Rotorua is being encouraged to celebrate its future and treasures this weekend - our tamariki.
Every year, on the first Sunday in March, there is a national day Te Rā o Ngā Tamariki Children's Day which celebrates the young people in our lives.
This year the Redwoods Children's Day - an afternoon of nature-based stories, art, music and forest adventures - has not been able to take place.
Childrens' arts and community advocate, Jill Walker, is encouraging people to still take the time to celebrate spirit of the national day.
She says Children's Day places an important value on the joy of child-led play and discovery:
"I encourage our whole community to celebrate Children's Day and make all children feel they are special."
"All our local children are part of the community, and as the saying goes, 'it takes a village to raise a child'. Our children are going to be the future of our city. Mō ngā tamariki te take!"
Jill says Children's Day is about children enjoying play, and family having fun adventures together.
Young artists at local schools, including Mamaku School, Kawaha Point Primary School and Glenholme Primary School, have been making colourful bunting artworks in celebration of the day.
This bunting would usually be put up at the Redwoods Children's Day event to show the artwork to the community, but this year it will be hung up at The Arts Village. Mary-Beth Acres, Director at The Arts Village says:
"Children are a hugely important part of our community and I want to awhi the work being done by Jill and her amazing cohort of community partners to contribute to these special celebrations for our community.
The bunting is being hung in the trees outside the green and we encourage the community to come and enjoy this space over the next week with their little people."
If you are looking for some fun ideas for things to do with the tamariki who are special to you, while staying safe at alert level 2, there are many fantastic ways to explore our district.
Rotorua Library, Te Aka Mauri, is open from 10am to 4pm on Sunday. The library is a safe place for families to relax, learn and have fun together.
If you are not a member, Rotorua residents can join for free and then get access to a world of books, games and more. For families who haven't visited recently, the library's scavenger hunt is a great way to explore the building.
During alert level 2 Rotorua Library has social distancing and contact tracing measures in place.
Families can also check out the fantastic new upgrades at the Rotorua Aquatic Centre with the new 50m external pool opening this weekend.
Enjoying some of the fantastic parks, walkways and cycleways, splashing around in one of the 15 beautiful lakes, or heading along to a playground are also options.
While out and about this Children's Day, Rotorua Lakes Council asks families to be sure to play it safe and record their movements, as well as washing or sanitising hands regularly. If feeling unwell, keep activities at home.
And if you want to just stay at home and spend time with the whānau, the national Children's Day website offers a great range of ideas from putting on a family concert to planting a flower in the garden. Check it out here www.childrensday.org.nz
People can share what they get up to on Facebook #ChildrensDayNZ. For more information on what's on around Rotorua go to www.rotoruanui.nz.
Celebrate at home
- Arts and crafts
- Treasure hunt
- Dance party
- Host a movie night
- Backyard camping
Source and Bay of Plenty event information at www.childrensday.org.nz