Get creative at your library these October holidays!

Are you looking for something fun and creative to do with your tamariki during the school holidays? Your local libraries and community centres have you covered from 28 September — 13 October with a wide range of free activities and events to engage, delight and inspire children and their families. From beeswax wraps to creative writing workshops, robotics and technology playgrounds to board games, arts and crafts to cultivating a mysterious alien garden, Wellington City Libraries is open for creativity and exploration these holidays.

For a full schedule, click here or visit your local library to pick up a calendar. We’ve picked out some of our favourite events below to whet your appetite. What new thing will you create, try out, or learn at the library these holidays?

Building BLOOM is like cultivating an alien garden on another planet – what shapes will you create?

BLOOM
Is it a dinosaur, a spaceship, a chandelier, a cloud? Bloom consists of thousands of identical pink pieces that let children and big kids connect, construct and deconstruct 3D installations with no boundaries or rules. Your whānau is welcome to drop in at any time during these sessions, and BLOOM is appropriate for all ages. BLOOM is proudly supported by Capital E.

Monday 7 October, 11am – 4pm at Cummings Park (Ngaio) Library
Tuesday 8 October, 11am – 4pm at Newtown Library

These cute robots will have a crucial role to play as you guide them safely through the Minotaur’s labyrinth.

Minotaurs vs. Mini-Robots
Ancient myths + Robots = awesome time! Come along and decode one of the most fascinating myths of Greek Mythology, the myth of Theseus and the Minotaur. Code Ozobots and navigate them in a dark labyrinth. Can you escape the Minotaur? Let’s find out. Suitable for ages 6+ with their caregivers.

Monday 30 September, 11am – 12pm at Cummings Park (Ngaio) Library
Friday 11 October, 11am – 12pm at Khandallah Library
Saturday 12 October, 11am – 12pm at Karori Library

Have something to say, but not quite sure how to say it? Our creative writing workshops are for you!

Creative writing workshops
Our creative writing workshops come in two flavours these holidays: Spring Scribblers and Storm the Castle! In Spring Scribblers, you’ll immerse yourself in the joy of language as you discover how to bring out your unique voice in writing. Storm the Castle! will guide you through the Hero’s Journey as you go through all the main beats that make up nearly every great book and movie. Suitable for ages 11+ with their caregivers.

Tuesday 1 October, 2 – 3pm at Karori Library (Storm the Castle!)
Thursday 3 October, 12 – 1.30pm at Churton Park Community Centre (Spring Scribblers)
Friday 4 October, 2 – 3.30pm at Johnsonville Library (Spring Scribblers)
Tuesday 8 October, 2 – 3pm at Cummings Park (Ngaio) Library (Storm the Castle!)
Wednesday 9 October, 2 – 3.30pm at Mervyn Kemp (Tawa) Library (Spring Scribblers)

Beyond the Page: a literary festival for tamariki and their whānau

Mark the date: from 6-21 July, public libraries from around the Wellington region are excited to be bringing Beyond the Page – New Zealand’s largest children’s literary festival – to the young people of Wellington and their families. 2019 marks the third year that this multi-disciplinary arts festival will delight, engage and inspire audiences and participants in public libraries and community venues from Ōtaki to Island Bay, and everywhere in between.

Beyond the Page is a collaboration between Wellington City Libraries, Hutt City Libraries, Upper Hutt City Libraries, Kāpiti Coast District Libraries, and Porirua City Libraries. This year’s festival will comprise over 140 events, from author talks, workshops, and live interactive theatre to Lego, puppets, stories, music, dance, robots and more. It aims to reflect the ‘other’ side of libraries – the side that fizzes, that is creative, energetic, entrepreneurial, tech-driven, and adventurous – and it’s all totally free!

You can find the full programme of Beyond the Page events on the festival website or follow us on Facebook, but check out some of the highlights below for a taster of what’s on around the city!

On the 10th of July, experience the wonder of Matariki storytelling as you never have before – while riding on the historic Wellington Cable Car! Take a return trip on the cable car (departure times are 10.00, 10.20, 10.40, or 11.00am) and enjoy beautiful stories and waiata from our wonderful Beyond the Page librarians. Be sure to book your free tickets by getting in touch with the Beyond the Page team. Suitable for children aged 3+ with their caregivers.

Bea Lee-Smith from the Royal New Zealand Ballet will be taking you on a magical journey into the world of Hansel and Gretel. Through music and mime, children will learn simple ballet steps and positions. This interactive telling of an old favourite tale will be a great appetizer for you and your family in advance of the RNZB’s exciting new production of Hansel and Gretel later in the year. Suitable for pre-schoolers and primary school aged children.

Next up we have the amazing New Zealand author Donovan Bixley, who has had over 100 books published around the world. His show will have you laughing with amazement as you dive into a world of letters, words, and fuzzy doodles. Suitable for children aged 5+ with their caregivers.

Next up is the fabulously spellbinding storyteller Tanya Batt. Tanya describes herself as a “green-fingered witch, a word warbler and a story stitcher.” You can join Tanya in one of her imagined worlds as part of this year’s festival, with amazing costumes, live music, and tantalising tales to boot. Suitable for children aged 4+ with their caregivers.

You definitely shouldn’t miss Toro Pikopiko, New Zealand’s most established puppetry theatre company, in their performances of the world’s first Māori rock-art musical for puppets! This incredible show featuring over 80 hand-crafted puppets is bound to inspire and amaze, and is suitable for children of all ages with their caregivers.

There’s something on for everyone during Beyond the Page this July. We can’t wait to see you there!

Join us for literary festival Beyond the Page! 7-22 July

After a successful start in 2017, Beyond the Page is back for the July School Holidays.

Last year over 4,000 people attended events in our region’s libraries and galleries. This year tamariki can once again go on an amazing literary and creative journey during the school holidays at hundreds of events around the region at New Zealand’s largest literary festival for children.

Sir Jon Trimmer will be back with Tales from the Ballet, Wellington’s Kings and Queens will be reading hand-picked stories at Rainbow Storytimes, award-winning Kiwi authors and creators (such as Sasha Cotter and Josh Morgan) will share their enthusiasm and knowledge with the next generation of storytellers, the BARK NZ brigade will be bringing their furry friends along, robots will be unleashed, and so much more – there’s something on for all members of the whānau!

Stay tuned for further information releases over the coming weeks. Follow Beyond the Page on Facebook, and check out the beyondthepage.nz website, for up to date information on events near you.

Matariki events for tamariki and their whānau

Tēnā koutou katoa! Join us in celebrating Matariki at Wellington City Libraries this winter! It’s a time of celebration and reflection, of whānau and of kōrerorero — and a time to cook and eat delicious kai! Whether you want to celebrate with others or just learn more about this wonderful festival, your library has you covered with books, resources and events for the whole family.

Many of our usual preschool storytime and Kōhunga Kōrero sessions this month will be Matariki-themed, but we’re also running special Matariki events with stories, songs and crafts for tamariki and their families at selected libraries:

Cummings Park (Ngaio) Library: Monday 18th June, 6:30pm
Ruth Gotlieb (Kilbirnie) Library: Wednesday 20th June, 4:00pm
Island Bay Community Centre: Thursday 21st June, 10:30am
Karori Library: Thursday 21st June, 6:30pm
Mervyn Kemp (Tawa) Library: Thursday 28th June, 3:30pm
Khandallah Library: Thursday 28th June, 6:30pm
Johnsonville Library: Friday 29th June, 3:30pm

These events are free, suitable for preschool and school-aged children and their families, and bookings are not required.

Chinese New Year storytimes at Central!

Come and celebrate the Year of the Dog with Chinese storytime events at Wellington Central Library! Ni Hao Children’s Community are presenting these special storytime events with Chinese picture books and action songs for pre-schoolers and their families, no previous knowledge of Chinese needed. Children (and adults) can dress up in their favourite costumes and bring along a toy dog to hear songs, stories and rhymes in Chinese. Then check out the Chinese New Year performances, activities, food and fun in Civic Square!

Where: Wellington Central Library

When: Saturday 17th February, 9.30-10am & 3-3.30pm

Rainbow Storytime!

Photo courtesy Upper Hutt City Library

Celebrate our Rainbow Families with a special storytime event at Wellington Central Library as part of Wellington Pride Festival! This special storytime event will be presented by the fabulous Drag Queen LaQuisha St Redfern and friends featuring books from our library collection. These Rainbow Storytime events help to teach children about acceptance with themes of family, love and friendship, being different and belonging, being unique and accepted and are for children, families and anyone who likes a good story!

Where: Wellington Central Library

When: Saturday 3rd March, 2-2.30pm

The 12 Storytimes of Christmas

It’s that time of year where it’s great to escape the hustle and bustle of Christmas fever and find some time to spend with your family. And where better to do that than at Wellington City Libraries, listening to stories and songs for the Christmas and festive season. So bring the kids down for a wonderful evening and get lost in the magical world of stories.

Island Bay Library: 7th December, 10.30am

Mervyn Kemp (Tawa) Library: 7th December, 6.30pm

Brooklyn Library: 11th December, 6.30pm

Karori Library: 14th December, 6.30pm

Wadestown Library: 14th December, 6.30pm

Johnsonville Library: 15th December, 6.30pm

Newtown Library: 15th December, 6.30pm

Central Library: 16th December, 2pm

Miramar Library: 18th December, 6.30pm

CPK Ngaio Library: 18th December, 6.30pm

Ruth Gotlieb Kilbirnie Library: 21st December, 6.30pm

Khandallah Library: 21st December, 6.30pm

Mahi Moa has landed at Wellington City Libraries!

Wondering how a Moa could land in a library? Welcome to the world of augmented reality!

Wellington City Libraries and Kāpiti Libraries have partnered with local tech startup ScimitAR who have developed a fun, interactive Augmented Reality ScavengAR Hunt for kids.

It will take place in the second week of the October school holidays at libraries in Wellington and on the Kāpiti Coast.

Being able to give kids the opportunity to be part of the new technological world we live in is an important part of what we like to offer in libraries today, and the ScavengAR Hunt will also allow kids to explore our non-fiction area of the children’s collection.

Augmented Reality layers a computer generated image on top of the real world environment – in this case, a range of interactive activities which come to life around you. All you need is an Android device to join in the ScavengAR Hunt. Haven’t got one? We will provide devices that can be used so no one will miss out on the fun!

So, bring the kids/grandkids down to the libraries, look for the “Kia Ora” sign, ask a librarian for the instructions and away you go into another realm! And just in case you were wondering about Mahi the Moa…. you’ll just have to start hunting (in the nicest possible way!)

Where: Wellington City and Kāpiti Libraries

When: 9th to 14th October

Time: During library opening hours

Feel Brave book event: Little Stories about Big Feelings

It’s hard to be brave sometimes as a child, and often as adults we forget what the world is like for children – shadows in the corners of rooms, strange noises, bullying at school, not being invited to a birthday party, no one to play with and the death of a grandparent are often part of their world. How do we help children as they confront these situations while growing up?

UK based NZ author Avril McDonald has come up with a wonderful series of books that follow the adventures of Wolfgang the wolf as he encounters these emotional situations. The Feel Brave book series is designed to help children understand their feelings and give them strategies and techniques they can use when feeling upset or anxious.

Avril McDonald, a former primary school teacher, is currently in New Zealand and has been touring schools with her books reading the stories and doing Feel Brave Wellbeing Workshops with the children. Discover the Feel Brave series for yourself when Avril comes to Wellington Central Library on Saturday the 26th of August. The Feel Brave books are officially for 4 – 7 year olds but all ages enjoy them. So come along and bring the children to this special Feel Brave event.

Where: Wellington Central Library
When: Saturday 26th of August, 10.30 – 11.30am

This Monday, special pre-school storytimes and kids’ press conference!

All systems are go, down at Central Library on Monday the 14th of August as the New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults kicks off with a day full of exciting events. These unique awards celebrate the wonderful writers and illustrators from Aotearoa who give us so many great books to read and help to shape our identity as a country.

The day starts with three fantastic storytime sessions featuring finalists from the Book Awards so come along to hear the stories being read by their very own authors and illustrators.

9.30am-11am: Storytime sessions 

9.30am: “My Grandpa is a Dinosaur” read by Richard Fairgray and “The Day the Costumes Stuck” read by Toby Morris. Both of these books are very funny and destined to become family favourites. What would you do if your Grandpa’s pants needed tail holes? Imagine if you couldn’t get your party costume off and your parents didn’t even notice!

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