Packing a picnic and discovering new Christchurch playgrounds is a favourite family activity – and it doesn’t cost a cent.
Lucky for us, we are spoilt for choice in the Garden City, with new playgrounds popping up regularly, and old ones being rediscovered.
If you’re looking to discover all of the best playgrounds Christchurch as to offer, this list is for you.
I am constantly adding to this list as we find new playgrounds to explore, so check back often.
Best Playgrounds in Christchurch
1. Elephant Playground (Bishopdale Park)
The Elephant Playground at Bishopdale Park is an oldie but a goodie.
Made famous by the epic old-school slide over the top of a huge Elephant, this park is in a great location for a day of exploring.
Not only does the park have a flying fox, hill slide, skate and scooter park and play equipment for all ages, it also backs on to the Bishopdale shopping centre where you can check out the flash new library and get some books to stimulate those young minds.
Public toilets are on-site and the park is fully fenced on both the Harewood Road and Leacroft St sides so you can let your toddler run loose.
There is a water race towards the playing fields to be aware of. You’ll find it at the bottom of the hill slide.
Street parking available free.
Address: Corner Harewood Road and Leacroft Street, Bishopdale.
2. Broad Park, Waimairi Beach.
Broad Park at Waimairi has a flying fox, a proper wooden fort that would make 80s and 90s Kiwi kids proud.
Plus, the beach just behind the treeline.
When we visited on a grey day in June, the Beach Cafe over the road had excellent coffee and a play area for the kids, although I’m not sure if it’s currently open (if coffee is a must, the coffee cart at North Beach surf club is top-notch).
Car parking is available on the street.
Address: Corner of Beach Road and Broadpark Road.
3. Cass Bay Playground
Recently. my 3yo was determined to go crab-hunting, so we headed over the newly reopened Sumner Road to Lyttelton, and on to Cass Bay.
What a find!
Just around the bay from crazy-popular Corsair Bay, is this nice and chilled little bay with a playground, picnic table, public toilets and easy on-street parking.
The beach is stony and great for crab-hunting and the playground has a flying-fox perfect for younger kids too.
There is a big grassy patch in front of the beach for picnics and it’d be a great place to launch a kayak.
If you don’t have a car, the number 28 bus will bring you to Bayview Place where it’s just a short walk to the beach and play area.
Address: End of Bayview Place, Cass Bay
4. Scarborough Beach Playground
The recently reopened Scarborough Playground has quickly become one of our top choices. A modern, inviting playground with lots of shade cover.
Plus the paddling pool and splash area make it a great place to visit on a hot day.
Just a few steps away from the beach and the ice cream kiosk. Street parking on the Esplanade.
Address: Scarborough Park, Sumner
5. Pegasus Playground
Okay, so this is technically not Christchurch, but it’s only a 20-minute drive from Shirley (on the weekend or during the day – do not do this drive at rush hour).
The Pegasus playground sits ashore the lake and next to The Good Home (which is very kid-friendly) so you can grab a coffee after you have a play.
It’s worth bringing scooters and bikes and having a zoom around the lake and over the bridge if you have time.
There are public toilets and loads of places to sit and chill out.
Address: Pegasus Main Street, turn left at the end of Pegasus Boulevard and drive 2 blocks. You really can’t miss it.
6. Margaret Mahy Family Playground
No list of Christchurch playgrounds would be complete without mentioning the The Margaret Mahy Family Playground – must-do for any family visiting Christchurch.
It’s fast becoming a world-renowned playground that has something for everyone, no matter what age they are.
There are plenty of activities to keep the little ones amused, as well as some more challenging options for the older kids (and even adults!).
There’s also plenty of grassy areas perfect for a picnic lunch, so make sure you pack your favourite snacks and drinks.
Keep checking back as we add more Christchurch playgrounds to the list.