Things to do  |  14 Apr 2021

Discover some of Christchurch’s best spaces to explore, learn and be entertained these holidays.

A day at the playground

Make the most of a fine day and head to one of the city’s many playgrounds.

The Margaret Mahy Playground in the central city is packed with fun things to try or you can enjoy an afternoon at the special seaside space in Scarborough Park in Sumner. There are plenty of great play spaces around Christchurch.    

Go wild on a special city trail.

Treasure trail

Go on a wildlife treasure hunt these school holidays.

Follow the colourful Ōtautahi Go Wild map and explore the city. From Tūranga and Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū to the Botanic Gardens and Canterbury Museum, the map takes users on a journey of discovery as they find all the wild things living in surprising spaces.

You can grab a map at the four sites, and remember to check out the amazing interactive Tūranga exhibition inspired by a Kiwi classic, Wildlife of Aotearoa, during your adventure around the city.

You can also Take a Walk on the Wildside, joining library staff to explore nature in the neighbourhood and take photos along the way to contribute to biodiversity research.

Bookings are required for both the Tūranga (21 April) and Te Hāpua: Halswell Centre (28 April) walks.

Book into the library

From being a librarian for a morning to exploring nature through Minecraft and creating wonderful things, our city libraries are full of opportunities and drop-in activities for a range of ages.

Check out the Christchurch City Libraries what’s on brochure for more details. 

Dogs and Gruffalos

The Dogs Day Out in the Zone and the Gruffalo Explorers event in Bottle Lake Forest are two favourites on The Walking Festival calendar.

Explore the red zone around the Richmond loop on Sunday, 18 April, with heaps of dog-friendly vendors and activities dotted along the Ōtakaro Avon River Corridor.

Meanwhile, the Guffalo Explorers walk from 10am on Thursday, April 22 is ideal for younger ramblers. 

There are plenty of child-friendly options that the whole family can enjoy between Saturday, 17 April and Sunday, 2 May.

Check out the The Walking Festival guide online.

Make a splash during the school holidays.

Get into the swim or simply soak

Swim, smile and slide into the holiday fun at one of our Council pools.

Take the family for a fun-time on the hydroslides at Taiora QEII and Jellie Park. For those families who enjoy a gentle soak by the sea, head to the hot saltwater pools on the New Brighton foreshore, He Puna Taimoana. Just ensure you plan your visit, as bookings are essential. 

Adventure ahoy

Enjoy a wander around Lyttelton before hopping on the Black Cat ferry to Quail Island.

Explore the island – a former quarantine station – via the scenic walkway and discover an array of native birdlife.

The whole family can also explore Bottle Lake Forest, with plenty of coastal tracks. For the younger members, remember to visit the Fairy Village – a magical space filled with fairy homes built by families from all over the city. 

Animal talk

One of the world’s most amazing animals is living among us.

Fataki and Fuzu – along with their half-brother, Mahali – are awe-inspiring, and the only gorillas in New Zealand. You can visit the trio – and tigers, lion, giraffes, and all our native animals – at their Orana Park home each day.

If you love otters, a family of five has recently taken up residence at Christchurch’s Willowbank Wildlife Reserve. You can also visit the ‘locals’ – from kiwis to tuatara – as you wander around the reserve. 

Fine art for fun

Etch a leaf or settle in to watch an animated film – Song of the Sea – full of folklore at Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū.

A day at the museum

Discover Discovery – a natural history centre for inquiring young minds at Canterbury Museum.

Dig for fossils, gasp at the live tarantulas, marvel at the specimens learn about our amazing world.

The family can also step into a busy 19th century Christchurch street scene. Hear the sounds of the time and wander among the shops. Modelled on real city businesses, the street helps visitors step back in time to the late 1800s. Youngsters can even take a ‘ride’ on the life-sized model horse.

Lift off for action at the Air Force Museum in Wigram. Take the controls of a Mosquito Mission flight simulator and discover the history of New Zealand through aircraft and through wartime.