Entertain the Kids with Free or cheap Events this January

Keeping your kids entertained and occupied during January is easy with a bumper month of free or cheap events in the Wellington Regional Council’s Great Outdoors Summer Events 2013 programme.

There’s no need for anyone to go stir-crazy in January says Cr Nigel Wilson, Chair of the Regional Council’s Social and Cultural Wellbeing Committee. “Our events will please even the most energetic, and/or discerning youngsters, and of course their parents. Plus we’ve made the events accessible to as many families as possible the costs have been kept very low and many don’t require booking, so you can just turn up.”

Kicking off the programme, a Kev the Wandering Kiwi walk on 3 January along the Hutt River Trail the first of three Kev walks held around the region throughout the month. Kev is a lovable giant kiwi and the event is an ideal activity for kids and their parents after the rigours of Christmas and New Year.

The following seven days are bursting with great events. On 5 January: The Nature Discovery Treasure Hunt a perennial Great Outdoors favourite where kids use clues hidden in Kaitoke Regional Park to find the treasure, concluding with a lolly scramble. From 5-6 January at Kāpiti’s Queen Elizabeth Park: The Tramways Kids Weekend, packed full of fun with heritage tram rides, a bouncy castle, and model railway and heritage trams on display. On 6 January: kids aged 8+ will love Creepy Crawly Critters at Battle Hill Farm Forest Park, an opportunity to discover the friendly critters hidden in our waterways and bush. Later that week on 9 January: Prepare a Pony for a Ride at Queen Elizabeth Park perfect for future horsemen and women.

These are just a few of the Great Outdoors’ January events, which total 22. Many are suitable for most of the family. For the full Great Outdoors Summer Events 2013 programme, visit the Regional Council’s website www.gw.govt.nz/summerevents or pick up a brochure from the Wellington Central, Porirua, Paraparaumu, Lower Hutt, Upper Hutt and Masterton libraries.

KEV THE WANDERING KIWI AND SPORT WELLINGTON BUGGY WALK (FREE EVENT) Thursday 3 January, 10.30-12noon Poets Park, Hutt River Trail Meet Kev the Wandering Kiwi for a stroll down the Hutt River Trail into Trentham Memorial Park and through Barton’s Bush, before returning to Poets Park. No need to book, just turn up. www.buggywalk.co.nz.

Getting there: Heading north on SH2, turn left after Moonshine Bridge.

NATURE DISCOVERY TREASURE HUNT (FREE EVENT) Saturday 5 January 11am-12.30pm Kaitoke Regional Park, Waterworks Rd entrance Use clues hidden in the forest to find the treasure. No need to book, just turn up.

Getting there: Follow SH2 north of Upper Hutt. Meet at Pakuratahi Forks carpark.


Saturday-Sunday, 5-6 January, 11am-4.30pm Queen Elizabeth Park, MacKays Crossing entrance Fun for the big and little kids with heritage tram rides, a bouncy castle, and model railway and trams on display. No need to book, just turn up. www.wellingtontrams.org.nz.

Getting there: Enter Queen Elizabeth Park at MacKays Crossing off SH1.


Sunday 6 January, 10am-12noon

Battle Hill Farm Forest Park

Uncover the creatures that in live in our waterways and bush, feed the eels, and see how we can keep pest numbers down. Ages 8+. Max 30 people. Booking required: 04 830 4041, [email protected] Getting there: Follow Paekākāariki Hill Road for 6km from Pauatahanui.

PREPARE A PONY FOR A RIDE ($25 PER PERSON) Wednesday 9 January 10.45-11.30am, 11.45am-12.30pm, 2pm-2.45pm, 3pm-3.45pm Queen Elizabeth Park, MacKays Crossing Join the Stables on the Park team to learn how to care for your pony. Get riding tips and information on catching, leading, tying, grooming and tacking. 12 riders per session. Booking required: 06 364 3336 or 027 4486 764.

Getting there: Enter Queen Elizabeth Park at MacKays Crossing off SH1.