This year's Rotorua Children's Weekend is shaping up to be the biggest yet with two days of free events planned to celebrate national Children's Day.

The event, hosted by Rotorua Lakes Council and various organisations, begins tomorrow with a range of activities taking place around central Rotorua between 10am and 3pm.

Children of all ages can experience diverse cultures from around the world and be in to win prizes by collecting stamps for their Children's Weekend "passports".

The passports can be picked up from several venues and can be used to collect stamps from each activity.


Families with more than three stamps in their passport will go into a draw to win a prize pool valued at more than $3000, including passes and vouchers for a range of Rotorua attractions.

The fun continues on Sunday with the Redwoods Children's Day from 1.30pm to 4.30pm.

This event focuses on nature-based activities such as forest games, storytelling, log dig, bucket fun, soundscapes, clay, paint, Taiko drumming, hut building, gymnastics, and young artists alfresco art exhibition.

The Travelling Tuataras will also bring their own special brand of magic to the forest with interactive stories and songs.

Last year more than 3500 people attended the weekend of celebrations which in turn has attracted several new organisations to this year's event.

BayTrust Rescue Helicopter base manager Ben Fry saw the event as a great opportunity to combine with the annual Rescue Helicopter Open Day.

"We are looking forward to being part of this event. As well as the helicopter we will have a range of other emergency services on show and heaps of fun activities for all the family."

Saturday events


- Celebrate Peru! Create a Peruvian crown to wear for the day and listen to traditional South American music. Have fun in the photo booth with a wide range of props. Held inside the Arts Village.

- Celebrate the Philippines! Have fun participating in traditional Filipino games and Filipino dancing. Held outside the Arts Village.

- Celebrate Native America! Make a cool teepee to take home and enjoy Native American music. Held at the Children's Art House.

- Celebrate France! Learn fun French games including Escargot (Snail Hop-Scotch), Jeu de Puame (Palm Tennis) and Bilboquet (Cup and Ball). Held at the Te Runanga Tea House.

- Celebrate England! Have some supercalifragilistic fun with the team from Mary Poppins The Broadway Musical and take part in a cool colouring activity. Held at the Band Rotunda.

- Celebrate Aotearoa! Learn the Maori art of weaving and make something to wear. Held at Te Aka Mauri Rotorua Library (2nd Floor).

– Celebrate our Emergency Services! Learn more about our fantastic local rescue helicopter and have a go at some fun activities. Held at the Village Green.

- Celebrate Summer! Have lots of fun with water activities available for all the family. Free child entry (10am to 6pm) with a paying guardian or adult entry. Held at the Rotorua Aquatic Centre.