The bustle of the holidays is upon us. Happily, there are so many festive Christmas events in Vancouver for locals and visitors to enjoy that spirits will be bright all season long. Gather up the troops for a day of family fun and festive play with these seven spots to celebrate Christmas in Vancouver with kids and families.
- 1 Where to Celebrate Christmas in Vancouver with Kids
- 1.1 Aurora Winter Festival
- 1.2 Flyover Canada
- 1.3 Vancouver Christmas Market
- 1.4 Robson Square Skating Rink
- 1.5 Festival of Lights at Van Dusen Gardens
- 1.6 Grouse Mountain’s Peak of Christmas
- 1.7 Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge
Where to Celebrate Christmas in Vancouver with Kids
Aurora Winter Festival
Journey to the North Pole to explore mystical worlds, live entertainment, and take part in fun winter activities like ice skating and tubing. At the Aurora Winter Festival, kids will love visiting Santa’s Workshop, marvelling at the light displays, and taking a spin on the amusements rides. The festival take place at Hastings Park on the PNE grounds in East Vancouver. November 22nd to January 2nd.
Help Santa find his three missing reindeer at Flyover Canada. This virtual flight-simulation lifts off for an 8-minute, breathtaking ride over our great land. You will marvel at how beautiful Canada is in winter. The 3D experience is extremely well done. Tip: BC residents get up to 20% off online ticket purchases. November 24 to January 2.
Vancouver Christmas Market
Celebrating 10 years, the popular German-style Vancouver Christmas Market opens in late November near the Olympic Cauldron at Jack Poole Plaza in downtown Vancouver. The Market features more than fifty-five wooden stalls of German handmade crafts and specialty food vendors (think chocolate, stollen, maple fudge). You can also find prepared food options like pretzels, schnitzel, sausages and even Turkish pizza. Keep warm with some hot apple cider or Gluhwein (hot spiced red wine), as you stroll through the Market. There’s live entertainment, the city’s only Christmas Carousel, and daily kids activities. November 20 to December 24.
The Market has also partnered with FlyOver Canada by offering the Holly & Jolly Combo. Fly like Santa and his elves on a magical flight across Canada and on to the North Pole, then sample all the authentic German goodies and treats at the Market. It’s a match made in holiday heaven.
Robson Square Skating Rink
Lace up at the Robson Square Skating Rink in the heart of downtown, just steps from the Vancouver Art Gallery. It’s the perfect size for practicing your triple axels (or crossovers), if it’s not too crowded. Skate rentals are on-site, and check out the cute little Zambonis that clean the ice. Opens December 1st
Festival of Lights at Van Dusen Gardens
The spectacular Festival of Lights show at Van Dusen Gardens is a local favorite and perfect for bringing out of town guests. You can enjoy the dancing light show on Livingstone Lake, gnome performances and make a wish for the new year. Don’t forget to visit Santa’s workshop! November 30 – January 5th.
Grouse Mountain’s Peak of Christmas
Grouse Mountain’s the Peak of Christmas shines bright again this year. There’s loads of holiday happenings on Grouse Mountain, aka the North Pole. Do not miss the show-stopping Light Walk. The snowy journey will take you around Blue Grouse lake through a series of magical Christmas Lights in a beautiful winter wonderland.
Visit Santa’s Workshop and meet Prancer, one of his reindeer, and strap on skates for turn around the 8,000 square foot outdoor rink. The kids will love a stroll through the Gingerbread Village, where you can vote for your favorite creation. Enjoy some classic Christmas movies, and finish your visit with a mountaintop sleigh ride. November 22nd – January 5th.
Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge
This year marks the 12th year of Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge annual lighting extravaganza. The Suspension Bridge and surrounding forests are alight with beautiful Christmas displays. Canyon Lights also lays claim to having the world’s tallest living Christmas tree, but you’ll have to judge that for yourself when you visit! Hold on tight as you walk over the suspension bridge – it does tend to sway. November 22nd – January 26th.
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Disclosure: The writer visited these attractions as a guest of Tourism Vancouver. As always, her opinions are honest and her own.
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