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Christchurch Entertainment Guide - For fun, recreation, and relaxation

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Locals in Christchurch love to go out at night and the bar and restaurant scene here easily holds its own with that of larger places like Auckland and Wellington. Some people claim the nightlife in Christchurch is the best in the country — certainly it is the most eclectic and diverse.

Days can be spent at art galleries or outdoor markets. It is not unusual to be able to see artisans creating the work that is up for sale, while the offerings at the produce markets could not be fresher. Punting trips on the Avon River are a novel way to spend time.

Evenings usually start at one of Christchurch's many bars and pubs. Theater shows are often seen before or after dinner, and people in Christchurch are avid cinema goers too.

Art galleries

The building that houses the Christchurch Art Gallery is an unmissable structure across from the Botanic Gardens. Inside are several floors housing great collections of local and international art. Regular exhibitions tend to focus on modern art such as working with light and electronics.

Theaters

The bustling Christchurch theater scene is the heart of New Zealand's performing arts industry. Theaters include the Court and the Repertory and the Mill Theatre is home to the legendary Riccarton Players. Major Broadway musicals usually play in Auckland if they make it to New Zealand so Christchurch is known more as a home for alternative theater. 

Markets

The Arts Centre occupies the former Gothic campus buildings of the University of Canterbury. Today, indoor and outdoor stalls fill the spaces on weekends with second hand and bric-a-brac being sold outside and clothing and fragile sculptures offered inside. Possum fur mittens and lambs wool sweaters are expensive but intricately made and worth the investment. 

Punting

Punting trips on the Avon River can be organized for groups of up to seven or more romantic journeys are available for two people. Most tours run for 30mins but longer trips can be arranged. There are several companies that offer punting on the Avon including the aptly-named Punting on the Avon. 

Nightlife

The bars of Chancery Lane are just the start of a New Zealand nightlife adventure. Bar hoppers will be able to make their way across the entire city in search of the perfect place to drink. There are strip clubs and a couple of gay venues as well as two or three mega clubs that open only on Saturdays and Sundays. 

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