An ice rink opening on Wellington's waterfront tomorrow night is set to transform the area into a family-friendly winter wonderland.

Crowds of more than 20,000 are expected to visit the council-hosted Resene Cool Colour Ice Rink & Slide, which is open until the end of July.

Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown says the exhibit is a "welcome addition" to the waterfront and "a great opportunity for families and friends to get together for a winter celebration".

Money raised from the opening weekend will be put towards the new children's development at the city's botanic gardens.

Advertisement

Ms Wade-Brown says the garden will teach kids about plants that provide food, medicine and construction materials.

"The Children's Garden will encourage children to learn about sustainability and resilience in an urban environment through practical activities."

The opening weekend will include a kids' party with a flower-themed dress-up contest, face-painting and fairies.

As well as the rink, pop-up shops, food trucks, bars and restaurants and a pop-up sauna will be set up in the area throughout the month.