Things To Do In Christchurch On A Rainy day

As the biggest city on the South Island, Christchurch has many amenities and attractions that some of the other smaller cities don't. This means that, should the heavens open during your Christchurch visit, you shouldn't be short of things to do. Some buildings were damaged by the 2011 earthquake but as the city rebuilds, there are still plenty of activities and lots of entertainment to keep you busy while staying dry.

Museums & Galleries:

Here are just some of Christchurch's many educative, historic and cultural projects to while away the rainy hours.

Canterbury Museum is a key proponent of New Zealand cultural and natural heritage, located just 500 metres from Cathedral Square, on Rolleston Avenue. You can easily lose yourself for hours in the absorbing displays and exhibitions. The museum is also considered a rich resource for curators and academics with its vast and diverse collections covering the land, nature and people of New Zealand. Canterbury Museum rivals its peers in larger, European cities, with its dedication to presenting intelligent, thought-provoking and accessible exhibitions and collections. Admission is free, with donations gratefully accepted.

The Air Force Museum is a treasure trove of aviation history, located on Harvard Avenue, Wigram. The Royal New Zealand Air Force is honoured, remembered and respected with lovingly preserved displays featuring actual combat aircraft from previous conflicts. Artefacts, movie documentaries and galleries tell a rich, and at times moving, story of brave people in difficult times. Aviation buffs will take great delight in the classic aircrafts and flight simulators. Entry is free with small charges for the simulator and guided tours.

The Arts En vogue Gallery is centrally located on Victoria Street, just one block from the town hall. It features exciting contemporary art from leading New Zealand artists in a range of disciplines. Fine art, sculpture, ceramics and wood all have a home here in the gallery, which is unpretentious and accessible for curious visitors and those seeking home décor and souvenirs, as well as seasoned art appreciators.

Brook Gifford is another centrally located space on Manchester Street and a leading gallery for contemporary art. The gallery specialises in photography, printmaking, painting and sculpture. Brooke Gifford aims to support and nurture Christchurch artists. 


Sometimes, on a rainy day, there really is nothing better than the smell of popcorn and the deafening sound of movie fanfare. Christchurch has several cinemas across the centre and outerlying suburbs.

Alice Cinematheque is a boutique cinema with a retro glamour feel. It is located in the old post office on the corner of High and Tuam Street. Alice shows world cinema, arthouse movies and classics. This small 38 seater draped in plush red velvet will transport you back to the bygone golden era of film.

Hollywood Cinema is in the seaside suburb of Sumner, on Marriner Street. This is a small historic cinema with three screens, established in 1938. Hollywood shows a mixture of new releases and independent flicks.

Nationwide multiplexes Hoyts and Reading Cinemas also have movie theatres in Christchurch.


AMF Garden City Bowling is on Iversen Terrace just one block from the AMI stadium. The full size ten-pin bowling lanes, licensed bar, cafe, amusement arcade and pool tables should fend off any weather-induced boredom. Special offers include three games for $15, unlimited bowling for $14.90 and a family deal for $24.

Laser Games:

Laser Strike is located in the Harvey Norman building on Moorhouse Avenue. This is a fun laser combat game for the kids and the big kids. All the fun and tactics of paintball without the pain – or the paint! The music, eerie lighting and artificial fog create an immersive atmosphere of another world, as you hunt each other in the dark. This is great for competitive types or just for some family fun. One game is $12.


The most central and family-friendly pool is the Pioneer Recreation & Sport Centre on Lyttelton Street, next to Centennial Park. The 25 metre pool is suitable for serious lap swimmers while the wave pool, lazy river and bubble pits are all great for children and families. Those seeking rejuvenation and restoration as well as exercise, will find the spa, sauna and steam room most welcoming. Best of all, perhaps, is the price at only $5 per adult and $3 per child.

Ice Skating:

Alpine Ice is a sports and entertainment centre on Brougham Street, in Opawa, just heading out of Christchurch. There is a wide range of public sessions as well as learn to skate lessons, too. Family Fun sessions have lights, music and face painting. The on-site cafe is often frequented by parents eager to escape the frenetic activity and enjoy a hot coffee while the kids go wild. Night Skating, Retro Regulars (80s music!) and Weekday Workouts are also on the timetable. Prices start from $11.50 (own skates) for a session which can be anything from 2-4 hours depending on the time and day.