The month of December has flown by, and Christmas Day is coming up this long weekend, if you can believe it. While it won’t be a white Christmas in Vancouver, we can guarantee that there will be plenty of festivities to take part in long after December 25th. From a festival straight out of a Hallmark movie to VanDusen’s annual Festival of Lights, here are 8 festive holiday activities you can check out in Vancouver
Canada’s largest Christmas celebration is back in Langley with over one million twinkling lights. This year, Glow Langley’s theme is “Carnival Christmas,” which means the (mostly) outdoor festival is bringing some exciting new features to the table.
For starters, the holiday festival will feature new and improved heated and covered spaces, allowing guests to enjoy the festivities no matter the weather. Also new this year are carnival-themed lights, a new craft corner in a “tent of makers,” and free carnival-themed mini-games!
When: Now until December 30th
Where: 6690 216 Street, Langley
Who’s ready for the return of a beloved Vancouver holiday tradition? Stanley Park’s Bright Nights is back at the end of the month, as is its popular holiday train ride, which means passengers can once again wind through the Stanley Park forest surrounded by thousands of Christmas lights.
When: Thursday, November 30th to Monday, January 1st
Where: Pipeline Road in Stanley Park
Cost: $15 per adult, $11 per child
If you’ve always wanted to step inside a Christmasy Hallmark movie, now’s your chance! From December 1st to January 1st, visitors of ‘Martini Town’ will have the opportunity to get a glimpse behind the proverbial curtains of BC’s film industry, all the while indulging in a magical holiday experience.
The outdoor site consists of many building facades and unique filming streetscapes – including an entire ‘small town,’ a New York City-themed Brownstone Street, a movie theatre with a lit marquee, a coffee shop, a diner, and a town square, and that’s just for starters.
When: Friday, December 1st to January 1st
Where: 1123 272 Street, Langley
Cost: $22 per adult, $12 per child
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The holiday season at VanDusen Botanical Garden is marked by festive light displays and scenic walks through the illuminated lakeside path, surrounded by over one million Dancing Lights across the garden’s 15 acres. And with several themed areas to peruse, festive treats to feast on, and holiday music to enjoy – this event is a great date pick as well as a spot for the whole family to enjoy.
When: Now until January 2nd
Where: 5251 Oak Street
Now we come to one of the most famous gardens in Canada. Every year, The Magic of Christmas transforms the famed Butchart Gardens into a wonderland with thousands of holiday lights, allowing visitors to fully immerse themselves in the season.
Sing along to classic carols, indulge in tasty eats at Dining Room Restaurant or Blue Poppy, and take in the festive scenes of The Twelve Days of Christmas.
When: December 1st to January 6th
Where: 800 Benvenuto Avenue, Brentwood Bay
Cost: $35 per adult, $3 to $17.50 per child
If you’re looking for a holiday market with multiple dates to shop, you’ll have plenty of time to check out this year’s Polygon Gallery Annual Holiday Shop, which runs from November 15th to January 7th. The gallery’s main floor will once again transform into a beautifully decorated shop with unique vendors, gifts, art, and interactive activities.
When: November 15th to January 7th
Where: 101 Carrie Cates Court, North Vancouver
Cost: Free admission
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Finally, another classic holiday tradition in Vancouver. The Capilano Suspension Bridge transforms into an illuminated winter wonderland every year, complete with multi-colour displays, a ‘Snow Owl Prowl’ scavenger hunt, and cocoa & live music at the Trading Post Gift Store.
When: Now until Sunday, January 21st
Where: Capilano Suspension Bridge Park
Cost: $49.95 to $66.95 per adult
This one might require a couple of beverage purchases, but the rooftop winter terrace at Rosewood Hotel Georgia is no less magical to experience. This winter, guests can once again indulge in creative, festive cocktails and light tapas in a comfortable lounge setting, all the while surrounded by twinkling fairy lights to set the scene. If you’re looking for a solid date idea for the colder months, you’ve just found one.
Where: 801 West Georgia Street
So there you have it, Vancouver! You’ve got plenty of festive options to check out after Christmas Day rolls around.