Keep the kids entertained: Top things to do with kids in Wellington.

Utours Minigolf Wellington Tour

So – you’ve landed in Wellington for a few days with the kids in tow. How do you find out the top things to do with kids in Wellington? Read on…. That’s what you do.

Within walking distance or a short drive or bus ride from the city centre

If you are in Wellington without your own transport, many of the top things to do with kids are within walking distance or a short bus ride of the centre of the city.

Take a ride on Wellington’s iconic cable car

Nothing says Wellington quite as much as a ride on the Cable Car. This 5-minute ride will take you from Lambton Quay in the central city up to the top of the Botanic Gardens to some of the best views of the city.

From the top you can explore the Botanic Gardens or the Cable Car Museum, visit Space Place, catch the free bus to Zealandia or grab some lunch at the Cable Top Eatery. A ride on the Cable Car is included in your fun day with uTours and is high on our list of top things to do with kids in Wellington.

Did you know? The Cable Car uses regenerative breaking which generates electricity that is exported to the local grid.

Return tickets are $11.00 for adults and $5.50 for children with discounts for families.

Hang out with the animals at the world’s first CarboNZero certified zoo.

There’s 13 hectares of ground to cover at the Wellington Zoo in Newtown and plenty to experience while you are there. There are over 500 animals on site, so there is always something going on. That makes it a great place to burn off some of that energy.

Play hard at the three playgrounds dotted around the zoo, or climb the safari truck, motorbike and tuktuk.

Watch the vets look after sick or injured native wildlife, or give regular health checks to the zoo animals at The Nest Te Kōhanga.

Listen to one of the many animal talks that happen around the zoo from 10.00-11.45 am and 12.45- 3.30 pm each day.

If you are heading to the zoo from town, take the number 23 bus which stops outside.

Did you know? The Wellington Zoo is part of several global species conservation projects, including the WildCats Conservation Alliance, Cheetah Outreach, Free the Bears and the save the Tasmanian Devil Programme. For more information, visit the zoo’s website.

Have some hands-on fun at Te Papa

Te Papa Tongarewa, the Museum of New Zealand should be high on every Wellington visitor’s to-do-list, with or without kids. Kids can learn about New Zealand’s culture, history and natural environment in Te Papa’s interactive exhibitions. Become a tiny tuna (eel) swimming upstream- desperately trying to make it to adulthood, experience an earthquake, smell a kiwi or climb inside a model of a whale’s heart.

To cover everything, this is one place that you might have to visit more than once.

Entry is free but charges may apply to some short-term exhibitions and events and a koha (donation) is always appreciated.

There are two cafes in the museum, so you can keep everyone fuelled for your fun day (very important for avoiding melt-downs).

Did you know? Te Papa has a range of guided tours that run most days. These include Te Papa highlights, Mana Māori and accessibility tours. Some of these are available as private tours.

Guided tour prices start from $22.00 for an adult.

Get creative at Capital E

If you have pre-school children, Capital E ‘s PlayHQ on Wellington’s Queen’s Wharf is an interactive play space for children under five years of age. Regularly updated play installations encourage creativity and participation for children and their caregivers. During school terms your children can join in activities like movement, music, science, and storytelling each weekday at 11.00 am.

Captial E is all about inspiring the next generation of creatives, explorers, scientists and do-ers.

Trust us, your toddler will be exhausted after spending some time here.

Entry is free, but a koha (donation) is appreciated.

Experience the artistry and craftsmanship of Wētā Workshop

For any movie buff, a visit to Wētā Workshop is a bucket list achievement. This is where imaginary worlds are brought to life through props, costumes and creatures.

The artists at Wētā Workshop have crafted incredible artifacts for many well-known movies including Avatar, King Kong, Lord of the Rings & The Hobbit series. Any young movie-buffs will love the Wētā workshop, so it is a no-brainer to have it on this list of top things to do in Wellington with kids.

The artists here work tirelessly on every detail – from design sketches to finished products. Each element has its own story, narrated through layers of craftsmanship and creativity.

A visit to Weta Cave to check out the mini-Museum, get instagrammed with an ogre and check out the merchandise is a great starting point for any Wellington visitor.

If your kids are serious Lord of the Rings fans, or just really into movie creation, it is worth checking out the behind-the-scenes tours and experiences. This place is busy during the school holidays, so book early!

Take a ride along the waterfront

You can hire a bike (or two, or three) from Switched On Bikes located on the Wellington Waterfront. There are lots of options for families including e-bikes, cargo bikes, tandems and bikes for those with slightly shorter legs!

You can take a bike out for an hour, half day, full day or longer with prices ranging from $35.00 for a one-hour hire (standard bike) and $85.00 for an e-bike for a full day.

Did you know? Switched On Bikes also offers guided tours.

Cruising across the harbour on the East by West Ferry

You haven’t really experienced Wellington until you have seen it from the harbour. You can start off at Queen’s Wharf and take the ferry across the harbour to Days Bay, where you can spend the day on the beach, hire bikes to cycle out to the peninsula, and explore the local cafes and galleries.

Or for something a bit more energetic, you can also take the ferry to Mātiu / Sommes Island. This is the biggest of the three islands in the harbour and is a preditor-free scientific and historic reserve. It is owned by the local iwi – Taranaki Whānui and is managed by the Department of Conservation.

There are several well-maintained walking tracks around the island which give you 360-degree views. Find the World War Two gun emplacements, historic quarantine buildings and the lighthouse – plenty to keep the kids entertained.

Know before you go

If you want to really explore the island, it is best to allow 2- 3 hours.

The visitor centre is open from 8.30 am – 5.00 pm each day and there are toilets behind the visitor centre.

There are no food outlets on the island, so take your own food and water – and don’t forget your sunscreen and a hat!

Did you know? In 2022 East by West launched the Southern Hemisphere’s first electric ferry, the Ika Rere.

Experience the World’s craziest mini-golf

Just a short drive from the city centre is Carlucci Land Mini Golf. Carlucci Land is really an art installation disguised as a mini golf course. Everything is made on-site from recycled materials and each hole is challenging and fun.

The course is set in a recycled metal sculpture park –see if you can find the tiny kiwis and watch out for the giant spiders!


Adult $15.00, Seniors (65 years +) $12.00, Students $12.00.

Children (5 to 15 years) $10.00 and under 5s are $5.00.

Top things to do with kids in the Wellington region that are just a little bit further out of town.

Feed the eels at Battle Hill Farm Forest Park

Battle Hill Farm is a working farm with over 500 hectares of rolling paddocks, native bush and forestry and even an indoor riding arena for Riding with the Disabled.

You can visit for the day, or camp beside the stream (fees apply). You may get to see lambs during spring and can take a look into the woolshed to see where sheep are shorn.

But our favourite thing to do at Battle Hill Farm is feeding the eels. – Be sure to take some small pieces of meat and keep little fingers and toes away from the water’s edge – the eels bite!

How to get there – Take State Highway One out of town. Turn off at the Pāuatahanui exit (Highway 58). At the second round-about take Paekākāriki Hill Road and drive through the Pāuatahanui village. Battle Hill is about 6 minutes from the village on the right. A visit to Battle Hill farm is often part of a Wellington and Beyond tour with uTours.

Visit the epic Avalon Park

As neighbourhood playgrounds go, this one is a must-do for visitors and locals alike. With everything from water play, climbing walls and a double flying fox, to more traditional swings and climbing equipment.

The park has multiple picnic areas, a kids cycle circuit, mini golf and a miniature railway (operates on limited days, charges apply).

The park is beside the Hutt River Trail for more walking and biking (if the kids aren’t already exhausted).


There are so many things to do with kids in Wellington that make our top list, from spending the day at the iconic Te Papa Museum to mini golf among the sculptures at Carlucci Land. Whether your kids are full-on go-getters, or enjoy a gentler pace, Wellington has so many things for them to do. Can’t decide? – take a tour with uTours, we can help you make the most of your time in Wellington while making sure there’s plenty to keep the kids interested (and fed).