Have yourself a very library Christmas

Get yourself into the festive season with these free Christmas Crafts and Activities at your libraries:

Pohutukawa and music notes

Make your own Popsicle Stick decorations – Mon 18 to Fri 22 Dec

Find out when and where

Recycle and Repurposed Christmas Craft at South Library – Mon 18 to Fri 22 Dec

Join us for Christmas craft. Recycled papers and cardboard as well as pens, crayons and other recycled materials will be provided to be re-purposed for Christmas decorations and gifts.
11am to 2pm from Monday 18 December to Friday 22 December.

Family Christmas Storytimes at Linwood Library – Thurs 21 Dec

Linwood Library would like to celebrate the Christmas season by having a special family Christmas Storytimes on Thursday 21 December 2017 from 5.30- 6.30 pm.

A Library Christmas Carol at South Library  – Thurs 21 Dec

A library Christmas Carol. Bring the whole family for a relaxed evening of Dickens’ Christmas Carol and songs and live music! Outside South library bring a rug and cushion. Thurs 21 December 6pm to 7pm.

Check also:

The Parents’ Holiday Survival Guide

Christmas can be a stressful time of year and whether you’re heading away on holiday next week, or staying in town if you’ve got children you’ll be looking for ways to keep them happy and entertained over the school break.

Christchurch City Libraries has heaps of resources and recommendations to help out frazzled parents and caregivers this festive season.

Have kids, will travel

Going on a trip out of town? Long road trips (or air travel) can be a strain as boredom easily sets in. Get organised ahead of time with a range of activities and reading material to keep everyone occupied.

Cover of 52 Fun things to do in the carCover of 52 fun things to do on the planeCover of Lonely Planet Travel with childrenCover of My first trip on an airplaneCover of Backseat A-B-SeeCove of The holiday activity bookCover of Toddler's busy play book

  • In a rush and choosing’s just too time consuming? Pick up a Stories To Go Bag. Each one has age-appropriate fiction and non-fiction books, a DVD, a music or story CD, and a toy or puzzle and come in a sturdy bag that’s ready to travel.

For Kids in Christchurch

There are a bunch of activities, places to go, and things to see for families staying in town over the holidays. As well as the music, books, and DVDs mentioned above you might like –

  • Our Summertime Reading Club for kids 0-16 years, which starts today. Keep a tally of the minutes spent reading over the summer and go in the draw for prizes.
  • Summertime Stories in libraries begin in early January, with sessions for both babies and older children.
  • Our Learning Centre Holiday Programmes start mid-January. Check out our calendar for Holiday Programme classes.

For more information and links to kids’ activities and organisations in Christchurch read our Holiday programmes, events, and activities page.

Coming soon to Central Christchurch

Christchurch Art Gallery opens tomorrow and the Margaret Mahy Family Playground opens next week, both offering free, interesting diversions for the younger members of the family.

Have you got any tips or recommendations for entertaining kids over the holidays? If so, please share.


School holidays – September / October 2014

IMG_6888School (and kindy) holidays start after Friday 26 September, and kids are back on Monday 13 October.


Check out our Learning Centre school holiday programmes (Minecraft! Antarctic animation!)

Linwood Library at Eastgate has a range of cool events for kids – this week it is poetry, stained glass butterflies, and making picture frames (the sessions run from 10am to 11am). Next week – from 6 October – the sessions run from 2pm to 3pm and include tangrams, spiderweb making and more.

Shirley Library has a jewellery workshop on Thursday 2 October.

Here are some more kid-tastic events to enjoy.


Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu is introducing kids to Foil art.

The Art Gallery is also popping Out of the box on Saturday, 27 September 2014. 10.00am, at the ArtBox area on the corner of St Asaph and Madras streets. It’s a party to say goodbye to the fab exhibition Burster Flipper Wobbler Dripper Spinner Stacker Shaker Maker. Out of the box is a free fun day with kids’ art activities, face painting, live music and popcorn. Test  building skills at the Imagination Playground.


This school holidays, the kids can explore Cultural constellations and Robotics.


Cover of FrozenNew Zealand IceFest has a slew of events for kids and families including:


The Breeze Walking Festival is on, including the Pukeko Stomp on 1 October – A perfect outing for babies in buggies, young walkers and their families. Experience Travis Wetland including surprise guests, story telling and fruit kebabs along the way.

Gut Busta is a kids adventure multisport race for primary and intermediate students, year 1 through to year 8.
Check out our Walking Festival picks.


Goldilocks and the three bears at the Court Theatre.

The Body Festival features some stuff for all ages including Double Derelicts “top notch physical theatre and dance”
Fri 3 and Sat 4 October at 7.30pm, Sun 5 October at 2.00pm

Monster Wards 5 October. NO Productions Theatre present a joyful and adventurous theatrical fantasy tale with a touch of circus. The show is aimed at audience of all ages: it will delight young and old alike.


At the Airforce Museum the theme is Survivor at Wigram. This Oscar-endorsed holiday programme involves some secret missions, team games, Museum hunts, obstacle courses, sports and crafts.

Super senses discovery trail is one of the activities at the Christchurch Botanic Gardens. Collect a free trail booklet from the Botanic Gardens Visitor Centre and use your senses to explore the Gardens on this self-guided family discovery trail.

Find out more about other Christchurch activities and holiday programmes for the September/October holidays.

Science Alive in the library

Christchurch City Libraries will be hosting lots of scientific fun this year. Working closely with Science Alive, ten of our libraries will  host  after school sessions.

In 2013 4000 children and adults attended these sessions which showcased fun activities like the amazing lightning ball (which literally made people’s hair stand on end) and making skeletons. Skilled presenters introduced children to the science behind these activities.

Science Alive is a not-for-profit trust is dedicated to promoting the value of science and technology to the public.

To find out where these free programmes are running this year check our Events calendar.  Something to look forward to later in the year are sessions showing children how to grow their own crystals (it’s the International Year of Crystallography).

This summer the trust  co-sponsored the Summertime Reading Adventure.  They also hosted 16 free sessions in libraries during January which were a roaring success. Nearly 400 kids of all ages enjoyed these.

In March our librarians will be heading out to the Under 5 Festival to tell stories as part of this Science Alive initiative to introduce preschoolers to science. Sounds like a lot of fun will be had.


Community connections

quilt photograph from Christchurch City Libraries FlickrTwenty libraries across Christchurch and Banks Peninsula is quite a formidable community network and these days they are all fairly humming with activities. Just taking a quick look at our Community Connections for adults programmes will give you the idea. There is a February/July programme well under way and while the bookable courses may be full up, there are always plenty of drop in opportunities to learn computer skills like this one at Central Peterborough Library.

Libraries have always been places of community. Librarians and customers get to know one another, reading suggestions, plants and cakes are swapped and lots of learning facilitated. Post earthquakes this seems more important than ever and these days you can pop in to your local library and find many useful things like Citizens Advice Bureau on site, J.P clinics, craft groups, card groups, book clubs and art displays. Just take a look at our Classes and events calendar.

Recently South Library hosted the Migrant Quilt Exhibition which has become a spectacular annual event and currently Upper Riccarton is hosting an exhibition by Chinese artist Xiao Hong Deng. (runs until May 1).

Soon our libraries will be resonating with dozens of free music events by local musicians for New Zealand Music Month.

Libraries in your community – there is always something going on.

Time to get the kids outside

book coverDo you find your kids hang about inside even when the weather is fabulous?

Let’s get them inspired to play outdoors:

Kid’s say they’re bored of their books? Try searching a reading list for other authors that write stories like their favourites and they can join the Summertime Reading Club where they may win a prize!

Teens can check out The Pulse for what’s new and happening. Garden City SummerTimes is here and the World Buskers Festival is just around the corner so there’s no excuse for not getting out this summer!

Morbid Thoughts

1001 books
1001 books

What’s with all these books obsessed with death and cramming everything in before the grim reaper appears? As my better half observed recently, ‘you’ll be seventy in twenty years’. This has been preying on my mind, but there is no shortage of books that suggest what I can do with my few remaining years, before I die.

Maybe I could go fishing or surfing; play golf or listen to some classical or pop music. I could take in some fine art, appreciate some gardens or catch up on one’s reading.

The only problem is: is there enough time? And that’s before we’ve even tackled the unforgettable places to go to BYD, the 1001 places to visit BYD or the world’s natural wonders before you snuff it and join the choir invisible.

Fortunately, we don’t appear to have bought the book that I recall having a title similar to ‘100 places to take the kids before you die’. That’s taking all this morbidity too far.  What next we ask? ‘100 Diseases to Endure Before you Die’?