The last week of the holidays have gone by in a whirl and it's been fabulous to see the building full of children with their families.

I love it when there are the sounds of people in the building talking, exploring and laughing – bringing the museum to life.

The success of our school holiday programmes and other activities has been very encouraging and we plan to add more programmes and extend their duration during school holidays in the New Year.

Children loved the Plastic Fantastic experience, with many coming early to go through Bottled Ocean 2118 beforehand to gain inspiration for their own creations.


Stop Motion Animation & Virtual Reality was a huge hit with children loving the experience of making their own digital creation. A programme aimed at an adult audience, Lace Tour, was greatly enjoyed by attendees with many, I'm sure, leaving inspired by the items they got to see up close.

It always surprises me how something as simple as a treasure hunt around MTG Hawke's Bay captures young people but it certainly does.

We make sure this is updated regularly so that our repeat visitors get new experiences when they return.

This treasure hunt coupled with activities in many galleries, more video and digital technology, and dress up spots means children have a much more engaging experience when they visit the museum.

These activities are aimed at getting children looking closely and thinking about what's on display while ensuring they have an enjoyable experience at the same time.

It's not too late to bring in your children or mokopuna to experience the museum if you haven't yet done so these holidays – or if you would like a second visit.

As we head towards Labour Weekend I'm aware that secondary students will be studying for exams and then the end of the year is almost upon us.

We still have plenty planned before the end of the year at MTG with three exhibition changes, programmed activities in the Century Theatre and elsewhere around the building, and maybe a couple of surprises as well.

The summer holidays are the busiest season for us with many cruise ships and visitors in town and, of course, the Art Deco Festival.

Even in the midst of all that, we always ensure there's plenty for locals and especially children to see and do.

One of the exhibitions that will go on display before the end of the year, with a very local flavour, is The Architectural Legacy of J.A. Louis Hay – which will remain up for the 2019 Art Deco Festival.

This exhibition will feature original plans alongside digital copies of many more that can't fit into the display.

In a region full of Louis Hay buildings it's fitting that these plans are brought out for everyone to see. We hope many of you will come and enjoy that display over the summer.

*Laura Vodanovich is the director of the Museum Theatre Gallery (MTG) Hawke's Bay.