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Christmas time in Vancouver

There is so much to do at Christmas time in Vancouver, especially downtown. You can wonder around and look at all of the different lights and decorations that they have set up everywhere. Everything is set up so that you can enjoy the festive season.

There are a variety of activities for everyone to enjoy. Christmas light shows, parks filled with everything to do with the holiday season, Christmas markets that make you feel like a kid again and a whole lot more.

Top Christmas activities Downtown

Downton Vancouver is filled with a plethora of Christmas orientated activities for everyone to enjoy.

Christmas Glow Vancouver

Where: Harbour Convention Centre – 760 Pacific Boulevard, Vancouver, BC V6B 5E7

The Christmas Glow is an indoor attraction featuring hundreds of thousands of different Christmas lights. You can explore them while you are walking through illuminated structures and gardens. Parents can kick back at the bar, while the kids are entertained.

For its first and second years the the Christmas glow took place in a giant greenhouse in Langley. This year it is taking place in both Downtown Vancouver & Abbotsford.

When: Open from late November to early January

For more information see the Christmas Glow Vancouver website.

Capilano Suspension Bridge

Where: 3735 Capilano Rd, North Vancouver, BC V7R 4J1

Visiting the Capilano Suspension Bridge is something that is worthwhile all year round. When they get into the festive season the bridge is illuminated with thousands of lights, suspended from the bridge, Treetops Adventure, Cliffwalk, and elsewhere throughout the park. The park is also home to the world’s tallest living Christmas tree, which was 153-feet tall when last measured.

When: From Thanksgiving through mid-January each year.

For more information see the Capilano Suspension Bridge website.

Vancouver Christmas Market

Where: Jack Poole Plaza – 1055 Canada Place (home of the Olympic Cauldron)

This is Vancouvers one of a kind authentic German Christmas Market. With more than 75 different vendors, filled with a variety of sweets, treats and other holiday treasures. The market gives of the pure German vibe which makes you feel like you have travelled the world to be in a Christmas market in Germany.

There is a carousel for the kids and there is an assortment of live entertainment. Usually you will find Santa paying a visit to the market to greet all of the kids and families.

It also features a walk in Christmas tree which you can view all of the dazzling lights from within.

When: The market is open from mid November until Christmas Eve.

For more information see the Vancouver Christmas Market website.

Aurora Winter Festival at PNE

Where: Hastings Park – 2901 East Hastings Street, V5K 5J1 Canada

Experience Canada’s largest winter festival and escape to a hidden village with a beautiful skating rink, tube park, massive light displays, a Christmas market, amusement rides, food gardens, magical characters and plenty of other exciting activities.

The Aurora Winter Festival is one of Vancouver’s newest Christmas attractions. It celebrated its inaugural year in 2018 at Concord Pacific Place. In 2019 it is taking place at the PNE fairgrounds.

When: The festival is open from late November to early January.

For more information see the Aurora Winter Festival website.

Bright Nights at Stanley Park

Where: 690 Pipeline Rd, Vancouver, BC V6G 3E2.

Vancouver’s Stanley Park hosts the most amazing presentation of child-friendly Christmas lights and festive themed displays in the Lower Mainland. There are over three million colourful Christmas lights that transform both the forest and the famous miniature train into a winter wonderland.

The famous miniature train usually costs between $9-12. But because the attraction is quite popular there is usually a like up to ride it.

When: The bright nights is open from the end of November to the start of January. However, it is closed on Christmas Day.

For more information see the Bright Nights website.

Christmas activities around Vancouver

These activities are still in Vancouver but they are not located in the downtown area and would require a small amount of travel to get to. But with the transport system as efficient as it is, it would be easy to get to your desired destination.

Lights at Lafarge

Where: Lafarge Lake – 1299 Pinetree Way, Coquitlam.

Lights at Lafarge is a Christmas attraction that features holiday lights and illuminations around the lake at Town Centre Park in Coquitlam.

You get to enjoy the beauty of the dazzling light displays that run around 1.2km loop of lake Lafarge. In addition to that there is live music and Santa will also pay a visit for the families. Along with an assortment of vendors with treats to keep you going through the night.

When: This attraction runs from the end of November to the middle of January.

For more information see Lights at Lafarge website.

Heritage Christmas

Where: 6501 Deer Lake Ave, Burnaby, BC V5G 3T6.

The Heritage Christmas in Burnaby is one of the largest annual holiday celebrations in Metro Vancouver.

Heritage Christmas features a huge variety of events throughout the holiday season. Some of these are a scavenger hunt, live music, theatre performances, children’s craft making, carollers, and more Christmas themed events.

When: This attraction runs from the end of November to the start of January.

For more information see the Heritage Christmas website.

VanDusen Festival of Lights

Where: 5251 Oak St, Vancouver, BC V6M 4H1.

The VanDusen Botanical Gardens puts on a festive show of over 1 million different Christmas lights these light displays cover 15 acres of the gardens. For the kids there is a daily appearance of Santa, along with entertainment shows and an assortment of treats to eat.

The price range of the tickets can vary from $11.50 to $29. It all depends on your age, when you go and how you purchase your tickets.

When: From the end of November to the start of January. The Festival of Lights is closed on Christmas Day.

For more information see the VanDusen Festival of Lights website.

Peak of Christmas at Grouse Mountain

Where: 6400 Nancy Greene Way, North Vancouver, BC V7R 4K9.

There are Christmas movies in the theatre, sleigh rides, Santa to visit and gingerbread houses all on display and included with admission. There are also ice skating opportunities, trails for snowshoeing, fine dining and of course the great ski slopes with their amazing views of Vancouver below.

This attraction is a little more expensive than that others as you have to purchase the gondola ride up and if you also want to do any skiing you will have to purchase the lift pass. But there is plenty to do around the slopes even without the lift pass.

When: From the end of November to the start of January.

For more information see the Grouse Mountain website

Christmas at the Bloedel Conservatory

Where: 4600 Cambie St, Vancouver, BC V5Y 2M4.

Visit a unique indoor tropical event this holiday season. Experience 150 free flying exotic birds, magical lights, colourful plant displays, festive music, a scavenger hunt, and much more.

Everyone that visits the VanDusen Festival of Lights will receive a free ticket to the Festivale Tropicale when they exit the event.

When: From the start of December to the start of January.

For more information see the Bloedel Conservatory website.

Holiday Hi-light Festival

Where: 333 Brooksbank Ave, North Vancouver, BC V7J 3S8.

If you happen to be North Vancouver anytime around Christmas you should check out the displays at Park and Tilford mall. All Admissions are by donation.

These Christmas light displays may not be as impressive the displays at the VanDusen Gardens, Stanley Park or The Capilano Suspension Bridge. However, they are free which makes them well worth checking out.

When: From the end of November to the end of December.

For more information see the Holiday Hi-light Festival website

Extra activities

These are some of the activities that won’t fill up your time with just the activity alone. But if you are downtown and want something extra to do these are worth checking out

Gingerbread lane Hyatt Hotel

Where: 655 Burrard St, Vancouver, BC V6C 2R7.

The Hyatt Hotel puts on a display of delicious looking cavalcade of dozens of gingerbread constructions. These have been submitted by both professional cooks and enthusiastic amateur teams.

Each year there are usually several reoccurring themes for the gingerbread constructions. The North Pole, The Grinch and Charlie Brown’s Christmas just to name a few.

When: From the end of November to the end of December.

Christmas at flyover Canada

Where: 201 – 999 Canada Place, Vancouver, BC V6C 3E1.

The flyover Canada runs all through out the year. You will hang suspended, with your feet dangling, in front of a 20-metre spherical screen while the film takes you away on an exhilarating 8-minute journey across Canada, all the way from the east to the west.

During the Christmas season the attraction adopts a winter holiday theme. In the Christmas Verizon you get entertained by elves and you follow Santa along on his travels across the country.

When: From the end of November to the start of January.

For more information see the flyover Canada website for details.

Kyle Warford

I am an Aussie traveller who wishes to travel the entire world. I have currently been to 29 different countries. That is including my home country. I want to bring everyone along with me on my adventure.

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