We danced into the first day of the school holidays with a visit to Capital E this morning. The creative team at Capital E always pull together a fabulous and reasonably priced array of entertainment for all ages over the school holidays. I’d booked tickets for us to see the 11am Dancing Feat Performance (there’s different dances on every day at 11am and 12.30pm) and attend the interactive multimedia exhibit where children can learn the basic steps to dances from around the world.
We got into town early, to make the most of the sunshine and park up at the $9 all day parking next to Te Papa, by Waitangi Park on the waterfront. With baby Alice in tow I didn’t want the restriction of having a 2 hour parking limit and $4 an hour is pretty steep, so even though we had to walk a little way to Capital E it was worth it (leaving spare change for coffee and gelato ice-creams at wonderful Kaffee Eis by The Lagoon too).
It’s been a long time since I was out with the girls on my own and different with Alice to care for. I used to get out and about all the time before they started Kindergarten and school. I reflected back to the early days of Sophie’s life, when Charlotte was only two, and we would make regular visits to the museum, the Botanical Gardens, various music groups and playgrounds. I really was busy, but it was good too and I loved the freedom and flexibility of our days. It’s little wonder I felt resentful of school in Charlotte’s first year.
It gave me great pleasure to have my girls with me today and watch them freely explore the waterfront at leisure. They stopped to watch the yachts racing in the harbour, challenging each other to see who could throw a stone the furthest, they explored the poetry installations hidden around the waterfront and looked for star-fish around the lagoon. The water was choppy today and they were careful of the waves splashing up over the rock pools.
As we reached the beautiful city to sea bridge they ran in and out of the hidey-holes artfully sculpted into the bridge, playing hide and seek from each other. I really wanted to run around and hide with them, but Alice was fast asleep in the Mei Tai so I had to smile from a distance.
We arrived at Capital E with time to enjoy the interactive exhibit, where the girls tried some different dance steps and had a boogie on the ‘disco’ stage. The performance was hip-hop today – with audience participation! Alice had woken up by now and was totally unfazed by the all the noise and flashing lights. We learned a short hip-hop routine and then sat back to watch the professionals do their stuff. The all-girl group, ‘Emerge‘, were really impressive and certainly got my girls feet tapping and hearts pumping to the beat. They recently made history by becoming the first females from Wellington to represent New Zealand at the inaugural, World Hip Hop Dance Competition in Las Vegas – way to go girls!
Before leaving Capital E we popped into ‘The Playground’ where the girls made a tail each (give them glue, fabric and something to make and they’re happy). They decided Alice made the perfect model…
The fresh air and space of Civic Square was welcoming after our morning’s fun and we stopped for a snack, whilst Alice drifted back off to sleep in the Mei Tai (bless her, short naps on the go today!). The girls wanted to check out the City Gallery and with Alice fast asleep I was more than happy to oblige (especially as the girls are at an age where they will just look and not touch – in a few more months, with Alice walking, life will be a little different for a while!). We really enjoyed the ‘roundabout‘ exhibit and the girls got the idea of outlining a shape and filling it with stickers from one of the artworks:
Huang Yan, Chinese Landscape Face Painting – Summer 2007. Oil on canvas. Private collection.
Gonkar Gyatso, Buddha Sakyamuni, 2007. Stickers and pencil on treated paper. Private collection.
Alice woke up whilst we were in the gallery and the poor love hadn’t had much sleep, but was quite content. As much as I would have like to have stayed in town longer I thought it best to make our way home for the afternoon. We stopped in at Te Papa for a late lunch and a lovely play in the outdoor area ‘Bush City‘, where the girls enjoyed climbing on some 300 million year old rocks, crawling the tunnel in the limestone cave and jumping on the swing bridge.
They would have stayed all afternoon and took a bit of persuasion to leave, with the promise of some stickers. The pit-stop to pick up some stickers and extra art supplies was well worth it, as the girls were kept amused for a couple of hours when we got home – leaving me to have a well deserved rest with Alice! Phew! I’ll do a separate blog post on their artwork when it’s complete – looking good so far!
They have yet to adjust to the clocks going forward, so bedtime is 9pm at the moment for Charlotte and Sophie. Alice is the only one to have shifted her bedtime – but that’s probably due to missing so much sleep today that she was in need of an early bedtime! I took her up at 6.30pm and I’ve been hiding in my room with her and the laptop ever since!
Dan played with the girls in the garden for a while and then got Sophie off to bed with some stories, whilst Charlotte finished her artwork and played on the iPad!
No plans for tomorrow, other than a low key day at home – which probably will eventuate in lots of arts, crafts and baking…