It’s that time of year again: lights are twinkling, bells are ringing, wine is mulling, and credit cards are tapping… it’s the holiday season in Vancouver! Whether you’re planning a visit to Vancouver to shop for gifts, attend the corporate Christmas party, or just take in the holiday spirit, this city has lots to do and see to get you in the mood.
Right opposite The Burrard, you’ll find the impressive, twinkling Lights of Hope display, an annual fundraiser for St. Paul’s Hospital – if you’re looking to kick up the holiday spirit during your stay, ask for a room with a view of it!
Officially kicking things off on December 1 is the Vancouver Santa Claus Parade, but most of the Yuletide action stretches throughout the month of December, with a couple of events extending into January. Here are just a few of our favourites.
PARKS AND GARDENS
- Bright Nights in Stanley Park – A Vancouver favourite, this miniature train takes you through the forest lit up with three million lights.
- Van Dusen Garden Festival of Lights – The city’s largest botanical garden offers 15 acres of lit trails decorated for the season to sparkling effect.
- Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge – Lights are strung across the bridge and throughout the forest, including in eight of the world’s tallest Christmas trees.
- The Peak of Christmas at Grouse Mountain – Subbing for the North Pole, you’ll find Santa’s workshop, reindeer, the Light Walk, and an outdoor skating pond.
MARKETS AND FESTIVALS
- Vancouver Christmas Market – Right downtown, this is a German-style market packed with crafts, gift ideas, entertainment, and lots of food and drinks!
- Christmas Glow Vancouver – An indoor “light garden” event under a half-million twinkling bulbs, with seasonal playgrounds just begging to be Instagrammed.
- Aurora Winter Festival – A veritable winter wonderland, with a tubing park, skating pond, Christmas market, light displays and fun for the whole family.
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Light Walk at Grouse Mountain: Tourism Vancouver / Rishad Daroowala