There’s only about three weeks until kids head back to school but New Plymouth District Council (NPDC) has loads on to keep them smiling over the summer.
Mums, dads and caregivers looking for something for their young ones to enjoy can head to Puke Ariki, NPDC’s 1500 hectares of parks, five pools, the Govett-Brewster cultural hub, Summer Scene at TSB Festival of Lights, skate parks, the Coastal Walkway and Brooklands Zoo!
“We do much more than just look after your roads, waste and water, we also provide a huge amount of fun entertainment, relatively cheaply, for our youngsters. There’s no need to leave Taranaki, it’s right here on our doorstep with stimulating attractions such as Puke Ariki and Brooklands Zoo, 82 kilometres of walkways and 50 playgrounds,” says NPDC External Relations Manager Jacqueline Baker.
Govett-Brewster has a packed programme this month with everything from shadow puppets under The Golden Bearing tree created by local artist Reuben Paterson, to dreaming up wearable flouro sculptures for kids to wear on the 24 January Light Parade in Pukekura Park. See govettbrewster.com/whats-on for more details.
Head to pukeariki.com/Whats-On to check out all the events at NPDC’s libraries across the district. Zappo the Magician will keep kids under 12 entertained at Puke Ariki as well as Bell Block, Oakura, Inglewood and Waitara libraries on 17 and 18 January and there are activities and games in the Museum and library with thousands of books in the dedicated children’s floor. See pukeariki.com/Libraries/Children-and-Young-People for more.
Kids won’t believe what mums and dads used to wear as togs when they go to At The Beach: 100 Years of Summer Fashion in New Zealand. Located downstairs in Puke Ariki, the exhibition has everything from woollen bathers to skimpy bikinis.
The hot, dry summer is expected to continue so kids can head to the Todd Energy Aquatic Centre for fun time from 10.30am each weekday. The outdoor area has a pool, diving area and paddling area for toddlers while inside there are slides, a rope swing and a wave machine. NPDC also runs pools in Waitara, Inglewood and Okato as well as the paddling pool for younger kids in Fitzroy.
For active kids, the Coastal Walkway is perfect for walking or cycling and NPDC has seven skate parks. NPDC has some beautiful parks for families to enjoy a summer stroll and for younger ones there are nearly 50 playgrounds across the district.
There’s also a packed programme at this season’s TSB Festival of Lights with Summer Scene offering daytime activities for kids and their families. There’s a huge mixture of events including a scavenger hunt on 10 January, circus antics on 12 January, a dance workshop on 15 January and the Zoo Day Out at Brooklands Zoo on 20 January. See festivaloflights.nz/events for more details.
Finally Brooklands Park will become Jurassic Park again this weekend for Dinofest. There will be three hour-long sessions on 6 and 7 January starting at 10:30am, 1pm and 3pm. Head to facebook.com/dinofestival to find out more.