It is, again, a time of year which has school children on the edge of their seat waiting for the bell to ring - the October school holidays.

And there is no shortage of events to keep children - and their families - busy.

The Rotorua Library has a new programme prepared for the October school holidays with a number of activities on offer.

Tori Williams, Rotorua Library youth and early learning lead (acting), said there were so many fun things to do at the library right throughout the holidays, from crafts and coding, to yoga and Lego.


She said the Lego Mystery Build programmes were always popular, as well as the Mystery STEAM Bag.

"The STEAM bag event starts with reading a well-known fairy-tale. Then kids are given a mystery bag of equipment and asked to solve an engineering problem from the story."

Williams said a new activity these holidays was yoga sessions for children, with two sessions being run focused at different ages with Mel from Yogabuds.

She said the library's holiday programme was a great chance for children to try some new things.

"I am looking forward to seeing what the kids make in E-Textiles, where they sew their own soft toy that lights up."

As well as the event programme, The Great Te Aka Mauri Scavenger Hunt will have children searching the building high and low to crack the code, she said.

For more information on the programme and scavenger hunt visit the Rotorua Library website.

Sport Bay of Plenty is once again encouraging children and their families to get active and enjoy the outdoors during the school holidays.


There is a free Explore Your Backyard fun day being held at Lake Okataina Scenic Reserve on October 10 from 1pm to 4pm.

The day includes ranger guided walks, children's activities like arts and crafts and picnic facilities.

Sport Bay of Plenty's recreation team leader Sonia Lynds said the family fun day was a great opportunity to get active with the family and discover everything the Lake Okataina Scenic Reserve had to offer.

Sport Bay of Plenty is also holding two similar Explore Your Backyard events in other Bay of Plenty areas - TECT All Terrain Park on October 8, 1.30pm, and in Ōhope on October 4, 10am.

For more information visit the Sport Bay of Plenty website.

Families can finish off the school holidays with some thrilling fun by taking part in the Rotorua Youth Centre's 2019 House of Horrors.

This year's House of Horrors is being held from October 10 to 12 with the theme of Madhouse Maze. It is 7pm for ages 8-plus and 9pm for ages 12-plus.

Rotorua Youth Centre YouthHub navigator Joel King-Hazel said the aim was to provide young people with an exciting event that gave them "an absolute thrill".

The Rotorua Youth Centre is transformed into a maze which young people walk through, guided by a safety team member, and they will enter eight different rooms designed to create excitement and fear.

King-Hazel said their aim was to provide a fun space during the school holidays for young people to attend a local event.

"We are simply excited to see young people off the street and taking part in our event. It's an added bonus that we get to jump out and scare the kids!"

There are two options for buying tickets - online at the youth centre's website or see the team at the centre and buy a ticket from there. Tickets cost $15.

The Arts Village is holding its Holiday Arts Academy with a range of crafts on offer.

The Arts Village director Mary-Beth Acres said its holiday arts academy was fun, messy and full of art activities where children could learn something, make something to take home, and meet other creative children.

"Our programme is for kids who love art and being creative - it is always good seeing them come in and learn, but also just have a really good time using their own imagination and creativity to make really cool stuff.

"We are constantly amazed by the talent these young artists have and it is a real joy to see their work."

She said the programme was supported by funding from RECT and it had a great team with Maui supported by volunteer assistants.

"We are excited to host another busy programme."

The Rotorua Mega Fun Carnival is in town at the Lakefront Reserve from September 28 to October 8.

Other October school holiday ideas
Saturday, September 28:
• Envirohub's annual spring clean at Ngongotaha Reemes St Reserve. Meet at the boat ramp between 10am and 12pm.
• Purple Ride - to support people suffering from dementia. 10am to 12pm. Lakefront boardwalk. Free, koha for Dementia Lakes appreciated.
• Art by Bike. 10am. Starting from Te Manawa, corner of Hinemoa and Tutanekai Sts. Free.

Sunday, September 29:
• Shadow Puppet Workshop for Families. 1pm to 4pm. The Arts Village. Free. Booking advised. Contact Jill, (07) 362 0888 or

Saturday, October 5:
• Rotorua Symphonic Band playing a selection of tunes from stage musicals, 4pm, Rotorua Baptist Church, adults $15, children $5 at the door or from
• Te Hiku o Te Ika Māori Rugby Competition. 12pm to 5pm. Rotorua International Stadium. Free.

Sunday, October 6:
• Race at the Lakes - dragon boat racing for local businesses, friends and whanau. Free to watch, participation costs apply.

Saturday, October 12:
• Rotorua Ekiden. From 8.30am. Rotorua Village Green. Free to watch, participation costs apply.