School Holiday Mayhem

Two weeks of school holiday. It’s wet and windy. Dan’s loving it. The trip into work is quiet and effortless and he’s not at all jealous of me keeping the children entertained when it’s a howling Southerly. Fortunately Wellington is blessed with some great indoor venues for young and old children alike. However, taking preschoolers to their favourite wet-weather escape venues isn’t entirely stress-free in the school holidays.

The Aquatic Centre at Kilbirnie has a ‘Swim-Meet’ on. I don’t know the details, all I know is the car-park is crazy and so are the changing rooms. The car-park is also used for patrons to the library and the recreation centre. The latter is home to ‘Tiny-Town‘ a favourite for tots to drive around in toy-cars and burn of excess energy on the bouncy castle.

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Te Papa is also mobbed. Thankfully, the ever courteous staff are going all out to ensure everyone finds a parking space. When we arrived early on Monday morning we were greeted by a kind gentleman asking if we were planning on staying all day. As we were just visiting for a few hours we were welcome to parallel park in front of staff-owned cars.

I haven’t dared brave Junglerama or Little Monkeys.

The best morning we’ve had all week was in the central city, riding on the Cable Car and looking at the old clock (which is unfortunately not working) in The Old Bank Arcade. It was quiet and offered a few opportunities for some wishful window shopping. Borders Bookstore has a great children’s section, complete with child size reading tables and a cafe, but I rarely escape without making a few too many purchases. Moore Wilsons is another favourite as the toys are tons cheaper than other similar retailers and hands on play is extremely well tolerated and almost encouraged, with a large play-pen, lego tables and books to read (plus Caffe L’Affare and The Brooklyn Bakery are extremely child-friendly cafes, located just across the road).

Civic Square with the Central City Library and Capital E are also great venues to spend a couple of hours.

And a couple of hours is about all I can manage before feeling totally exhausted! We are enjoying hanging out (or should I say ‘hiding out’) at home in the afternoon. Thankfully we’re sheltered from the wind and are making the most of our large porch area to enjoy some outdoor activities. The girls have been busy painting and creating.

The cats are getting more attention than ever and are just about tolerating the excessive grooming and assortment of ‘cat toys’ Charlotte is creating for them.

But by the end of this week we will have had our fill of the indoor haunts and be yearning for some sunshine. The Spring Festival in the Botanical Garden is full of events for the school holidays, if only the weather would get it’s act together!

So, what’s everyone else up to? All welcome at Chez Lee! Just bring lots of cake!