Get festive with the annual Christchurch Santa Parade which has returned to the central city.
Santa is coming to town this Sunday, 2 December! The Santa Parade starts at 2pm on the corner of Madras and St Asaph streets and will make its way slowly to the corner of Madras and Kilmore streets. Come in early for family fun starting from 11am at Cashel Mall - enjoy face painting, live bands and you can even post a letter to Santa!
Driving? The Lichfield street car park will have $3 all day parking for those who arrive before 11.30am.
Take the opportunity to get in early and explore the city before the Parade kicks off, here’s a few ideas:
- See the best of the central city with a walk along the newly opened City Promenade, this shared pathway runs along Oxford Terrace from the Hospital to the Margaret Mahy Playground. Around 500 trees, 29,000 plants and 34 artworks and installations have gone into creating the City Promenade and greater Avon River Precinct. Follow the path and take in the views, the winding river and numerous restaurants and shops in our beautiful city.
- Visit Tūranga, the central library – Christchurch’s newest library has so much to explore including an imagination station filled with LEGO and DUPLO, books, magazines, newspapers, an interactive roof garden, children’s play zone and a café.
- It always seems to be a sweltering hot day when the Santa Parade comes to town so join the locals at Rollickin’ Gelato for an ice cream. Made from organic ingredients and seasonal unique flavours this popular favorite never disappoints.
- A trip into the central city wouldn’t be complete without a stop at the Margaret Mahy Playground. Let the kids explore the slides, climb the spider web, play in the sandpit, fly down the flying fox and cool off with some water play. For those interested in nature pop down to the Avon River which winds past the park and feed the eels and the ducks.
- Take a load off your feet and jump on the Christchurch tram to explore the city. The loop will take you past Cathedral Square, Canterbury Museum, Hagley Park, Victoria Square, the Avon River, New Regent Street, Christchurch Art Gallery and so much more. Hop on or off at any one of the 17 stops dotted around the central city.
- The Christchurch Botanic Gardens provide a wonderful respite from the hustle and bustle of the streets. Check out the rose garden, the Peacock Fountain, the conservatory, the large paddling pool, the playground, or simply wander the gardens and find one of the spectacular ancient trees to climb.
- If you’re in need of a bite to eat you’ll be spoilt for choice – Bunsen, across the road from the Gardens is always a hit with the kids and adults alike. Great coffee is paired with amazing café style food, grab a seat out the back of the café and let the kids run around on the grass while you relax. For more options, head to Cashel Square within the BNZ Centre, where you can lounge on a beanbag and choose from the numerous food options including Wok It To Me, Burger Fuel, Hachi Hachi, New York Deli, Pita Pit or Robert Harris.
- While in Cashel Street, take the chance to wander the shops the inner-city retail precinct has plenty to explore with a wide range of boutiques and contemporary retail spaces – shops are spread out across Cashel, High and Colombo Streets here you’ll find high end fashion mixed with well-loved favourites. Be sure to check out Santa's Grotto and the Christmas Windows at Ballantynes.