Ill winds drive indoor activities
Great weather for ducks over the summer school holidays has also been brilliant for dinosaurs and bookworms.
Dinosaur Encounter at Te Manawa has proved to be the T-Rex of exhibitions.
With less than three weeks left to run, some 39,000 people have visited the dino extravaganza from the Natural History Museum in London, according to Te Manawa’s Graeme Beale.
Almost 9000 of those turned up in January, usually one of the year’s quieter months.
‘‘We’ve had a lot of out-of-town visitors coming for the exhibition,’’ Beale said.
Demand for Dinosaur Encounter merchandise, also from the Natural History Museum, had been high.
‘‘It caught us off guard and we had to reorder, and reprint tickets.’’
Dinosaur Encounter boosted the total January visitor count at Te Manawa to 22,838, with nearly 17,000 visitors checking out the non-dino exhibitions including the New Zealand Rugby Museum, Art Gallery, and history galleries.
‘‘I think the dinosaurs played their part, but the weather helped as well. It’s definitely been a bonus for us.’’
At City Library, Joanne O’Connor said her staff had seen an increase in patronage as well.
‘‘We also noticed people stayed longer than usual. There was also a pronounced increase in the number of books being returned... during the holiday period.
‘‘The Summer Reading programme and families picking up the Passport to Play helped with the increase in numbers.’’
The city council’s Jeff Baker said those passports to 10 city parks proved that despite the weather, families had made an effort to get outdoors. .
‘‘I’’m absolutely thrilled with it. The feedback is that it was a fun event that helped kids get out and about.’’
Patronage at the Lido however, had dropped .
Pool manager Lynden Noakes said numbers were down by 10,000 on last January.
‘‘The wind is what puts people off.’’
Like everybody else, Noakes hoped for a warmer and more settled February. A fine Waitangi weekend coupled with the visiting stockcar crowd, started the month off swimmingly.
‘‘I think the dinosaurs played their part, but the weather helped as well’’
Graeme Beale, Te Manawa