Suggestions for Things to Do in Rotorua, May 2016

Things to do in Rotorua, May 2016, can initially be tied into Mother's Day, celebrated on Sunday 8th. Check out my ideas below on what you can do to make her feel special. Apart from that, it's a cruisy month as we head on into winter.

Rotorua Markets: Catch the Night Market every Thursday evening at 5pm, the Flea Market every Saturday morning and the Lakefront Craft Market takes place on the 1st, 15th and 29th this month. Look for the Arts Village Market on Sun 8th.

Things to Do in Rotorua this May Include...

Book Fair - Rotorua Sulphur City Lions Club

Date: Sun 1 May
At: Te Ngae Shopping Centre, Te Ngae Rd
Time: 9am-4pm
Cost: Free admission

Book lovers will have to check out this book fair with one price only inside. Hundreds of second-hand books will be available with the fiction section sorted by A-Z and non-fiction sorted in their categories. Do you hate it when books are jumbled higgledy-piggledy like I do?

Kids Art Workshop: Create & Colour

Date: Sat 7 May
At: Arts Village, Cnr Hinemoa & Hinemaru Sts
Time: 10.30am - 1.30pm
Cost: PP including materials - $40
Buy tickets at 07 348 9008

Time for kids to get their paint on with a local artist, Martyn Evans, who creates colouring books. Won't it be great to have your child's original painting hanging in pride of place? It's cash only but there is an atm handy.

Ideas for Mother's Day in Rotorua.

  • If mum has been extra busy, help her to unwind and to reconnect with nature by taking her on a couple of FREE relaxing short walks through Hamurana Springs then Okere Falls. You could pack a picnic lunch or stop off at Okere Falls Store for something to eat.
  • Surprise her with a visit to Waiotapu then Kerosene Creek or the Hot n Cold Stream for a soak in Rotorua's natural hot pools (make sure to pack her swimming gear). Give her a nice neck and shoulder massage while you're at it. Will she ever love you for that - not saying she doesn't anyway. Those last 2 are free too.
  • Got any bikes handy? Fill up a backpack with some goodies and something nice to drink - bubbly might be a starter - then take her for a ride on the Te Ara Ahi Trail from Government Gardens out to Waipa and back.

Open Farm for National Alpaca Day

Date: Sun 8 May
At: Surico Alpaca Farm, 215 Tauranga Direct Rd
Time: 10am-3pm
Cost: Free

It's not often you can touch, let alone lead or hand feed Alpacas. Here's your chance. The Surico Alpaca Farm will be open no matter the weather so head on out. Products will be on sale too which means you better take your wallet along. It should be fun. Mum will like it. :)
Visit website >>

The Wiz

Date: 13, 14, 15, 19, 20, 21 May
At: Howard Morrison Performing Art Centre, 1170 Fenton St
Time: 7.30-9.30pm
Cost: $27

A musical based on The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum presented by RBHS students together with RGHS. The music ranges from rock to gospel and soul. It's a safe bet this is not the version Judy Garland acted in.

Bookings at Ticketmaster: The Wiz

Blue Baths Comedy Club

Date: Sat 14 May
At: Blue Baths, Queens Dr
Time: 8-10pm
Cost: $20

Why try to reinvent the wheel when you hit upon a recipe for success. That's what happened with the first Blue Baths Comedy Club event. It went down so well they're doing it all over again with another line-up of fantastic comedians.

Nick Rado, winner of numerous writing awards and a comedian himself is the MC. The headline act is Ben Hurley, winner of pretty much all the NZ comedian awards. James Nokise takes on gangs, politicians and the stereotypes within the Pacific culture. Last but not least is Louise Beauvink, a newbie on the comedy circuit but very promising by all accounts. Her style is described as dry and dark. Ooo.

Bookings at Eventfinder: Blue Baths Comedy Club

Te Arawa Raceway Rotorua Cup Day

Date: Sat 14 May
At: Arawa Park Racecourse, Fenton St
Time: 11am-5pm
Cost: Free admission

Regular race goers should already have this event diaried but that doesn't mean the rest of us have to miss out. With 8 races it could be a fun day out. Think picnic, pomp and ceremony. The Rotorua Stakes race has a prize pool of $50,000 (I don't know if that's for the horse owners or the punters) and the 2200m race - the most important one - a prize purse of $70,000.

Targa Rotorua

Date: Sat 14 & Sun 15 May
At: Rydges Hotel, 272 Fenton St
Time: Sat 8am-4.50pm & Sun 8.15am-3.45pm
Cost: Free

New Zealand's largest competitive rally series visits Rotorua with cars ranging in age from classics to modern day super cars. You can pop down to Rydges to view the vehicles and meet the competitors or join the Targa Family to gain access to upcoming event information and the vantage points; most important. And, it makes you eligible for draws and contests throughout the year.

One Chance Music Festival

Date: Sat 21 May
At: TKKM o Hurungaterangi, 114 Sunset RD.
Time: 12-5pm
Cost: Free

Celebrating Youth Week and NZ Music Month, teens can expect to have a fun time in a safe place. Who won't be excited at seeing Brendon Thomas & The Vibes, Ben Lummis, Stella Maris, Bellyvegas dancers, Genesis Dance Crew, and more. There's going to be a bouncy castle, prizes galore, games, buskers food, and the list goes on. This event is smoke, drug and alcohol free.

Stay up to date at Facebook event: OneChance Music Festival 2016

Shu's Song - Capital E National Theatre for Children

Date: Tues 24 May
At: Sir Howard Morrison Performing Arts Centre, 1170 Fenton St
Time: 9.30 & 11am 45mins
Cost:$9 per child and 1 free adult per 10 paying children

Shu discovers the secret life of everyday objects by using his imagination to bring them to life. There's no talking. Key elements of the show are sound and music together with movement and puppetry.

To book: or phone 04 913 3742.

Tummy & Tots Expo

Date: Fri 27 to Sun 29 May
At: Trac Racing Rotorua, Arawa Park Racecourse, Fenton St
Times: Fri 5-9pm, Sat 10am-4pm, Sun 10am-4pm
Cost: Fri $10, Sat and Sun $5

All things relating to pregnancy, children under 5 and family life. The main expo features local, national and international brands, products and services. Alongside this are educational workshops and seminars and a market with locally made products.

Kids play areas, new Dad's Zone, Parents room make this a great event for the whole family.

Buy Tickets: Door sales or at Tummy & Tots

Rotorua Children's Clothing Swap

Date: Sat 28 May
At: The Arts Village, Cnr Hinemoa & Hinemaru Sts
Time: 11am-1pm
Cost: $15

Put together 10 items your child no longer wants or has grown out of, either clothing, shoes, bags or accessories, pay your $15, head to the Arts Village and swap them for 10 new pre-loved items with no further charge. Everything has to be spick and span, washed and ironed. Pre-register because you won't get in without a ticket.

Sip on iced tea, enjoy the nibbles and make new friends while you're shopping.

Learn more & book: Facebook Event: Children's Clothing Swap

Rotorua Rags to Riches Clothing Swap

Date: Sat 28 May
At: The Arts Village, Cnr Hinemoa & Hinemary Sts
Time: 1.30-3.30pm
Cost: $15

This sounds fascinating. Put together 10 items you no longer want, clothing, shoes, bags and accessories, pay your $15, head to the Arts Village and swap them for 10 new pre-loved items. Everything has to be spick and span, washed and ironed. Pre-register because you won't get in without a ticket.

Get together with a lover of shopping like-minded girlfriend... or friends and see what new gems you can add to your stash while sipping on iced tea, enjoying the nibbles and chatting with the ladies. Sigh, this is going to be heaven.

Learn more and book: Facebook Event - Rags to Riches Clothing Swap

Rotorua Museum of Art & History Things to Do in February

At: Oruawhata Dr, Govt Gardens
Opening Hours:
     Dec - Feb 9am - 6pm
     Mar - Nov 9am - 5pm
Admission Cost: Adults $20, Seniors $18, Children $8. Locals free with id.

As well as exhibitions, the Rotorua Museum always has something of interest happening for everyone. Activities and fun learning is the common order of the day for children so you know what to do, keep an eye out.

Special Events
Rotorua Ukebox: Sundays 15 May, 19 Jun
Times: 3-4pm
Rotorua's Thermaleles open the show with a short ukelele performance. After that, everyone can jump in to sing, play along or use the open mike. Included with museum admission.

Talk: 2pm Sun 8 May - Clive Akers, a rugby historian, speaks about the exhibition Balls, Bullets & Boots. Included with museum admission.

Sunlight Family Day: 10am - 3pm Sun 22 May
Crafts & face painting take place while exploring the Sunlight exhibition.
Included with museum admission.

Celebrate NZ Music Month: Wed 25 & Thu 26 4-5pm
Rotorua singers perform NZ classics at the museum. The acoustics are superb in this building.
Included with museum admission.

AEIOU - Tūhurahia ngā tāta reta Māori or, Explore the Māori Alphabet:
Explore the 15 letter Māori alphabet and learn Māori words with a mix of items from around the museum. Free for locals with id otherwise included in the cost of entry to the Museum.
Dates: On until Sun 1 May

Every Tea Towel Tells A Story - Richard Till's special collection: Celebrity chef, Richard Till collects tea towels. Who knew that? This collection are some of his favourites.
Dates: On until Sun 1 May

Balls, Bullets & Boots: From rugby changing rooms to the trenches, this multimedia exhibition tells the stories of 15 NZ rugby players and one female coach, and the legacy of the First World War. Poignant, I bet.
Dates: On to Sun 29 May

Sunlight - Ihi Kōmaru: An interactive exhibition that answers intriguing questions you might have had. Like, what does the sun sound like? Do you know? Fun for all ages.
Dates: 21 May - 14 Aug

Visit website to see more: Rotorua Museum of Art & History - What's on >>

Royal NZ Ballet - The Wizard of Oz

Date: Sat 28 May 7.30-9pm & Sun 29 May 1.30-3pm
At: Sir Howard Morrison Performing Arts Centre
Cost: $38-$78

This 2 act ballet will bring the Wizard of Oz to life again and is set to enthral all ages. Featured is fast 'jazz age' music and characters with their own dance vocabulary. Think classical pointe work, barefoot contemporary ballet and ruby slipper tap dancing.  The sets and costumes? Well, designed in Italy by Gianluca Falaschi no less.

Book at Ticketmaster: RNZB - The Wizard of Oz

Princes Gate Cabaret Dinner & Show

Date: Saturdays
At: 1057 Arawa St (by entrance to Government Gardens)
Time: 7pm-10pm
Price: Dinner, Show & Accommodation is $350 for 2 people. Dinner & Show is $178 for 2.

The place to go in Rotorua for live cabaret entertainment. Can feature Broadway, Opera, Las Vegas and more, designed to appeal to a broad range of tastes. The food's undeniably tasty too. Look for the Dinner, Show & Accommodation specials.

Bookings: Princes Gate Cabaret Dinner & Show

Coming Up in June

All the disciplines come into play with the annual Thermatech 3D Multisport Festival taking place. Another big event, at least for the high schools, will be the Stage Challenge. More to come.

More fun things to see and do in Rotorua

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