The celebration of Rotorua's children next weekend is set to be a family affair with two days of fun and free events in store.
This year's Rotorua Children's Weekend to celebrate national Children's Day begins next Saturdaywith a range of activities around central Rotorua between 10am and 3pm.
The event is hosted by Rotorua Lakes Council together with various organisations and community groups.
The council's arts and culture project manager Mandy Godo said children of all ages could experience diverse cultures from around the world and be in to win prizes by collecting stamps for their Children's Weekend 'passports'.
Passports can be picked up from several venues on the day and stamps will be received a for every activity participated in.
Families with more than three stamps will go in a draw to win a prize package valued at more than $3000, including passes and vouchers, alongside art and gift packs.
The fun will continue on Sunday from 1.30pm to 4.30pm at the Redwoods Children's Day in the Redwood Forest.
It will include nature-based activities such as forest games, storytelling, log dig, bucket fun, soundscapes, clay, paint, Taiko drumming, hut building, gymnastics, pony rides, young artists' alfresco art exhibition and the opportunity to be on the stage.
Jill Walker from Travelling Tuataras said the event allowed children to explore, play, make and discover together.
She said people who would bring their own special brand of magic to the forest included Rotorua RACCO Taiko Drummers, Rotorua Music School Ukulele group, the Travelling Tuataras and local author Tom E Moffatt.
"One of the greatest joys of being in the forest is what it offers as a resource for nature and creative play ... "
Rotorua Kiwi Conservation Club co-ordinator Judy Gardner said the club was involved with the day's log dig, where children could dig around logs looking for huhu grubs and anything else.
"Children's eyes light up at the most unexpected things. It's always great to spark that enthusiasm in them, and it might even inspire to become scientists or conservationists."
Both days of events will be on rain or shine. For more information go to rotorualakescouncil.nz/childrensweekend.
Children Around the World venues (Saturday, March 2)
- Rotorua Multicultural Council – Celebrate Polynesia. Make Pacific bead bracelets, get your face painted and learn some Cook Island drumming. Location: Te Rūnanga Tea House, Government Gardens.
- Local Indian Community – Celebrate India. Learn Bhangra dancing, turban tying and saree draping. Location: Bowling Club, Government Gardens.
- Rotorua Museum – Celebrate Mexico. Make Mexican paper dolls or wrestling masks while listening to traditional music. Location: The Arts Village.
- Safe and Sustainable Journeys – Celebrate the Netherlands. Have a go in the peek-a-boo photo booth and add to the large colouring picture of windmills, tulips, and bicycles in a Dutch landscape. Location: Jean Batten Square, Haupapa St.
- Rotorua Library – Celebrate Aotearoa. Learn how to make fantail headbands to wear. Location: Ground Floor, Rotorua Library, Te Aka Mauri.
- Rotorua Japanese Community – Celebrate Japan. Make origami and get your name written in Japanese calligraphy. Location: Children's Art House, Government Gardens.
- Rotorua Aquatic Centre – Celebrate France. Make your own French bilboquet (cup and ball game) and enjoy land inflatables. Gather three or more stamps on the passports during the day and children get to swim for free. Location: Rotorua Aquatic Centre, Tarewa Rd.