Christmas in Christchurch

Christmas in Christchurch

This page explores Christmas related events in Christchurch – from carol services and concerts to Santa parades and festive displays. Christmas events in Christchurch are listed on the Christchurch City Council website and Eventfinda. There are also Christmas events at libraries. Browse our holiday hours.

The Council What's on calendar has details of more Christmas and holiday events.

Lights, decorations and displays

Shands Road

650 Shands Road is famous for its annual Christmas Lightshow. It is open from 2 December through to the 30 December 2023, 8.30pm till 11.30pm.

$10 per adult, $5 per child.


Christchurch shops often decorate their windows and have Christmas displays. Department store Ballantynes is famous for its Christmas window. This year's window launch is on Saturday 25 November from 11am to 12noon with a special appearance from Santa and fundraising fun for Cholmondeley Children's Centre.

Some malls and shops may have a Santa in store to listen to kids’ gift requests, and having a photo taken on Santa’s knee is a New Zealand tradition.

Christmas carols and music

Christmas in the Park is on 7.30pm Saturday 25 November in Hagley Park.

The season of carols culminates with the YMCA Carols by Candlelight, taking place on Christmas Eve, 9pm to 10pm in Victoria Square. This twilight gathering has been delighting Cantabrians and visitors every Christmas Eve since 1947.

Other carol services traditionally take place around the city. Check the CCC What's on calendar.

Christmas parades

The Christchurch Santa Parade has been renamed and is now the Mainfreight Christmas Show Parade and incorporates a Christmas market, amusement rides and festival at the Canterbury Agricultural Park (Showgrounds), 11am to 2pm, Sunday 26 November 2023.

The New Brighton Seaside Christmas Parade is on Saturday 9 December, 10.30am. and Rangiora Toyota Santa Parade is on Sunday 10 December, starting at 2pm.

Our history of Christchurch Christmas parades has information on Christchurch’s parades dating back to the 1930s and links to photographs of the Hay’s Santa Parade.

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