Quirky Christmas Shopping in Christchurch
Nary a big-box gift insight, we’ve curated a list of alternative shops that will make your Christmas gift-giving one-of-a-kind.
Words by: Ashlyn Oswalt
Hero image by: Andrew Neel
Photography by: Nancy Zhou
We understand that thinking outside the box is tough to do when December rolls around, so we’ve done the hard part for you. Christchurch is buzzing with plenty of shops that are happy to help you steer clear of boring Secret Santas and trite gifts that have been overdone, so read our alternative guide to Christmas shopping for a hyper-local and unique holiday.
56 London Street, Lyttelton
Brain games can sometimes feel dull and gimmicky, but not the range at Speedcube NZ. This tiny shop is the largest distributor of speedcubes in the country and is helping the nation latch onto this brain teaser. Similar to a Rubix cube, this handheld game involves problem-solving and speed. The shop has created a following for kids and adults alike, and allows speedcubers the chance to connect in real-time. So if you’ve got a young (or old!) one on your Christmas list who loves a brainteaser - and maybe even a little community - Speedcube is your answer. The shop also sells other unique brain teasers and games, so stop by to stock up!
56 London Street, Lyttelton, Christchurch
Loved by the locals of Lyttelton, Dead Video is contending that video is, in fact, not dead. Dead Video operates on a mostly rental basis (think Blockbuster but better), but also has an impressive collection of rare, cult, B-grade, specialty VHS, DVD and Blu Ray videos all for your viewing pleasure. The movie madness doesn’t stop there, though. Dead Video keeps the nostalgia alive with cinematic memorabilia, vintage comics, toys, curios and collectors cards. If you’ve got a movie buff on your list, this is the place to shop.
Ride On Super Sound
172 High Street, Christchurch
Ride On Super Sound is a jam-packed shop specialising in records, comics, zines, band merch and more. Tucked away on the top floor at Smash Palace, this eclectic place is the perfect spot to find a hard-to-shop-for muso’s favourite present. They also love helping customers find the perfect gift, or searching high and low for a coveted record, so get in touch if you know what you need but can’t find it. With a wide collection of local and international music and hard to find collector’s items, Ride On Super Sound is worth stopping in.
3/193 Montreal Street, Christchurch Central City, Christchurch
You’ll find everything you need in the beautifully curated shop, Tāpapa Store. Focused on all things hemp, Tāpapa shows off a refined, elegant side of the polarising plant. Four brands showcase the plant in different forms; The Brothers Green focuses on edible hemp products, Kōaka Skincare creates organic hemp skincare, Ritual & Rise offers a plant-based protein and Original Canvas is a label for hemp clothing. If you’re shopping for someone who appreciates an alternative lifestyle, anything from Tāpapa is sure to fit the bill.
The Conscious Club
270 Saint Asaph Street, Christchurch Central City, Christchurch
The people behind The Conscious Club are hell-bent on creating a more sustainable, connected and conscious Christchurch. Through events such as clothing swaps, beach clean-ups and chat series, they spread their mission to the city. All creatives, they work out of BOXed Quarter, which acts as their HQ for brainstorming and planning sessions. As makers themselves, a section of their shop is dedicated to conscious goods, such as repurposed vintage clothing, crochet animals, scrunchies, artwork and more - made by themselves and other local makers.
Christchurch Central City, Christchurch
For the practical, eco-conscious and craftsmanship-valuing person on your Christmas list, look no further than Rekindle at the Arts Centre. A craft workshop for the resourceful, Rekindle is one-part workshop and one-part store, selling the practical, handmade items their creators make. Here you’ll find lovingly-weaved harakeke and tī kōuka baskets, handmade soaps and hand-carved spoons, and workshops to learn how to make them yourself. If you are shopping for someone who values traditional skills or would prefer an experience to a physical gift, Rekindle is the place to go.
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