Things to do  |  13 Jun 2024

Reluctant dragons, giant caterpillars, a carnival of animals – theatre, music and dance take centre stage at this year’s KidsFest as tickets go on sale from today.

The popular children’s festival has been keeping Christchurch kids occupied over the winter school holidays for more than three decades.

This year the programme has over 200 activities and features more than 20 shows and performances around the city.

“We’re advising people to get in quick because many of these shows have limited spaces!” says Lucy Blackmore, Christchurch City Council Events and Arts Manager.

Dance lovers will delight in Southern Ballet’s staging of Beauty and the Beast from 10-12 July, Carnival of the Animals on 10 July and A Fairy’s Tale 17-20 July while Expressions Dance Company presents the classic story of Snow White on 11 July.

Musical theatre romps into town with The Reluctant Dragon facing off against Sir Mr Beast Battler 17-19 July.

Meanwhile smash hit Something Rotten! returns to the Court Theatre for a two-week season of Shakespearean mayhem every night of KidsFest; in the daytime the theatre transforms into an underwater kingdom where Disney’s The Little Mermaid JR. unfolds.

Dive into a world of Musical Movie Magic  on 18 July with bands from the Christchurch School of Music playing live tunes from Beauty and the Beast, Harry Potter and many more.

Revisit the lovable characters of Puss in Boots 6-21 July at the Malthouse Theatre and join Princess Rose and her adventurous friends in Sleeping Beauty 11-12 July.

Elgregoe the Magician has a show full of surprises on 9 July, Shadow Puppet Folk Tales present three classic fairy and folk tales on 8-12 July, and two enormous Caterpillars explore a magical world of jumping eggs and giant flowers from 12-14 July.

Making music takes on a new meaning with an invitation to “bring your own bucket” to the Nor’west Brass Crash, Bang, Wallop concert on 17 July. Music with Michal takes a more mellow approach with her interactive show for young children on 10-11 July

“There’s a vibrant lineup of shows this year. It’s fantastic to see the variety that’s on offer and many are low cost. These events do need to be booked however so make sure you get in early and secure your tickets,” says Ms Blackmore.

“We also have a huge range of other activities on offer from arts and crafts to outdoor adventures, cooking, technology and sport. Check out what’s happening and get planning!”

See the full KidsFest line-up and get tickets.