The Family Fest is about to begin.

This is an annual event where Te Manawa comes together with Centrepoint Theatre, the Globe Theatre and the City Library to present a month of great whānau-focused events. Find the full programme at www.familyfest.co.nz.

First on the schedule is Te Manawa's much loved After Dark event on July 4, where the museum's doors are thrown open at sundown and its spaces transformed by lighting and lots of cool things to do.

This year there's a superhero theme – adults and children alike are encouraged to dress up! Dr Rafea Naffa will complete his series of chemistry shows, sponsored by the NZ Leather & Shoe Research Association, so there'll be plenty of pops, fizzes and bangs for everyone. After Dark will be gold coin entry, no ticket required.

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Te Manawa's popular Overload laser tag event is back; so too is the Nerf Battle, the Teddy Bears' Picnic, and performances by Grammy-winning Māori musician Jerome Kavanagh.

New events this year include a day of getting hands-on with radio-controlled cars, and a Kiwi take on iconic game show Family Feud. Some of these events are free, while some are ticketed.

The school holiday programme gets under way on July 6, and features a mix of drop-in and paid activities.

Spend a day with the Te Manawa keepers meeting the museum's animals up close; get hands-on with cool nanoscience; and make your own art print with a "gelli plate".

To see the full list of Family Fest events at all venues, visit www.familyfest.co.nz or stop by the museum's front desk, where places for ticketed events can be booked.

The school holiday programme can be downloaded from www.temanawa.co.nz/learning. Nau mai, haere mai!