How do you like Zoo’s? Wellington Zoo is perhaps the best little zoo in the world but you decide! A great place to visit any day of the week, you will find more than enough kids activities to occupy all the family. If getting up close to endangered exotic animals interests you then come and visit the cheetahs, lions and cuddly panda or better still, arrange a sleepover!
Don’t worry – it can’t get you – it looks like there’s just a glass panel between you and this friendly creature but come and visit to find out!
The highly awarded and universally respected Te Papa Museum is jam-packed with kid-friendly features which are so immersive and varied you’re quite possibly going to have more fun than your children. There is a regular calendar of family events encompassing everything from arts and crafts to science and music. There are four discovery centres each specifically themed – such as the Te Huka ā Tai Discovery Centre which showcases the Maori world – crammed with a wealth of hands-on exhibits, plenty of opportunities for getting dressed up and the chance to explore, play, learn and generally have a good time. Be warned – time can fly here. If you still have the energy, pop along to one of the world’s best kept museum secrets – the Wellington Museum – once called the Wellington City & Sea Museum. It’s a wonderful place with plenty of top kids activities to enjoy.
If the youngest in your family need to burn off a little of that excess energy which all kids seem to accumulate there are a few options. On a sunny summer day head to Frank Kitts Park on the waterfront – kids love the slide here – think 21st century lighthouse meets Dr Who dalek. While the kids are letting off steam you can chill in this lovely waterfront setting watching the street entertainers who occasionally pass by and soaking up an atmosphere which manages to be both vibrant and relaxed.
When the weather isn’t being quite as kind you can head to Kilburnie Recreation Centre with a fabulous indoor swimming pool as well as interactive play area for the tots, which goes by the name of Tiny Town. There’s also something for the older kids in the form of a skating, boarding and blading area complete with ramps and jumps.
Alternatively – and also offering entertainment of the indoor kind – there’s Junglerama, an adventure play-land. You may have some trouble dragging the kids away from here – that always seems to happen when you combine inflatables with climbing and jungle themes.
Somewhere among all this fun and charging around you’re going to have to find time to address grumbling stomachs and feed your family and while your options are almost endless here we’d suggest checking out the wonderful seaside café known as the Chocolate Fish Cafe. Put in your order for their yummy fresh whitebait fritter sandwiches, see the kids happy playing on the tricycles and bikes provided by the owner (all free) and then grab yourself a bean bag on the grass and enjoy the views across the bays.
Another waterfront choice is the Crab Shack housed in its quintessentially seaside kiwi beach hut-type wooden building. This casual dining establishment which specialises in highly affordable seafood is very popular with families, not least of all because the kids eat for free here all day on a Sunday.
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