If you live in our favourite Scottish-inspired city, or are lucky enough to be heading this way for a vacay, then we’ve found all the awesome things to do with kids in Dunedin these holidays. Wrap up warm and enjoy the fun!
1. Penguin Place
Visit Penguin Place and learn all about the endangered yellow-eyed penguins.
2. Otago Museum (Pictured above)
The Otago Museum is full of exhibitions, galleries, and displays to explore or, if the kids are more hands-on, then head to the Science Centre section of the museum to explore the Perpetual Guardian Planetarium and the Tuhura Tropical Forest.
3. Larnach Castle
What child doesn’t dream of playing by a castle? Well, here’s a chance to deliver.Larnach Castle’s history dates back to 1871 and the gardens have been rated as a garden of international significance. It is the perfect place to run around and explore during the school holidays.
4. Toitu Otago Settlers Museum
The Toitu Otago Settlers Museum is all about Dunedin and the stories from the earliest settlers to those more recently arrived. The themed galleries weave the stories of past and present with future thinking and interactive displays.
5. Dunedin Botanic Gardens
The Dunedin Botanic Gardens occupies over 30 hectares of land, where there are beautiful flowers and a secret garden to explore. Not to mention the picnic spots for a sunny winter outdoor lunch, an aviary and a playground to burn off a little energy.
6. The Royal Albatross Centre
The Royal Albatross Centre is the only place in the world where Royal Albatross nest and breed on a mainland, and it’s only a short drive from Dunedin. Once you’ve finished checking out the birds, see if you can spot any of the 20 species of wildlife that call Taiaroa Head home. Fort Taiaroa is also a must-see while you’re there – explore the hidden tunnels and discover the disappearing gun.
7. Baldwin Street
Visit the world’s steepest street and see how long it takes you to walk up. It’s only 350 metres … uphill!
8. Moana Pool
Kids never tire of water fun, no matter the weather. Check out Moana Pool where the kids can enjoy the tepid wave pool, rapid river and a toddlers’ play area.
9. Oamaru Penguins
The wildlife in Dunedin is amazing, and particularly all the gorgeous penguins. Take the kids to discover the little Blue Penguins at the Oamaru Penguin colony. A truly Happy Feet moment (but make sure everyone is wrapped up in their ultra-warmest).
10. Bumper Ball
Round up the kids and their friends (literally) and take them to Bumper Ball, where they can strap themselves into a giant inflatable ball and play Bubble soccer, Ballrush and Last One Standing. A lot of laughs and a whole heap of fun!
11. Hare Hill Horse Treks
Head out on a horse trek with Hare Hill Horse Treks. There are various treks for every level of rider, from beginners to more advanced.
12. Gone Potty Ceramic Painting Studio
Channel your inner artist and head to Gone Potty to paint your own ceramics.
13. Dunedin Public Art Gallery
The Dunedin Public Art Gallery has a lot of interesting exhibitions to view. Perfect for an afternoon of relaxing culture, and keep an eye out for their holiday programmes.
14. Leap Indoor Trampoline Park
If the kids are bouncing off the walls (the joy of holidays!), take them to Leap, where they can burn off that energy and bounce on trampolines instead.
15. Hair Raiser Tours
For slightly older kids (ages 8 and up), this is an after-dark tour of the creepier alleyways and shadows of Dunedin. The Hair Raiser Tour will take you places you don’t even know exist, if you dare!
16. Dunedin Ice Stadium
Get your skates on, and head to the Dunedin Ice Stadium for some icy fun. Take a group of kids, because learning to ice-skate is just too hilarious to enjoy alone!
17. Megazone Dunedin
Megazone is literally a kids’ dream day out with laser tag, archery tag, golf, arcade games, a game store and virtual reality.
18. Wildlife Tours
Why not head out on a wildlife tour while you’re in a wildlife mecca like Dunedin! Monarch Wildlife Tours run half-day cruises of the Otago Peninsula where you can learn all about the harbour as you cruise around. Make sure you keep an eye out for New Zealand fur seals, penguins, dolphins and other marine mammals that are regularly spotted.
19. Orokonui Eco Sanctuary
Discover a native New Zealand forest at Orokonui Eco Sanctuary. Some of the world’s most fascinating and rare wildlife lives in the forest, so keep an eye out. There are often awesome holiday programmes on offer, where kids can learn about science, make interesting crafts, and get involved in the Sanctuary wildlife.
20. Wild Earth adventures
If the kids can brave the cold sea air, then head to Wild Earth Adventures for a kayaking adventure, where you check out Otago’s coastal wildlife, or paddle around the beautiful Otago Peninsula. Better suited to older kids, but you could always get a double kayak and become chief paddler for the younger ones.
By Tayla Mitchell
Image: Otago Museum/Holiday programme
More family holiday ideas