As school holidays head into their final weeks, parents may be left wondering what on earth to do with their kids.
The TV can seem like the best babysitter as temperatures swelter and soggy togs dry on the line outside. And how many times can one visit the zoo - along with the rest of Auckland - before the baby rhino no longer gets the squeals of pure joy it once did?
We've heard Kiwi parents' desperate cries, and while it's tempting to pop the kids on a plane to Grandma and Grandad's for the final stretch, there are also some great untapped activities and events close to home that you might not have thought of.
From dinosaur spotting to playground hopping, here is our list of the best things to do with your kids these holidays.
1. Classic Kiwi beach day
There's no better summer holiday activity than a trip to the beach, wherever you are in New Zealand. Why not travel a bit further and make a day out of it? If you haven't visited all of these beaches yet, here are the best ones to tick off the bucket list this summer.
2. Brickman Awesome: Epic LEGO Creations exhibition, Auckland Museum
Eager fans of Brickman's (Ryan McNaught) show Lego Masters can flock to this exhibition of his creations at Auckland Museum running from December 3 to February 28, 2021. From a life-size Lego Harley-Davidson to a gigantic killer whale, there's something here for every Lego lover. Tickets start at $15.
3. Stardome Observatory & Planetarium
If you have any budding astronomers in the family, they're sure to go starry-eyed for a trip to the Stardome Observatory and planetarium at One Tree Hill Domain in Auckland. From stunning 360-degree planetarium shows to interactive displays, there's something here for every kid who's ever wanted to explore space. The school holiday programme runs until January 29, with adult and child tickets both $8.
4. Willowbank Wildlife Reserve, Christchurch
Countless baby animals join the family at Willowbank Wildlife Reserve in Christchurch each year, from gibbons to goats. Keepers say that ducklings, lambs and chicks are the most popular with the kids around this time of year.
5. Camping in NZ's backyard
You may not be able to take the kids on an overseas trip this summer, but that doesn't mean you can't travel - and camping anywhere in NZ is a great way to show the kids around our very own backyard. Here's the best Kiwi campsites throughout the country. So pack your tent and bug spray, pile into the car and head off on an adventure with the kiddos.
6. Pick your own strawberries
The whole family can enjoy the fruits of their labour after a day spent picking strawberries in the sun. At Zaberri in Riverhead near Kumeu, you can spend the afternoon picking your own fruit and then watch it get made into real fruit icecream.
7. DinoFest Auckland
Step back into prehistoric times at Auckland's Botanic Gardens for exciting encounters with '"real" moving dinosaurs, from baby dinos to meat-eating monsters and even a full-size T-Rex. Activities include arts and crafts, a Dino Dig, and even "feel a fossil" with real dinosaur bones.
The event runs until February 1 with tickets $17 for adults and $15 for kids.
8. Playground hopping
A trip to the local playground might not be the most exciting holiday activity - so why not turn it into a challenge? Search up all the children's playgrounds in your hometown and make it your mission to visit them all before the holidays are out.
You'll discover some new favourites and get plenty of sunshine while you're busy ticking them all off your playground bucket list. Combine it with a picnic lunch and your day is sorted.