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

 

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.

 

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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