We are heading into the winter months, so what is there to do in Christchurch with your family (or without) when the days are shorter and the weather cooler?
Turns out, the answer is plenty!
Whether you are a local or visiting the city, movies are always a classic for cooler (or wetter days) and the city has some great options. If you are in the central city, head to the mega theatre at EntX (right opposite the Bus Exchange so you can grab a bus right outside the motel and head right into the city without having to find a park). The bottom floor is full of great eateries, so plan to grab lunch or dinner with your movie. See some pics and find out more about this great complex here.
And of course there are other options for movies too – Northlands Mall, Riccarton Mall, Palms Shopping Centre, Alice’s, The Colombo, The Tannery and Sumner all have options to choose from.
If you are visiting NZ in the winter months, it is worth downloading the Flicks app for your phone and then you can see all the cinemas and movies currently running, plus book online.
Christchurch’s new public library is a place to not only make sure you visit, but also somewhere you can return to over and over again with your kids. If they love Lego, they will love the Imagination Station area that will keep them occupied for hours. Plus there’s a giant electronic gaming wall, computers, 3D printing facilities, music recording studios – and of course, books! And onsite are a couple of cafes to keep everyone going while they are full immersed.
Swimming and Gymming
The city has plenty of options to take the kids swimming including the brand new, rebuilt Taiora QEII pool. Currently under construction is the new Metro Sports Facility in the central city which will have full size pool options, but you can also choose from Jellie Park (just down the road from us at Airport Gateway), Pioneer Stadium which has both gym and pool facilities, and the Graham Condon Pool and recreation complex in Papanui (near Northlands Mall).
Bouldering aka Indoor Rock Climbing
One of the popular indoor activities for locals and visitors alike, is indoor rock climbing and these days the two best places in town to get your bouldering skills on are the YMCA and Uprise aka the Bouldering Gym in Woolston.
At the Y you can choose between Clip n Climb and their Climbing Wall – either way its a lot of fun and a great way to spend your time.
You can even book the space for a birthday party. Make sure you book ahead.
Trampolining is a great way to get the blood pumping and tire out the kids while having lots of fun and Christchurch now has a couple of options to choose from.
The city is full of great places to shop, from the suburban malls (which are all linked by the Orbiter bus route in case you want to visit a few) and the many new shopping locations and brand stores that are springing up within the Christchurch CBD.
The malls closest to us at Airport Gateway are Riccarton’s Westfield Mall in Riccarton Road, and Northlands Mall on Papanui Road (as you head towards the Main North Road).
For more boutique options, check out the Tannery in Woolston – worth a visit and you can do lunch and a movie while you are there; Merivale – not just the Mall but up to about 50 shops within easy reach of the mall itself including lots of fashion and a great recycled boutique; Sumner – a pretty seaside suburb with great cafes and bars and an eclectic range of shops to enjoy browsing.