Every year Christchurch visitors and locals get to enjoy a range of seasonal activities - wonderful for the children and the whole family as we get into a festive frame of mind.
This year the city has a whole wide range of new places to shop for gifts this year, especially in the central city, and we also have some new Christmas events to participate in.
This privately run event has become more and more of an extravaganza every year and is one that is really worth keeping the kids up a little late for! Located at 650 Shands Road, its a wee bit of a drive from central Christchurch, and take note you might have to walk from wherever you park your car, so leave the high heels at home. Open from 8.30pm till midnight every day of December. Admission is $5.00.
Check out this year's video to see what's in store.
2) New Brighton Santa Parade and Concert, December 9
If the city Santa Parade is a bit overwhelming for you, or you just missed it this year, why not get out to New Brighton for the Brighton Santa Parade. Where else in the world can you see Santa then grab ice creams for the kids and wander down to the beach?!
The event runs from 10am - 2pm and includes a market, bouncy castle and free facepainting, food stalls, Santa's Grotto and a Concert after the parade itself. Make sure you are there to see Santa arriving by boat on the beach at 10.15am. The parade itself starts from 10.30am on the corner of Marine Parade and Hawke Street.
Visit the Facebook page to find out more about stalls etc.
3) Willows Annual Christmas Market, December 9, Helios Medical Centre 275 Fifield Terrace, Opawa
A lovely way to spend a summer evening - from 4pm - 7.30pm. Arts, Crafts, Christmas foods and much more. Children's entertainment, music, choir, carols, sing a long - great festive family fun!
Shop for traditional hand crafted Christmas Gift Ideas, pick up some essential Christmas foods. Berries, baking, eggs, deli foods etc. Enjoy some great bites from food vendors, bring a rug, sit out on the grass and enjoy the entertainment.
4) Christmas for the City, December 16, Ara Polytechnic
Christmas for the City is a free Christmas Event like no other. Created as a gift to families and the people of Ōtautahi from the churches of Christchurch. A Christmas Party experience that caters for people of all ages, from all communities across our city.
At Christmas For The City, you can expect to find: Art, music, dance crews, drama and fun activities; Activities for kids such as toy making, cookie decorating, photo with Santa, animal rides, bouncy castles, face-painting; food from various nations available for purchase; cultural expressions of the Christmas Story.
5) Arts Centre Fundraising Concert with Voices and Co, Great Hall, Christchurch Arts Centre, 10 December
From 2pm - 3pm, join the fabulous Voices Co - winners of TV's Naked Choir acapella competition, perform a mixture of Christmas classics and other favourites. By attending this concert you will be supporting fundraising for the ongoing restoration and maintenance of the Arts Centre following the Christchurch earthquakes.
Tickets are Adults $25.00, Children $5.00, Students $15.00, Seniors $15.00 and Families $50.00. Head to the Arts Centre website to book.
6) Lincoln's Christmas Twilight Market, 21 December, 4pm - 7pm
Situated just 20 minutes away from Christchurch city, this is a great place to start off the festive season, get in the Christmas spirit and buy those last minute gifts for family and friends.
There will be a special visit from Santa between 4pm and 6pm before he heads off to the North Pole. You can make a Xmas card, watch a dance display or listen to all those Christmas favourites from the Selwyn Community Choir and Selwyn Youth Choir.
Plus there will be lots of artisan craft stalls - gifts from newborn to adult and fresh award-winning produce including local cheeses, organic meats,local wines, GF treats, artisan breads, spray free and organic fruit and vegetables, colourful flowers to decorate your Christmas table. And if gardening is your thing there will also be a selection of vegetable plants and perennials.
Find out more on the Lincoln Farmers and Craft Market Facebook page.
7) Opawa Farmers' Market - Christmas Market, 275 Fifield Terrace Opawa, 24 December, 9am - 12pm
Grab those delicious fresh berries, new potatoes and homegrown peas for Christmas Day - the freshest produce in town guaranteed! It's a good idea to bring cash with you as the eftpos facilities are limited and you don't want to miss out! For more details, visit the Facebook event page.
8) YMCA Carols by Candlelight, Latimer Square, 24 December, 9pm - 10pm
Join the rest of the city on Christmas Eve for this extra special candlelight event to celebrate Christmas Eve with traditional carol singing.
Carols by Candlelight is a true celebration of family, of Christmas and of community spirit. Mike Yardley will be the MC, as you are accompanied by the Salvation Army Band, a combined Christchurch choir and guest soloists.
Conductor Andrew Withington will lead a programme of traditional and modern carols. Candles and carol books will be on sale, the proceeds of which help make this event possible. Toilets and coffee/food vendors will also be onsite.
Check the Facebook event page for updates.
Not Christmas, but worth a reminder if you're wondering what to do or where all the action is on New Year's Eve. Celebrations to help see in the New Year will be happening in Hagley Park as usual, as part of the annual City Council Summertimes programme. Check the website for more details.
Entertainment for children will be held earlier in the evening with their own mini countdown at 8.30pm, then bands hit the stage from 9pm through to past midnight - which is heralded with fireworks. Work out your transport arrangements in advance as there is limited parking nearby. there are bike stands at Armagh St Bridge and Carlton Mill if you want to ride down, or else plan to walk or bus into the city, or park and walk.