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School holiday magic in Tauranga this summer

It’s the silly season and there is plenty of great activities on offer across Tauranga for the young and young at heart!

Starting at The Historic Village, you and the whānau can soak up the festive atmosphere at Christmas at the Village – Night Market on Thursday, 14 December. The market will be a wonderful opportunity to get your Christmas gifts sorted while supporting small businesses and shopping local at the same time. There will be stalls, food and entertainment, and a chance to belt out your favourite Christmas carol from 6pm.

Getting crafty at The Historic Village this Christmas. Photo supplied.

If the kids are feeling creative this festive season, then The Incubator at The Historic Village has plenty of cool, inspired activities going on. Join the Bake with Me workshops for kids, teens, and adults, check out a movie at the boutique Village Cinema, or take part in one of the many different classes and workshops on offer – you can even make your own space helmet!

The Grinch stealing the show at Baycourt. Photo credit: Emma Reynolds Photography.

Over in the city centre Baycourt Community and Arts Centre are hosting some spectacular dance shows in the lead-up to Christmas. See Labyrinth the Ballet – a re-telling of the iconic movie featuring 130 local dancers, or head along to ‘Who Stole Christmas?’ by the Dance Institute and experience the magic of Whoville while the Grinch does his best to stop Christmas.

Jingle all the way to Downtown Tauranga, where the Christmas spirit is set to sweep kids off their feet this summer. Explore a Gingerbread House in Red Square, encounter giant decorations, and for the ultimate thrill – a meet-and-greet with the man in red himself at Santa’s Grotto on Grey Street.

Family fun at the Gingerbread House in Red Square. Photo supplied.

While you’re in the city check out the free and fun-filled events for kids, including Pocket-sized Play activities, and the Shapes of Summer installations are returning lighting up the waterfront from dusk from Wednesday, 20 December.

Wander through Tauranga on a whimsical art journey with Wunderboxes by the Tauranga Art Gallery, an enchanting art trail scattered throughout the city centre with a magical experience inside every box.

A movie under the stars on the waterfront. Photo credit: Laurise Connor.

Check out the free Night Owl family-friendly movies on the waterfront every second Friday night. Bring a blanket, a picnic and watch a movie under the stars. City centre parking is free on evenings and weekends in the city centre, making it easy to come and join the fun! The Little Big Markets also will be coming to the City Centre, Pāpāmoa and Mount Maunganui over summer with epic stalls, great food, and entertainment.

Making a splash at the Tauranga Moana Bomb Comp. Photo credit: Hunter Studios.

Got energetic kids at home? On Saturday, 16 December, get ready for the epic Tauranga Moana Bomb Comp, where manus and bombs making big splashes off the wharf will steal the show.

Young bomb enthusiasts Henry and Jackson Young are two kids who can’t wait for the Tauranga Moana Bomb Comp, “We’ve been practising all the ways to make the biggest splash and it’s going to be so much fun doing big bombs off the wharf with everyone else”, says Henry, age 8.

Mermaid delights at the Tauranga Art Gallery POP UP. Photo credit: Brett Stanley.

Dive into the extraordinary world of The Mermaid Chronicles 2.0 by Megan Dunn, at the Tauranga Art Gallery POP UP until Sunday, 4 February. This incredible exhibition promises a beautiful journey that will captivate the imagination of mermaid and art lovers of all ages.

Taking up the summer reading challenge at Tauranga Libraries. Photo supplied.

Meanwhile, Tauranga Libraries is launching the Kia Kaha te Pānui – Summer Reads Challenge at all four sites across the city. The challenge encourages tamariki to immerse themselves in the enchanting world of books all summer long with every child completing the challenge receiving a brand-new prize book.

There are nearly 80 other fantastic, free activities happening at the libraries these school holidays, ranging from crafting Wacky Bookmarks to embracing Digi Fun.

Racing action for the whole family. Photo supplied.

For those who love a motorsport thrill or being centre stage, there are plenty of things to spark creativity and get kids excited in December and January. Bay Superstars Speedway (Thursday, 28 December) promises speed action for the whole family, while The Dream Life Dance Workshop (Monday, 15 – Wednesday, 17 January) will set imaginations wild.

Over in Mount Maunganui, Mount Mainstreet ups the holiday vibes with a series of free, fun-filled activities for families. Take part in a cool snowman sandcastle competition or embark on a Christmas surfboard scavenger hunt with fantastic prizes up for grabs.

Don’t miss the chance to take home the Christmas surfboard colouring competition, or drop by the Mount Mainstreet Urban Christmas Market on Sunday, 17 December, to hang out with Santa and explore some free Christmas workshops.

With heaps of fantastic, free activities across Tauranga, the city is all set to keep the kids entertained and the holiday spirit alive!

For a comprehensive list of events and information, check out www.mytauranga.co.nz.


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