Keeping children entertained and engaged over school holidays can be a challenging task.
The children's international film festival Screenies in the Century Theatre at MTG Hawke's Bay is a great option these holidays. Spread over three days (April 19-21) there's a variety of styles, genres and subject matters, with films for ages 3 to 17 and older. For the youngest viewers there's something on each morning of the festival including Pingu and Hairy Maclary.
Something my children loved was Thunderbirds and I'm sure this film on Saturday will appeal to many. Others may know The Changeover by Margaret Mahy – which has been turned into a film that plays on Thursday. There are some sessions (gold coin donation) on Friday and Saturday so don't miss these. More information is available on the Screenies website www.screenies.nz or you can pick up a brochure at MTG.
There's plenty more to see and do for children and families at the museum. We're finding that the young (and young at heart) are loving the chance to try on ballet costumes in the Nyree Dawn Porter exhibition. Each outfit has been inspired by the costumes in Nyree's ballet sketches. Made by the talented Karina Blogg, these can be put on like an apron and are easy to try over your clothing. There's a ballet barre on hand so you can try out some of Nyree's poses and see how you look in the large mirror.
The interactive wall of musical instruments in Hei Manu Tioriori continues to fascinate visitors, with children particularly enjoying this element of the exhibition. In Tenei Tonu there's an amazing historic film with really talented performers showing their poi skills – with poi available in the gallery, everyone is invited to give it a go. Our Drop-in-Zone is up and running for the holidays with craft activities and books available. Once you've made your masterpiece you can frame it and place on the wall of art in the main foyer for everyone to see and enjoy.
Downstairs you can dress up in black and white Art Deco style and take your photo against a backdrop of historic Marine Parade, or look at the detailed ship models and fascinating ships in bottles in the Linkway Gallery. In the Century Foyer we have Play Hawke's Bay, with photos from around the region and corresponding sounds which only activate when you hit the photo – something children usually love to do.
Napier Library at MTG also has a great range of activities for the holidays including; Wild Things at the Library - with stories, songs and craft, Build you own "Beast-friend", an expanded Minecraft Club and the return of Books'n'Banter. Check the library website for full details.
So don't forget to make MTG a must-do on your list of outings for children over the holidays. We love seeing children and families in the museum and hope they enjoy it as much as we do.
•Screenies, Children's International Film Festival, Century Theatre 19-21 April, Tickets available from Ticketek and door sales on the day
•ANZAC Day film 25 April, Century Theatre, 10am, 1pm and 3pm screenings. Rated M – war footage. Entry by gold coin
•Drop-in-Zone, books and activities, including making sea monsters to add to the undersea backdrop – running throughout the school holidays.