Things to do on the Kapiti Coast in the School Holidays


So the school holidays are upon you and you need a little inspiration to keep the children entertained. If you have to work then you will need school holiday programmes or have to arrange childcare. If you have free time to spend with your children in the school holidays then there are many more options available to you.

There is an amazing variety of activities available for children during the school holidays and weekends. From holiday cooking classes to nature walks there is something to attract everyone. Many of the activities in the Kapiti Coast region of New Zealand are FREE which is always a bonus for families on a budget.

Free activities include:

  • Animates family days at various stores (learn about rabbits, guinea pigs, rats and mice)
  • Lego tables at Coastlands Mall
  • Local short nature walks (
  • Biking trails
  • Fun at the beach
  • Puppet making workshops
  • Visiting local markets and browsing the stalls e.g. at Paraparaumu and Paekakariki

Activities with a fee include:

  • Swimming lessons or just pool time
  • Movie releases often coincide with school holidays
  • Theatre performances/stage shows
  • Miniature golf courses
  • Ten pin bowling
  • Craft workshops e.g. flax weaving, jewellery making
  • Huge variety of organised school holiday programs
  • Bumper ball (7 years old up to adults)
  • Adrenalin Forest – seven tree top walkways (minimum height 1.3m)
  • The Grand Circle rail cruise from Paekakariki/Wellington or Petone/Upper Hutt
  • Nga Manu Nature Reserve
  • Boat cruises
  • Guided tour of Kapiti Island nature reserve
  • Cooking schools

As well as the activities outlined above you can find sporting school holiday programs so a keen sports enthusiast can get in some extra practice or maybe even try out a new sport. A school holiday program with an organised program can be a great way to try out a variety of new activities in a safe and fun environment. Some programs are residential too, allowing for older children to start to develop independence and important life skills. Programs are offered for almost all interests from jewellery making to horse riding!

Take a day trip into Wellington from the Kapiti Coast by car or train and explore Te Papa Museum, the Wellington Cable Car, Zealandia, the Botanic Gardens, Carter’s Observatory and of course Wellington Zoo. Take a walk along the waterfront and explore the history and culture of the capital city of New Zealand. Free, one-hour guided tours are available of the Beehive, Parliament House and the Parliament Library.

Useful websites for even more activities and ideas:

El Rancho is a great option not only for the school holidays but all year round with their school camps for New Zealand children. Kids camps are a great way to engage children in fun activities outside of a school environment. Activities range from trampolines to archery, ropes courses to horse riding and horse care, rock walls to kayaking and go karts to wilderness survival and more. For ideas on how to plan a New Zealand Christian camp contact the team at El Rancho today


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