Summertimes Events in Christchurch 2018/2019

Christchurch’s Summertime programme, organised by the City Council’s events team is the envy of other New Zealand cities and filled with events that have become annual favourites.

We’ve included some of the most popular events below so you can add them to your calendar. You can also RSVP to the Facebook events through the Summertimes FB page here.

City Sounds on Fridays, The Terrace

the Terrace Christchurch NZ

We’re bringing the good vibes over summer with City Sounds, from 12:00pm – 1.30pm most Fridays through the summer.

Come and see talented local musicians performing live in the central city most Friday lunchtimes.

City Sounds schedule:

Friday 14 December: Lil Chuck (blues/skiffle)
Friday 21 December: Kids in Town – Cathedral Choristers (Christmas special)
Friday 11 January: Katie Thompson (folk/pop/country)
Friday 18 January: Blues Professor (blues)
Friday 25 January: Dean Eggleston Duo (indie/folk)
Friday 1 February: Frankie Daly Duo (pop/jazz)
Friday 8 February: Lloyd and Doublet (blues/Americana)
Friday 15 February: Turner Sisters (pop, country, jazz & blues)

New Year’s Eve – welcome in 2019! North Hagley Park

New Year's Eve Christchurch 2019

The place to be this New Year’s Eve! The night will kick off with family entertainment from 6pm with Mullet Man, free activities, fairies and a special kids countdown at 8pm.

Then the party continues with DJ’s and live bands DJ Spinal, Deep Water Creek and Dillastrate, and don’t miss our headline act The Jordan Luck Band who will rock you into the New Year with a midnight fireworks display.

This is an alcohol free event and bags may be searched on entry.

Note that parking will not be available on the grass in Hagley Park – so make your plans to park elsewhere or find other modes of transport.

Deep South Lazy Sundays, Botanic Gardens

Sun 20 Jan 2019, 3:00pm–4:30pm 

Sun 27 Jan 2019, 3:00pm–4:30pm 

Sun 3 Feb 2019, 3:00pm–4:30pm 

Sun 10 Feb 2019, 3:00pm–4:30pm 

Sun 17 Feb 2019, 3:00pm–4:30pm 

lazy sundays chch

Put summer into your Sundays with free live music in the Botanic Gardens.

Bring a picnic, kick back and spend the end of your weekend relaxing on the lawn with good food, music and friends.

Leighs Construction Outdoor Cinema, Arts Centre

Friday 25 and Saturday 26 January 2019

Friday 8 and Saturday 9 February 2019

Leighs Outdoor Cinema

The beloved summer tradition of Leighs Construction Outdoor Cinema returns to the Arts Centre te Matatiki Toi Ora for another season.

Films for all ages will be screened on two dates each summer month in the picturesque North Quad – immersing cinemagoers in one of New Zealand’s landmark locations surrounded by stunning heritage buildings.

Child-friendly family films start at 5.30pm followed by grown-up movies at 8pm.

The movie line-up is announced two weeks in advance on the Arts Centre website.

Entry is by a gold coin donation, which goes towards the Arts Centre’s ongoing restoration programme.

As an independent charitable trust, the earthquake-damaged centre relies upon donations, gifts and sponsorship to complete the enormous heritage project.

Space is limited, so cinemagoers are advised to arrive early to secure a spot and avoid disappointment. (Or pre-book at $7.00 per person).

Food and drinks will be available to buy, but that note that alcohol is not permitted in the quadrangle.

Please bring something to sit on – rugs for the grassy areas, and chairs can be used on paved surfaces.

Deep South Kite Day, New Brighton Beach

Saturday, January 26, 2019 at 1 PM – 4 PM

Kite Day Christchurch 2019

Sun, sand, sea and kites! Pack a picnic, grab a kite and enjoy a great day out at the beach. Join in the beach dig, try some fun beach sports with Sport Canterbury and watch the kites soar on the sea breeze.

Remember to be sun smart and slip, slop, slap and wrap!

Night Noodle Markets, Hagley Park

February 6, 2019 – February 17, 2019

night noodle markets

Get excited noodle lovers because the ever popular Night Noodle Markets is returning to Christchurch for an extended 12 Nights in 2019!

We’re kicking off on Waitangi Day at North Hagley Park and this year, the markets coincide with the UB40 concert and the much-loved Sparks event.

So, prepare your senses as a fusion of Eastern flavours and Chinese lanterns will transform North Hagley Park into the ultimate Asian pop-up market experience!

Sparks in the Park, Hagley Park

Saturday, February 16, 2019  7:30 PM – 10 PM

sparks in the park christchurch 2019

A Christchurch tradition! Get the family together and enjoy one of the city’s most iconic fireworks events. Featuring the spectacular Christchurch Symphony Orchestra, the programme will range from traditional classics to modern day favourites and a few surprises in between.

Sparks pre-show entertainment starts from 6pm. Pack a picnic or grab dinner from one of the food trucks at the event, plus the Night Noodle Markets will be open from 1pm on the day.

If wet, Sparks will be postponed to Sunday 17 February in North Hagley Park.

Christchurch Holi – Festival of Colours

Saturday February 2, 10am – 4pm, Hagley Park

christchurch holi festival

Holi is all about celebrating the people of New Zealand. Cultural-fusion performances will showcase the many different cultures in our community, joining together for one big party. Entry to this festival is free*! Watch this space for exciting updates and the new theme for 2019.

Holi is a day to forget your worries and connect with family and friends. Throw colours and dance to music from various DJs. Enjoy traditional Indian games, cultural performances and festive Holi delicacies.

This traditional Indian holiday originates from folk stories, passed down through generations. Each region in India celebrates in its own way but Holi is widely recognised as a day to forgive, look ahead and celebrate with colours as a community.

Tips for the day: 
Wear old clothes as the colour may not wash out.
Wear comfortable flat shoes that you don’t mind getting stained.
Bring cash to buy colour and enjoy delicious Holi food.
Parking is limited so plan your trip before the day.
*Please do not bring your own colours. Our colours are corn-flour based, non-toxic and cosmetic grade. They are safe for children and adults.

Entry to this festival is free* and Holi is strictly an alcohol and drug free event!

Nostalgia Festival 2019, Ferrymead Heritage Park

Saturday, February 16, 2019, 12:30 PM – 8 PM

nostalgia festival ferrymead 2019

Nostalgia Festival is unique summer experience held within the 1900s replica township of Ferrymead Heritage Park.

Nestled in the heart of Heathcote Valley, Nostalgia unites the community through the magic of music, showcasing a curated selection of feel-good New Zealand and international artists. Wind through the vintage festival streets to discover incredible local food, craft drinks, roving theatre, markets and more.

Find out more and buy tickets from the Nostalgia website.

 

Christmas 2018 in Christchurch

It’s that time of year again when not only are Christchurch locals gearing up for the season of festivities, but also when we have lots of visitors coming to the city for their summer holidays.

So if you are not used to having Christmas in the summertime, you might be curious to know what events are on around Christchurch over the next month or so. And if you are used to a Southern Hemisphere Christmas, you are also likely looking for where you can shop and get truly into the festive spirit.

Santa Parades in the region

santa parade chch

Highlights around the city include the Annual Santa Parades in Christchurch, New Brighton and Rangiora – the dates range from December 2nd to December 9th, so get right on top of this one! For the first time in many years (since the quakes) the Christchurch parade will be back in the city centre, so don’t miss it.

Light Displays

The annual Christmas Lightshow put on by a local couple with a lot of energy and commitment to making each year’s display bigger and better than the year before is another highlight – along with the many suburbs which also like to get dressed up with Christmas lights for visitors to enjoy.

Christmas lightshow Christchurch

The Christmas lights list has just gone live for 2018 so check back as more streets are added – and add your own if you have made an effort this year and want some visitors!

Carols by Candlelight, Christmas Eve 2018

carols by candlelight

Perhaps one of the most Christmassy events of all, to really get you in the spirit (and away from the shopping malls!) is the annual YMCA Carols by Candlelight, which this year will be back in beautiful Victoria Square – again, the first time in many years it has been back in the central city. This is truly a special evening and a beautiful one to bring the children along to.

Christmas Markets

tannery xmas market

There are a multitude of special Christmas markets happening over the next month – once again giving you the chance to buy locally made products to make your Christmas a little more special and individually tailored, while at the same time supporting small local businesses.

Check out the Night Markets at Ferrymead, the Christmas Makete in the Arts Centre, and the Tannery Christmas Market just to get you started!

Christmas Village, 6-8 December

For the first time this year, Ferrymead and Plunket are working together to create a special Christmas themed experience for families, including their very own version of the Polar Express!

You can buy tickets online for the Ferrymead Christmas Village and find out more information.

Ferrymead Christmas Village

 

Summer Things to Do in Christchurch

The summer weather is definitely happening – hot days are becoming more frequent and those beautiful Christchurch blue skies are making everyone smile.

With the temperatures rising, it is always good to know where to go and how to make the most of the warmer weather.

City Council Swimming Pools

Chch swimming pools

From November 17th 2018, the first of the City Council swimming pools and paddling pools will be open for the season with the rest not far behind. You can take the family along to your choice of pools from Halswell to New Brighton!

Three of the Christchurch City Council’s five outdoor pools and all eight paddling pools will reopen on Saturday, 17 November, with the first pool party set for Sunday, 25 November at Te Hāpua Halswell.

Along with Waltham Pool and Lyttelton’s Norman Kirk Memorial Pool, Te Hāpua Halswell is ready to kick off the pre-summer fun, followed by the opening of Templeton Pool on 1 December.

The outdoor pools at Jellie Park (just a 10 minute drive from the Motel) will open on Monday, 3 December following an upgrade.

Both Waltham Pool and Te Hāpua Halswell will host “Tots and Toddlers” events on Sunday, 9 December and Saturday, 9 February, respectively.

Waltham will also celebrate the season with the “Big Xmas Party” on Sunday, 23 December.

Jellie Park will hold school holiday fun days on Saturday, 15 December, and Saturday, 19 January before wrapping up with an “Autumn Pool Party” on Saturday, 2 March.

Lyttelton will host a special “Summer Chill Out” on Sunday, 13 January.

From the Botanic Gardens to New Brighton, the city’s paddling pools are also spruced up and ready for action.

Eight Council-controlled paddling pools in Abberley Park, Avebury Park, Edgar MacIntosh Park, Spencer Park and Woodham Park, along with the very popular Botanic Gardens, Scarborough Park and New Brighton foreshore sites will be open till the end of March 2019.

Beaches

Sumner Beach Christchurch

If you prefer your water to come with plenty of sand to relax on and build sand castles and mud pies with, you will want to make note of the city’s best beaches too.

Waimairi Beach, Sumner Beach and Taylor’s Mistake are three of the most popular options and easiest to get to, while over on Banks Peninsula (head through the Lyttelton Tunnel), you can discover Cass Bay, Purau, Corsair Bay, Governor’s Bay and if you have a little more time, you can catch the ferry or drive around to Diamond Harbour.

You might even want to make the most of the good weather and visit Quail Island for something a little different. Check out the Black Cat site to see when their summer trips are on.

Water Adventures

paddleboarding Lyttelton

If you are a bit more adventurous around water, you might want to take some surfing lessons at Sumner.

sumner surf lessons

Or head to the Estuary for some windsurfing or Lyttelton and the bays for paddleboarding options.

windsurfing on the Estuary

 

What’s New on the Streets of Christchurch?

Electric Scooters (download the iOS app here)

lime scooters chch nz

Over the next three months, anyone moving around Christchurch will have the chance to pick up an electric scooter from Lime and use it to ride to their next destination.

The location of individual scooter is easy to find on the Lime app, and once you have used the scooter you can take a photo of it at the location you have parked and upload back to the app again, ready for the next user. there are hundreds of scooters all over the city during the trial, so look out for them and enjoy a trying a different way to get around the city for a change! They are for use on footpaths only at this stage, so keep a good eye out for pedestrians and ride safely.

Giant Video Games

space raiders arcade game chch
Space Raiders arcade game High Street Christchurch

One of many awesome Gapfiller initiatives around the central city, the Street Arcade on the corner of High Street and Tuam Street (just across the street from Little High Eatery) has been a highlight for many visitors to the city – and locals alike. For a totally unique experience, head on down for a game with a friend or two – use the human size controllers to play a game of Space Raiders, inspired by the original Space Invaders video arcade game.

Gapfiller say this installation won’t be here for ever, so make sure you get down to High Street and try it out – you won’t regret it!

Kahikatea Common

One of the very newest space filler initiatives to open in the city is Kahikatea Common, part of the South Frame and located between the one way streets of Durham and Montreal. The site includes a roofed area, a community pizza oven available for anyone to use, and a Monarch butterfly hatchery.

Creators of this space hope it will encourage groups to use the area and that the community in general will find it somewhere they can connect with others in the central city. And of course, visitors to the city are most welcome!

Kahikatea Common Christchurch
Kahikatea Common Christchurch

Good Spot car parking

good spot carparking chch

If you are planning to drive into the CBD, you might want to try out a different sort of car parking for your visit. You can of course use any of the brand new parking buildings, or you can support the “good sort” car parks run by the Gapfiller team which has their own volunteer parking attendants happy to hold an umbrella while you pay for your parking, always has a happy greeting to share, and you also know that your parking fees go directly towards supporting community group initiatives.

You can find the two car parks right here (set your GPS):

GOOD SPOT Bedford – 107 Lichfield St, Christchurch
GOOD SPOT Civic – 192 Gloucester St, Christchurch

 

Events in Christchurch November and December 2018

Festa 2016

As we head into the warmer months, the events and activities on around Christchurch start to rapidly grow in number, kicking off with the upcoming Labour Weekend festivities.

FESTA events, Labour Weekend

This year will be the third FESTA event and the focus this year is on food and family.

Architecture and design students from around New Zealand and Australia have been working on interactive installations that will be located around the central city and there’s also a programme of events running from Friday October 19th through to Monday 22nd (Labour Day).

The highlight of the event will be held on Saturday night (postponed to Sunday if it rains) and is called FEASTA! A giant free street party for people of all ages including the lit up installations, food stalls, entertainment and much more.

Check out the FESTA website for more details about the Saturday night event and the other 50+ events and activities happening over the long weekend.

Guy Fawkes, 2 November, New Brighton

Guy-Fawkes-2018 Chch

Produced by the Christchurch City Council, this year’s event will deliver a pyrotechnic display set to Anthems of Rock.

So make tracks with your whole family to New Brighton Mall from 6pm for local food options and then to your choice of viewing location.  Most of all, open your eyes and look up to the skies from 9pm for a spectacular fireworks finale on the Pier!

This is always a busy event so plan your travel in advance – parking options are limited so if aim to share a ride, use public transport, or park at a friend’s place. Road closure information is right here on the CCC website.

Viewing locations

  • Central New Brighton either side of the Pier through our sound system.
  • North Beach Surf Life Saving Club.
  • South Beach Surf Life Saving Club.
  • The hills around Pegasus Bay.  Don’t forget to listen to the More FM broadcast by Lana and JMac on 92.1FM!

Note that this event is an alcohol-free zone.

SCAPE Public Art 20 Years, ending November 17

It’s been 20 years  since SCAPE Public Art began to revolutionise the open spaces of Ōtautahi Christchurch.

The Season 2018 is a chance to celebrate the 216 temporary artworks that have popped up during our Seasons and the 14 permanent artworks contributed to Christchurch over the years.

Managing Curator, Heather Galbraith has developed a programme that draws together different strands from SCAPE’s history, integrating past works, and looks toward the future with new and existing works contemplating our relationships to land, sea, language, cultural and political agency and expression, how histories are told and retold, the built environment, and even the cosmos – Our Braided Future being the theme for the Season.

If you’re interested in checking out what the SCAPE event has in store for 2018, check out the programme here.

Cup and Show Week, 10 – 17 November

Running from 10-17 November 2018, this popular annual event brings together Addington Raceway’s Christchurch Casino New Zealand Trotting Cup Day, the New Zealand Cup Meeting at Riccarton Park and the New Zealand Agricultural Show.

Highlights this year will include a new spring garden experience in the surrounds of Riccarton Park, fashion and entertainment at Addington Raceway and the opportunity to combine family fun with innovative agribusiness at the NZ Agricultural Show.

And  if all of the above isn’t enough inspiration – check out these incredible sheep that will be on show for the first time! the Valais Blacknose will be a highlight for lots of families at this year’s event.

South Island Wine and Food Festival, Hagley Park, 1 December 2018 

Celebrate with 80 of the South Island’s leading winemakers and food producers in the picturesque North Hagley Park.

40 wineries are joined by the region’s biggest names in food – local restaurateurs, gourmet food producers and street food stalls complement the range of wines on show.

This popular annual Festival includes interactive wine seminars & workshops hosted by Masters of Wine and sommeliers from New Zealand and overseas.

Don’t miss the Cooking Theatre, where you’ll be treated to live demonstrations from Kiwi chefs – or kick back and enjoy live music talent onstage amongst the trees.

It’s usually a beautiful sunny day for this event, so be well prepared (and well hydrated) with hats, sunscreen and something to sit and relax on.

Tickets are still available for the various options and start from $53 per person plus booking fees for entry. General Admission on the day at the gate is $55.00 but numbers may be limited depending on pre-sales.

 

The Breeze Walking Festival – Saturday September 29 – Sunday 14 October 2018

Perfectly timed for the school holidays and with lots of family and kid friendly options included, the annual Breeze Walking Festival kicks off very soon.

With over 50 walks to choose from there is something for all ages and abilities.

From child-friendly strolls and energetic treks, to informative ambles through the central city, the organisers have catered for all interests and ages.

The various events cover Christchurch, Waimakariri and Selwyn District, so no matter where you are or where you would like to explore, there are plenty of options. The walks have been designed to appeal to those wanting to embrace nature, culture, the arts, history and new developments around our city.

If you don’t live in Christchurch, check out in particular the inner city walks that will give you some insights into the new CBD – exploring the changes that have taken place over the last eight years.

The full programme of events can be found here but we have included some of the highlights below to give you a taste of what’s on offer.

Most of the events are free and they are also marked to indicate if they are child or family friendly. Note that some of the events do require you to book in advance that you will be participating.

Discover Your Emerging South Frame on Foot, 29 September, 11am to 12.30pm

Explore the newly emerging South Frame on foot, including all four of the new gathering places dotted along Te Ara Pū Hā: The South Frame.

From Kahikatea Common at the Health Precinct end. Take away a scavenger hunt created by kids for kids, which you can use to help share your newly learned stories about this walk.

Meet on footpath near Wilsons Carpark, 96 Tuam Street, Christchurch Central

Postponement date: Sunday 30 September 2018.

Grade: Easy – flat terrain 30 to 60 minutes.

Suitable for: Children in pushchairs/buggies and people using wheelchairs.

Can cater for dogs (on a leash at all times).

Bookings required: Call 03 357 6300.

Dogs Day Out, Ferrymead Heritage Park, 30 September, 10.30am – 2.30pm 

This will be a great day for families, children and the household dog/s! Combine a guided scenic walk with all the fun activities Ferrymead has to offer, including tram rides, free micro chipping for Christchurch registered dogs, and lots of treats for dog lovers of all ages.

Bring your own picnic, and light refreshments will also be for sale.

Dogs must be on a leash at all times.

Meet at the Ferrymead car park (first right off Ferrymead Park Drive, off Bridle Path Road, Heathcote).

Grade: Easy to flat terrain, 30 to 60 minutes.

Pre-schoolers are free. Children aged 16 years and under $2, adults $5 (please bring cash, no eftpos available). No bookings required.

Cancelled if wet.

Hidden Gems – Discover Otautahi City Centre, 30 September, 1 October, 6 October

This is a great one to enjoy, especially if you haven’t spent a lot of time exploring the new inner city of Christchurch.

Travelling by foot, weave through the central city exploring and learning as you go. We will share tales of the old, the new and the bold and bring to life many of our hometown’s hidden secrets.

Time of day: 1pm – 2.30pm on Sunday September 30, 9.30am – 11am on October 1 and 6.

Postponement: Cancelled if raining.

Grade: Easy – flat terrain 30 to 60 minutes.

Suitable for: Children in pushchairs/buggies and people using wheelchairs.

Starts from the Godley Statue in Cathedral Square.

Going on a Bear Hunt, October 2, 1 – 2pm and 2 – 3pm, Walter Park Playground, Hills Road, Mairehau

Bring the children down to the park for a swishy swashy, splashy, sploshy, squelchy, muddy, experience. Great outing for the younger walkers and their families. Gumboots essential.

Grade: Easy – flat terrain 30 to 60 minutes.

Suitable for: Children in pushchairs/buggies and people using wheelchairs.

Cancelled if wet.

Dunes at Dawn October 6, 6.30am – 7.30am

Join your fellow walkers for a stunning walk watching the sunrise over New Brighton Beach.

Heading north along the dunes and back along the beach, watch the sunrise over the sea with stunning views of the Kaikoura ranges, Brighton Pier and the Port Hills!

Why not arrange to finish your walk with brunch at the Beach Cafe or Salt cafe at the Pier.

Postponement date: Cancelled if raining.

Grade: Easy – medium, mixed terrain one to two hours.

Can cater for dogs (on a leash at all times).

Meet at New Brighton Clock Tower, Marine Parade.

 

What’s Happening in Christchurch Spring 2018?

With the next set of school holidays not much more than a month away, Spring weather inspiring us to get outdoors and enjoy the sunshine and spring blossoms, what’s in store around Christchurch in terms of events and happenings over the next two or three months?

Plenty it seems! We’ve included a selection of events in this blog for you to mark in your calendar and plan a trip to the city around, or simply enjoy attending if you happen to already be living in Christchurch.

Bill Bailey, Horncastle Arena, Addington Saturday 22 September

After his 2016 sell-out tour, Larks in Transit, the UK’s very own straggle-haired polymath, Bill Bailey, returns to New Zealand with his new comedy and music extravaganza, Earl of Whimsy.

It has Bill’s trademark blend of satire and surrealism, stories and dismantled jokes, crowd sing-alongs, weird instruments and musical showstoppers.

But there’s a distinctly historical feel to this show. With its tales of Britain’s fortunes past and present, of ancient Viking battles, of Shakespeare’s contribution to comedy, and Bill’s own ancestry, this is both a mockery and a celebration of national identity.

If you are a Bill Bailey fan and you haven’t already booked for this show, there are still tickets left so it’s not too late!

bill bailey tour

New Zealand Theatre Month – September 2018

New Zealand Theatre Month is for everyone who loves theatre, for audiences and supporters as well as theatre makers, educators and other creatives.

With the generous support of both Christchurch City Council and ASB the Isaac Theatre Royal has put together a full programme of events within the festival, as well as developing a city-wide brochure highlighting the multitude of NZ Theatre Month shows and events being presented throughout Christchurch.

Check out the Isaac Theatre Royal website for information about the shows and events that are happening across September as part of NZ Theatre Month.

nz theatre month

Les Miserables, Isaac Theatre Royal, September 14 – October 6 2018

This is a new production of Boublil and Schönberg’s Les Misérables at the Isaac Theatre Royal – the perfect setting for this classic musical based on the book by Victor Hugo.

The epic tale of broken dreams, passion and redemption set against a nation in the throes of revolution.

Winner of over 100 international awards and seen by over 65 million people worldwide, Les Misérables is an epic and uplifting story about the survival of the human spirit.

This Showbiz production will be directed by Stephen Robertson with musical direction by Richard Marrett.

Tickets start from $60 (includes GST, Ticketek Service Fee and a $2.50 ITR Heritage Levy)

Ferrymead Heritage Park Night Market, October 6, 5pm – 9pm

This night market runs monthly on the first Saturday of each month and is a great evening for all ages. Entry is by a gold coin at the door.

Take the night off cooking and come a get something delicious to eat at one of the food vendors. Craft stalls, bouncy castle – candy floss and snow cones, face painting and music.

Have a Twilight ride on the Vulcan railcar or a ride on the tram – only $2 a ride. It will run from 5pm to 9pm October to May and 4pm to 8pm April to September.

Check out the Ferrymead Night Market Facebook page for updates.

Ferrymead night market

FESTA 2018: A Public Festival of Architecture, Design and Food, Labour Weekend (October 19 – 22), Central City, St Asaph Street

The biennial FESTA event has been happening since post quake Christchurch started getting back on its feet and brings life into the central city, intertwining entertainment with art and interactive architectural installations.

This year’s theme explores the connections between food and the city through workshops, talks, pop-up projects, meals, family events, tours, live performance, artworks and more.

These take place at various venues across the city over the course of the weekend, beginning on Friday morning (19 October) and ending Monday night (22 October).

FEASTA! is this year’s headline event – Christchurch’s biggest and brightest street party. This public feast of architecture, community and food is free and open to all.

On Saturday 20 October artists, musicians, community groups, businesses, over one hundred architecture students from across Australasia, and design and architecture professionals will come together to create a spectacular celebration of food and city-making, live for one night only (rain date 21 October).

Check the festa website for more information on all the events and activities happening across Labour Weekend. This event is really worth planning a trip to Christchurch around!

Festa 2014

Cup and Show Week, 10 – 17 November 2018

Of course one of the big drawcards bringing people to Christchurch is the annual Cup and Show week, which is focused around Canterbury’s Show Weekend public holiday.

If you are planning to get into the city to enjoy the events from the annual New Zealand Agricultural Show (formerly the A & P Show), through to the horse and greyhound races at Addington and Riccarton Racecourse, and Fashion in the Field, check out what’s in store this year right here.

We recommend you get onto our site to book your accommodation well ahead of time, as Cup and Show Week is always very busy.

cup and show week 2018

 

Things to Do with Kids in Christchurch

Finding affordable ways to keep your family entertained during a trip to Christchurch can make or break a holiday to the Garden City, so we have put together some of the things we recommend you do with your children around Christchurch.

We also love having families come to stay with us at the Airport Gateway, so don’t hesitate to talk to our friendly reception team about the best options for your stay – we have spacious rooms and plenty of multi bedroom options with self-catering kitchens to fit the whole gang.

Christchurch City Library, aka Turanga

Due to open on October 19, 2018 this is going to be a pretty extraordinary library. Of course it will be the most modern in the Southern Hemisphere and one of the largest in the country as well. Lots of things to do and explore in addition to the books.

The entire library is a digital hub supported by a variety of high-tech features including virtual reality headsets, gaming consoles, laser cutters, digital walls, 3D printers and an interactive touchscreen sharing the history of Canterbury.

Taiora QEII Pool and Hydroslide

(backed up by Pioneer Stadium and Jellie Park if you want something on our side of town)

If your family enjoy spending time in the water, check out the brand new QEII pool and hydroslide built on the old site on Travis Road out towards New Brighton. Not quite as big as its predecessor, this is still a great place to spend time with the family. Note the hydroslide is only open for children over 5 years and taller than 107cm.

The complex includes –

  • 25×25 metre lap pool, two-metre deep with movable floor
  • 25×10 metre learn to swim pool
  • 130-metre-long hydroslide, suitable for double and single rafts
  • Leisure pool including a lazy river
  • Splash deck with water adventure playground
  • Spa pool, sauna and steam room (access only for ages 16+)
  • 8×8 metre toddler pool
  • 19×6.5 metre hydrotherapy pool.
Imagination Station

This is always a great option if your kids (and you) enjoy Lego. You can make any kind of creation you can imagine at the Imagination Station, which is located behind Christchurch Cathedral in Cathedral Junction. Which is right alongside the Tram Track, so for a double whammy catch the tram and do a few circuits around the city, then jump off at Imagination Station for some fun.

They have some classes coming up just in time for the October School Holidays too, so get online and book if you are planning to be in the city.

Nearby there are plenty of places to eat and drink in case the team gets hungry.

Margaret Mahy Playground

margaret mahy playground christchurch nz

The Margaret Mahy Family playground is proving popular with kids of all ages – and at all times of day and night it seems, with plenty of the activities suitable for anyone from the very small to the fully grown!

Again this is free and you can stay and play as long as you like. There are usually several food and drink vendors located at the side of the park, and  you are also an easy walk from New Regent Street which has a number of great cafes and restaurants if you want to sit down and enjoy a meal or a coffee (or some Rollicking Gelato!)

New Brighton Beach Pier and Playground

The Pier has recently been fully restored following the earthquakes so is a great place to go for a wander to enjoy the views or take your kids fishing if they are keen.

The New Brighton Library building is your entry point so you can always combine a library visit with a walk on the pier, and there are cafes built into the Library as well, so all your needs are covered.

Nearby is the Brighton Playground which has also been given a new lease of life, including the famous whale paddling pool. There’s a large carpark right next door and of course you can also get access to Brighton Beach to go exploring or enjoy a swim when the weather is warmer.

If you are around the city over the summer months, look out for the Kite Day down at New Brighton Beach as this is always worth heading along to. Some amazing kites of all sizes will be flying, plus there is food and entertainment on offer.

Bike Riding Parks for Kids

These are a cool creation and a wonderful safe way to take your children out riding their bikes and learning some onroad skills – without actually being on the road. Even better, these parks are completely free!

Westburn Reserve is just a few blocks away from us in Burnside and the new Knights Stream bike skills park is in Richmond Ave, Halswell.

Right next to the bike area in Knight’s Stream is a skate park, and a half basketball court, so there are lots of options to keep the family occupied.

Roll With It Pump Track, and the Kyle Park BMX Track

For more skateboarding and biking fun, check out the Roll with It pump track in the centre of Christchurch, which is perfect for younger kids who want a manageable amount of adventure. This is a GapFiller project and is right in the heart of the city. Head to Mollet Street, between St Asaph and Tuam (just a block away from the bus exchange). And did we mention it is free?

Kyle Park is a bigger BMX track located in Hornby, with all the facilities you would expect from a city BMX club. There is a membership fee to join and use the track, although the first few visits are usually free. Get in touch with the club through their website to find out more.

 

What’s New in Christchurch?

As the city continues to rebuild, new projects, buildings and businesses are popping up all over the place.

Christchurch Central Library, Turanga

Very close to completion now are the brand new Christchurch Central Library, called Turanga which is located on the edge of Cathedral Square opposite the now under construction Convention Centre.

The five storey library will be the largest in the South Island and is due to open in October 2018. It will feature up to 100 computers, an innovation zone for trialling new technology, 3D and laser printers, music, film and video editing studios, two roof terraces and accessible balconies, a playground, a cafe and more than 175,000 books.

Hoyts Central, Colombo Street opposite the Bus Interchange

Right in the heart of the city, the newest and most innovative movie theatre complex in the South Island is also nearing completion, and has a September completion date. It marks the return of the cinema chain to central Christchurch following the demolition of their 8 screen Moorhouse Avenue complex in 2012.

The seven-screen complex will have a food precinct on the ground floor with 17 dining outlets, two very large cinema screens and two screens featuring luxury seating and food-and-drink service. Every seat will have a recliner style chair.

Nando’s, Joe’s Garage and Auckland gastropub Cleaver & Co will be among the restaurants in the emporium area of the complex. The food offering would be similar to the popular Little High eatery on St Asaph St, which has a variety of food outlets opening out onto a central indoor seating area.

Te Ara Ōtākaro Avon River Trail

For those who are interested in exploring the city and like to get in some exercise at the same time, the new Te Ara Otakaro Avon River trail has recently been completed. This is a pathway that is suitable for pedestrians or cyclists and winds from the central city through the residential Red Zone and out to Pages Road, which isn’t far from the coast.

More info and a map are on the Christchurch City Council site here.

The Arts Centre of Christchurch

The Arts Centre of Christchurch has been a wonderful drawcard for Christchurch over the years and has now had more than half it’s buildings brought back to life in an extensive post-quake restoration project. Among other things it is home to numerous retailers, restaurants/cafes, the University of Canterbury’s School of Music and Teece Museum of Antiquities, Rutherford’s Den and much more.

Check out what events and activities are on year round through the Arts Centre website.

One of the highlights coming up very soon is the Botanic Garden D’Lights which this year will be including part of the Arts Centre in the interactive displays. Find out more here.

 

Mountainbiking in the Garden City

Christchurch Adventure Park

One of the outdoor activities Christchurch has become well known for is mountainbiking, especially since the opening of the spectacular Christchurch Adventure Park.

The unfortunate fire on Christchurch’s Port Hills last year meant the Park had to close for a while to rebuild, but it’s back up and running again now and attracting mountainbikers from around the globe.

If you’re keen to visit Christchurch and make the most of the trails around the Port Hills and within the Park itself, we can pick you and your bike up from the Airport (we’re just 5 minutes drive away), store your gear and even organise a shuttle up to the Park itself if you need it.

The trails in the park on the whole are not for the fainthearted, and the chair lift to the top makes sure you get the best experience – plus the best views on your way down.

Despite that, you can also take the younger bikers in your family up there and know they will be well catered for.

Views from the 1.8km long chairlift across the Canterbury Plains to the Southern Alps and the coast are simply spectacular and there is really no better vantage point on a sunny day, any time of year. (If you’re not a mountainbiker you can simply buy the sightseeing pass and enjoy the ride and the views).

Elsewhere on the Port Hills, there are plenty of additional tracks that you can ride at no cost – apart from a few spare parts and tyres perhaps!

Check out some of these while you are in town:

Mountainbike tracks on the Port Hills – different grades 

Ratings for mountain bike trails in Christchurch 

Canterbury Adventure Park

 

 

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