Get ready for all things holiday lights, pop-up markets, and family-friendly festivities, Vancouver. This weekend marks the return of multiple beloved annual events, from VanDusen’s Festival of Lights to Disney on Ice. So with that in mind, here are 13 of the best things to do in and around Vancouver this week (November 24-26).

Festival of Lights

VanDusen Botanical Garden will once again transform into the ultimate holiday-themed destination this weekend, complete with over one million twinkling lights.

This year, the massive light displays will pay homage to the vibrant flora and fauna from BC’s endangered Garry Oak meadows, according to the City of Vancouver.

When: Friday, November 24th to January 7th
Where: 5251 Oak Street
Cost: Tickets available November 1st

Vancouver Etsy Market Holiday Pop-up

From 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, November 25th and Sunday, November 26th, The Pipe Shop is hosting a Holiday pop-up by the Vancouver Etsy Market with over 100 local businesses to peruse. According to the event page, the curated vendor list ranges from ceramics and one-of-a-kind jewelry to charcuterie boards.

When: Saturday, November 25th and Sunday, November 26th
Where: 115 Victory Ship Way, North Vancouver
Cost: $5 admission

Sponsored Pick: CF Winterville at CF Richmond Centre

The holiday season is hitting malls across Canada, and that can only mean one thing… Santa pictures! Put on your toothiest smile and head down to CF Richmond Centre from Friday, November 17th until Sunday, December 24th, to get your pictures with the big jolly man in red. Celebrate the season with 5 digital photos for only $15, but book your visit soon because Santa’s schedule is filling up fast!

When: Friday, November 17th until Sunday, December 24th
Where: CF Richmond Centre, 6551 No. 3 Road, Richmond
Cost: $15 for groups up to 6

Disney on Ice

 

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Great news, Disney adults. Disney on Ice is skating back into Vancouver this fall – with two new shows hitting the ice: Frozen and Encanto – both of which whisk guests away on a whimsical, immersive adventure. AKA, audience participation is strongly encouraged!

When: Wednesday, November 22nd to Sunday, November 26th
Where: 100 North Renfrew Street
Cost: $25-$144+

Portobello West Roundhouse Holiday Market

If you’re looking to do even more holiday shopping this weekend, consider checking out the Portobello West Roundhouse Holiday Market sometime this weekend, which runs from 10 am on November 25th to 5 pm on November 26th.

The two-day annual holiday market will feature an array of gifts from over 65 local BC artists, designers, and producers – with items ranging from handmade jewelry to pet accessories!

When: Saturday, November 25th and Sunday, November 26th
Where: 181 Roundhouse Mews
Cost: $6.66 for admission

Sponsored Pick: Here are 10 unique mocktail recipes to try next girls’ night

Nothing beats getting the girls together. Prepare your fuzzy slippers and throw blankets for a night of bonding, catching up, and – of course – a bit of harmless gossip. Make your next girls’ night one you’ll actually remember with these 10 tea-infused mocktails with Traditional Medicinals that are perfect for spilling the tea (pun intended).

A Night in Hongdae: An Immersive Korean Food & Drink Event 

From 7:30 to 10:30 pm on Saturday, November 25th, JIG SPACE in Kitsilano is hosting an immersive Korean food & drink experience, complete with delicious street food, interesting drinks and drinking games, and special prizes.

When: Saturday, November 25th
Where: 8889 Laurel Street #unit 106
Cost: $27.96+

Vancouver Giants

Switching gears a bit, the weekend wouldn’t be complete without a little action from the Vancouver Giants. Head to the Arena Bowl at the Langley Events Centre on Saturday, November 25th for their game against the Americans. Tickets start at just over $20 a pop, and you can view the full list of home games scheduled for this season here.

When: Saturday, November 25th
Where: 7888 200 Street Langley
Cost: $23.70+

Sponsored Pick: Sabai Thai Spa 

Is work hard, play hard, your favourite motto? Then a rejuvenating weekend massage is just the thing you need. Sabai Thai Spa is an award-winning relaxation destination with 7 locations throughout Vancouver and the Lower Mainland. Treat yourself to any of their 5-star treatments and feel your worries melt away – especially since they offer rewards, bundles, and limited-time offers to help you save on your visit! Check out their website and see how you can get up to 50% off on massages, spa packages, facials, and more. Keep a lookout for their HUGE Black Friday Deals, too, and use the promo code CURIOCITY at checkout for an additional 5% off select services. Happy relaxing!

North Pole Express

Always wanted to ride on the train from The Polar Express as a child? The Railway Museum of BC is bringing back its popular North Pole Express just in time for the holiday season, and you won’t want to miss it.

In addition to whimsical characters, warm cookies and cocoa, and other child-friendly activities, passengers will be able to meet Santa and Mrs. Claus for a family photo shoot to tie the whole experience together.

When: November 25th and 26th, December 2nd and 3rd, 9th and 10th, and 16th and 17th
Where: 39645 Government Road, Squamish
Cost: $82 to $132 for two

Sponsored Pick: Surrey Tree Lighting Festival & Holiday Market

Surrey’s annual Tree Lighting Festival & Holiday Market is back and this year it’s been extended to a two-day celebration! Get a headstart on holiday shopping from local vendors, snap a free picture with Santa, grab a bite to eat at a local food truck and watch the lighting of the City’s 60-foot Christmas tree. It’s the perfect place to kick off the approaching holiday season.

When: November 25th & 26th, 2023
Where: Surrey Civic Plaza | 13450 104 Ave, Surrey
Cost: Free Admission

IndieFest

It’s your last weekend to enjoy this year’s IndieFest lineup, which features emerging musicians and artists from all walks of life to highlight the stories and people that may have been overshadowed by history and tradition. From modern opera and Indigenous art to drag theatre, the festival has it all, taking place across several venues from November 17th to 26th.

When: November 17th to November 26th
Where: Multiple locations

Glow Langley 

 

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Canada’s largest Christmas celebration is officially 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, including new heated spaces, carnival-themed mini-games, and a craft corner.

When: Thursday, November 23rd to December 30th
Where: 6690 216 Street, Langley
Cost: $15-$70

And that’s a wrap on the weekend, Vancouver! Bundle up in your warmest layers and enjoy all the season has to offer.