21 Free Things to do in Christchurch

Start here to find great mini adventures to have in Christchurch with your kids!

1.  Go to Riccarton bush – feed old bread to the ducks and walk the bush walk.

2.  Take a picnic to Hagley Park or to the Botanic Gardens. There are so many places to walk around and things to look at. Feed the ducks, let the kids play at the playground, or enjoy an outdoor concert during the summer months. Bring a blanket and books to read together.

3.  Tour around the Canterbury Museum. It has changing exhibits and is located in the Botanic Gardens (see above).

4.  Go to the Air Force Museum. It is free to enter. If you’re up for spending a bit, there are a variety of tours ($5-8 per person) you can check out as well as a child’s scavenger hunt ($5 including a prize) to take part in.

5.  Go to one of the great paddling pools in the area – the whale at Brighton beach or the pools by the playground at the Botanic gardens. Abberley park and Woodham Park also have pools. Or swim at one of the beaches (Sumner, Brighton, or the bays around by Lyttelton).

6.  Walk the New Brighton pier. Then head to the sand and build castle on the beach.

7.  Find a park and have a play and a picnic. Or do a bit of work ahead of time and set up a treasure hunt at your local park. There is a list of popular parks on the Christchurch City Council page. Some favourites Victoria park, the Groynes and Spencer Park. Woodham Park has a pool, a newer playground and a bird avery.

8.  Head up the port hills to Sign of the Takahe or Sign of the Kiwi. Both of the buildings at these locations are currently closed due to the earthquakes, but the views are still amazing. There are trails to hike around and lots of views to enjoy.

9.  Fly a kite at the beach or at the top of the port hills (Victoria Park is a good place).

10.  Visit animals at the animal park opposite the Spencer Park motor camp entrance. There are chickens, bunnies, peacocks, aviaries and kune kune pigs. You walk through their enclosures at your own pace.

11. Want to see more animals? Visit the SPCA and cuddle the kittens or go to an Animates pet store.

12.  Head to one of the great weekend or weekday artisan or farmer‘s markets – most happen on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays.

13.  Watch planes take off at the back of the airport.

14.  Ride bikes at Bottle Lake Forest or the Westburn Bike Park (it has a mini road system for kids).

15.  Check out one of the festivals that happen throughout the year. Check out which festivals happen each month.  Some of our favourites are World Buskers Festival (January), Festival of Flowers (Feb/March), Kidsfest (June/July). Are you here during the summer? Check out the Summertimes calendar. So much happening!

16.  Head to your local library. Storytimes and Babytimes happen each week during school terms. Check it out on the ChCh Mums’ events calendar.

17.  Go to the nearest community garden and get your hands dirty! Get involved in your local area through healthy habits! This is a great experience for kids.

18.  Collect shells at the beach – either Sumner or New Brighton. Or collect something else when in a local park – rocks, leaves, flowers, etc.

19.  Walk around the CBD red zone – see the changes that have occurred and observe what’s happening.

20.  Hang out at the Re:Start Mall on Cashel Street. There’s usually music buskers and lots to look at. While you’re in the area, head to the Tuam Street library and read some books.

21. Go to Imagination Station –  a charity based organisation in Cathedral Junction where parents can bring their children to play with Lego for free, 10:00am-06:00pm seven days a week.

Want more? Here are 9 things that are fun and will cost you $10 or less…


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