Even if you're not religious, Easter is a great time to get together with your family and have a relaxing few days off work. If big, organised activities are not your thing, check out these five free activities you can do with the kids or on your own.

1. Take a walk in the Redwood Forest. This quiet forest is the perfect place to spend some alone time or get a bit adventurous with the kids and go exploring. If the Redwoods don't appeal to you, there are plenty of other scenic places to stretch your legs including the Lakefront, Kuirau Park, or up Mt Ngongotaha.

2. Visit a lake you have not been to. With more than 20 lakes in and around Rotorua, it can be easy to miss one. Check out a map and take a drive to one you haven't been to before. It might be a bit nippy to take a dip but bring along a book and picnic to make a day of it.

3. Take the kids to one of Rotorua's many playgrounds. No matter where you live in Rotorua, there is bound to be a playground nearby where you can take the kids for some fun. Some of the popular spots include the Lakefront and Government Gardens playgrounds.


4. Get away from the hustle of the city for the day and soak in one of the natural hot pools on the outskirts of Rotorua. Kerosene Creek and the Hot and Cold pools are two fan favourites and are only a 30-minute drive from the city.

5. If the weather is not looking flash, stay indoors and make Easter-themed food. Children enjoy helping mum and dad prepare meals. As a snack, make fairy bread with bunny or egg-shaped cookie cutters or make jelly using moulds in the shape of bunnies. If you don't want to use Easter characters, use colour themes instead.

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