13 of the BEST things to do in Wellington with Kids

13 of the BEST things to do in Wellington with Kids

Frank Kitts Playground Wellington | Auckland for Kids
Frank Kitts Park in Wellington | Photo by Auckland for Kids

There are lots of fun things to see and do in New Zealand’s capital city for families with children. A weekend in Wellington will give you enough time discover these and wanting to come back again.

1. Visit Te Papa Museum

Wellington’s museum Te Papa  will entertain the kids and adults and it is free to get in. Te  Papa has fun family-friendly activities and exhibtions.  Te Papa’s new art gallery Toi Art was officially opened by Prime Minister Jacinda Arden in March 2018. As well as art exhibitions it offers hand-on art activities for children and interactive experiences like a virtual reality visit to an artist’s studio.  Te Papa is building an exciting new nature and environment zone, which will open in early 2019.

There are lots of fun things to see and do in New Zealand’s capital city for families with children. A weekend in Wellington will give you enough time discover these and wanting to come back again.

2. Check out Weta Workshop

See the props, gadgets and movie magic at Weta Workshop Studio Tours. If you are visiting in the school holidays they have school holiday workshops for the kids too.

Picture: Image via WellingtonNZ.com
Image via WellingtonNZ.com – Gandalf at Weta Cave

3. Take in the views at the top of Mount Victoria

Head up by car to the top of Mt Victoria for stunning 360 degree views of Wellington. If you time it right watching the sunset can be spectacular. Get a panoramic view of city and harbour, and a great photo opportunity at the Mount Victoria Lookout. Watch the ferries sailing in through the harbour and aircraft taking off from Wellington Airport. You can drive all the way up, or walk through the bush covered town belt. Grab some fish and chips and sit on the grass as the sun goes down and the lights come up.

Mount Victoria Wellington


4. Catch a cable car

The Cable Car is a Wellington icon. It runs from Lambton Quay up to Kelburn, and at the top there is the Space Place at Carter Observatory and the beautiful Botanic Gardens.


Image via WellingtonNZ.com – Cable car lookout to Wellington City

5. Explore Zealandia sanctuary

Head out to Zelandia the world’s first fully fenced urban ecosancturay in Karori (which is a 10-minute drive from the city centre). Zealandia’s extraordinary 500 year vision is to restore 225 hectares of the valley’s forest and freshwater ecosystems as closely as possible to their pre-human state. You can even book a kids night walking tour to go kiwi spotting.


Image: Zealandia Reservoir Tower by Jeff McEwan, Capture Studios.

6. Have lunch at Maranui Cafe and play at the playground in Lyall Bay

The Maranui Cafe at the Maranui Surf Life Saving Club is a fun place for lunch.  Plus there is a fun playground on the beach.

Wellington Lyall Bay

Playground at Lyall Bay with Maranui Surf Life Saving Club & Maranui Cafe in the Background | Photo: Auckland for Kids

7. Visit the Space Place at the Carter Observatory

Space Place shares the stories of the southern skies through multimedia exhibits, interactive galleries and exhibits. See the historic Thomas Cooke telescope and watch a show in the full-dome planetarium.

8. Stroll along the waterfront and stop off at Frank Kitts Park, Waitangi Park and Oriental Bay Park for a play.

Start at Frank Kitts Park with the light house slide and art sculptures. If you are there on a Saturday you will find a market on too.  Further down the waterfront  you will come accross a skate park at Waitangi Park. If you keep walking you will get to Oriental Bay Park.  In summer the kids can swim at Oriental Bay if you bring their togs too.

Wellington waterfront

Image: Auckland for Kids


9. Check out Wellington Museum

Wellington Museum is a another free museum which is great for kids that shares the stories of the Wellington region in a heritage 1892 building.   Kids will enjoy pretend playing in the Wellington store fronts in the late 1800s, playing in the rowboat while watching the ship wreck movie. Don’t miss The Attic where the steampunk-styled exhibit space has lions and flying saucers.  Wellington Museum shares the fascinating stories of the Wellington region. All housed within the beautiful 1892 heritage building designed by leading architect Frederick de Jersey Clere.

10. Visit Island Bay Education Centre in Taputeranga Marine Reserve

Visit Island Bay Education Centre in the middle of Taputeranga Marine Reserve on the shores of the Cook Straight.  It feels like a million miles away from Wellington, but its only 6km from the city centre. Kids will learn about New Zealand’s marine environments with the touch ponds, octopus and more.  The centre is only open on Sundays.

11. Explore Cuba Street

Explore Cuba Street’s colourful shops and cafes.. Take a photo with Wellington’s famous bucket fountain. Keep a look out for the street entertainers too. 

12. Take in a movie at the Embassy Cinema

Take in a movie at Wellington’s beloved The Embassy Cinema.


Image via WellingtonNZ.com

13. Catch a ferry to Eastbourne for the day

Take the ferry from downtown Wellington to Eastbourne. Discover the colourful cafes and art galleries, and take in the coastal views from the iconic Pencarrow lighthouses.


Reader Interactions


  1. Just looking for fun activities in Wellington for children aged eight.
    Wish you could make Zealandia cheaper for children who live in Wellington. Too much attention paid to tourists and gaining money and not enough to local residents.

    • Hi Catherine,

      We appreciate your feedback on this, but we don’t have any influence over Zealandia’s pricing. Perhaps you could contact your local board, or Zealandia directly to think them know what local residents think. Auckland for Kids is primarily for Auckland families and visitors to Auckland and as such this article is written for people visiting Wellington rather than families living in Wellington. If you are ever up in Auckland, have a look at our site as their are lots of fun activities for children aged eight, including lots of free ones.

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