Theres’s lots to do on Christmas day!

Posted in Story on May 21, 2020

If you’re looking for something to do on Christmas Day there’s heaps to do, including free stuff, that’ll impress the whole family.
Destination Rotorua chief executive Michelle Templer said it’s great that a lot of the city’s attractions and eateries opened their doors on Christmas Day.
“The city is always bustling with tourists over Christmas, but locals are also known to head out to enjoy the attractions, and leave the cooking to the professionals. Sometimes they come out on a whim, particularly if the weather is good; other times they’re adding something new to their day of traditions.”
Many of the city’s accommodation providers put on great holiday menus and buffets, offering everything from high tea with champagne, to special five-course Christmas feasts.
Where to dine on Christmas Day
Several hotels in town put on a beautiful Christmas spread for lunch and/or dinner. Some require bookings, but we’d recommend calling in advance anyway to check capacity and reserve a spot if you’re keen.

  • Amazing Thai Restaurant
  • El Mexicano Zapata
  • Hiaki café at Te Puia
  • Kai Ngawha experience (steambox lunch) at Te Puia
  • Lakeland Queen
  • Lovely India
  • Novotel Rotorua
  • Princes Gate
  • Rydges Rotorua
  • Stratosfare Restaurant & Bar at Skyline
  • Wild Rice Thai Rotorua
What to do on Christmas Day
  • 3D Trick Art Gallery, 9am-5pm
  • Agrodome, 8.30am-5pm
  • Fancy Meow Café, 9.30am-4.30pm
  • Happy Ewe Cycle Tours, 10am-2pm
  • Heritage Farm, 9am-5pm
  • Lakeland Queen Lunch Cruise (bookings essential)
  • Paradise Valley Springs, 8am-5pm
  • Polynesian Spa, 8am-11pm
  • Rainbow Springs and Kiwi Encounter, 8am-5pm
  • Skyline Rotorua, 9.30am-5pm
  • Te Puia, 8am-6pm; hourly tours start at 9am
  • Thermal Land Shuttle
  • Volcanic Air, bookings essential
  • Waimangu Volcanic Valley, 8.30am-5pm
  • Waiotapu, 8.30am-5pm
  • Waitomo Glowworm Caves, 9am-3.45pm
Free Christmas Day activities
  • Pack a picnic lunch to enjoy following a 5.5km walk around Lake Tikitapu/Blue Lake
  • Walk off Christmas lunch by taking a walk in the Redwoods
  • Take the family and a picnic to Hamurana Springs
  • Take a drive to Lake Tarawera, go for a swim, walk or kayak
  • Have a family game of touch rugby at Government Gardens or the Village Green
  • Take a walk in Kuirau Park and play in the park
Also, don’t forget to add Rotorua’s family favourite, Glo Festival, to your New Year’s Eve plans. The Village Green is THE place to be, so grab the kids, pack a picnic and blanket, and prepared to be entertained. Gates open at 5.30pm and this year’s headliner, Simply Arousing, are simply amazing – you’re going to love this five-piece reggae/ska band who hail from Rotorua. This year there will be two rounds of fireworks – and 9.30 and midnight – so even those with early bedtimes can close out the year with a bang!

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