The holidays are quickly approaching and Blenheim is gearing up for another festive season. Visitors from the northern hemisphere often ask us how we get into the Christmas spirit without cold weather and snow. For Kiwis, Christmas has always been associated with warm weather, lazy days at the beach, and a well-deserved break from work and school - we love our sunny holidays! And thanks to the great Christmas activities offered in and around Blenheim, we have no problem getting into the Christmas spirit.
To help out our guests, we've put together a list of Christmas activities happening in Blenheim in December. If you're visiting us during the holiday season, we think you'll have no problem getting into the Kiwi Christmas spirit!
Kick off the holiday season with a wander through the annual Blenheim Lions Mistletoe Market at The Forum in Market Square. Starting at 8:45am and ending at 1pm, this is the perfect place to do some Christmas shopping. Local crafts, art, speciality produce, and more are presented by local artisans. You're sure to find the perfect gift for that special someone - and maybe even something for yourself!
Grab some lunch in town and then get ready for the annual Christmas parade, a favourite for Blenheim residents and visitors alike. At 3pm, the Christmas floats leave the Blenheim school and begin their route through town. The route goes from Alfred Street to Seymour Street and then continues into the city centre on Market Street. The roundtrip route ends back at Blenheim school. Grab a spot on the route early so you'll have a good view of the creative and fun floats that our town has put together for the 2013 Parade.
Blenheim has really outdone itself this year. Just when you though the day couldn't get any better, the Cracker Christmas Festival kicks off around 4pm. There will be entertainment, free activities for kids, and much more on offer on Saturday evening. There's something for every member of your family, so don't miss out on this fun conclusion to the day.
Blenheim residents love to show off their Christmas decorating skills. Once the sun goes down, get the family in the car and enjoy a drive around town. Kids and parents alike will delight in the light displays. Plan your itinerary with this helpful list, which provides addresses for homes that will be decorated in Christmas style.
To make Christmas shopping just a little bit easier, there will be free parking through Blenheim CBD. After 4pm on Thursday, December 12 and Thursday, December 19, you can enjoy free parking throughout town (with the exception of the Alfred Street carpark). While you're in town, check out the shop windows - there's contest on for the best Christmas-themed window and we expect shop owners to go all out in their efforts to impress!
Have you spent a Christmas in Blenheim? Tell us about your favourite holiday spirit-inspiring activities below!