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New Zealand is known for its natural beauty and unusual wildlife, and your kids will love exploring this side of Wellington. Here are Forbes Travel Guide editors’ picks for five of the best things to do with kids in Wellington:
1. See a Play. Wellington has New Zealand's best theater scene, and many venues have shows suitable for children. Located in downtown Civic Square, the Capital E National Theater for Children always has a variety of ongoing theater and music shows for younger audiences, plus a playground and a gallery displaying art by local children.
2. Visit the Zoo. Just a short bus ride away in the suburb of Newtown, Wellington Zoo is home to more than 100 animal species. The small-but-welcoming zoo houses native New Zealand birds like the kiwi, kea and kaka, as well as the rare tuatara, a “living fossil” closely related to dinosaurs.
3. Ride the Cable Car. For more than a century, the red cable car has provided great views of Wellington. Leaving from the popular shopping area of Lambton Quay, it heads uphill above the government area, making stops at the famous botanic gardens and the historic cable car museum.
4. Visit a Museum. Te Papa has plenty for kids to enjoy, and the free Museum of Wellington City and Sea — housed in the city's historic bond house — has a fun collection highlighting the city's history. Wellington also has several historic homes that have been converted into museums, including the birthplace of writer Katherine Mansfield.
5. Go to the Beach. You can find a number of clean, popular beaches around Wellington Harbour. The one at Oriental Bay is closest to downtown, and is always packed on warm days. Kids and adults alike will enjoy the beautiful fountain and old wooden barge near the waterfront, plus the panoramic view.