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.
Vancouver Christmas Attractions
Attractions to See During the Day
Fly Over Canada
This flight simulation ride is so much fun, and an absolute must when visiting Vancouver. Although it is great to do at any time of year, it is especially so during the holidays. During the Christmas season (Nov. 24 – Jan. 2) Fly Over 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 (the ride used to be called ‘Soarin’ Around California’), Fly Over Canada is much like that, only better! For one thing the experience is much longer at Fly Over Canada…and it showcases the best of OUR country.
Due to the popularity of Fly Over Canada I would highly recommend spending the few extra dollars and getting the FastLane tickets. Despite the glares from the poor saps waiting in the long line, it was pretty amazing to walk straight to the front with our FastLane tickets scheduled for a predetermined designated flight time. There is a small discount if you book your tickets online as opposed buying them from the ticket booth.
Cost of Attraction
General Admission (when booked online)
- Adults: $19.76
- Seniors (65+): $17.06
- Youth (ages 13-17): $17.06
- Children (12 and under): $13.46
Please note that if your child is over 102cm tall (40″) they are considered a youth, no matter their age.
FastLane Ticket Prices (when booked online)
- Adults: $21.56
- Seniors (65+): $18.86
- Youth (ages 13 – 17): $18.86
- Children (12 and under): $15.26
Fly Over Canada is located at 201-999 Canada Place.
Source – Canada Place
Christmas at Canada Place Experience
From December 16 – 30, 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.
- 15ft Snow Globe – capture your memories in a festive photo while standing in a 15ft snow globe. Photos are by donation, with all proceeds supporting Strathcona Community Centre’s Food Security for Children program.
- Rudolph’s Theatre – watch the classic Christmas movies Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and Frosty the Snowman.
- 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.
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 favorite! 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.
Gingerbread Lane is celebrating their 26th anniversary this year, and it is being said that this year’s display is going to be one of the best. It is most definitely the sweetest lane in the city!
Cost of Attraction
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 BC & Yukon foundation.
Gingerbread Lane is located at the Hyatt Regency Vancouver – 655 Burrard Street. The display runs from December 4 – 27.
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.
Cost of Event
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). The display is on from November 25 – January 2.
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 everything Christmas 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.
The Family Rate for Peak of Christmas festivities includes admission for 2 adults and 2 children/youth (under 18) for $89.95.
Peak of Christmas is found at the Grouse Mountain Resort – 6400 Nancy Greene Way, North Vancouver.
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. This is where 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.
The Vancouver Christmas Market is in a new location this year. It now sits at Jack Poole Plaza (home of the Olympic Cauldron) – 1055 Canada Place.
Entrance fees for the 2016 Vancouver Christmas Market:
- Adult (13+ years): $8
- Senior (65+ years): $7
- Youth (7-12 years): $4
- Children (0-6 years): FREE
There are special rates for an ‘X-Mas Combo’, ‘Couples Combo’, and ‘VIP Experience’. Please check their website ( Vancouver Christmas Market ) for more details.
The Market is open November 26 – December 31, from 11:00 am – 9:00 pm . (Closed at 6:00 pm on Christmas Eve; closed on Christmas Day).
Source – Enchant
Enchant Christmas Light Maze and Market
Making its debut this year, Enchant features the world’s largest Christmas light maze along with a unique Christmas Market. The light maze is made up of over 55,000 sq ft of illuminated sculptures, while the market has over 40 local vendors and food trucks waiting for you to shop and dine.
The story behind the maze is a snowstorm hits the North Pole and buries the town, and Santa finds that his reindeer are missing. It is up to guests to go on an adventure through the enchanted lights in search of the missing reindeer. Otherwise Santa won’t be able to deliver the toys come Christmas Eve!
Enchant Christmas Light Maze and Market is located between 1st and Crowe Street, in between the Cambie Street Bridge and Olympic Village.
It is open November 25 – December 31 from 4:00 – 10:00 pm, but also has a few closures within that time frame as well. It is best to check their website for up-to-date information: Enchant Christmas
Some of the days are already sold out, so it is best to buy tickets online.
- Adults (16+): $19.95
- Senior (65+): $14.95
- Children (6 – 15): $ 14.95
- Children under 5 – FREE
- Family Pass (2 adults and up to 3 children): $59.95
If you are wishing to attend just the Market, passes are $5.00 per person.
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 I would suggest to book ahead. Tickets are available through TicketLeader.ca
Hours of Operation
November 28 – December 15
Monday to Thursday – 3pm to 10pm
Friday to Sunday – 10am to 11pm
December 16-24 – Daily, 10am to 11pm
December 25 – Closed
December 26 – 10am to 11pm
December 27 – January 1
Daily – 10am to 10pm
- Adult (18 – 64 years) $12.00
- Senior (65+) $9.00
- Youth (13 – 17 years) $9.00
- Child (3 – 12 years) $8.00
- Children 2 years of age and under – FREE
- Matinee (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.
The Carol Ships Parade of Lights
This holiday tradition started over 50 years ago, when one boat sitting in Coal Harbour was decorated with lights. Now you can find upwards of 50 decorated boats decked out in more than 100,000 lights.
The Parade of Lights provides spectators a spectacular sailpast each evening, from a different marina location. Take your family down to the various Vancouver shorelines to view these decorated yachts and hear the carolers.
Location and times vary. Please see the sailing schedule on the Carol Ships Parade of Lights Society website for more details.
This is a free event.
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. 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 24 – January 8, 11:00 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) $39.95
- Senior (65+) $36.95
- Student (17+ with valid ID) $32.95
- Youth (13 – 16) $26.95
- Child (6 – 12) $13.95
- Child (5 and under) FREE
- Family Rate (2 adults, 2 children) $85.00
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 – January 2.
- December 1 – 15 – 4:30 – 9:00 pm
- December 16 – 23 – 4:30 – 10:00 pm
- December 24 – 4:30 – 9:00 pm
- Closed December 25
- December 26 – January 2 – 4:30 – 9:00 pm
Tickets can be bought online through Tickets Tonight. But please note, there is a service charge per ticket when bought online.
- Adult: $18.50
- Senior (65+): $14.25
- Youth (13 – 18): $14.25
- Child (4 – 12): $11.00
- Children under 3 are FREE
- Family Pass (2 adults and 2 children under the age of 18): $40.00
VanDusen Botanical Garden is located at 5251 Oak Street, Vancouver.
Have we missed any of your favourite Vancouver Christmas Attractions?
Let us know in the comments below.
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