What's happening in Christchurch for Christmas 2016?

  • Christmas Light Show Shands Road
  • Christmas grotto display
  • Christmas grotto
  • Christchurch Santa Parade Map
  • Theatre Royal from the stage
  • Rangiora Christmas Parade
  • Rangiora Christmas Party in the Park

Each year we put together a blog post with Christmas events and happenings around the Garden City, so you can make sure you don't miss out on things like Carol singing, the Christmas parades, special Christmas services and other activities going on around the Christchurch and Canterbury communities.

Christchurch Santa Parade, Sunday December 4, 2016

Once again this year Riccarton Road will be lined with locals, visitors and lots (and lots) of kids to watch the annual Santa Parade on Sunday December 4. Celebrities, lovingly crafted floats, clowns, animals, marching girls, music and of course SANTA will feature in this year's Parade.

The parade starts at 2pm from the corner of Wharenui & Riccarton Roads and ends approximately 3.15pm at the corner of Mandeville Street and Riccarton Road, travelling past the main business area of Riccarton including Westfield mall. The route is 1.9 kilometres long. If the parade is postponed due to bad weather it will be held the following Sunday December 11. A decision to postpone will not be made before midday. Listen to The Breeze 94.5FM for updates or cancellations.

Parking is available in the Kirkwood Intermediate School grounds, entrance off Kirkwood Ave, at $5 per car.

Changes to normal bus services: All buses will use Riccarton Rd until 1pm. From 1pm – 4pm all bus services will detour off Riccarton to Blenheim Rod between Deans Ave & Middleton Rd. Contact Metroinfo for more information on ph 366 8855. If you are not planning to watch the parade, but do want to get to the Riccarton shops or the mall that day, we advise taking a different route and being aware that parking areas are likely to be overflowing.

Rangiora Toyota Santa Parade and Christmas Party in the Park, Sunday December 11, 2016

Rangiora's annual Santa parade is the next biggest in the South Island after Christchurch, and includes an afternoon of activities, live music, children's entertainment, stalls and festivities with their Christmas Party in the Park event at Victoria Park.

Christmas Party in the Park runs from 12midday till 6pm and the Santa Parade starts at 2pm. Find more information about both events on the Rangiora Promotions Facebook page.

Christmas at the Haunted House, Riccarton Bush, Sunday December 4 and Sunday December 11, 2016

It is Yuletide and Riccarton House Ghost Tours are ready to receive visitors! The iconic heritage venue opens its doors to all lovers of Victorian gothic on Sunday 4th and 11th December at 8:30pm. Sinister shadows, mysterious sounds and thrilling tales produced by NO Productions Theatre Collective will add a very special flavour to your Christmas 2016.

This 1-hour long immersive event entwines with the Deans family story. It includes a walk around the grounds and Cottage, a brief visit to the Deans Bush, and a tour of the house itself – including the much-dreaded Attic – under the guidance of the urbane yet sinister Dr. Wild and the nervous house maid Dorcas.

Participants will need to be dressed for the adventure – period and steampunk attire would be much admired also! Audience numbers will be strictly limited to 25 for each tour.

PG-10 recommended.  Book your adventure now to walk beside ghosts of history at Riccarton House: Call: 03 3411018 or email: contact@riccartonhouse.co.nz. Cost is $25 per person.

Christmas Lightshow, from December 2nd - December 30th, 650 Shands Rd, Prebbleton 

Much of the magic at Christmas time comes from the light displays on homes and in special locations around the city. The lightshow at 650 Shands Road has grown each year and is now quite a major event, requiring a little advance planning and some patience if you want to find a place to park and walk. Entry is $5.00 per person and funds raised go to medical treatments for Maureen who has Lyme's Disease.

If you are keen to visit more light displays around the city, check out the list maker here and work out your plan. 

Court Jesters, A Christmas Carol (What the Dickens?), November 30th - December 23rd, Court Theatre

The team behind Scared Scriptless love three things: Christmas, Xmas, and biting off more than they can chew. Join The Court Jesters as they scramble to recreate the entirety of Dickens’ beloved story A Christmas Carol with only two performers, one pianist and a LOT of help from the audience.

Enjoy frantic fun and plenty of festive spirit in this fresh take on a yuletide classic, ideal for families and staff holiday parties alike. Suited to children over the age of 10 years.

Christmas Grotto, Southwest Christchurch Baptist Church, December 6 - 24th

Another very popular Christmas event in Christchurch is the Christmas Grotto run by the Southwest Baptist Church. Enjoy a fun-filled experience wandering through the animated displays.

The Christmas Grotto is located on the corner of Cobham and Lyttelton Streets during the month of December. Opening Hours for The Christmas Grotto 2016:

December 6-9: Pre-booked Groups
December 12-15: Open to the Public 9am – 3pm
December 16-24: Open to the Public 9am – 9pm

Entry is by donation and all are welcome. Don’t miss this year's Christmas Grotto, as they will be taking a break in 2017.

CSO Festive Christmas concert, Isaac Theatre Royal, Wed 21 December, 2016

Sit back, relax and enjoy the CSO’s annual Christmas celebration in the surroundings of the stunning Isaac Theatre Royal. This traditional Christmas concert is for everyone, and guaranteed to truly inspire the Christmas spirit among even the grinchiest in your family.

Chief Conductor Benjamin Northey wields the baton in a line-up of timeless carols and classical gems including:

  • Walking in the Air 
  • Panis Angelicus
  • Waltz of the Flowers from The Nutcracker
  • O Holy Night
  • Every Valley
  • It's The Most Wonderful Night of the Year

You can buy tickets through the CSO website or from Ticketek from $15.00 per person (children and students) to $57.50 for the best seats in the house.

YMCA Carols by Candlelight, 9pm - 10pm in Victoria Square, December 24th, 2016

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 support the YMCA Christchurch’s community and education programmes. Toilets and food vendors will also be onsite.