Enjoying the July School Holidays in Christchurch

The July school holiday are nearly here and even though its the middle of winter, there are plenty of great things for the family to do around the city.

Kidsfest is a Christchurch institution, with a series of free and paid events all over the city being held each year.

Some of the highlights are listed below. You can check out more details on all Kidsfest 2019 events through their website – and make sure you book early for anything you are keen on as many of them fill up fast.

The Christchurch Brick Show, July 13-14 2019, Horncastle Arena, $5 entry pp

This event is the biggest LEGO show of its kind in New Zealand.

Now with more space than ever before, the Christchurch Brick Show will exhibit amazing LEGO models for all age groups in 4,000 square metres of space at the Horncastle Arena.

Over 200 enthusiasts and collectors will show their designs, collections and contraptions to inspire creativity and innovation.

Children will have the opportunity to go hands-on with various LEGO focused activities in Imagination Station’s huge build and learn zone, sponsored by Mitre 10 Mega. Activities include building spaces, mechanics benches, mosaic walls, gaming area, remote control LEGO vehicles, ramp races (from 4 meters high!) and more!

Entry is $5 per child and $5 per caregiver. Children under 2 are free. You can book online to reserve your tickets or pay by cash/eftpos at the door.

The Kaiapoi Teddy Bear Hunt, July 6 – 20, Kaiapoi Town Centre, Free

There has been a bear invasion in Kaiapoi! They are hiding everywhere. Those pesky, trick bears are back!

Bear Cave Kaiapoi

Search high and low in the shop windows and you’ll find them. Some even have disguises. Come out for a day of fun in Kaiapoi.

Get your entry form from Kaiapoi i-Site, (corner of Charles & Williams Street, Kaiapoi), or download from www.kaiapoiadventure.co.nz.

Find as many bears as you can and enter the prize draw!

All welcome. Event runs all through KidsFest.

Helicopter Hijinks, Wigram Airforce Museum, July 6 – 20, 2019

The Wigram Airforce Museum has a number of activities during Kidsfest including the Rotary Roundup (for ages 8 – 13, cost $6 per child and caregivers free); Wingless Wonders (ages 5-10, cost $6 per child, caregivers free) and Chopper Spotter (ages 3-7, $6 per child, caregivers free).

wigram airforce museum

Pool Parties, various locations, July 6, 7, 14 and 20, 2019

KidsFest pool parties

Come along and have swim fun on inflatables, dance in the water to our DJ and play some pool games.

Spot prizes for style and safe swimmers from Coolstuff. Standard pool fees apply, tickets are available at the Pool on the day. ($3.50 per child, $6 per caregiver).

Pioneer Recreation and Sports Centre – Saturday 6th July, 1-3pm
QEII Recreation and Sports Centre – Sunday 7th July, 1-3pm
Jellie Park Recreation and Sports Centre – Sunday 14th July, 1-3pm
Graham Condon Recreation and Sports Centre – Saturday 20th July, 1-3pm

Detour bump and roll track, Manchester Street, free

The “Detour” is a bump and roll track in the city for all as part of the Fletcher Living and Gap Filler Placemaking at One Central Programme adjacent Manchester and Armagh Street intersection.

Detour track chch

All are welcome whatever your ability to come and have a go. Routes vary in difficulty, so whether you’re still on trainer wheels or you are more of a pro, everyone is welcome. Cycle, skateboard or scooter through. Whatever your wheels, this detour is for you!

Mix up your travel in the city and add some fun factor, or make a special visit to hang out and enjoy!

There are other Gap Filler installations as part of the PaOC programme close by so take opportunity to explore and mix this in with some other fun activities. These include the hammock park, the #chchswing, food trucks and much more.

There are bus stops nearby on Manchester – and the buses also take bikes.

Once Upon a Happy Ending, The Malthouse, 6 – 20 July, 2019 (check link for specific dates and times)

Cushion Theatre at the Malthouse. This is interactive theatre for children of all ages. Once Upon A Happy Ending is your usual fairy story with a difference – you, the audience makes it happen.

Malthouse theatre

Choose your heroes and villains, name the magical kingdom, create mythical creatures to save the day and help seek out those missing clues.

Let your imagination do the work – follow the lead of the Narrator and make a happy ending!!

Plenty of carparking available in BestStart carpark right next door- no walking across the busy road.

Air-conditioned theatre space with cushions galore. Coffee and cold drinks by Kea Coffee right outside the Malthouse for your convenience.

Tickets are $9 per person. Book online here. 

Kidsfest Under the Stars, Canterbury Astronomical Society Observatory West Melton, July 6 – 20, 2019

For something very special, plan an evening with your kids exploring the stars.

kidsfest stars

Explore the Universe at the Canterbury Astronomical Society’s observatory in West Melton. Members of the society will be on hand to help unlock the secrets of the night sky through the wide range of telescopes at the observatory.

The observatory will be open most nights of Kidsfest, weather permitting. A status update will be posted every night by 6:00pm on the society website at http://www.cas.org.nz/ as to whether we are open or closed. Please be sure to check there before travelling to the observatory.

The observatory is around 30 minutes drive from Christchurch at 218 Bells Road, West Melton. See http://www.cas.org.nz/ for maps and directions.

Bookings are essential. Numbers are limited. Book on the society website.

Booking fee applies. Sorry no door sales. *We will be closed on both Tuesday nights.

 

 

Summer 2019 Christchurch Events

Summer in Christchurch so far has been hot and full of things to do and get involved in.

The Bread and Circus Buskers Festival has the city buzzing for the next few weeks, and there are plenty more events to look forward to. We’ve listed just a few of them below.

Nigella Lawson, January 25 2019, Isaac Theatre Royal

if you love Nigella’s recipes and tv shows, this is your chance to book an evening with the queen of cuisine herself! She will be onstage at the Isaac Theatre Royal talking about life, food and so much more.

Even better, you have the chance to ask her questions through the tour website here. Make the most of a night out in the beautiful Theatre Royal.

Night Noodle Markets, February 6th -17th February 2019, Hagley Park

night noodles chch

Returning for the third year, the Night Noodle Markets are back for 12 days/nights kicking off on our national day, Waitangi Day.

Treat yourself to delicious dumplings, BBQ skewers, eastern desserts, oodles of noodles and more.

Dates: 6th -17th February (12 nights)
North Hagley Park – 14 Riccarton Ave, Christchurch Central, Christchurch 8011
Trading Hours: 4 pm to 10 pm daily (Closes early at 9 pm Sunday 17th)
*Early opening of 1pm on Saturday 16th Feb for SPARKS!*

Entry is FREE! (Dogs are welcome on a leash)
Prices range from $5 – $20
Cashless event – EFTPOS/Credit Card/Apple Pay facilities available – just tap or swipe

Sparks in the Park, February 16th, Hagley Park

sparks Christchurch

Sparks is one of the most popular events on the Summertimes calendar and wraps up the programme for the season.

Head to Hagley Park with your picnic rug or chairs and settle in for an evening of orchestral entertainment, choreographed to spectacular fireworks. The CSO plays a great selection of popular music, so there is something for everyone.

Anthony Harper Summer Theatre, 27 Feb – 17 March, Christchurch Botanic Gardens

Summer Theatre Christchurch

Anthony Harper Summer Theatre presents King Arthur in association with Rollicking Entertainment.

An epic tail retold and reinvigorated with a fresh, diverse and cheeky rendition that will entertain all, while enjoying food and beverages in the Botanic Gardens.

This is a free event but koha donations would be gratefully accepted – so make sure to bring a little cash with you.

The location in the Garden is the Murray Aynsley Lawn, which is near the back of Christchurch Hospital and best accessed from the Riccarton Avenue entrance to the Park. Check out the Facebook event page for more details.

 

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

 

NZ Ski Season 2019 is at hand!

One of the wonderful things about Christchurch in the winter is our close proximity to New Zealand’s best ski areas – including Mt Hutt which has the longest ski season in Australasia and is the largest ski area in New Zealand.

And even better, from right here at the Airport Gateway, you are just 1 hour and 43 minutes drive away from our doorstep to being on the ski field, ready to go!

As well as the stunning vista of the Canterbury Plains you can enjoy on a good day at Hutt, there’s also a great selection of runs to choose from – from the challenging to the beginner and everything in between.

This video of Mt Hutt from the 2017 season (Filmed by Blackbird NZ) shows some of the most stunning experiences you can have on this mountain.

Season passes are still available at great prices and the mountain is due to open on June 8th, 2018.

As well as Hutt, you can also use Christchurch as your base to head off to Porters Pass (just 1 hour 16 minutes from here), Mt Cheeseman and if you want to venture a little further afield, Round Hill at Lake Tekapo, Mt Dobson just past Fairlie and Fox Peak this side of Fairlie are all options.

Cheeseman and Fox are both club fields, so would suit more experienced skiers who don’t mind using  an old school nutcracker tow to get up the mountain.

In the meantime, get your flights and Christchurch accommodation booked in good time to make sure you don’t miss out!