Christmas time is here again and this year we are so happy that every event is back in action for some festive fun with all our friends and family. We are so lucky to have such a big and beautiful city, so no matter where you are there is something you can enjoy, within budget, with your family. Of course I want to make it as easy as possible for all of you amazing readers so I have taken the time to compile a list of all the amazing ways you can enjoy Christmas in Vancouver.
Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge
One of our more expensive choices on the list, but worth it a million times over. Canyon Lights is one of our families favorite holiday traditions. Nothing beats the lights amongst one of the oldest growth forests in the lower mainland. The lights, the amazing live music, the delicious food and drinks; it is truly one of the best ways to spend a night getting into the Christmas spirit. BONUS there is so much to learn at Capilano Suspension Bridge not just about the forest itself but about our incredible indigenous communities. Definitely take the time to enjoy a walk across the bridge and amongst the treetops and make those incredible memories at one of our cities most iconic “must-do’s” at Christmas time.
Perched at the tippy top of Queen Elizabeth Park here in Vancouver Bloedel is home to an incredible tropical garden. Filled to the brim with incredible plants and exotic birds this is an incredible option for families. Not only is it under 10 bucks per adult to get in, it is inside, warm and going to be covered in Christmas lights for the holidays. It makes it the perfect affordable option for families of all sizes and you don’t even need to worry about the weather since you are safely inside their gorgeous greenhouse. If you have the time and budget I also suggest stopping for a lovely lunch at the legendary Season in the Park that is right beside it.
Lumagica in Cloverdale is a wonderful experience filled with incredible light displays, festive live music for the whole family, and massive menu with options for everyone in your family and of course Santa! You can enter into the Ice Queendom to celebrate the wonder of Winter as you and your family submerge yourself in all the magic! Meet the beautiful Ice Queen who has a very warm heart and protects all her creatures big and small and meet the chocolate and peppermint fairies in Candyland, and of course it wouldn’t be the North Pole without a visit to Santa’s cabin. This is a great way to spend an evening in a Winter world of magic with your little ones in tow.
Creepy Xmas at Cougar Creek
If you are not exactly thrilled that the holidays are here and deeply miss Halloween, then Cougar Creek has you covered. With their Creepy Xmas themed horror house you can get a good scare while still trying to stir up some Christmas spirit. Not recommended for kids under 14 years old this is the perfect thing to do for a date night or with your older kids. Tickets are limited and non-refundable so choose your dates wisely.
Vancouver Christmas Market
If you love to eat, drink, shop and being merry all in one place; then the Vancouver Christmas Market is the place for you. Another one of our must do yearly traditions and it is usually one of the first places we hit each year. Each and every year at the market is a little bit different which is what makes visiting every year such a treat. They add new vendors that are perfect for getting your holiday shopping done in a meaningful way. From decorations to makeup there is something at the market for everyone on your list. Of course if you just want to eat up a storm and enjoy some Glühwein there are endless options for you to choose from.
PNE Winter Fair
During the panorama the amazing folks at the PNE provided us with some of the safest events for families in the lower mainland. Creating distanced drive through experiences for families that have cars during the winter season. This gave families an experience like no other: we could dress up in our jammies, decorate our cars, listen to carols while driving through a beautiful winter experience. All without leaving our cars. This year things are going to be a bit different which will be amazing for families that don’t have vehicles to enjoy the drive thru experiences. This year they will be putting on their Winter Fair that will be filled with amazing things to do, live performers like Jann Arden! You’ll be able to walk around, enjoy adult drinks if you want and have a wintery good time at the PNE from December 14th – 23rd.
Fly With Santa At FlyOver Canada
Every season FlyOver Canada works so hard to create something magical and Christmas time is no exception. You can soar above all of Canada with Santa on a great adventure at incredible heights to the North Pole. It is a thrill for kids of all ages, but pay close attention to height limitations so there are no disappointments upon arrival. BONUS this year you can also hit a double feature and take a trip above the breathtaking Hawaiian Islands aaaaaaaaaaand kids soar for FREE from December 12th-15th. I mean what’s Christmas without a little Elvis and the one place Elvis loved the most was Hawaii. Book your tickets in advance to save and guarantee your wanted time slot and don’t forget to stop at the Flying Whale and their gift shop before you leave!
Festival of Lights at VanDusen
Christmas in Vancouver is always filled with a LOT of lights and the Festival of Lights at VanDusen is one of the best examples of it. Not only is the garden itself beautiful, even in winter time when most things are dormant, they really work hard to turn the space into an elaborate art piece. With lots of areas and themes to explore it is a wonderful way to spend a few hours on a cozy date or with your children. They have decorated 15 acres of land with over a million lights for everyone to enjoy. Wander through the romantic Rose Garden, take a stroll along the lakeside while enjoying the return of Dancing Lights, and don’t forget to stop by the Scottish Shelter to light a candle and give to Make-A-Wish. From November 25 to January 2, a magical winter garden will be open with themed areas, delectable treats, distinctive light displays, and holiday music.
Heritage Christmas at Burnaby Village Museum
If you are craving an old timey feel to your Christmas this season then the Burnaby Village Museum is the perfect place. With their Heritage Christmas you are transported to the streets of a Christmas Carol. Giving you all the warm and fuzzies of the holiday season. The best part? Admission to this is FREE for you and the whole family making it one of the best places to stop during the holidays. On from November 26th – January 2nd you have lots of time to hit the museum, my best advice? Go earlier rather than later, the closer to Christmas it gets the busier it is and sometimes there is a chance it will hit capacity. So make sure to plan ahead and aim for mid week vs. weekends for your visit if you prefer a more quiet experience.
Lights at LaFarge Lake
Every year families from all over the city come to enjoy the FREE light display at LaFarge Lake in Coquitlam. The largest free outdoor winter light show in Metro Vancouver, Lights at Lafarge is produced by the City of Coquitlam and presented by Coquitlam Centre. At dusk, the lights come on and stay on until 11 p.m. until mid-February every night, and on New Year’s Eve until the stroke of midnight. Come before 6 p.m. to avoid the crowds for the best viewing experience. or after 8 o’clock; avoiding weekends and on weeknights.
Photos With Santa at Britannia Mines
Britannia Mines is gorgeous during the holidays and this year you can wander through the festive winter forest and enjoy a visit with Santa in his prospectors tent. Admission includes a digital image, a visit with Santa, complementary hot chocolate and s’more, and access to the lower site exhibits and gold panning. Don’t forget to bring your letters with a return address for a customized response. Santa’s mailbox will also be on-site to mail those vital letters to the North Pole. Make reservations in advance to avoid long lines. Explore the lower site exhibits and go gold panning after your visit with Santa. The cost is great for families too: $35 per family up to 5 people, and $5 per additional person!
Bright Nights in Stanley Park
Even though the train isn’t in operation this year Stanley Park has managed to put together a brilliant light walk in the park that your kids will love. With all proceeds going to the BC Professional Fire Fighters’ Burn Fund this is all by donation. So dig deep in those wallets, give what you can and enjoy a lovely walk amongst the lights in the most historic park in downtown Vancouver. A wide variety of comfort foods, including churros, pretzels, popcorn, and hot chocolate, will be available from food vendors. Therefore, dress warmly and visit Stanley Park for a magical evening. Get festive with the family in the North Pole workshop, take a selfie with a firefighter, grab a candy cane, and celebrate the season, or find a covered area to take in the live performances.
Peak of Christmas on Grouse Mountain
Grouse Mountain is a good imitator of the North Pole even though it isn’t the real thing. It’s also easier to get to because it’s only 15 minutes north of Vancouver! Sleigh rides, sledding, a light stroll, a gingerbread village, and outdoor ice skating are all available in this breathtaking winter wonderland. Bundle up the whole family in your warmest gear put on those Christmas tunes and sing your way up to the North Pole on top of Grouse, with the drive the kids will have no idea you aren’t in the real thing! The Peak of Christmas is included with a Mountain Admission Ticket. Bring your family of 4 at the special day rate* of $119.
Christmas in Vancouver has never been so festive and we are thrilled to be getting into the spirit with all our friends and family in the city. Do you think we missed something? Let us know in the comments or email us information at email@example.com!