Fun and games at Teddy Bears’ Picnic

Big bears, small bears, old bears and new bears – they’re all expected to head out from under the covers on Saturday for the annual Teddy Bears’ Picnic.

And thanks to a grant from the Rotorua Trust, their owners can enjoy old fashioned, family friendly activities like an egg and spoon race, face painting, bouncy castle and a story teller.

Kiwanis Club of Rotowhenua president Grant Gibson says the event is all about having fun and putting smiles on the faces of children.

With a $2 registration fee for the bears (other cuddly toys will also be accepted in lieu of a bear), Mr Gibson says the day is accessible to everyone and provides plenty of laughs.

“Some adults bring their bears along too. There’s races like the three-legged race which is hilarious and there are also races for parents and caregivers to take part in.”

A special guest, Big Bear, will also put in an appearance.

They will also be having a parade of bears, followed by a prize giving.

“The money we get from the Rotorua Trust covers a lot of the costs involved with putting the event on, including advertising and prizes as well as a certificate for each bear. It also means we can offer the activities like the bouncy castle and face painting at a small cost.”

Mr Gibson says while the club doesn’t make much, if any, money out of the event it is fantastic just to see the joy on the children’s faces. Any profit goes into other community projects.

Rotorua Trust chairman Stewart Edward agrees the picnic is a fun event which the Trust is proud to support through a $750 grant.

“This helps to bring whānau together and we’re happy to help assist in a small way.”

Mr Edward says the Trust’s kaupapa is about making a better Rotorua for all, and to do this it supports a wide range of organisations and events.


The grant was one of 13 approved in January, totaling $164,250.


The Teddy Bears’ Picnic runs from 11am to 1.30pm at Kuirau Park. Registration for the bears is $2, face painting $2, bouncy castle $1, and a donation for the story teller. Also available are sausages $2, water $2, and fizzy drinks $1.


If it is wet, the picnic will be postponed until the following Saturday (February 24).


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