School Holiday Activities

School's out!

If you're looking for inspiration for fun with the whole whānau, you've come to the right place.

Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for inspiration updates as they come to hand.


Matariki events

Matariki image

Kick of your school holiday activities with these awesome whānau events.

On Friday July 9 the Royal Arcade and part of central Stafford Street in Timaru will come alive with performances, activities and amazing kai and craft stalls from 5pm - 8pm.

Bring the whole whānau down to the Matariki Night Market, and check out the live kapa haka and fire dancing performances.  The Dark Sky Project are coming with a telescope for stargazing!

Also, don't miss out on tickets for the Matariki Family Festival on Saturday July 10.  Being held at Mountainview High School in Timaru, there will be stalls, fireworks and  live music.


Magical lantern walk

Rug up and be transported on a magical journey alongside the Waihi River in Geraldine.

The The Lantern Walk is on July 17 and is fantastic fun for all ages. This popular biennial event certainly brings the magic to this scenic riverside walk.

Make a weekend of it in Geraldine:


Geraldine Ukefest 2021

Geraldine Uke Fest

This four day festival is so much fun!

The whole town comes to life with amateur and professional performances from July 22 - 25.  There are concerts, workshops and ukes playing in cafes across Geraldine.

Geraldine is a foodies paradise, with loads of gourmet artisan products and fantastic eateries, and even a new gin distillery.   The combination of happy uke music and outstanding food creates a huge buzz around town.


Mid winter steam event

Take a train trip back in time!

If you've got a train enthusiast in the family, this amazing preservation railway will blow their mind.  There's heaps more to this attraction than trains, including a museum with rooms full of fantastic exhibits, and a vintage movie theatre.

The Pleasant Point Museum and Railway are holding their popular steaming days on Friday July 18 and Sunday July 25.

Take the whole family, pay your fare and ride the trains as many times as you like.

The Pleasant Point Farmers Market is also on the 18th, make a day of it in Pleasant Point.


Inflatable fun

Family Fest is back!

The Southern Trust Event Centre is the place to be on July 17 and 18.  It will be full of inflatable fun and games, heaps of bouncy castles and obstacle courses.  There will be fantastic food stalls on site too.

Family Fest was a sell out event last year, so be in quick.


Animal cuteness

These friendly animals love interacting with visitors!

Famlan is an animal farm park with all sorts of animals including pigs, alpaca, sheep, birds, goats, guinea pigs, rabbits and ponies. The animals are very friendly, they LOVE visitors  - especially if you have FOOD!

If cute animals are your thing put The Geraldine Farmyard Holiday Park and The Shearer's Quarters on your list of places to visit too.


Timaru Trails App

Explore with the Timaru Trails app.

Download the free Timaru Trails app and try out different scenic and historic walks.

Our coastal tracks are perfect for spotting penguins, seals, sea lions, dolphins and even whales.

Take a self-guided tour of our street art, or explore the stories of some of Timaru's earliest burials with the cemetery tour.

Bring your bikes, or hire them here, and spend the day exploring Centennial Park. There are cool mountain biking tracks for all abilities, plus a recreational lake with relaxing picnic spots,  and a BMX jump park nearby.


Head indoors

If the weather isn't great there's still plenty to do.

Moviemax in Timaru, and The Geraldine Cinema are screening cool family movies over the holiday period.  Check out their websites for what's on.

Swim and hydroslide at Caroline Bay Aquatic Centre, or burn off some steam at Chipmunks and Flip Out Timaru.

Check out our Museums! We have 11 to work your way through, or head to the Timaru District Libraries, The South Canterbury Museum and Aigantighe Art Gallery for their cool holiday programmes.


Spend a day at the bay

Caroline Bay is great all year round.

Go for a mid-winter swim, make sand sculptures and look out for little penguin footprints in the sand.  There's a playground, bike skills park, disc golf, mini golf and a popular skate park.

At this time of year you can also walk your dog - stick to the middle of the beach as little penguins nest in the rocks at either end.

It's the starting point for the Dashing Rocks coastal walk. Beginning at Caroline Bay, you walk past the site of ancient shipwrecks and can see cool rocks that were formed from an ancient lava flow.  Check it out on the free Timaru Trails App.

Plus you might be lucky enough to spot our resident pod of Hector's dolphins not far offshore.

Caroline Bay is right in the heart of Timaru City.  You can start or finish off with refreshments at the cool eateries on The Bay Hill.


Forest trekking

Horse trekking through Peel Forest

A truly unforgettable experience.

Peel Forest Horse Trekking will take you through some of South Canterbury's most beautiful landscapes on horses.  The treks are suitable for all ages and abilities.

You can try a short walk or river trek, or a multi-day trek into the Southern Alps.

In the words of one happy client - "We can't wipe the proud smiles of our kids faces.  Would recommend to anyone".


Find a WuHoo!

Loads of fun free activities to try out!

WuHoo Timaru is a cool initiative to get people out and about finding free fun.

There are scavenger hunts, and even driving routes for colder days.  We guarantee you'll have fun and also learn some cool history along the way.

There is SO much inspiration over on their website, you can even do some of it without leaving home!


While you're here

  1. There's lots of great options for free family fun.
  2. Pick up some cute cupcakes in Timaru from Millie Rose.
  3. Try disc golf at Caroline Bay, West End Park or Temuka Domain.
  4. Head to Te Ana Maori Rock Art Centre.
  5. Check out the rest of the events and holiday programmes on the Timaru District event calendar.