10 free things to do with kids in Christchurch

  1. Botanic Gardens
    Located in Hagley Park, the Botanic Gardens have plenty to keep kids occupied.  Walk, scooter or bike around the perimeter of the park, walk through and picnic in the gardens, play on the playground and in summer splash in the paddling pools.
  2. Canterbury Museum
    Located on the edge of the Botanic Gardens, the Museum is housed in a beautiful stone building dating from 1870.  The museum has natural history and human collections on display as well as a programme of changing exhibits and events.  There is a cafe upstairs as well as further exhibits so do explore all levels.
  3. Margaret Mahy Playground
    This playground has proved to be a big hit in Christchurch.  Kids of all ages will enjoy exploring the playground and water play area. There are picnic tables in the shade next to the river where you can spot eels and fish!
  4. Sumner Beach
    Kids will love the cave under Cave Rock and the little pools created around the rocks when it’s low tide.  Walk along the wide promenade to Scarborough Park at the cliff end where there is a playgound with a paddling pool and toilets.
  5. Riccarton Bush
    Putaringamotu is the sole remnant of ancient native forest on the Canterbury plains.  The Kahikatea trees here are up to 600 years old.  The loop track in Riccarton Bush only takes 10-15 minutes to complete and there is the historic Dean’s cottage and Riccarton House to look at as well as the river with ducks and plenty of grass area to picnic and play on.
  6. Wigram Airforce Museum
    Discover New Zealand’s military aviation history at the Wigram Air Force Museum.
    Kids will enjoy the exhibits and interactive displays.
  7. New Brighton Pier
    Take a walk down the New Brighton Pier, watch surfers and people fishing then wander along the beach below the big pillars.  The new playground is great with splash and paddling pools, a water play area and playgrounds.
  8. Bicycle riding
    Bottle Lake Forest or Macleans Island offer gentle mountain biking trails or for little ones Westburn Bike Park offers hour of fun on bikes or scooters with it’s mini road layouts and Kendal School Bike Track is great for kids to develop their cycling skills.  Many parks have skateboard and bmx tracks.
  9. Christchurch city libaries
    Check out the Christchurch city libraries website to see what is on offer at your local library. You might be surprised at the different classes offered.
  10. Find a park
    Christchurch has so many great parks.  Pack a picnic and a soccer ball and head out to discover some new parks and playgrounds.

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