With the combination of a global pandemic, lockdown and online learning, it's hardly been the most straightforward school term for Kiwi kids and their parents.

But the school holidays have finally arrived this weekend and it's time for a well-deserved break.

We might not be able to travel overseas, but we're lucky enough to live in a tourist hotspot of our own, with plenty of fun to be had in our own backyard.

So we've pulled together a list of activities to keep the young ones entertained for the next couple of weeks.

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Auckland Museum, Auckland

It's a school holiday go-to, but there's always plenty to keep the kids happy at the Auckland Museum, whether it's a secret museum tour, a nature quest, or a virtual reality Antarctica experience, which has returned just in time for the holidays.

Kids can also help create a paper star mural this Matariki, with no charge for getting involved - just show up and get creative.

Play dates

Now that we're allowed to hang out without social distancing, play dates are back on. Whether it's a classic sleepover with popcorn, blankets and movies, or play dates at the park - kids will welcome any chance to spend time with their mates outside of school hours.

If you opt for a low-maintenance movie night, several kids' favourites from DreamWorks have landed on NZ Netflix, including Kung Fu Panda, Madagascar and Shrek.

The Cat in the Hat, Wellington

The beloved Dr Seuss book comes alive in this stage adaptation, on show on Monday, July 6 at the Opera House in Wellington.

Why not make a day of it and finish with hot chocolates and a walk along the waterfront.

The Amazing Dinosaur Discovery, Rotorua

If there's a dinosaur lover in your family, they'll love nothing more than an interactive walk with dinosaurs.

The Amazing Dinosaur Discovery is a two-hour walk that promises to bring prehistoric times back to life with fossil digging, rides, and walking dinosaurs.

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Sessions run from July 4 to 19 at the Soundshell and Village Green on Memorial Drive.

The Amazing Dinosaur Discovery in Rotorua will be a hit with the kids. Photo / Supplied
The Amazing Dinosaur Discovery in Rotorua will be a hit with the kids. Photo / Supplied

Lego Building the Future of New Zealand competition

If you have an aspiring Lego Master for a child, they'll jump at the chance to enter this free Lego building competition, with this year's theme being the Future of New Zealand.

Judged by the Brickman himself Ryan McNaught, kids can design and build what they think the future of New Zealand looks like and be in to win an all-expenses-paid trip to Legoland Discovery Centre in Melbourne.

A meet and greet with the legendary Brickman in his studio and $2000 spending money are also up for grabs.

The competition runs from July 1 and entries must be brought into any Toyworld NZ store or submitted online before July 31. Find out more about the competition here.

Cooking up a storm

If your kids' haven't already finessed their cooking skills during lockdown, the winter school holidays are the time to get them in the kitchen cooking up special treats.

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Get your mini MasterChefs inspired with these kid-friendly recipes.

Dr Michelle Dickinson, aka Nanogirl, is back with more online activities for the school holidays. Photo / Supplied
Dr Michelle Dickinson, aka Nanogirl, is back with more online activities for the school holidays. Photo / Supplied

Nanogirl Labs School Holiday Club

After Dr Michelle Dickinson, aka Nanogirl's, hugely popular online kids' science club during lockdown, she's back with a school holiday version.

Nanogirl Labs is launching an interactive online programme filled with STEM activities for kids aged 7-10. It's focused on "upcycling" and engineering using home craft supplies and things you'd usually find in your recycling bin.