Keeping the young ones occupied for six weeks of school holidays can be a daunting task, but in Rotorua there are a few different options.
The Rotorua Aquatic Centre in Kuirau Park is a low-cost option for keeping children active. A single child's session at the pools costs $2.20 and there are also concession cards available for up to 60 swims.. As the centre is open each day from 6am to 9pm, a visit to the pools can take up a large portion of the day.
Parents can relax while their children play at Playtopia Playland and Cafe. Entry costs are different for each age group, but no child costs more than $10 and adults are free. The playland also has school holiday programmes available at prices similar to a daycare centre and a limited number of drop-off sessions during the day at varying prices for a range of time limits. Playtopia is open every day from 10am to 6pm at 2 Ti St.
For up to $35 a day, MIGS Gym on Te Ngae Rd will entertain children with a range of activities, from walking to the Lakefront for a picnic lunch and some baking lessons to fun on the trampolines and movie sessions. All programmes are fully supervised and are suitable for children aged 5 to 12.
The Rotorua Museum is holding daily children's holiday sessions throughout January with a focus on wearable art, to support the Off The Wall: World Of Wearable Art Up Close exhibition on show at the museum. The sessions all range in prices and are held at different times, but they don't cost more than $20. Sessions include customising canvas shoes, helmets and T-shirts. Contact the museum for more details.
For a cost-free idea, the Rotorua District Library is holding a number of programmes to keep children occupied - with prizes to win by completing tasks. Children aged 0 to 7 can take part in the Funtastic Monster Matrix, where children are given a calendar and tasks to cross off. By completing all the tasks, the children can win prizes.
The same programme is also available for the 8 to 12-year-olds, only harder. It runs from December 24 to January 20. For the teenagers, the Twebface programme gets youths to read books for points, which they can then use to bid for prizes online. It goes until January 27. Both of these programmes can be joined online or at the library.
Parents can drop their children off at Rainbow Springs' Kiwi Encounter from Monday January 7 to Wednesday January 9, and again on Monday January 14 to Wednesday 16. Children can be looked after between 9am and 3.30pm. Days will be structured around the wildlife encounters in the park, the bird show and riding the Big Splash with educational fun, arts and crafts as well. It is best suited for kids aged 6 to 12. It costs $35 each child a day with discounts available for more than one child from one family.
Ideas to keep the kids busy over the holidays:
- Rotorua Aquatic Centre.
- Playtopia Playland and Cafe.
- MIGS Gym.
- Rotorua Museum.
- Rotorua District Library.
- Kiwi Encounter.