Saturday, October 4, 2008

Clip 'n climb

Great idea. Pretty cheap entertainment too - at $7 for a preschooler (for an hour). It really does get kids into climbing in a nice safe and vibrant environment. Katie first went when she was 3. She managed -but got tired after about 40 minutes. Now she is 4 she can scuttle up most of the walls quite easily.

Make sure you ring to book as it gets busy. And there is a cafe upstairs where you can watch. Okay for 3 year olds - but comes into its own for 5+. Clip n climb at the roxx.

Rutherford's Den

Entry by gold coin donation. It had been a while since I had been here - it is the corner of the Arts Centre. Rutherford is of course famous for splitting the atom. However the place is a mix of old university/ science experiments/ intriguing museum stuff - for kids. Brass rubbing, switching on the Voss machine, playing with the geiger counter, then climbing the creaky steps up to the old lecture theatre - makes for good fun for a couple of kids. Even if they don't 'get' atoms.

Rutherford's den is great - it won't entertain for long - but is perfect for 15-20 minutes of introducing preschoolers to science/ university life and the great man himself.

Canterbury Museum

This has been Katie's favourite place since she was one. She is now 4 1/2 and knows her way round every exhibit. And still LOVES it. Free entry though a donation is much appreciated. It remains a fabulous place - for tourists and locals alike. The discovery centre (small charge) is a great place to while away an hour or two with inquisitive preschoolers. Exhibits change occasionally. The cafe is lovely (with a small play area for the under 6's) and they do have a selection of gluten free slices.

Parking is close -on the corner, on the road or if it is a nice day, at the Botanic Gardens car park (for free) with a 10 minute walk to the museum.

Orana Park

With the age of my kids we prefer Willowbank, but just for a change it is nice to go to Orana. Out past the airport it takes us about 25 minutes to get there from home. So it makes for a long day for a 4 year old and a nearly 2 year old. The park is home to plenty of animals but is quite spread out. There is a tractor ride /safari bus to catch but these can get pretty busy.

There are BBQ's and picnic areas but the wasps can get quite bad in summer. The cafe is okay but no gluten free options apart from fruit.

Park entry is pretty steep so most locals get the annual pass instead. However for older kids I think it is wonderful. Don't forget to take plenty of water in summer - it gets really hot!

The Art Gallery

It has been a few months since we last visited the Art gallery. Parking is in the basement which makes it so easy when you have kids. There is a current biennial celebration going on and visually the place looked stunning. Katie enjoyed following the holiday treasure hunt for kids around the works. It was pitched just right for an inquisitive 4 year old.

It was pretty busy - even though the weather had changed and it was hot. Entry is of course free, unless there is a special exhibition going on. We then walked down to The Coffee House as they do gluten free desserts. Coffee was lovely. Service marvellous.

Then back to the car - admiring the architecture of the gallery - I LOVE that place!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Diamond Harbour

Yesterday we took the ferry from Lyttelton over to Diamond Harbour. The kids travelled free (under 5's) and I was $10 return. What a great trip. A short but exciting ride for the girls and then a walk up the hill to Godley House. We had the place almost to ourselves for a leisurely early lunch on the lawn. Then the kids played in the sunshine on the play equipment and enjoyed games of hide and seek. We managed to while away a few hours before we headed back to the ferry. A great school holiday activity.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Science Alive

Science Alive is at the top end of what we will pay for an activity. Prices are available online. Age of the kids is crucial. For the climbing wall kids who are 4 seem to be able to partly do the easy wall and have fun. Younger ones find it much harder to manage. Older kids obviously manage to get to the top!

The gyroscope is a hit with my three year old. There are lots of science based activities for them to join in and experiment with. Again, older kids will 'get' the concepts better. Don't miss the downstairs part, which is a mini golf (pay a little extra) and currnetly illusions area. There is a small area for the younger kids.

It's a place we don't go to a lot - but if you are stuck for ideas, or its raining - it is certainly worth a visit. No food available, but there are a few tables in the under 6's area if you take something to munch on. Oh - an Indian restaurant has just opened up next door - or there are a few snacks available from the cinema. But that's it.