Top 10 best things to do in Christchurch with kids, ranked

Christchurch City has everything to offer a family with varied interests. Here are ten options to keep your kids enthusiastic and entertained.

Christchurch is the largest city on the South Island of New Zealand, which means there are plenty of things to do for people of all ages.

Set in a fantastic part of the country, surrounded by incredible nature, and with plenty of activities on offer within the city limits, there are many ways to keep your kids entertained during the school holidays down under.

Let us show you the ten best things to do in Christchurch with kids to make sure to have the trip of a lifetime with the family.

10. New Brighton Beach – for a day at sea

New Brighton Beach is one of the best things to do in Christchurch with kids.

If you happen to be visiting Christchurch City in the European winter months, you will certainly have some great weather to take advantage of, with it being summer in the southern hemisphere.

New Brighton Beach is a fantastic beach day out not far from the city, enabling the kids to swim, build sandcastles, and perhaps spot some whales or dolphins in the ocean.

Address: Canterbury, New Zealand

9. Orana Wildlife Park – a day with the animals

Orana Wildlife Park is a truly thrilling experience.

Orana Wildlife Park is an open-air zoo, home to various wildlife, including lions, gorillas, giraffes, rhinos, and, of course, the kiwi bird, which is native to New Zealand, is where the nickname for the country came from.

Kids will be endlessly entertained here, with plenty to observe around the area. Plus, with it being close to the city centre, it is an easy choice.

Address: 793 McLeans Island Road, Harewood, Christchurch 8051, New Zealand

8. Air Force Museum of New Zealand – for a day focused on aviation

The Air Force Museum of New Zealand is one of the best things to do in Christchurch with kids.
Credit: Flickr / Bernard Spragg. NZ

The Air Force Museum of New Zealand is a great option if you have kids that just love anything to do with aviation.

They will be engrossed by the flight simulator, a variety of aircraft, endless exhibitions, and interactive guided tours to keep them inspired all day long. Not to mention it is free to enter.

Address: 45 Harvard Avenue, Wigram, Christchurch City 8042, New Zealand

7. Canterbury Museum – a variety of interactive exhibitions

There is plenty to learn at Christchurch Museum.

Canterbury Museum is an in-depth history museum has a variety of exhibitions to keep kids of all ages entertained and is one of the best things to do in Christchurch with kids.

It has a bird hall, dinosaur models, an Antarctic exhibition, and so much more. Plus, it is all completely free of charge.

Address: 11 Rolleston Avenue, Christchurch Central City, Christchurch 8013, New Zealand

6. Quake City – a look at the history of earthquakes in the region

Quake City is one of the best things to do in Christchurch with kids.
Credit: Flickr / Christchurch City Libraries

Quake City is a museum that depicts the Canterbury Earthquake Story with a variety of personal stories, videos, hands-on interactive exhibitions, and many interesting displays, which are great educational tools about natural disasters for children.

The whole story revolves around the history of this earthquake-prone region and focuses on the hope and courage of the locals who have lived through and overcome it all.

Address: 299 Durham Street North, Christchurch Central City, Christchurch 8013, New Zealand

5. Christchurch Botanic Gardens – a day spent in nature

We highly recommend Christchurch Botanic Gardens.

The Christchurch Botanic Gardens is a great place to explore on a beautiful sunny day, especially if you have children that love to be outdoors.

This is a popular spot with people of all ages who love to explore the various native and exotic plants. They even have a kids’ playground and pool, which is open during the summer.

Address: Rolleston Avenue, Christchurch Central City, Christchurch 8013, New Zealand

4. TranzAlpine Train – a ride to remember

The TranzAlpine Trail is one of the best things to do in Christchurch with kids.

If you are looking for a truly unforgettable experience for the whole family, then the TranzAlpine Train has to be considered. It is certainly one of the best things to do in Christchurch with kids.

The scenic train ride, which starts in Christchurch and takes you across the Southern Alps mountains to Greymouth, is considered one of the best in the world. It will leave you and the kids with long-lasting memories.

Address: Troup Drive, Addington, Christchurch 8011, New Zealand

3. International Antarctic Centre – an inside look at the cold region

The International Antarctic Centre is a great educational facility.
Credit: Facebook / @internationalantarcticcentre

For an in-depth look at what life is like in the Antarctic region, you should make your way to the International Antarctic Centre in Christchurch.

This fantastic attraction has 4D shows, penguin feedings, and the storm room complete with real-life huskies. This is a fun and exciting place to take the kids, but people of all ages will love it, too.

Address: Corner Roy Place and Orchard Road, Christchurch Airport, Christchurch 8052, New Zealand

2. Christchurch Gondola – take in the panoramic views from above

Christchurch Gondola is one of the best things to do in Christchurch with kids.

For a thrilling day out, you should take the Christchurch Gondola, which provides incredibly scenic views all over the coast and city.

It is said to be one of the best things to do in Christchurch with kids, and they will certainly be captivated by this top Christchurch attraction.

Taking you to the summit of Port Hills, you can enjoy spectacular views on this unique experience.

Address: 10 Bridle Path Road, Heathcote Valley, Christchurch 8022, New Zealand

1. Willowbank Wildlife Reserve – a one-stop-shop for entertainment

Willowbank Wildlife Reserve is a great day out.

This huge wildlife reserve is a fantastic place for kids to see animals of all varieties. Kids and adults can also learn about the Māori culture with captivating live shows and performances.

Here, children can do their very own Kiwi safari and spot the Big Five (the kiwi, kaka, tuatara, kea, and takahe), which will be a lot of fun for everyone.

Address: 60 Hussey Road, Northwood, Christchurch 8051, New Zealand

So, if Christchurch is on your agenda for the next big holiday and you were struggling to come up with ways to keep the kids enthusiastic and entertained, then these ten best things to do in Christchurch with kids will offer up some great options.

Notable mentions

Hagley Park is one of the best things to do in Christchurch with kids.

Margaret Mahy Family Playground: The Margaret Mahy Playground has plenty of fun outdoor activities.

Banks Peninsula: Banks Peninsula is a great day trip from Christchurch City with plenty of exciting activities for kids.

Hagley Park: Hagley Park is the perfect spot for a family day out. Enjoy a picnic lunch and a bike ride.

Avon River: Avon River is the perfect spot for a day trip with the family.

Bottle Lake Forest: Bottle Lake Forest offers mountain biking trails, fairy doors, and a fun zip line. The Bottle Lake Forest Fairy Village is a must-visit with the whole family.

McLeans Forest: McLeans Forest offers amazing views and plenty of family friendly mountain biking trails.

Quail Island: Quail Island is a recreational nature reserve with beautiful views that has plenty of fun activities for children.

Christchurch Adventure Park: Christchurch Adventure Park is a great place for kids to have a fun-filled day out, with mountain biking trails, zip-lining, and more.

Spencer Park: Spencer Park is a great day trip from Christchurch City, with plenty of fun activities for kids, including a high ropes course and mountain biking trails.

FAQs about the best things to do in Christchurch with kids

What can you do on a rainy day in Christchurch?

The TranzAlpine Train and the Canterbury Museum are great activities for a rainy day in Christchurch.

When is the best time to visit Christchurch? 

The best time to visit Christchurch is from November until March, during the southern hemisphere’s summer.

What is there to do in Christchurch for kids?

Aside from the things listed above, some great things to do in Christchurch with kids are visiting the bike parks. Knights Stream Park, Sumner Beach, Westburn Reserve, Lake Tekapo, are more great family activities.

Jade Poleon
Jade Poleon
Jade Poleon is a free spirit with a love for the world and her homeland, Ireland. Jade started travelling in 2007 and since then has travelled to every continent and over 90 countries, qualified as a yoga teacher in India, hiked the Himalayas, walked 900km across Spain, and is about to embark on a trip through Portugal in her camper van. Travel is her number-one passion, and she has a soft spot for hiking, food, and jaw-dropping scenery, all of which can be found right here on our stunning Emerald Isle.

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