Top 10 Family Activities in Christchurch
Bringing the family to Christchurch? Here are our best picks of things to do with the kids.
Christchurch Botanic Gardens
As the heart of Christchurch’s reputation as the Garden City, the Botanic Gardens are a place of ever-changing beauty. Showcasing flora and fauna of New Zealand and other parts of the world, the Gardens feature one of the finest collections of exotic and local plants in New Zealand.
With more than 1.1 million visitors each year, the Botanic Gardens are one of Christchurch’s most popular and well-loved attractions.
Free entry (donations appreciated) is available at Canterbury Museum, where you can experience New Zealand’s rich cultural and natural history. See rare Maori artefacts and more than 1,000 paua shells adorning the walls of the famous Paua Shell House.
Walk down Christchurch Street and be transported back in time with the sights and sounds of the city’s pioneering days. Discover one of the world’s most significant collections from the heroic age of Antarctic exploration and discovery. Regular temporary exhibitions.
Christchurch Art Gallery (Te Puna o Waiwhetu)
The Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū, commonly known as the Christchurch Art Gallery, is the public art gallery of the city of Christchurch, New Zealand.
It has its own substantial art collection and also presents a programme of New Zealand and International exhibitions. Admission is free, and guided tours are available. If you’re hungry, there’s a great restaurant in the building worth checking out.
The Arts Centre
Visit the Arts Centre and immerse yourself in a beautiful historic precinct that features a growing range of artisan food outlets, galleries, museums, independent retailers and education spaces. The former university has been a part of city life for more than 135 years and its unique Gothic Revival buildings are coming back to life following a remarkable post-earthquake restoration.
The Arts Centre is the largest collection of Category 1 heritage buildings in the country, providing a stunning backdrop like no other in New Zealand. More than half the site is now open to the public, with the meticulously restored buildings cleverly tailored for a 21st-century community.
Whether you’re after a coffee, want to enjoy a performance, or are simply looking for a relaxing spot in the sun, head to the Arts Centre. Every Sunday they hold the Art Centre Mākete (market) – the perfect place to explore local craft and food.
The Cardboard Cathedral, formally called the Transitional Cathedral, in Christchurch, New Zealand, is the transitional pro-cathedral of the Anglican Diocese of Christchurch, replacing Christchurch Cathedral, which was significantly damaged in the 2011 Christchurch earthquake.
The Cardboard Cathedral was designed by the Japanese architect Shigeru Ban and opened in August 2013. It is located on the site of St John the Baptist Church on the corner of Hereford and Madras Streets in Latimer Square, several blocks from the permanent location of Christchurch Cathedral.
Margaret Mahy Family Playground
Margaret Mahy Family Playground is an all-ages, all-abilities playground which can be used to hold outdoor events.
An exciting new development consisting of a 7-day-trading, indoor market, linked to a vibrant network of boutique retail, restaurants, cafes & bars – Riverside is a unique inner-city shopping experience for the local community and visitors to enjoy
Christchurch’s Air Force Museum
Military buffs and veterans will appreciate Christchurch’s Air Force Museum.
Admission and self-guided enjoyment are free and more than adequate, of course, but if you have kids, the optional $5 NZD scavenger hunt – it comes with a prize! – is well worth the cost. If you choose to, you can also opt for a professionally guided tour of the facility for the same amount.
New Brighton Beach
New Brighton Beach stretches off into the distance and is the ideal place to go for a huge beach run. There’s also a massive pier to walk down and a shopping and eating area – everything you need for a few hours by the ocean!
The site also features newly opened Hot Salt Water Pools – however, there is a charge for entry to the Hot Pools.
Sumner Beach (Cave Rock)
Sumner Beach is the ideal Christchurch beach getaway. Choose to walk or cycle along the esplanade, visit hidden caves, find exciting viewpoints to explore, then pop into one of the local cafes or restaurants to relax in.
Where to stay
Need accommodation in Christchurch? Visit our city in style and stay at one of our two beautifully restored serviced locations in the heart of Christchurch.
Ready to book your next adventure? Simply send us a booking enquiry, and we’ll take care of the rest.