School Holiday Activities

Needing some inspiration for school holiday activities?

We want to get you out and about enjoying all the epic activities this district has to offer.  Tick off all the walks, get up close and personal with our wildlife, blow your minds gazing at the stars - there is SO much to do, get out there and make the most of it!

Please get in touch if there's something we can add to this evolving list.

Holiday programs

October 2019 - we update these programs each school holiday period.
  • Pop-up Art Lab on Sophia Street.  The Aigantighe Art Gallery is bringing art into the city, Tuesday - Friday both weeks,  from 10am - 4pm.
  • Timaru District Library School Holiday Program. Help! Help! Who's about?
  • South Canterbury Museum have HEAPS going on, crafts, exhibitions, a quiz, spacies, explorers club and more!
  • Kids Alive at Geraldine Primary School. Great range of activities including Master Chef!
  • Peel Forest Outdoor Centre are doing raft building, abseiling and other epic outdoorsy activities.
  • The OSCAR Holiday program with YMCA looks amazing.  From crafts, to swimming at CBay, puzzles and lego, movies, visiting our parks and gardens and heaps more.
  • Another fabulous OSCAR holiday program run by SKIDS at Waimataitai takes in awesome activities like building the BIGGEST domino run, dressing up like movie stars, cooking, science and spending the day outdoors unplugged.
  • Sports South Canterbury are running their popular program.  Try your hand at different sports, and other fun activities like crafts, movies and games.
  • Free pop up fun at Caroline Bay!  From 11am - 3pm on October 3, 4, 10 and 11 the YMCA will be running FREE activities such as Bubble Football and Ki-o-Rahi for 11-17 year olds.  Just turn up and get involved!
  • Chimpmunks Timaru have awesome activities planned for their holiday program.  Herb garden building, a trip to Christchurch to Lego World, beach exploring, skating and more.

Get out and about

Rainy day activities

  • Don't climb the walls at home if we have bad weather, here are some options to get you out and about - movies, museums, trampolines and more.

Walk, bike, skate, swim

  • We have fantastic tracks throughout the Timaru District. How many can you try over the school holidays?
  • Spend a day at Peel Forest - Take your pick of shorter bush walks with waterfalls, or climb a mountain and be back in time for lunch!
  • Spend the day at Centennial Park trying out all the tracks, there are MTB tracks for beginners to advanced.  Pack a picnic, cook a bbq.
  • Get swimming!  Caroline Bay might be slightly chilly for the faint hearted, but CBay is under cover and has an epic hydroslide!
  • The South Canterbury Mountain Bike Club are opening their new track - Sidewinder - on September 29.   They invite kids and parents to come along and ride it, there will be fresh coffee available and the local press will be there to document it.
  • Temuka Primary School have put in a new bike track, their aim is to get kids biking and out in the fresh air.  As such, you're free to go for a ride outside of school hours.
  • Make a Big Splash at Caroline Bay Aquatic Centre, Sunday September 29.  Loads of fun and prizes.  Can you make the biggest splash?  Can you make the loudest splash?  Turn up, enter for $2 and find out.  Proceeds to the Mental Health Foundation.
  • Book your kids into the accelerated Learn2Swim programme at CBay.  One 40 minute lesson per day for five days  from Monday 7th to Friday 11th October.
  • Give skating a go with the South Canterbury Roller Sports Club's public sessions. Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, from 2pm - 4pm at the skating rink at Marine Parade, Timaru. Bring socks and a bike helmet. Just $7 including skate hire.


  • Hell Pizza are doing their reading challenge and will be visiting Temuka Library on Thursday October 3.  Read books and get free pizza!
  • Get the kids cooking!  We have amazing food producers throughout Timaru District.  Challenge them to create a complete meal using only produce and products sourced locally.  Start at the farmers market in Timaru or Geraldine, head to Sanford's seafood market or one of our epic butcheries, did someone say Denheath Custard Squares?
  • Make a bird feeder over the holidays out of upcycled or natural materials.  Bring it along to the Sustainability Festival on Saturday 19th of October and be in to win some awesome prizes.

Art lovers

Shows & fairs

  • It's sure to get tickets to this family friendly magic and illusion show, on Friday October 11.
  • The Extravaganza Fair, free entry, something for everyone from circus acts to market stalls.
  • Spring Glory Extravaganza is on October 6 at Timaru Botanic Gardens.  Gold coin donation. organised by Alzheimer's South Canterbury.  Lots of stalls, kids entertainment, live local entertainment.  Dress up in clothing from the 50s and 60s to win 1 of 3 $500 Movie Max prizes.


  • Did you realise there's a practice fairway at Timaru Golf Club? Purchase a bucket of golf balls from the Pro Shop for $5 and away you go.  Open 7 days, 9am - 5pm, club hire also available.
  • Play mini golf at Cafe Mes Amis - you don't have to dine in to play the 18 hole course, but we highly recommend it!
  • There's also mini golf down at Caroline Bay,


  • Street Food Kitchen are holding a two day course, aimed at 10 and 11 year olds - in basic food prep and hygiene, education and cooking! Monday 7th and Tuesday 8th October. They will be under the amazing skills and supervision of Lady Ale Jane Bowen and  SFK Chef Christina! $20 per child, they want SERIOUS JUNIOR FOODIES! This ain’t day care, think Junior Masterchef.    To register send in your child's favourite recipe and a photo of them creating in the kitchen! Tell us why they should be on this course! Spaces are very limited, so get the applications in before Wednesday 25th September! Hand deliver, Facebook messenger or email Mark.
  • Looking for something fun to do these holidays, or have a birthday coming up.  Harlau House have you covered, book your DIY donut decorating station today.  For only $20 per child, you get 1 x donut to decorate,1 x kids meal, 1 x juice.  Minimum of 4 per booking, bookings are essential.  Bookings can be made by Phone 03 683 1887 or email

Driver Training

  • Holden Street Smart is not your traditional defensive driving, classroom lesson or school based environment. We’re a one-day event, offering a practical hands-on learning experience and providing young drivers and their parents/caregivers the opportunity to undertake supervised driving practice. This provides the parent the opportunity to also assess themselves, in order to be a better coach and mentor to their teen.
  • Cost is only $79 per person – Register before 23 September 2019 to be in to win one of two full refunds after the completion of the event!

Holiday deals

  • Did you know that kids dine free on Mondays at Bullock Restaurant and Bar?  One kids meal free with every main meal purchased.
  • Rangitata Rafts are doing an awesome holiday special - Half price for kids aged 13 - 18 years when accompanied by an adult.

We'd love to see your holiday photos!  You can tag us on Instagram #welovetimaru if you are happy for us to share, or email them here and we can post for you.