Fun activities for Porirua kids this spring

Toddler in Tow

BY KELLY ETEVENAUX
Last updated 08:57 02/10/2012

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OPINION: A new interactive creative gallery for kids opened recently at Pataka Museum of Arts & Cultures' Tuatara Gallery in Porirua.

I took my boys to check it out and found it to be a fantastic facility, beautifully designed to spark the imagination and inspire children's own arty endeavours.

The gallery is a spacious room full of colour, with lots to see and do. There are art and craft activities, dress-ups, funhouse mirrors, books, toys and of course beautiful artworks to enjoy.

Bailey enjoyed the art tables, creating paper flowers and using cellophane in primary colours to explore colour blending.

He was rapt to find the miniatures display we'd seen in the main gallery and loved the distorting funhouse-type mirrors which made him look, 'like I've got no head, Mum!'

At 10 months old Ollie had just as much fun crawling around on the large cushions and looking at everything. He was not keen to get back in the buggy when it was time to leave.

Pataka says the artworks and museum pieces in the gallery will change from time to time, to reflect and compliment the displays in the main gallery. The hands-on activities will also change accordingly so the kids will always find something new to delight them!

The Tuatara Gallery is definitely a sensory experience for kids. They get to look at, be a part of and create art in a kid- friendly space. I can see it becoming a buzzing, busy place once word gets around about it and can't wait to see how it changes and evolves over time.

Some other fun activities to do with the kids: Explore the Wellington Botanical Gardens and their amazing tulip display. Perhaps include a trip on the cable car.

Visit the lambs and do a bushwalk at Battle Hill.

Plant an edible garden for the kids to tend - strawberries, vegetables, herbs etc.

Head up the coast to Lindale and meet all the new baby animals.

Paint spring flower artworks.

Have a spring clean out of the kids' clothes, toys and books. Help them sort them into piles to keep, sell and donate.

Feed the ducks at Aotea Lagoon.

Get some photos of the kids among the daffodils and cherry blossom trees.

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EAT OUT AT BUTLERS CHOCOLATE CAFE, NORTH CITY SHOPPING CENTRE

Highchairs: Yes, plenty of highchairs available in the food court area

Changing facilities: Yes, close by in the parents' room

Kids menu: Not really

Fluffies: $1 with a free chocolate

Butlers Chocolate Cafe is located at the edge of the shopping centre food court. It has a range of cabinet food, more suited for morning/ afternoon tea than lunch. This cafe is great if you are out shopping and want to grab the kids a meal from one of the other eateries while you relax with a coffee and treat. Did I mention every drink comes with a free chocolate?!

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