One of the many great things about living in Manawatū is the family friendly easy living, and during the Christmas period there is no better time to take advantage of this with the low cost and no cost festive activities on offer.


Visit Santa

From now until 24 December Santa is in The Plaza, and every child who visits will received a free book by beloved Kiwi author Margaret Mahy (one per child, while stocks last). Optional photos can also be purchased for a festive memento.

From now until 24 December

Find out more.

Santa Clause and presents

Santa at The Plaza

Christmas Lights Spectacular 2018

Go for a walk or hop in the car and check out the lights in your neighborhood, another Manawatū Christmas time institution, with dozens of sites to visit spanning the city, region and beyond.

Check out Professionals – Christmas Lights Spectacular viewing map below.

Christmas Lights Spectacular

Santa’s Workshop

Starting Saturday 15 December and running through to Saturday 22 December be sure to visit Santa’s Workshop in Downtown and make garlands, tree decorations, crackers, cookies and more.

Saturday 15 December –  Saturday 22 December 11am – 3pm daily

Find out more.

Santa's Workshop Palmerston North

Santa’s Workshop, Downtown

Christmas ROCKS!

Palmy Rocks! Rongotea Rocks! Ashhurst Rocks! Halcombe Rocks! Feilding Rocks! Manawatū really rocks.

Even after two years plus, the painted rock phenomena lives on, and within Manawatū there are well over 10,000 people painting and hiding rocks in our magnificent parks, playgrounds and walkways. Time spent outdoors in Manawatū is always ace, and with many people hiding Christmas rocks, finding one during your visit to your local park, or during a stroll, would be a cool bonus.

Location: Your local park, playground, or walkway in Manawatū (and beyond) 

Check out the Palmy Rocks Facebook group.

Christmas Palmy Rocks

Palmy Rocks, credit Palmy Dirty Thirty

Christmas Movie in the Park

Bring a blanket and popcorn and chill out with the kids with the Kelvin Grove Community Association screening of Christmas movie favourite Home Alone in Celaeno Park.

Friday 21 December 7pm 

Find out more.


Santa’s Cave

Now restored and celebrating its 100th anniversary, Santa’s Cave at Te Manawa is more popular than ever. With the carousel fully restored and open for rides, don’t miss out on visiting Santa, the kittens and the Monkey Band and have a go at being the conductor for the miniature railway display!

Monday 10 – Friday 14 December 10am – 12.30pm, Saturday 15 – Mon 24 December 10am – 12.30pm and 2pm – 4.30pm

Find out more.

Santa's Cave Te Manawa

Santa’s Cave, Te Manawa

Mother and Father Christmas visit the Esplanade Scenic Railway

Riding the little train through Victoria Esplanade is always a great day out, but with Mother and Father Christmas visiting en-route to the North Pole, handing out a wee treat as you go by, it’s extra special Christmas fun for all ages!

Saturday 15 – Sunday 16 December 12pm – 4pm

Find out more.

Esplanade Scenic Railway Train

Scenic Railway, Victoria Esplanade

Kids’ Christmas Splash Party

The Makino Aquatic Centre is the place to go this summer with their annual kids’ Christmas party back for another year of splashing mayhem! Jump on the Rocky Road inflatable and Shark Water Slide and enjoy a sausage sizzle for lunch. Rumour has it Santa may even be making an appearance!

 Sunday 16 December 11am

Find out more.

Playing on the Trampolene at Makino Aquatic Centre

Makino Aquatic Centre

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