Christmas In Vancouver – So much to see and do at Vancouver’s Must-See Attractions
Vancouver and the Lower Mainland is on track to becoming a world class Christmas destination, with literally dozens of holiday plays and live music celebrations, a Santa Claus parade to kick off the season and seven top visitor attractions that offer time tested and truly spectacular holiday celebrations that will dazzle, entertain and enchant every family member. Make plans to include at least one of these amazing attractions and Vancouver traditions this holiday season.
Start by participating in one of Vancouver’s most enduring Christmas traditions, The Carol Ship Parade! For over fifty years dozens of private and commercial vessels decked out in their finest Christmas lights, decorations and sound systems, take to the inland water ways around Vancouver for three weeks each December. Harbour Cruises & Events embraces the festivities with decorations from bow to stern on all three of their vessels and celebrate the annual tradition with nightly dinner, featuring honey glazed ham and slow roasted turkey with all of the trimmings, or dinner and dance cruises that feature live Christmas Carolers to lead you in all the Yuletide favourites. Special event pricing applies to these festivities please visit boatcruises.com for availability and booking.
Head over the Lions Gate Bridge to celebrate Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, now until to January 26. Celebrate the excitement of the holiday season as you cross the world famous Capilano Suspension Bridge 230 feet above the river all decked out for the Christmas. Once across the Bridge enjoy the spectacular Treetops Adventure, a series of seven suspension bridges attached to eight 250-year-old Douglas-firs with viewing platforms, reaching up to 110 feet above the forest floor. These magnificent Douglas are lit above and below the collars, making these trees the eight tallest Christmas trees in the world! The family fun doesn’t stop there as Canyon Lights also includes a Snowy Owl Prowl scavenger hunt, festive live music and children’s activities by donation, to the BC Professional Firefighters Burn Fund, Insider tip, this is a very popular tradition, try to visit before December 20, or after January 5. Tickets can be purchased here or visit capbridge.com for special family pricing.
Another Must-Do Christmas tradition is the Peak of Christmas at Grouse Mountain, until January 5, where the magic of Christmas at Vancouver's North Pole comes alive. Santa’s Workshop, only until December 24, and his reindeer welcome guests next to the outdoor skating rink and firepit. The Sliding Zone, the Light Walk and a sleigh ride are all available for your outdoor adventure and included with admission. Then turn your attention indoors, The Chalet features live entertainment, the Gingerbread Village, be sure to vote and donate to BC Children’s Hospital, and the Christmas decoration craft zone. Visit Grouse Mountain’s website, for event schedule, weather conditions and snow depth, many of the outdoor activities rely on adequate snow levels, as well as information for an extra special Breakfast with Santa! Insider tip visit early in the season, now until December 15 for lighter crowds, and a chance to ask the big guy for something special.
Next up is one of Vancouver’s oldest holiday celebrations the VanDusen Gardens Annual Festival of Lights, for 35 years the Gardens have been transformed into a magical winter wonderland with over one million lights, dancing waters, Santa’s Lodge and the Fireside Lounge, this is a family event for all ages. Open from November 30 until January 5, this celebration requires special event tickets, available through the VanDusen Gardens website. Tie in a visit to the Bloedel Conservatory, complimentary tickets available when you visit the Festival of Lights, or pay regular admission at the gate, located high atop Queen Elizabeth Park. This year you can explore Festivale Tropicale featuring 120 free flying tropical birds, magical lights, holiday plant displays, festive music and a scavenger hunt to win a prize! Lots of things to see and do at a family-friendly price!
Another fabulous family friendly, holiday event can be found at Burnaby Village Museum, where your family can experience the old-fashioned magic of the season at Heritage Christmas until January 3. You’ll stroll through the 1920’s village and enjoy spectacular lights and vintage-themed displays. There’s holiday entertainment scheduled throughout the season including theatre performances, community choirs, and musicians. Many family favourite activities including a children’s craft, The Twelve Days of Christmas scavenger hunt and visits with Father Christmas are available every day. Visit the Burnaby Village website for daily schedule. Gate admission is free. Carousel rides are just $2.65 each.
And for a truly unique Vancouver tradition book tickets for our very own Karaoke Christmas Lights Trolley Tour, offered by Gray Line Westcoast Sightseeing, climb aboard a San Francisco style Trolley and sing your way through the downtown city streets, passing by iconic light features including the English Bay Christmas Tree, the beautifully decorated historic Hycroft Manor, and Canuck Place Children’s Hospice, featuring 60,000 lights, as well as the Lights of Hope display at St. Paul’s Hospital. Two stops are included in this three-hour tour, Bright Nights at Stanley Park, train ride not included, and the VanDusen Gardens Festival of Lights, plenty of time is allocated for these stops. Special event pricing applies to these festivities please visit westcoastsightseeing.com for availability and booking.
The holiday season in Vancouver is full of magical events and festivities, book here for savings at some of these attractions, but don’t delay, book now for specially priced experiences, they’re only here for holidays!!