Seven ways to celebrate Christmas in Vancouver with kids

The merry and harried days of Christmas have arrived. These six festive, family-friendly holidays events in Vancouver will help keep spirits bright. | christmas in vancouver

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.

Where to Celebrate Christmas in Vancouver with Kids

Time to start planning your holiday fun in Vancouver! Check out these 7 fun and festive ways to celebrate Christmas in Vancouver with kids and families.
Aurora Winter Festival offers lots of holiday fun for the kids. (Credit: Brandon Artis Photography)

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.

Flyover Canada

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.

Time to start planning your holiday fun in Vancouver! Check out these 7 fun and festive ways to celebrate Christmas in Vancouver with kids and families.
Riding the pretty carousel is a must at the Christmas Market. Credit: Claudia Laroye

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

Time to start planning your holiday fun in Vancouver! Check out these 7 fun and festive ways to celebrate Christmas in Vancouver with kids and families.
Lots of room to practice a triple axel at the Robson Square Ice Rink. Credit: Claudia Laroye

Where to eat in Vancouver with kids

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.

The best travel gifts this holiday season

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.

Time to start planning your holiday fun in Vancouver! Check out these 7 fun and festive ways to celebrate Christmas in Vancouver with kids and families.
Take a spin round the outdoor skating rink on Grouse Mountain. Credit: Claudia Laroye

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.

Time to start planning your holiday fun in Vancouver! Check out these 7 fun and festive ways to celebrate Christmas in Vancouver with kids and families.
Amazing baked creations at the Gingerbread Village. Which one gets your vote? Credit: Claudia Laroye

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.

Time to start planning your holiday fun in Vancouver! Check out these 7 fun and festive ways to celebrate Christmas in Vancouver with kids and families.
Capilano Suspension Bridge all light up for Canyon Lights. Credit: Claudia Laroye

Pin For Later

Time to start planning your holiday fun in Vancouver! Check out these 7 fun and festive ways to celebrate Christmas in Vancouver with kids and families. #vancouver #familytravel #christmasinvancouver

Disclosure: The writer visited these attractions as a guest of Tourism Vancouver. As always, her opinions are honest and her own.

How do you like to celebrate the holidays with your family? Share your comment below.

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39 thoughts on “Seven ways to celebrate Christmas in Vancouver with kids”

  1. Going up to Grouse Mountains to snowshoe and see all the festivities is something we’d do every Christmas when we lived in Vancouver. I remember seeing the reindeer riding the tram up the mountain.

  2. The Canyon Lights event looks spectacular! I regret not going when I was Vancouverite. I’m going to share this with all my mama friends. Thanks for the great post.

  3. Jaillan Yehia

    I’ve done a couple of these in my previous 2 Christmases in Vancouver but hoping to complete the set this year 🙂 I really think that if you’re going to visit Capilano this is the season to do it, it is absolutely magical with all the lights and makes you feel really festive.

    1. The Market is indeed super tasty! I’ve enjoyed many a fine pretzel and gluhwein over the years.

  4. I’ve always dreamed of experiencing a white Christmas, so would love to spend time during the holidays in Vancouver. We’ve visited during summer, but not yet during winter. Thanks for the inspiration! And Merry Christmas … in advance :D!

  5. It doesn’t seem like it should be Christmas time yet! Maybe I need to check out a few of these events to put me in the Holiday mood!

  6. Ahh, I love Christmas and this is making me super excited for all the festivities to start! These all look like great suggestions. I would love to check out the suspension bridge sometime, and it would be really neat to see it lit up with holiday lights. The maze an Fly Over Canada sound awesome too!

  7. What an amazing city to spend Christmas! The atmosphere seems really magical, I’d love to experience it with my kids. I hadn’t considered Vancouver as a destination for a winter holiday, but I was clearly wrong, it seems perfect!

  8. So many wonderful choices. Gingerbread Village would be my first stop. The other standouts for me would be the Enchant Christmas Light Maze and Market, Grouse Mountain’s Peak of Christmas, Vancouver Christmas Market and Flyover Canada.

    1. How exciting for you! There will still be lots of fun things to do in winter when you’re settled in to west coast life. 😉

    1. I wish you were here again too! It’s much warmer, but much wetter this year so far. I could more sunshine!

  9. I love checking out the Vancouver Christmas Market and I think it is a great idea moving it to the olympic cauldron area – make for picturesque photos for sure.
    I would like to add the St Paul’s wall of hope is a beautiful spot. I make an evening out of it and have dinner downtown.
    The Yaletown Candy Town outdoor Christmas festival with ice sculptures and food is a cool event too for visitors who find themselves in the downtown core.
    Great post!

    1. This are great suggestions Marisa! I totally agree with you that Candy Town is a lot of fun the kids and young at heart.

  10. Lots of things to look forward to this Christmas in Vancouver. The suspension bridge sounds like fun for me. I wish I could go back to being a kid again and enjoy the festivities associated with Christmas. So colorful!

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Claudia

Claudia

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I’m Claudia, an adventurous mom who loves to explore the world and travel with my family. This site shares modern-mom-tested family travel sanity tips, destination advice, and inspiration to stay ever curious and create lifelong travel memories.

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