8 Unique Date Ideas in Christchurch

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Whether you've just met on Hinge or been together longer than The Rolling Stones, here are a few ideas for date night that isn't dinner and a movie.

Words by: Ashlyn Oswalt

Photography by: Nancy Zhou 

If you’re looking for something a little different for your Christchurch date night, try our top eight picks for a special night out.

Dinner and Live Music

Christchurch Central City

Head down to the re-emerging St Asaph Street to enjoy a bite to eat and some live music. Start your evening at Space Academy and grab a slice of Pizza Trap - the in-house, hand-thrown pizza joint with sourdough bases. Once your belly is full, groove to the indie beats bumping at this cosy little joint. From there, head across the street to 12 Bar, an American style dive bar with plenty of craft beers and live music (ranging from Electronic to Metal, Soul to Folk, Funk to Rock and everything in between).

Just be sure to check online (social media is best) to make sure both places have something going on, as live music isn’t guaranteed every night.

Degustation for Two

224 Rhodes Road, Tai Tapu

Indulge in a degustation dinner at Otahuna Lodge in Tai Tapu if you’re feeling really fancy. Upon arrival, you’ll be greeted with a glass of bubbly as you’re led through the historic estate to your table. There, you’ll enjoy a four-course chef-prepared degustation menu paired with a bottle of premium New Zealand wine. You’ll be treated to the chef’s whims and the season’s bounty with their daily changing menu, with many plates coming straight from their on-site garden, orchard, or mushroom house. With delightful and friendly staff, you’ll find it hard to leave this magical place.

Game Night

Christchurch Central City

If you’re in the mood for something low-key, why not try a beer over a board game with friends? Dice and Slice offer just that in the SALT District, with board games ranging from family favourites like Guess Who? to cult classics like Catan. Their menu features pizzas from Base at Little High and their drinks range from local craft beers and wine to “potions'' with local spirits. Grab your date and prepare to battle all night.

Learn Something New

Welles Street, Christchurch Central City

If you’re looking to expand your cooking repertoire, look no further than a workshop with the Two Raw Sisters. With both hands-on classes and demonstrations, you’ll spend the evening belly-laughing as Rosa and Margo (actual sisters) spar and create delicious, easy-to-replicate meals. With a focus on plant-based foods but the encouragement that “all eaters welcome”, any dietary restriction will delight in their creations. Oh, and did we mention you start the evening with a glass of wine?

Wander Through a Distillery

11 Sandyford Street, Sydenham, Christchurch

You don’t need to travel far to take a distillery tour at The Spirits Workshop, located in Sydenham. Here, you’ll enjoy a guided tasting of their gins or whiskies made on-site, learn about the process, and meet the makers, too. Tucked away in a little corner of the city, you can even take home a bottle to enjoy later. 

Hands-on Brew

84 Falsgrave Street, Waltham, Christchurch, Christchurch & Canterbury

If you’re looking for something more hands-on, learn to brew beer with the Brew Academy. Their ‘Learn the Steps’ option is a four-hour course that teaches you how to brew your own all-grain beer from start to finish. You’ll leave with 20L of your own brew, to keep the party going! Brew Academy also has a taproom and serves up Smoke ‘n’ Barrel’s delicious bbq, so don’t worry about going hungry. 

Night Out on New Regent Street

Christchurch Central City

This lovely central city street has all sorts of curiosities to keep your evening light and fun. Start with a lingering dinner at Twenty Seven Steps or Francesca’s Italian Kitchen, where you’ll enjoy expertly-prepared chef meals with local ingredients, European nods, and a dazzling array of wines. From there, wander over to a show at the Isaac Theatre Royal. This historic, restored theatre is enough of a marvel to simply stare at - let alone enjoy a concert or a play inside. With a wide array of musicians, ballets, comedies, and plays taking centre stage in the theatre built in 1863, there’s something to entice everyone.

You’ll want to cap off the evening with something sweet, so head to Rollickin’ Gelato for homemade, artisan gelato in unique flavours. If you’re not satisfied with just a cone, try one of their pre-made creations which are often tongue-in-cheek references to timely events - how fun! If you still can’t let the night end, head to The Last Word for a nightcap. With 320 whiskies on-site and plenty of old and new world cocktails, you may need to stay for two. If the cosy lounge atmosphere doesn’t get you, the whisky will!

An Eye for Art

Christchurch Central City

If art is your thing, you’re in luck in Christchurch. CoCA, the Centre for Contemporary Art and the Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū sit next to one another in the central city. Wander around CoCA to enjoy world-renowned art in an incredible building and transport yourself through time and space at the Christchurch Art Gallery. Both have regularly changing exhibits, so frequent visits for art lovers is a must. Afterwards, treat yourself to one of the many hand-selected wines available at Cellar Door in the Arts Centre

 

With so many great experiences to share with your partner in Christchurch, think outside the box and try something new. 

Neat Christchurch & Canterbury Places

Red Eight Café at Portstone

Close up of lemon meringue pies.
Place Christchurch & Canterbury
Cafes icon

Red Eight, the much-loved Kaiapoi café, has blossomed in a new spot at the picturesque Portstone Garden Centre.

Grizzly Baked Goods

Grizzly Baked Goods shopfront in Christchurch's Sydenham suburb.
Place Christchurch & Canterbury

Effortlessly cool with a friendly and inviting vibe, Grizzly Baked Goods will have you feeling like you’ve woken up in another city.

Absolution Tattoo and Body Piercing

View of the counter at Absolution Tattoo and Body Piercing studio in Christchurch.
Place Christchurch & Canterbury

A contemporary tattoo and body-piercing studio in the Arts Centre.

Allpress Espresso

Two employees working behind the cafe counter at Allpress Espresso in Christchurch.
Place Christchurch & Canterbury
Cafes icon

The coffee here is just what you'd expect from the experienced Allpress roasters.