The ILT Kidzone Festival is Southland’s most popular family event and is held annually during the July school holidays at James Hargest College Senior Campus. The festival is an affordable day out for school age children and their family members and offers something for everyone.

The festival runs for six days during the term two holidays from 10:30am to 3:30pm each day. Each year the festival strives to offer a more extensive range of activities and entertainment than the year before. The activities can include but are definitely not limited to: arts and crafts, creative cooking, robotics, sports, obstacle courses, crazy hairstyles and crazy bicycles. All activities, materials and entertainment are included in the cost of a ticket, and there are food options available to purchase on-site.

Buses are provided for a small fee to out of town families to get them safely to and from the festival. Bus routes are organised on particular days of the festival from Gore, Tuatapere, Otautau, Te Anau, Tokanui and Bluff.

Tickets are always in hot demand with those in the South knowing just how fantastic the event is. Ticket sales open in late May before the festival and can be purchased online at the ILT Kidzone website, Invercargill i-SITE, Gore Visitor Centre or Southland District Council Area Offices. The event attracts close to 11,000 people each year and is recognised as Southland’s most iconic family event.

The success of the festival could not be achieved without the army of volunteers that contribute to the seamless running of the event. Each year the festival has close to 200 volunteers that give up their time to help make the ILT Kidzone Festival a wonderful, exciting and safe event for those that attend.

Southland's community funders and sponsors provide significant support to the festival, contributing approximately $140,000 each year. Community funders contributing to the festival include: the Invercargill Licencing Trust, the ILT Foundation, the Community Trust of Southland, and the Southern Trust. There are also a number of other funders and supporters, without whose support the festival wouldn't be possible.

Venture Southland is proud to be able to present this festival to Southland families, and those further afield, and looks forward to the July holidays each year to roll out another fantastic ILT Kidzone Festival!