Vancouver comes alive with festive cheer during Christmas, offering a myriad of activities that transform the city into a winter wonderland. From enchanting light displays at Stanley Park to the charming Vancouver Christmas Market, there’s a sparkle of joy for everyone. Indulge in the seasonal spirit with ice skating under the stars at Robson Square or partake in the unique Carol Ships Parade of Lights. Whether it’s enjoying cultural performances or exploring holiday-themed markets, Vancouver’s yuletide offerings promise to create memorable experiences for friends and families alike. Embrace the holiday season in Vancouver with open arms and an eager heart.

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Christmas Events and Festivals

GoToVan. (n.d.-b). Vancouver Christmas Market 2017. Flickr.

The Vancouver Christmas Market

During the holiday season, the Vancouver Christmas Market is an iconic destination that offers a charming and authentic German Christmas experience in the heart of the city. You’ll find a wide variety of vendors selling unique and traditional crafts, mouth-watering festive foods, and beautifully crafted holiday decorations. Whether you’re visiting with your family, friends, or significant other, the market’s festive atmosphere and delightful offerings are sure to put you in the holiday spirit.

GoToVan. (n.d.-a). Bright Nights 2011 in Stanley Park. Flickr.

Bright Nights at Stanley Park: A Dazzling Display of Lights

As the holiday season approaches, Stanley Park is transformed into a magical wonderland with the annual “Bright Nights” celebration. Over three million vibrant lights adorn the Stanley Park Train route, creating an enchanting winter paradise that brings joy to visitors of all ages. The train ride takes you on a journey through stunning displays of twinkling lights, holiday scenes, and festive characters, all set against the backdrop of Stanley Park’s breathtaking natural beauty. A visit to Bright Nights at Stanley Park is an unforgettable experience that will leave you with lasting memories and a warm holiday spirit.

Photo Credit: Lukas Mann

Capilano Suspension Bridge Park’s Canyon Lights: A Spectacular Aerial Display

Experience the thrill of walking the Capilano Suspension Bridge as it is adorned with stunning lights during the Canyon Lights event. The entire park participates in the festivities, offering a unique view of Vancouver’s natural beauty.

festival of light van Dusen garden
Waferboard. (n.d.). 131221-023. Flickr.

Vancouver’s VanDusen Festival of Lights: A Garden of Twinkling Bliss

The VanDusen Botanical Garden transforms into an illuminated wonderland for the Festival of Lights. Wander through themed areas and enjoy the famous dancing lights show on Livingstone Lake.

The Holiday Parade of Lights Vancouver: A Festive Procession

Join the locals lining the streets for the annual Holiday Parade of Lights, featuring festive floats, marching bands, and a special appearance by Santa Claus himself.

Carol Ships Parade of Lights: Vancouver’s Nautical Tradition

Set sail or watch from shore as a fleet of beautifully decorated boats light up the coastline during the Carol Ships Parade of Lights. This floating festival is a unique Vancouver tradition.

Heritage Christmas at Burnaby Village Museum: A Step Back in Time

Step back into a Christmas past at the Burnaby Village Museum. Heritage Christmas offers a glimpse into the 1920s with old-fashioned decorations, entertainment, and even a visit from Father Christmas.

Ice Skating at Robson Square: Gliding Through the Heart of Downtown

Lace up your skates and glide across the ice at Robson Square’s enchanting outdoor rink. With its prime location in the bustling heart of downtown Vancouver, this seasonal attraction offers a delightful experience for all skill levels, whether you’re a seasoned pro or a first-time skater. Soak up the festive atmosphere as you twirl around the rink, surrounded by twinkling lights and the joyous sounds of music and laughter. Don’t miss out on this magical winter wonderland!

Christmas at Canada Place: Waterfront Celebrations

Get ready to immerse yourself in the magic of Christmas at Canada Place! This annual event boasts the iconic and beloved Woodward’s Windows, along with a picturesque avenue of Christmas trees that line the waterfront. You’ll be enchanted by the festive atmosphere, complete with twinkling lights, stunning decorations, and an array of family-friendly activities that are sure to bring holiday cheer to your heart. Come experience the joy of the season at Christmas at Canada Place!

The Polar Express™ Train Ride: A Magical Journey

Embark on The Polar Express™ Train Ride at the West Coast Railway Heritage Park. This immersive experience brings the story to life with a magical train ride to the North Pole, complete with hot chocolate and cookies.

A Traditional Christmas with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra

Enjoy the sounds of the season with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra’s “A Traditional Christmas” concert series, which tours various venues around Metro Vancouver for a truly festive musical experience.

Holiday Magic at the Queen Elizabeth Park

Enjoy a stroll through Queen Elizabeth Park, where a festive holiday light installation adds a touch of magic to the already stunning city views and botanical beauty.

Winter Ice Palace in Cloverdale

An annual tradition, the Cloverdale Ice Arena transforms into a Winter Ice Palace, offering family-friendly ice skating in a festively decorated rink.

Langley’s Christmas in the Village

Historic Langley turns into a charming Christmas village with lights, decorations, and local vendors offering handmade gifts and festive treats.

New Westminster’s Santa Claus Parade

Join the community of New Westminster for their annual Santa Claus Parade, featuring floats, community groups, and a tree lighting ceremony.

Port Moody Christmas Craft Fair

Discover the Port Moody Christmas Craft Fair, perfect for finding local artisan gifts and enjoying the community’s festive spirit.

Tsawwassen’s Christmas Tree Festival

Walk through Tsawwassen Town Centre and take in the beautifully decorated Christmas trees, each sponsored and adorned by local businesses and families.

Burnaby Central Railway’s Christmas Train

Take a miniature train ride through the festively decorated forests of Confederation Park in Burnaby, a delightful experience for the young and the young at heart.

Coquitlam’s Lights at Lafarge

Circle the stunning Lafarge Lake on a winter evening to view the elaborate light displays, one of the largest free outdoor light events in the Lower Mainland.

Surrey’s Holiday Market and Light Festival

Surrey’s annual market and light festival showcases local crafters, artists, and a dazzling array of lights to celebrate the festive season.

Richmond’s Winter Wonderland

The Richmond City Hall and the surrounding area light up with spectacular displays, and local performers offer entertainment throughout the holiday season.

Steveston Festival of Trees in Richmond

Steveston’s Gulf of Georgia Cannery turns into a winter wonderland with beautifully decorated trees by local businesses and organizations, which visitors can vote for their favorite.

Maple Ridge Christmas Festival

Maple Ridge hosts a Christmas festival complete with a parade, craft fair, and live entertainment, capped off by a ceremonial lighting of the town square.

North Vancouver’s Shipyards Christmas Market

The Shipyards District in North Vancouver hosts a Christmas Market featuring local artisans, live music, and spectacular light displays right by the waterfront.

Delta’s Luminary Festival

Join the community of Delta for an evening of light and remembrance with the Luminary Festival, featuring live music, fire performances, and a parade of lanterns.

White Rock’s Christmas on the Peninsula

White Rock offers a quaint Christmas festival with a parade, a Christmas market, and an opportunity to join in on caroling by the seaside.

Fort Langley’s Heritage Holiday at the Fort

Step back in time with Fort Langley’s Heritage Holiday, where the historic site is adorned with festive decorations and offers seasonal activities.

Anmore Christmas in the Village

An intimate, small-town holiday celebration, Anmore Christmas in the Village is a delightful community event with crafts, food, and a visit from Santa.

Holiday Movie Nights in Pitt Meadows

Gather under the stars for holiday movie screenings at the outdoor cinema experience in Pitt Meadows, complete with hot cocoa and blankets.

West Vancouver’s Dundarave Festival of Lights

Enjoy a forest of decorated Christmas trees on West Vancouver’s waterfront, and partake in free concerts and a beach bonfire.

Chilliwack’s Christmas Craft Market

Explore the Chilliwack Christmas Craft Market, which offers a bounty of handmade goods perfect for holiday gift-giving and supports local crafters and artists.

Family Fun: Kid-Friendly Christmas Activities in Vancouver

Peak of Christmas at Grouse Mountain: Festive Fun in the Snow

At Grouse Mountain, families can enjoy a white Christmas with activities like ice skating, sleigh rides, and visits with Santa Claus, all set against a snowy mountain backdrop.

Holiday Theatre: Vancouver’s Christmas Shows and Pantos

The holiday season brings a variety of family-friendly performances to Vancouver’s stages, including lively pantomimes, festive ballets, and enchanting theatrical productions.

Gingerbread Lane at the Hyatt Regency Vancouver

Marvel at the creativity on display at Gingerbread Lane, where elaborate gingerbread houses crafted by professional and amateur chefs fill the Hyatt Regency, raising funds for charity.

The Great Big Christmas at the PNE: A Festive Fairground

The Pacific National Exhibition (PNE) transforms into a holiday extravaganza with The Great Big Christmas, featuring rides, seasonal entertainment, and Santa’s workshop.

Holiday Hi-Light Festival at Park & Tilford Gardens

This festive fundraiser lights up the Park & Tilford Gardens with thousands of twinkling lights, offering a charming evening walk suitable for the whole family.

Vancouver Aquarium’s Holiday Splash: A Watery Winter Wonderland

Experience the magic of the season underwater at the Vancouver Aquarium’s Holiday Splash, where festive shows and marine life meet for an unforgettable aquatic celebration.

Winter Wonderland at the Richmond Olympic Oval

Skate through a festive indoor Winter Wonderland at the Richmond Olympic Oval, complete with holiday decorations and cheerful music to set the holiday mood.

Christmas Storytime at the Vancouver Public Library

Gather around for heartwarming Christmas stories and songs during the special holiday storytimes at various branches of the Vancouver Public Library.

Santa’s Big Arrival at Metropolis at Metrotown

Be there as Santa arrives in grand fashion at Metropolis at Metrotown, kicking off a season of festive activities and photo opportunities with the jolly old elf himself.