‘Tis the season for magical lights, harmony filled Christmas carols, delicious food and time spent with family. This is truly my favourite time of year and I always count down to some pretty special Christmas events that happen around the Lower Mainland! We’ve rounded up some of our personal favourites (and many we have reviews for, so you can see how much we loved them!) Do you have a favourite? We’d love for you to share!
Bear Creek Park Train – 13750 88th Avenue, Surrey
From Friday December 4th to Monday January 4, 2016 open daily from 10:00am-4:00pm. Last train leaves the station at 3:45pm. Tickets for adult and children are $8.50 + tax. Santa will be at the station December 4th-24th, you are encouraged to bring your camera! Visit with Santa and receive a candy Cane, Christmas activity kid and a train ride through the Christmas forest. Train is closed on Christmas Day.
Bright Nights returns again for it’s 18th season to brighten skies with over 3 million twinkling lights! Buy tickets to ride the Bright Nights Train and experience the lights, breathtaking displays and of course – live performers along the train route! Or visit the displays in the train plaza by donation ($4.00 suggested donation). Your donations and a portion of ticket sales directly benefit the BC Professional Fire Fighters Burn Fund – 1.4 million has been raised to help burn survivors and their families since 1998!
Bright Nights is open from Thursday, November 26, 2015 to Saturday, January 2, 2016 and is closed on Friday, December 25 for Christmas.
|Adult (18 – 64 years)||$12.00|
|Child and youth (3 – 17 years)||$9.00|
|Small child (2 years and under)||Free|
|Senior (65 years and over)||$9.00|
Matinee (no live performers): all riders $8.00
Capilano Suspension Bridge Canyon Lights – 3735 Capilano Road, North Vancouver
Celebrate Canyon Lights November 27, 2015 to January 3, 2016. Capture the feeling of wonder and excitement of the holiday season and immerse yourself in thousands of lights throughout the park. The suspension bridge, Treetops Adventure, Cliffwalk, the rainforest and canyon are transformed into a world of festive lights and visual enchantment. Visit the world’s tallest living Christmas tree (153 feet tall!), go on a Snowy Owl Prowl, decorate gingerbread cookies and make your own Christmas card in the Winter Pavilion, and sing-along with the holiday band. Park is open from 11:00am-9:00pm. Canyon Lighs tickets are valid all day with holiday activities beginning at 4:00pm. Strollers are NOT permitted on many of the attractions, please plan accordingly.
Students (with ID): $30.95
Six & Under – FREE
BC Residents: Please brings your BC photo identification along with your ticket to get a complimentary annual pass!
Christmas at Canada Place – 999 Canada Place, Vancouver
Visit Christmas at Canada Place from December 12th – 30th (closed December 24 & 25) daily from 12:00pm-6:00pm.
This 28th annual event presented by Port Metro Vancouver brings the magic of Christmas mixed with iconic Vancouver tradition starting with the Historic Woodwords Windows, originally displayed in the popular Woodwords Department stores, these long standing Vancouver tradition are sure to delight all ages. Visit the 15ft snowglobe to capture your Christmas memories by donation, all proceeds supporting the Strathcona Communite Centre Food Security for Children program. Make sure to leave time to visit Rudolph’s theatre, the avenure of Christmas trees and stop in to make some art’s and crafts to take home after your trip!
Price: FREE (by donation for some activities)
Heritage Christmas at Burnaby Village Museum – 6501 Deer Lake Avenue, Burnaby
The holiday experience begins the moment you arrive at the Burnaby Heritage Museum! Festive lights and decorations greet you at the entrance and offer a peek into the spectacular displays of history and lights that await you inside. Special entertainment is scheduled throughout the season including theatre performances, community choirs, street characters and musicians. Many family favourite activities are back including a craft for children, baking in the Farmhouse and, of course, visits with Father Christmas. Make sure to take on the challenge of the Twelve Days of Christmas scavenger hunt! Visit November 21 – December 11* – Monday-Friday, 1-5:30pm, Saturday-Sunday, 1-9pm, *December 7, early site closure, 4:30pm and December 12 – January 1, 2016 Daily, 1-9pm (closed December 24 & 25)
Price: FREE, carousel rides are $2.55 each (and worth it!)
North Pole BC (read last years review) – Abbotsford Tradex 1190 Cornell Street Abbotsford
Visit the North Pole, BC for your chance to spot the REAL Santa, a winter wonderland takes over the Tradex in Abbotsford for this interactive display for the holidays. Check out Story time with Mrs. Claus, Santa’s Toy Workshop, the Bakery, Puppet theatre, carnival rides, wandering characters and a little bit of Christmas shopping on site at the North Pole! Hours vary for this event and it is suggested you purchase your tickets in advance as this event gets busy (and festive!)
Tickets: $12.50 – $15.00 per person, children $2 and under free – hours & ticket purchase
Santa Claus Parade – Downtown Vancouver
On December 6th at 1:00pm the Santa Claus parade will take over the streets in Vancouver, with previous years drawing crowds as large as 300,00 people! Come down early to grab prime seats and immerse yourself in the events. Starting at 10:30am, visit the Coast Capital Savings Christmas square (Georgia & Howe) for some family fun, including face painting, a photo booth, gingerbread men and tree decorating, and write your letter to Santa! Parade route information is available at rogerssantaclausparade.com/parade-day/
The Peak of Christmas at Grouse Mountain – 6400 Nancy Greene Way, North Vancouver
Between November 27, 2015 and January 4, 2016 see how magical elves have transformed Grouse Mountain into the North Pole! Stop in and have breakfast with Santa, visit his workshop, meet real reindeer or vote for your favourite creation in our Gingerbread Village. This Christmas, believe again. Visit the Light Walk and be awestruck by the glow of lights against the majestic mountain backdrop, or visit the new sliding zone and whoosh! down the snow. With over 13 events during the Peak of Christmas, it’s fun for the whole family! Access to the Peak of Christmas is included with your Annual Local’s Pass, Y2Play or Winter Season Pass as well as regular Alpine Experience tickets.
Tickets: Adults $43.95, Seniors $39.95, Youth $24.95, Children $14.95, four and under free. Special family ticket rate available November 27-January 4, valid for 2 adults and 2 children up to 18 years old – $79.95.
The Polar Express – 39645 Government Road, Squamish
Immerse yourself in the magic of Christmas by riding the only Polar Express train in western Canada from November 28 – December 20th. Collect your golden ticket at the ticket booth and board the magical train to visit the North Pole on this 40 minute train ride. Make sure to wear your pajamas and curl up with complimentary hot chocolate and a chocolate chip cookie(just like the movie), enjoy Christmas carols, visits from special recognizable characters from the movie and get ready to meet Mr & Mrs Claus at the North Pole!
Tickets: $27.00+GST – $49.00+GST, children 2 & under free (sitting on parents laps)
Timberline Country Christmas (read last years review) – 22351 144 Avenue Maple Ridge
Leave the busy city behind and experience Christmas in the Country, you won’t spot Santa at this event as Timberline Ranch welcomes you into the country from December 2nd – 20th! Here you will be enchanted by glorious lights, beautiful trees, interactive scenes, lovely music, and delightful activities that remind us of times when Christmas was a lot simpler . . . and a lot less commercial.
Tickets: $7.00-$11.00, infants 0-1 years old are free – registration required as this is a time staggered event.
Vancouver Christmas Market (read last years review) – 650 Hamilton Street, Vancouver
One of our favourite events returns for it’s 6th season, the Vancouver Christmas Market is your ticket to the Christmas seaason. This authentic German Christmas Market creates the perfect atmosphere to mix and mingle, take in a quick drink or lunch and take in a wide variety of authentic cultural activities and entertainment. This event boasts Vancouver’s only Christmas Carousel. Open daily from November 21st – December 24th from 11:00am-9:00pm, closes at 6:00pm on Christmas Eve.
Tickets: Adults $8.00, Seniors $7.00, Youth $4.00, children 6 and under – FREE. Combo packages available that include souvenier extras and carousel rides. Online ticket holders receive a FREE Season Pass and Express Lane access.
VanDusen Festival of Lights – 5251 Oak Street, Vancouver
VanDusen Festival of Lights is one of the first Christmas traditions we created as a family, I have fond memories of strolling through the nighttime lights, pushing a tiny babe in her stroller while we sipped hot chocolate. To this day, it’s one of our favourites to visit! Join us and experience the Festival of Lights for yourself, a magical winter wonderland with over one million lights decorating the garden. Open from December 1st – 31st, hours on December 1 – 17, 24 and 26-31 4:30pm-9:00pm, and open late December 18-13 4:30-10:00pm. Stroll through interactive themed areas, enjoy dancing light shows over Livingstone Lake, the gnome performance and the Vancouver Public Library’s tales for a Winter’s night. Leave time to have photos taken with Santa, savour holiday treats, and delight in much more!
|Adult (19 – 64 years)||$16.00|
|Senior (65 years and over)||$12.00|
|Youth (13 – 18 years)||$12.00|
|Child (3 – 12 years)||$9.00|
|Child (2 years and under)||Free|
|Family (2 adults and their children 18 and younger)||$36.00|
Vancouver Winter Wonderland at the PNE – Hastings Street & Renfrew Street, Vancouver
Escape the cold this holiday season and experience a 10 day indoor holiday extravaganza starting December 11th – December 20th from 11:00am-11:00pm on weekends, and 3:00pm-11:00pm on weekdays. During Vancouver’s biggest holiday event to date, guests will be treated to interactive attractions offering fun for children and adults alike! With over 100 vendors on site to help meet all of your Christmas shopping needs! Walk through the three story tall snowglobe, visit the giant Christmas tree, visit the arts & crafts area and create fun projects to take home, with all proceeds benefiting charity. Lastly, make sure to say hi to Santa and his reindeer for a photo op!
Tickets: Discount tickets available online for $5.00 + $1.30s/c, or available at the door
This isn’t a complete list by far, each municipality will have some more fabulous events for you to check out with your family, for more information visit your cities webpage of events and plan your Christmas season!