Vancouver really knows how to get you into the Christmas spirit. In fact, it so full of Christmas activities it is hard to know what to do first.
Luckily you have me to decipher that for you! If you are wishing to cross the waters to the big city in the near future, here are some of the Vancouver Christmas attractions that one should not miss out on.
For most, the point of seeing Christmas attractions is being able to witness everything lit up with twinkling lights. However, if you are only visiting Vancouver for a weekend, it is just not possible to fit all the attractions into one or two evenings. So this post is broken up into what is doable during the day, followed by the attractions that are best seen at night.
This flight simulation ride is so much fun, and an absolute must when visiting Vancouver. During the Christmas season (Nov. 23 – Jan. 7) FlyOver Canada is transformed into a magical winter wonderland. You will join Santa on a flight across Canada in search of his missing elves, and end up at his workshop in the North Pole.
If you have experienced ‘Soarin’ Around the World’ at Disneyland California Adventure, FlyOver Canada is much like that, only better! For one thing, the experience is much longer at FlyOver Canada…and it showcases the best of OUR country.
Due to the popularity of FlyOver Canada, I highly recommend booking online…if not for the savings alone! There is a local discount on now too (when booked online)!
Location: 201-999 Canada Place.
For more information or to book online, please visit FlyOver Canada
Source – Canada Place
Christmas at Canada Place Experience
From December 7, 2018 – January 3, 2019, the Canadian Trail (west promenade at Canada Place) will be all decked out in Christmas attire. This outdoor display will have guests enjoying a multitude of festive activities.
- Woodward’s Windows – following the closure of the Woodward’s department store, Canada Place purchased the much treasured Christmas displays and now incorporates them in the Christmas at Canada Place experience. The displays are nostalgic for those who remember seeing them at the historic Woodward’s location.
- Avenue of Christmas Trees – a selection of beautifully decorated trees.
- Arts and Crafts – lots of festive crafts for your children to enjoy, including the opportunity to write a letter to Santa.
Cost of Event
The Christmas at Canada Place Experience is located on the west promenade of Canada Place – 201-999 Canada Place.
*If time allows, this would be a good location to view in the evening as well. Even if it’s just a drive-by!
Gingerbread Lane at the Hyatt Regency Vancouver
The Hyatt Regency Vancouver has a large display of gingerbread creations called Gingerbread Lane. With over 30 magical displays you are sure to find a favourite! The gingerbread houses are submitted and designed by a range of participants, from schools and businesses, to professional and amateur culinary artists from the pastry arts department at Vancouver Community College.
Viewing the gingerbread creations is completely free. However, you can make a donation when voting for your favourite display. All proceeds go towards the Make-A-Wish foundation.
Location: 655 Burrard Street.
The display runs from November 30 – December 28, 2018
Source: Four Season Hotels
Festival of Trees
Enjoy the enchanted forest of decorated trees at the Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver and the Pacific Centre Mall. The display showcases Christmas trees decorated by community sponsors to raise funds and awareness for the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation.
The display is on from November 21, 2018 – January 1, 2019.
Cost of Event: FREE!
Viewing the trees is free, however, guests are encouraged to submit a donation (minimum $5.00 suggestion) to vote for their favourite.
Festival of Trees is located at the Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver (791 W. Georgia Street) and the upper level of the Pacific Centre Mall (650 W. Georgia Street).
Source: Sea to Sky Gondola
Spirit of Christmas
Take the Sea to Sky Gondola up to the summit and enjoy a variety of Christmas events and activities.
- Christmas Forest Walk – explore the decorated holiday trail
- Snowshoe on the Panorama Trail (snow-permitting)
- Have pancakes and pictures with Santa
- Make festive crafts
- Enjoy story time
- Snow Tubing (snow-permitting)
- Family Sing-Along
- Live Choral Music
- and much more!
Please note that the price of your ticket to ride to the summit via the Gondola does not include all of the above-mentioned events and activities. Some of the activities mentioned are cost-plus. Please see the website of Sea to Sky Gondola for all pricing and further information.
The Sea to Sky Gondola is located 2 km south of Squamish, at 36800 BC-99.
Gingerbread Village at Peak of Christmas
Peak of Christmas
Ride the gondola up to a multitude of magical festivities and experience Vancouver’s North Pole at the top of Grouse Mountain. There is so much to do at the Peak of Christmas that a full day is definitely needed.
- Skate on their 8000 square foot outdoor skating rink (skate rentals are not included with ticket price)
- Visit Santa in his workshop
- Meet Santa’s Reindeer
- Turn yourself into an elf
- Listen to the enchanting voices of a choir
- View the fabulous Gingerbread displays
- Walk among the trees and enjoy stunning light displays (dusk – 10:00 pm)
- Rent a snow carpet and slide down the slopes
- Enjoy story time at the Elf Headquarters (1:00 pm – 4:00 pm)
- Get educated at the Reindeer Ranger talks (12:00 pm & 3:00 pm)
- Create your own Christmas memory at the Craft Station
- Send a letter to Santa
- Watch a family Christmas movie at the Theatre in the Sky
- Enjoy live entertainment
- Partake in a sleigh ride (snow-permitting)
Something to note: Santa is a very busy man! If you want to visit Santa in his workshop you may be required to get a time-stamped pass. Just ask one of the helpers at the end of the Workshop lineup and they will guide you.
Family Pass: $89.95
Peak of Christmas is found at the Grouse Mountain Resort – 6400 Nancy Greene Way, North Vancouver.
When: November 23, 2018 – January 6, 2019
Tip: This attraction can easily be an all day/evening event. If you want to make the most of it, head up around mid-day so you can see the magic of the mountain at night too. That way you can also sneak in one or two of the above-mentioned activities beforehand!
Best Vancouver Christmas Attractions to See at Night
Source: Vancouver Christmas Market
Vancouver Christmas Market
While you can most definitely take in the festivities of the Vancouver Christmas Market during the day, it is most spectacular at night. Here you will find an authentic German Christmas market showcasing traditional German crafts, delicious food and entertainment for all ages. It is truly a unique way to get into the Christmas spirit. The Market is also home to Vancouver’s only Christmas Carousel.
Location: Jack Poole Plaza (home of the Olympic Cauldron) – 1055 Canada Place.
Hours of Operation:
The Market is open daily from November 21 – December 23, from 11:30 am – 9:30 pm. And on December 24th, from 11:30 am – 6:00 pm.
Online ticket price for the 2018 Vancouver Christmas Market:
- Adult (13+ years): $10
- Senior (65+ years): $9
- Youth (7-12 years): $5
- Children (0-6 years): FREE
Source: The Georgia Straight
Stanley Park Bright Nights Christmas Train
During the holiday season, Stanley Park Plaza sparkles with three million twinkling lights. Ride the train through this magical illumination. The Stanley Park Bright Nights Train is definitely something you have to plan in advance. This is a very popular event and sells out quickly. If you are hoping to take in this spectacular sight you need to book ahead. Tickets are available through TicketLeader.ca
Hours of Operation
|November 29 – December 13, 2018||Matinee Train
Friday to Sunday
|December 14 – 23||Daily|
10:00 am – 2:30 pm
3:00 – 11:00 pm
|December 24||10:00 am – 2:30 pm||3:00 – 10:00 pm|
|December 26||10:00 am – 2:30 pm||3:00 pm – 11:00 pm|
|December 27 – 31||Daily|
10:00 am – 2:30 pm
3:00 – 10:00 pm
January 2 – 5 (train only, no live actors)
3:00 – 10:00 pm4:00 – 9:00 pm
- Adult (19 – 64 years) $12.00
- Senior (65+) $9.00
- Youth (13 – 18 years) $9.00
- Child (3 – 12 years) $8.00
- Children 2 years of age and under – FREE
- Matinee Train (before 3:00 pm) (All ages) – $6.00
The Stanley Park Bright Nights Christmas Train is located in Stanley Park, accessed on Pipeline Road, via the West Georgia Street park entrance.
Source: Capilano Suspension Bridge Park
Capilano Canyon Lights
Head to the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park in North Vancouver for a spectacular display of hundreds of thousands of twinkling lights at their Winter Light Festival. While you are there you can also see the world’s tallest living Christmas tree!
Also available on-site:
- Snowy Owl Prowl
- Gingerbread cookie decorating
- Christmas card making
- Live entertainment
- Interactive lighting display
Canyon Lights operates daily from November 22 – January 27, from11:00 am – 9:00 pm. Closed Christmas Day.
Please note: the holiday activities mentioned above don’t begin until 4:00 pm.
- Adult (ages 17 – 64) $46.95
- Senior (65+) $42.95
- Student (17+ with valid ID) $34.95
- Youth (13 – 16) $27.95
- Child (6 – 12) $14.95
- Child (5 and under) FREE
- Family Rate (2 adults, 2 children, 6 – 16 years old) $99.00
The Capilano Suspension Bridge Park is located at 3735 Capilano Road, North Vancouver.
Source: Georgia Straight
Festival of Lights
Head to VanDusen Botanical Garden for a magical winter wonderland with over one million lights. Enjoy the Dancing Light Show on Livingstone Lake, look for roving Scandinavian gnomes and reindeer in the garden, ride the carousel, light a candle at the Make-A-Wish candle grotto, and/or take a photo with Santa.
The Festival of Lights is in operation from December 1, 2018 – January 6, 2019.
- December 1 – 20 – 4:30 – 9:00 pm
- December 21 – 24 – 4:30 – 10:00 pm
- Closed December 25
- December 26 – January 1 – 4:30 – 10:00 pm
- January 2 – 6 – 4:30 – 9:00
Tickets vary in prices, depending on when you go. (December 21 – 26 cost the most). Book your tickets online
VanDusen Botanical Garden is located at 5251 Oak Street, Vancouver.
Head east towards Langley and you’ll find the largest indoor Christmas festival in Greater Vancouver.
Bring together the people you love to stroll, laugh and play under the twinkle of a million lights. The playgrounds and interactive features will entertain the kids for hours, while the adults kick back at the licensed bar and enjoy some seasonal beverages and live music.
Glow’s illuminated sculptures are the perfect backdrop for selfies and holiday family photos. You can even whisper your Christmas list to Santa!
The Christmas Market showcases the best local artisans and boutique businesses, alongside delicious options from local food trucks.
It’s all the magic and wonder of an outdoor festival, hosted inside the cozy, yet spacious venue.
Location: Milner Village Garden Centre, 6690 216th St
When: November 22, 2018 – January 19, 2019.
Please visit the Glow Gardens website for times and ticket cost.
Here’s their promo video for the 2018 season:
Have we missed any of your favourite Vancouver Christmas Attractions?
Let us know in the comments below.
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