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Top Ten Things To Do during the holidays Are you staying in Wellington during this mid-trimester break and not sure how to spend your time? Then don’t despair! Here is our Top Ten of Things To Do so you won’t get bored or descend into wintry gloom! Try some of these out and let us know how it went .

1. VOLUNTEER Want to spend your free time in a meaningful way and connect with the Wellington community at the same time? Then voluntary work is one of the best options! Volunteering not only provides people with confidence, skills and motivation, but it turns them into positive and creative contributors of society. What more could you wish for ? Ask Inge for a Volunteer Wellington registration form or contact the organisation directly to discuss the available volunteer options: Level 3, Community House, 84 Willis Street - 499 4570 - admin@volunteerwellington.org.nz.

2. BROWSE → Friday 24 June, 7-9:30pm: Midwinter Shopping Soiree Come in from the cold and warm up whilst you mingle amongst some of Wellingtons premier craftspeople. A wide selection of art, crafts, food and fashion will be showcased alongside winter pampering treatments. Get some hot tips for this season from a talented hairdressing and beauty team and have a session with top freelance makeup artists from Core Makeup. This is a perfect way to celebrate a midwinter's evening in Wellington! Tickets: $10 (includes a drink on arrival and a goodie bag). Location: Cardinal McKeefry School, corner of Wilton & Abermarle Road, Wilton. → Sat 25 June, 8:30am-12:30pm: Midwinter Art & Craft Market Chase away the midwinter blues this Saturday as the Hill Street Farmers' Market will be celebrating Matariki and the shortest day with special stalls. All the usual fresh food shopping stalls will be on offer, plus a range of art and craft stalls for fabulous gifts. You’ll also be able to carve yourself a pumpkin jack o’ lantern to light up the winter evenings and enjoy the warm community atmosphere at this festive midwinter market. Free entry. Location: Cathedral of St. Paul car park, Hill Street.

→ Sat 25 June, 10am-4pm: ArtThorn Market This new vintage, arts and craft market is held in Thistle hall on the last Saturday of every month and features local musicians and performance artists. Stalls offer original

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artworks and prints, handmade journals, jewellery, vintage clothing, home wares, plants, and plenty of random treasures. In addition there will be a dress up box for small and big kids alike, retro board games to play, portrait artists, and more surprises! Free entry. Location: Thistle Hall (above the gallery), 293 Cuba Street. → Sat 2 & Sun 3 July, 10am-6pm: Red to the Black Christchurch Retail Expo Hands Up Wellington has organised 70 amazing Christchurch businesses to come to Wellington to set up shop at the TSB Bank Arena. From boutiques to breweries to live entertainment, there will be something for everyone to enjoy. For more information see www.handsupwellington.co.nz . Tickets: $5. Location: TSB Bank Arena, Queens Wharf. → Sat 9 July, 9:30am – 12:30pm: Made in Petone The beautiful historic Sacred Heart Parish Hall will open its doors for this annual art and craft market, where popular artists and crafters will be showcasing their work. Food, hot drinks, a wonderful raffle, and cool activities for the kids will make this a heart warming event. Free entry. Location: Sacred Heart School, 33 Britannia St, Petone NOTE: Other options for browsing are the many second hand shops around Wellington, where you can pick up pre-loved clothes, books, furniture and other items at bargain prices. Head to Cuba Street, Karori and Petone for the best selection.

3. EXPLORE The Wellington region has lots more to offer than the CBD and inner-city suburbs, so use your holiday time to explore some of the areas you haven’t seen yet. A great way to do this is by hopping on a train and heading to Lower & Upper Hutt, to the towns along the Kapiti Coast or to the Wairarapa region with its picturesque villages. → A Day Rover ticket ($13) is available for all-day train travel (during off peak times, after 9.00am weekdays, all day on weekends and Public Holidays) on the services between Wellington, Waikanae, Upper Hutt and Johnsonville. A Group Rover costs only $35 for 4 people so get your friends along for a wonderful daytrip!

→ A Wairarapa Day Excursion Ticket ($18) gets you a same-day return fare for travel between Wellington and the Wairarapa (Featherston, Carterton, Masterton, etc). Wairarapa Group Excursion tickets cost $50 for up to four people – another great bargain!

For more info, check the TranzMetro website: http://www.tranzmetro.co.nz/Fares.aspx

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4. TASTE → Cheap eats: many Wellington restaurants have bargain lunch & dinner deals on offer here are some of our favorites for you to try out:      

Chow (45 Tory Street): 2 for 1 weekday meals between 12 and 4pm The Library (53 Courtenay Pl): 2 for 1 desserts on Tuesday nights Caffe Italiano (229 Cuba St): 2 for 1 pasta on Mon/Tue and 2 for 1 pizza on Wed. Scopa (141 Cuba St): $10 weekday lunch special Heaven (247 Cuba St): $8 pizza Wednesday student nights Mediterranean Food Warehouse (87 Upland Rd, Kelburn): 25% off for students

For more amazing discount deals, sign up for daily coupons at GrabOne: http://www.grabone.co.nz/wellington → To Sun 3 July: Sri Lankan Food Festival The Sri Lankan Food Festival at Whitby’s Restaurant is one of six International Food Festivals taking place over the course of the year. Feast on delicious, spicy flavours at the $32 Sri Lankan lunch buffet and beat the winter chill! Location: Whitby's Restaurant & Bar, level 17 of James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor, 147 The Terrace. 499 9500 E-mail: whitbys@jamescookhotel.co.nz

5. MOVE Use your muscles to increase your body temperature and get your blood pumping. Exercise has been proven to cheer people up and get rid of winter blues so no reason not to try it! → Pencarrow Lighthouse: rent a bike at Days Bay Boatshed and explore the stunning, rugged coastline leading up to the historical Pencarrow Lighthouse. Once you finish this 18 km return trip, you’ll really appreciate the many lovely cafes on offer in Days Bay and Eastbourne! Price: $35 for half-day bike rental. Location: Marine Parade, Days Bay, Lower Hutt. Take the ferry or bus #81 or #83 to Eastbourne.

→ H²O Xtream: if you’re looking to burn some energy then this indoor aquatic centre in Upper Hutt will deliver! With three massive slides, a river ride, a huge range of inflatables and a wave pool it’ll ensure an action-packed day out. Price: from $5.10. Location: Corner of Brown & Blenheim Streets, Upper Hutt (5 min walk from Upper Hutt train station). Info: http://www.upperhuttcity.com/page/962/AboutH2O.boss

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→ Adrenalin Forest: Get your blood pumping at Adrenalin Forest’s multi-level aerial obstacle course; a series of rope bridges, Tarzan swings and flying foxes from platforms constructed in the tree canopy. This is a great confidence builder and adrenalin rush: how far are you prepared to go? What are your limits? When was the last time you felt truly challenged? Tickets: $38 Location: Okowai Road, Porirua. Info: http://www.adrenalin-forest.co.nz/

→ Horse riding in the Ohariu Valley: Escape the city and enjoy memorable horseback adventures in Ohariu Valley, a rural area of rolling hill farms and horse-riding stables 17 kilometres NW of Wellington (close to Johnsonville). Beginners are welcome! Horse treks operate weekends, all year round, and vary in duration from 1 to 3.5 hours. Price: from $45. Location: Country Club Riding Academy, 517 Ohariu Valley Road, Johnsonville. Phone bookings essential: 04 478 8472. Info: http://www.horsetrekking.co.nz/

6. WATCH Nothing beats watching a good film on a cold, rainy winter’s day. Luckily Wellington is blessed with a wide variety of movie theatres, many located in cosy settings away from the city centre. So skip the blockbusters at Reading Cinema and The Embassy, and instead go see a film in one of these neighbourhood gems:      

The Paramount (Courtenay Place): http://www.paramount.co.nz/ Penthouse Cinema (Brooklyn): http://www.penthousecinema.co.nz NEW - Roxy Cinema (Miramar): http://www.roxycinema.co.nz/ Empire Cinema (Island Bay): http://www.empirecinema.co.nz/ Lighthouse Cinema (Petone): http://www.lighthousepetone.co.nz/ Lighthouse Cinema (Pauatahanui): http://www.lighthousepauatahanui.co.nz/

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7. INDULGE When the winter chill gets too much for you it might be time to treat yourself to a special delight, such as afternoon High Tea, delicious hot chocolate or other sugary desserts: → Get the girls together and enjoy an afternoon of sweet treats and fine tea at one the many fancy High Teas on offer. Our favourites are: Martha's Pantry (276 Cuba St), Finc (122 Wakefield St), Hippopotamus at the Museum Hotel (90 Cable St) and Mojo Kumutoto (33 Customhouse Quay).

→ Indulge in rich dessert fondues at Beach Babylon (232 Oriental Parade)- the combination of warm chocolate and fresh fruit won’t disappoint. → The chilli hot chocolates from Ciocco (11 Tory St or 149 Willis St) or traditional Italian ones from Scopa (141 Cuba St) will surely raise your sugar levels and mood .

8. LEARN Yes, you’re on a break from study but that doesn’t mean you can’t pick up some nonacademic knowledge during your holidays, right? Our capital is blessed with more than its fair share of galleries and museums and to top it off, most of them are free! Wellington City:          

Te Papa: http://www.tepapa.govt.nz City Gallery: http://citygallery.org.nz/ Parliament Buildings: http://www.parliament.nz Museum of Wellington: http://www.museumofwellington.co.nz/ Cable Car Museum: http://www.cablecarmuseum.co.nz/ Colonial Cottage Museum: http://www.colonialcottagemuseum.co.nz/ Old St Paul’s: http://www.historicplaces.org.nz/placesToVisit/lowerNorthIsland/oldStPauls.aspx Archives New Zealand: http://archives.govt.nz/ New Zealand Portrait Gallery: http://www.portraitgallery.nzl.org/ Katherine Mansfield Birthplace: http://www.katherinemansfield.com/

Lower Hutt and Porirua:   

Dowse Art Museum (Lower Hutt): http://www.newdowse.org.nz/ Petone Settlers Museum: http://www.newdowse.org.nz/psm/ PATAKA (Porirua): http://www.pataka.org.nz/

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9. PLAN The months of July and August have many exciting events in store for Wellington. To avoid missing out on your favourites, it’s recommend to check the festival and event programmes ahead of time to find out how to buy tickets. 

NZ International Film Festival, 29 July – 14 August: http://www.nzff.co.nz/wellington

Tri Nations Rugby - All Blacks vs South Africa, Sat 30 July: http://premier.ticketek.co.nz/shows/show.aspx?sh=ALLBLACK11

Wellington on a Plate Festival, 5-21 August: http://www.wellingtononaplate.com/

NZ Chocolate Festival, 12-14 August: http://www.chocolatefestival.co.nz/

10. NEST

If you’re on a tight budget or you simply feel like staying at home, then there are still plenty of activities you and your friends can entertain yourselves with:

     

Board games – ask the BEd(TESOL) support team for suggestions Start a book club Organise sing a long film evenings – they’re hilarious and LOTS of fun! Have cooking competitions to see who’s the best baker, soup maker, Kiwi Chef, … Invite your friends/ housemates to a themed dress-up party Etc. (whatever you can come up with!)

ENJOY YOUR MID-TRIMESTER BREAK!

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Top Ten Things To Do during the holidays  

List of activities you can do in Wellington during the mid-trimester break

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