Things to do  |  12 Apr 2024

Looking for ways to keep your tamariki busy these school holidays? Look no further! Here’s a list of free or low-cost activities in Christchurch.

School Holiday Fun at The Arts Centre

These school holidays Te Matatiki Toi Ora The Arts Centre have a jam packed schedule of School Holiday Fun from 13 – 28 April. Design a Narrative Game, learn the basics of graphic design or 3D modelling and craft your own digital music piece.

Take a guided tour of Rutherford’s Den, have a go at making your own ceramic mug, watch Mary Poppins at Lumière and learn the dance movements and drums in African dance style. Find more information and check out all events here.

Phillipstown Community Hub Gala Day

Kick off the school holidays with the Phillipstown Community Hub Gala Day on 13 April. Celebrate the Phillipstown Community Hub, the organisations that reside in it and the wider community. There will be a diverse line up of music, free and delicious food options, a café, free bouncy castles, face painting, free workshops, a market and more.

Phillipstown Community Hub is located at 39 Nursery Road and the gala day will be on from 10am – 4pm Saturday 13. While you're at the gala, make sure to pop over to the Christchurch City Council stand where Council staff will be available to chat and answer any questions about the Long Term Plan. 

Restoring planting - Pūharakekenui Styx River, Brooklands

Join Christchurch City Council rangers and the Styx Living Laboratory Trust on the lower Pūharakekenui Styx River in Brooklands to plant and restore an important ecosystem. The Styx Living Laboratory Trust – in partnership with Council and the community - have been actively restoring land along the river for more than twenty years as part of a wider vision to restore a viable spring-fed river ecosystem.

You can take part from 1 – 3pm on 13 April to help us plant eco-sourced native plants into the river edges. Come wearing closed-toe shoes/boots or gumboots and dress for the weather conditions. All tools will be provided – along with afternoon tea! More information here.

Heritage Stargazing from the Observatory Tower

View the southern sky through the Victorian-era Townsend Teece Telescope at Te Matatiki Toi Ora The Arts Centre! Under the guidance of Townsend Observer astronomers from the University of Canterbury, you’ll be able to view the moon, planets and star clusters, including the stunningly colourful Jewel Box star cluster.

30-minute tours of the Observatory Tower and stargazing through the telescope will be available every Friday evening from $5. Find more information here.

The Lost Sock at The Court Theatre

If you were a sock, what would you do if you woke up and your best friend had disappeared? Join Jo the sock on their quest to find their other half at The Lost Sock – a musical adventure full of puppets and songs. The show will be approximately 40 minutes and is recommended for people aged 5 – 9 years old.

Grab a ticket from $12 to The Court Theatre show, taking place on 16 April.

Observing the Natural World

Observe the natural world these school holidays with Dr Morgane Merien from Canterbury Museum. Morgane will be located at a range of local libraries across the network – so drop in to see live stick insects, cool museum specimens and sea creatures, and learn about the City Nature Challenge and iNaturalist app.

Meet Morgane and hear how you can help observe the natural world around you at Ōrauwhata  Bishopdale Library and Community Centre from 11.30am – 3pm on 16 April, South Library from 10am – 2pm on 18 April, Upper Riccarton Library from 10am – 2pm on 22 April, and Te Hāpua Halswell Centre from 10am – 2pm on 24 April.

Matatiki Hornby Centre – Community Day

Hornby’s new pool, library and service centre, Matatiki Hornby Centre, is officially open from 3pm Friday 19 April – so celebrate with us on Saturday 20 April with a fun-filled Community Day. Jump, rush and bash your way through the inflatable obstacle course in the pool or chillax in the library and check out the huge range of books on offer.

The Hits will also be broadcasting live on site and doing giveaways throughout the day while offering on-air opportunities to tamariki. Other activities include virtual reality sessions, bookmark making with our in-house laser cutter, scavenger hunts, boards games and arts and crafts. Come along from 10am to 4pm 20 April to get involved.

Akaroa Harvest Festival

Come along to The Grand Hotel, 2/1 Rue Lavaud Akaroa for a fun, family friendly day out at the Akaroa Harvest Festival. The day will include a variety of food and produce, a cake auction, children’s games and face painting, artisan stalls and demonstrations.

You also have the chance to enter in one of the Festival’s competitions: best dressed person with a harvest theme, children’s sand saucer, biggest marrow, best flower or herb posy, jams and pickles and best fruit of vege. Tickets cost $5 and entry for children is free. The Festival will be on from 10am – 4pm.

Rotary BOOKarama 2024

The Rotary Club of Bishopdale Burnside is holding its popular 18th annual three-day book sale, the Rotary BOOKarama. Come on down to the Bishopdale Recreation Centre (formerly known as the YMCA) at Bishopdale Mall from 10am – 6pm on 26 and 27 April, and 10am – 2pm on 28 April.

The three-day sale consists of donated books, jigsaws, DVDs, CDs and vinyl records. The proceeds from the book sale will go towards youth and community projects and services.

City Nature Challenge

Dig for wild plants, spot animals and search for fungi as part of the City Nature Challenge. The global challenge is underway from 26 – 29 April, helping put Ōtautahi Christchurch’s biodiversity on the map.

The goal of the event is to encourage Cantabrians to explore our biodiversity with events from city to sea and mountain-top to estuary. People are invited to submit pictures of their nature finds from anywhere across Christchurch and Banks Peninsula using the iNaturalistNZ app. Events exploring the red zone, putting a spotlight on nighttime critters and getting up close to aquatic invertebrates. See all the events here.