Christmas Events and Markets 2018

  • Christmas Light Show Christchurch 2018
  • Christchurch Santa Parade
  • The night market Christchurch
  • Carols by Candlelight Chch

As we rocket closer to Christmas and the New Year, visitors and locals alike are often looking for details of christmas events and markets that are being held around the city.

Below are some of the highlights you might want to add to your calendar, especially if you want to add some Christmas magic for your family.

If you are on the Park's email list, check your emails a little closer to December 25th as we will also be sending out a list of local businesses that are open on Christmas Day.

1) Avebury Christmas Night Market, Fri 30 Nov 2018, 4:30pm–8:00pm

All are welcome to Avebury's Inaugural Christmas Night Market. A chance to support local and handmade this Christmas! Richmond Community Garden are co-hosting, they'll have seedlings and the delectable fruits of their labours on offer. Avebury House will have the doors open, and food and craft vendors will be there including Artisan Aotearoa soaps and bars, Hugs All Round Quilt Group, the Salt Lady, Burly Cakes and more!

Richmond Men's Shed are taking on the BBQ. The New Brighton Ukelele jam will bring their unique take on a live Christmas soundtrack, we'll have games, fund-raising stalls and the paddling pool will be open too!

Address is Avebury House, 9 Eveleyn Couzins Avenue, Richmond, Christchurch.

2) Christchurch Santa Parade, Sunday December 2, 2018

The annual Multi Media Communications Santa Parade is the South Island's largest, most successful and significant "true" community event. For over 70 years the Christchurch Santa Parade has brought joy to the children of Christchurch.

This year will be no exception as it is moving back into the centre of Christchurch City having been in suburbia for 8 years since the earthquakes. The route this year will be Madras Street! It will start at the corner of Madras and St Asaph Streets and finish at Kilmore and Madras Streets.

A little shorter route than in the past but a lot more green-space to enjoy a pre-parade picnic and entertainment provided. If the weather is not suitable, the parade will be postponed to Sunday December 9th. A decision to postpone will not be made before noon. Listen to THE BREEZE 94.5FM or 92MOREFM.

3) New Brighton Santa Parade and Concert, December 8

If the central city Santa Parade is a bit overwhelming for you and the family, or you just missed it this year, why not head 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 if the weather is good?

The event runs from 10am - 2pm and includes a Seaside Market, bouncy castle and free facepainting, food stalls, Santa's Grotto and a Concert after the parade itself. Make sure you are there with the kids 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.

4) Christmas Lightshow, 30 November - 30 December 2018

This privately run event has become more and more of an extravaganza every year! This year's theme is "Winter Wonderland" so you can guarantee plenty of magical moments. 

The Lightshow is synchronised to great music by New Zealand rock bands, Written by Wolves and  Devilskin.  Also for something a bit different this year, country Singer Jody Direen and some classical music - but definitely no "Christmas music".

You are encouraged to visit in the first few weeks of December to avoid the crowds as it gets particularly busy the week before Christmas.

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 per person. 

5) It's Beginning to Look a lot Like Christmas Makete, Arts Centre of Christchurch, December 9 2018

Our aim at the Arts Centre Market is to make Christmas shopping more "Ho, ho, ho!" with the 'It's Beginning to Look a lot Like Christmas' Market. Wave goodbye to crowded, stuffy malls, late-night shopping madness and the same three Mariah Carey Christmas songs playing on loop into eternity.

Instead, say hello to a one-stop haven filled to the brim with a huge selection of today’s finest independent designers, artists, crafters and foodies in the wonderfully rebuilt Christchurch Arts Centre. 

6) The Night Market, Saturday nights over summer 2018/19

This is a new market running in the CBD of Christchurch every Saturday night from 5pm - 10pm featuring a range of food stalls and live entertainment. The location is the corner of Moorhouse Ave and Fitzgerald Avenue.

Come tempt your taste buds and try out our huge selection of delicious cuisine, created by local chefs while listening to the sound of live performers. Food stalls include: Korean Babs, Steampunk Laboratory, Khmer Cambodian BBQ, Chimney Cakes, Empanadas Cartel, Great Pastry Shop, Kung Fu Dumplings, Gelatiamo, Kuya Boys Filipino BBQ, Alma's Langosh, BGT Burgers, Coffee Vice, Malaysian Noodles, Yum Yum Gyoza, Naija Cuisine , Eagle Brewing, Empire Chicken and The Whole Hog.

7) The Great NZ Santa Run/Walk, Wednesday December 5th 2018, North Hagley Park

A major fundraiser for Graeme Dingle Foundation, the Santa Run concept is simple – a 2-3km fun run/walk in a Santa suit!

Each adult entrant receives a free Santa suit as part of their entry fee. The courses are kept easy so everyone can finish, with minimal training and are highly visible for maximum impact

As mentioned, Santa Suits are provided to adults entered but there have been awesome outfits and dressing up in previous years. Lots of elves, rudolphs and other characters make the run..

Our recipient charity is the Graeme Dingle Foundation who is a leader in positive child and youth development building resilience and self-belief in New Zealand’s young people.

Registration:    5pm - 6.20pm at the event centre. At registration you collect your race number and Santa suit.
Race Briefing: 6.15pm 
Start:                6.30pm 
Prizegiving:     7.15pm

Santa Suits: 
Santa suits are adult one size fits all sizing. Santa suits are mens (trousers) or ladies (skirt), top, hat, belt and beard. You will be asked to choose mens or ladies when you enter. Santa suits are provided on a first in first served basis.

Santa suits are collected from registration on event day.  Enter online at the website or on the day. Entry fee for adults if $35 but check the site for other options.

8) The Tannery Christmas Market, December 20 2018

Join The Tannery Christmas Market, enjoy the Christmas festivities, finish off your Christmas shopping and grab your self some bargains among our sale tables and store specials.

We will have live music, entertainment for the kids, food galore and some of your favourite local craftspeople and designers.

9) YMCA Carols by Candlelight, Victoria Square, 24 December, 9pm - 10pm

Join us on Christmas Eve, 24 December from 9pm-10pm in Victoria Square for this extra special candlelight event as we celebrate Christmas with our family – you.

Since 1947 Carols by Candlelight has been a unique event in Christchurch, that encourages people to get together and celebrate family and Christmas in a traditional and magical manner.

Bringing together all faiths, age groups and cultures, Carols by Candlelight is a true celebration of family, of Christmas and of community spirit.

Carols by Candlelight starts at 9pm and features the Salvation Army Band, guest performers, a combined Christchurch choir and a few twists to help celebrate.

Candles and carol books will be on sale, the proceeds of which help make this event possible. Toilets and food vendors will also be onsite.

Check the Facebook event page for updates. 

10) New Year's Eve, Hagley Park

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. 

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.