Last summer I wrote a post full of free things to do in Christchurch in summer. It continues to be one of my most popular posts so I thought why not do a part two! I love exploring in my own city and it’s even better when the weather is nice too.
Some of my best childhood memories come from attending Summertimes events, hosted by the Christchurch City Council. There’s something for everyone with events including Lazy Sundays (music at the Botanical Gardens), Kite Day at New Brighton Beach, live outdoor theatre, Sparks in the Park, and one of my favourites, the Chinese Lantern Festival in Hagley Park.
The Canterbury Museum is a great free thing to do year round. There’s a range of permanent exhibitions mostly about the human and natural history of Canterbury and Antarctica but there are often temporary exhibitions. Currently and until the 26th of March 2017, the Air New Zealand 75 Years Exhibition is on at Canterbury Museum. I first saw this exhibition when it was at Te Papa but was more than happy to go again here in Christchurch. The exhibition is interesting and interactive with things to do such as watch a plane land as if you’re in the cockpit and experience a futuristic virtual reality flight. There’s great things for kids too such as virtually decorating your own plane and dressing up in miniature Air New Zealand uniforms.
Right next to the museum are the beautiful botanic gardens. The gardens are great for a summer walk through the rose garden, greenhouses, and if it’s really warm you can take your kids for a swim in the paddling pools. You can also stop for a coffee or ice cream at Ilex cafe in the visitor centre or Duck Duck by the playgrounds.
Outdoor Movie Nights
The Arts Centre are hosting monthly free outdoor cinema nights in the beautifully restored North Quad. You can bring your own picnic and seating or buy from food vendors on site (including my favourite Kettle Korn). On the second Friday of the month they play two films, one for families and one just for adults – arrive early though as space is limited.
Post Earthquake Christchurch has allowed for a lot of innovation and change, meaning a whole lot of new shops to gawk at. My favourite window shopping spots are the The Colombo (also check out Hello Sunday for a mean as brunch), Re:Start (the container mall), and the rebirth of City Mall in the form of the ANZ and BNZ centres. In my opinion you can’t look past Scorpio Books for books on just about anything or Mecca Maxima if you like make up.
Riccarton Farmer’s Market
If you’re looking for something to do on a Saturday morning you certainly can’t look past the Christchurch Farmer’s Market held at Riccarton House from 9am til 1pm weekly. The market is filled with beautiful produce, artisan products and baked goods. My favourite treat are the cakes from Chocolate Fix (all gluten and dairy free yay). Afterwards you can walk off your cake with a gentle stroll around Riccarton Bush.
I hope you’ve found this post helpful, I’d love to hear about more free things to do in Christchurch!