loads of wide open spaces, parks and playgrounds to explore and run around

Explore protected wildlife sanctuaries, Ahuriri Estuary in Napier, Pekapeka Wetlands - south of Hastings, or Te Angiangi Marine Reserve in Central Hawke's Bay. You'll find even more wildlife at Cape Kidnappers with Gannet Safaris Overland, at Hawke's Bay Farmyard Zoo in Haumoana, Boutique Horse Treks in Clive, and on the Napier-Taupo Road with Mohaka River Farm's horse treks and farm experiences.

Opening just in time for school holidays is Mohaka Rafting, also on the Napier-Taupo Road, with Grade 2 & 3 experiences ideal for families. Or for a somewhat more sedate water experience, pack a picnic and head to one of the many scenic beaches - you'll find great options the entire length of the Hawke's Bay coastline. If scenic walks are your thing, pack some snacks, water and hats, and try out some of the wonderful walks for little legs!

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Ocean Beach is just a 30-minute drive from the centre of Hastings.

Indoor fun

Keep youngsters busy discovering and learning these school holidays! 

Home of Hawke’s Bay’s cultural treasures, MTG is a great way to entertain the family. Check out the MTG website for school holiday programmesThe Faraday Museum of Technology is another favourite place to take the kids to learn about and explore the evolution of technology, while Wairoa Museum and Central Hawke's Bay Museum come highly recommended for kids. 

The National Aquarium of New Zealand is home to a wide range of saltwater, freshwater and land animal exhibits, while Arataki Honey Centre in Havelock North is an enjoyable experience for all ages to visit and learn about bees and honey!

For something a little different, check at Napier's escape rooms at Napier Prison Tours and Enigna Escape Rooms.

Family-friendly events

Blossom Festival: 22-24 September

Hastings will burst into life at this year’s Blossom Fest, with a three-day weekend jam-packed with free activities and events for families and party seekers. The fun includes an outdoor movie, carnival rides, live music, street performances and more plus everything is free. 

Walk of Wonders: til 24 September

Walk of Wonders is a mesmerising event that offers visitors a unique and immersive experience. Set against the stunning backdrop of Black Barn's picturesque grounds, this 2km walk will guide attendees through a magical world of illuminated art, wandering live performances, a whimsical puppet theatre, and a captivating narrative that seamlessly ties everything together.

Fotofest: til 25 September

Held across ten days, Fotofest brings creativity out into the streets, including laneways, businesses, walls and alleyways across the city. Explore 28 amazing exhibitions, many sharing powerful and moving stories of humanity and advocacy including two international photographers with incredible stories of life and the world we are part of.

Where to eat with kids

These are some of our favourite places for families to refuel, ranging from unique cafés with sweet shops to full restaurants with playgrounds for kids. There's bound to be something here for even the fussiest eaters:

Birdwoods, Havelock North

Paper Mulberry Cafe, Central Hawke's Bay

Godsown Brewery, Maraekakaho

Hygge at Clifton Bay, Clifton

Sunset Point, Mahia

Mamacita, Havelock North & Napier

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Hygge Cafe in Clifton is a the perfect Sunday lunch spot for the whole family!

Where to stay

Check out the Accommodation Guide for a comprehensive range of accommodation to suit all families and budgets. 

More inspiration

This is just a starter for 10 with your Hawke's Bay school holidays experience.

Find out more of what's on offer with our Attractions, or via the Great Outdoors Guide, the Art, Design and Culture Guide, or our Events Guide.