Family Fun in Ōtautahi Christchurch This Spring
Spring is finally here! Get the whānau out and about with our fun ideas to enjoy our city in full bloom! Explore the great outdoors again with giant swings, playgrounds, shipwrecks, and wildlife.
Breakfast at the Margaret Mahy Playground
This is a top local secret – pack a picnic breakfast the night before and surprise the kids with breakfast at the Margaret Mahy Playground. Make use of the free electrical BBQs and picnic area to cook your pancakes and enjoy the playground to yourself before the crowds amble in!
There's plenty of top coffee options nearby for the adults too, from mobile coffee carts in the playground to Child Sister just across the road.
Swoop on a Giant Swing
Right next to Margaret Mahy Playground, you'll find one of the newest installations by Gap Filler, giant swings bringing squeals of joy to kids big and little.
The swing is part of Gap Filler's work to deliver creative and experimental installations. The pump track next to the #ChchSwing is their work too. Grab a scooter or bike and zoom through, or relax with a coffee in hand as the kids wear themselves out.
See the Shipwrecks at Quail Island
There's nothing like an adventure to see island shipwrecks. Discover Quail Island's unique history; a former leper colony, a training ground for Antarctic explorers, a ship graveyard, and now a pest-free ecological reserve.
The Island is accessible by multiple tracks and you can complete the island loop in 2 1/2 hours. Be sure to bring walking shoes, a picnic, and your togs in warm weather. Get to Quail Island on the Black Cat Ferry from Lyttelton.
Cruise the City on the Christchurch Tram
Always popular with the kids the Christchurch Tram is a perfect way to see the city if tired legs (both big and small!) can’t keep up. The all-day hop-on hop-off tickets allow you to visit the best of the central city at your own pace.
The drivers are always super friendly and knowledgeable about the city. Enjoy a mini-history lesson about all the key sights and locations. If you're lucky, you can even ring the tram bell!
Walking Tour Christchurch's Outdoor Art
Each year SCAPE Public Art brings the city to life with a series of exciting sculptures dotted across the city centre. Alongside the 14 legacy works, eight new works by local and internationally recognised artists will be debuting around central Ōtautahi Christchurch. The theme for 2021 is Shadows Cast.
Enjoy the artworks individually or on an easily walkable route around the central city. SCAPE runs from 19 November 2021 though till 14 January 2022.
Scoot Through the Botanic Gardens
No list of Spring activities would be complete without a trip to the city’s crowning jewel – the Christchurch Botanic Gardens. Awash with magnolias, rhododendrons, camellias, and blossoms there’s nowhere more beautiful to spend a lazy spring afternoon.
Grab the kids' scooters (bikes not allowed) and explore the gardens but please leave any electric scooters at the garden's entrance. Grab an ice cream or bite at Ilex Cafe and let the kids burn off some energy at the kids' playground.
Get Close to Wildlife at Orana Park
In New Zealand’s only open-range wildlife park set in 80 hectares, you'll see natural animal behaviours and New Zealand's only gorillas and orangutans. Hand feed the majestic giraffes, look into the eyes of a white rhino or travel through the lion reserve.
The Park is backed by the Jane Goodall Institute of New Zealand, reflecting the park’s commitment to conservation, education and advocacy. Orana Wildlife Park is internationally recognised for its breeding programmes for endangered, exotic and native species. By visiting, you're helping their conservation work.