This blog post was updated on November 19, 2018.

Things to do in and Around Vancouver this Holiday Season, Flickr: Razvan Marescu

Capilano Suspension Bridge


‘Tis the season- Snow is beginning to accumulate on the mountains, department stores are coaxing shoppers in with décor that signifies the beginning of a season of spending, and airports are gearing up for a busy couple of months. Yes, Christmas is just around the corner and Vancouver is filled with great ways to catch the yuletide spirit.  Here are some of the region’s finest holiday offerings suitable to arrange Vancouver flights around:

•    Just 30 minutes from Downtown Vancouver, Grouse Mountain offers much more than great skiing during the holiday season. Visitors can also enjoy a snow covered winter wonderland complete with sleigh rides, an 8,000 square-foot ice skating pond, carolers, real reindeer and Saint Nick himself. Families looking for a special experience will enjoy breakfast with Santa which takes place December 14th through 24th and including a full breakfast buffet along with children’s entertainment.

•    North Vancouver’s famous Capilano Suspension Bridge celebrates the season with Canyon Lights at Capilano. Over 250,000 sparkling lights will adorn the already magical bridge and surrounding forest. The park’s newest attraction, Cliffwalk, will be lit up and open for evening tours, making this already invigorating experience that much more exciting.  For an added element of holiday fun, a glassblower will be on-site to teach visitors how to create their own icicle ornaments.

•    Vancouver Island’s Butchart Gardens are already stunning with 55 acres of immaculate gardens but during the Christmas season, they add some sparkle to the mix with tens of thousands of lights and 12 Days of Christmas displays throughout the park during their 25th annual The Magic of Christmas. Nightly music and caroling can be found in the Piazza and recreational fun can be had on the ice skating rink or the Rose Carousel in the Children’s Pavilion.

•    Stanley Park gets a dose of holiday magic to raise funds for the BC Professional Fire Fighter’s Burn Fund during the Bright Nights in Stanley Park which takes place from December 2nd through January 2nd. Visitors can take a train ride through a forest twinkling with two million sparkling lights. There will also be a North Pole featuring Santa and a parade of trees, hot chocolate, and plenty of warm roasted chestnuts.

•    Shop to you drop at the Vancouver Christmas Market, and authentic German Christmas market in the plaza of Queen Elizabeth Theatre. 45 little wooden huts strung with lights are filled with goodies such as bratwurst, Gluehwein (mulled wine), German tin toys, nutcrackers, authentic ornaments, and so much more. Granville Island also has its share of holiday shopping fun with carolers, strolling performers, and 50 local artisans selling their crafts.

Enjoy the waterfront and celebrate the season all at the same time at Vancouver’s Coal Harbour during the Carol Ship Parade of Lights. 50 decked out boats twinkling with over 100,000 lights parade to the delight of over 30,000 people during this 20-day festival which takes place December 2nd through 23rd.  In neighboring Richmond, Santa Claus arrives by boat to Fisherman’s Wharf on December 3rd to enjoy the tree lighting ceremony, horse-drawn carriage rides and a wide variety of festivities.


Photo: Razvan Marescu

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