Santa’s Grotto steps in to fill the events void in Christchurch this Christmas

A 10-day Christmas extravaganza is set to provide a whirlwind of entertainment in Christchurch following the cancellation of major family events this year.

QE II Park will be transformed into Santa’s Mega Grotto from Thursday, December 10, to replace the annual Santa Parade that was scrapped in light of Covid-19 - a first in its 73-year history.

It also replaces Coca-Cola Christmas in the Park and the Canterbury A&P Show, both of which were cancelled due to the pandemic.

Organisers, The Christchurch Children’s Christmas Parade Trust and MultiMedia Communications, did not want Canterbury children to miss out this year.

Said trust manager Pam Morris: “With the cancellation of all three family-aligned events, the trust didn’t want the children of Canterbury to miss out completely on a little Christmas joy and entertainment, so we decided on this contingency event.

“The trust now owns a huge building with a mezzanine floor in the middle, with viewing on both sides.”

The Christchurch Children’s Christmas Parade Trust manager Pam Morris has helped organise a new...
The Christchurch Children’s Christmas Parade Trust manager Pam Morris has helped organise a new 10-day Christmas extravaganza, which opens next Thursday. Photo: Geoff Sloan
The building will be adorned with Christmas lighting, and inside, visitors will find more than 40 floats usually seen at the parade on display.

“And of course, Santa will be in his grotto,” said Morris.

A stage also enables performers who normally take part in the parade to entertain guests, along with plenty of options for a bite to eat – but only during the weekend.

“This is because most primary schools don’t finish the year until December 18, and we are encouraging pre-schools, kindergartens, play centres and special needs children to come during the week.”


Entry is by gold coin donation. Parking is available at the entrance off Travis Rd, North New Brighton.

  • More information about Santa’s Mega Grotto can be found here.






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