The following list is a round-up of the best Mid-Vancouver Island Christmas activities and events happening throughout December 2021.

Christmas light display Mid-Vancouver Island

Oceanside Christmas Activities & Events

Knox United Church Christmas Music Events

Location: 345 Pym Street, Parksville

Two upcoming Christmas musical events are happening at Knox United Church.

  1. Home for the Holidays – A Nat King Cole Christmas

Acclaimed New York actor and singer James Rich brings an exciting and festive concert to Parksville for the first time. Featuring over 2 hours of holiday favourites’ HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS – A NAT KING COLE CHRISTMAS’ will have you feeling the spirit of the season all through the evening.

When: Friday, Dec. 3 at 7:30 pm

VIP: $65.00
General: $55.00
NSCC Box Office: 778-587-9488

(See the Nanaimo section below for this same event happening there)

2. Winter Wonders

Enjoy an evening of opera, winter songs and holiday classics.

Adults $30; Children and Students $15

Tickets are available through their website or at two Parksville retailers: Close To You Boutique; and Fireside Books.

Please note: Masks and proof of vaccination are required for both events.


North Pole-apalooza

Location: Downtown Parksville

When: Nov. 17 – Dec. 20. 2021

Parksville Downtown Business Association presents North Pole-apalooza 8.0!

Head to downtown Parksville for a unique shopping experience. Participating PDBA members have created unique North Poles to add a personal twist to their holiday displays for the eighth year. And participating shops have each contributed something special to a fabulous draw prize.

Enter at any of the 26 downtown businesses until Dec. 20 to win a fabulous Gotta Love Downtown gift basket.


Moonlight Madness Qualicum Beach

Location: Downtown Qualicum Beach

When: Thursday, Nov. 25, 2021, from 5:30 – 9:00 pm

Enjoy live music throughout town while you shop. Santa Claus and carolers will be out and about. And enjoy “Sip & Savour” at Top of 2nd Avenue, Merridale Cider and QB Cafe.


Milner Christmas Magic 2021

Location: 2179 West Island Hwy, Qualicum Beach.

When: Friday to Sunday for the first three weeks of December from 5:00 – 8:00 pm (with viewing until 8:30)

Cost: Entry is by donation, with a minimum suggestion of $5.00 per adult and $2.50 per child. Advance tickets are not required or available.

Head to Milner Gardens to stroll through the beautiful lighted pathways decorated with Christmas lights. You also have the opportunity to shop for gifts at the Gingerbread Cottage Gift Shop and stop for a photo opportunity at Santa’s Sleigh. You can view beautiful window displays at the Gardener’s Cottage and Milner House. And make sure to wave at Santa and Mrs. Claus as you drop off your letters in the North Pole Mailbox.

An outdoor refreshment stand is also available.


Narnia the Musical

Location: Village Theatre (110 West 2nd Avenue, Qualicum Beach)

When: Select days and times from December 9 – 31

Echo Players presents Narnia the Musical! This musical is a perfect way to celebrate the holiday and is family-friendly. Filled with mythical characters made famous in the C.S.Lewis book “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe,” this musical emphasizes the victory of good over evil and the power of love to overcome all obstacles.

Please visit the Echo Players website to purchase tickets.


Christmas on the Farm

Location: 403 Lowry’s Road, Parksville.

When: Saturday, Dec. 18, from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm.

Head to Morningstar Farm for a good old-fashioned Christmas celebration. Enjoy carol wagon rides, live music, storytelling, kids games and farm animals, as well as a bonfire with free hot cocoa and popcorn. There will be an onsite poutine truck and raclette samples.

Cost: $5.00 per person. Children 2 and under are free.


Port Alberni Events

Heritage Light Up and Festival of Trees 2021

Location: McLean Mill National Historic Site

When: Friday to Sunday for the first three weeks of December from 4:00 – 8:30 pm

Head to the McLean Mill for a magical heritage event. Step back into the 1950s and stroll underneath the canopy of cedar trees, with hot chocolate in hand, and witness the decor of simpler times. Santa is expected each evening for photo opportunities, and local musicians will entertain with seasonal sounds.

Your walk into the past includes several trees beautifully decorated by generous sponsors for the Festival of Trees event. Vote for your favourite tree via donation, and all funds raised will be redirected to the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation.

The decorated trees are located in the Grand Hall, and masks are required for entry. The number of visitors will also be controlled.

Other COVID-19 protocols include:

  • PRE-REGISTRATION with Specific Ticketed Times
  • Appropriate distancing will be expected throughout the site (respect others’ bubbles and personal space)
  • Gift Shop will be open with maximum capacity limits
  • Santa’s Workshop will be open for photos. In the interest of keeping Santa and the children safe, masks will be worn at all times and children may sit close to Santa but not on his lap.

To pre-register, please visit the McLean Mill website


Comox Valley Christmas Activities

Comox Valley Christmas Parade

Location: Downtown Courtenay

When: Sunday, Dec. 5 from 2:00 – 4:00 pm

The Comox Valley Christmas Parade brings the holidays to life in Downtown Courtenay! The 2021 theme is “Silver Bells,” and you are welcome to gather safely on 5th Street to watch the parade. Please follow current PHO mask guidelines, practice social distance and stay home if you are unwell.


Holiday Resort Walk and Gingerbread Village

Location: Crown Isle Resort (399 Clubhouse Drive)

When: December 3, 4, 5, 10, 11, 12, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22. from 5:00 – 8:00 pm each night

Enjoy thousands of lights, visits with Santa, s’mores, colourful displays, games, music, movies and more. No registration is required for this event. Entry is by cash donation only. Donations will go to CV Transition Society, MARS Wildlife Rescue, WeCan Shelter and the CV Foodbank.

Breakfast With Santa

On Dec. 19, have breakfast with Santa in the Crowne Isle Ballroom! Enjoy waffles, scrambled eggs, bacon, potato hash, seasonal fruit, juice, tea and coffee.

Tickets must be purchased in advance. Limited seating available. There are two time slots available. All COVID protocols are in place, including checking vaccine passports.

For more information, please visit the Crown Isle website.


Children’s Christmas Party

Location: Lewis Centre (489 Old Island Hwy, Courtenay)

When: Saturday, Dec. 18 from 11:00 am – 2:00 pm

Celebrate the magic of Christmas with Courtenay Recreation.

This fun event includes live entertainment with Luke the Kangaroo, pictures with Santa, and much more.

  • 11:00 am: Luke the Kangaroo
  • Noon: Pictures with Santa and Mrs. Claus

Admission is FREE. The event also features a food bank drive accepting cash and non-perishable goods.

Nanaimo Christmas Activities

Light it Up VIU

Location: Vancouver Island University (900 Fifth Street, Nanaimo)

When: Thursday, Nov. 25 from 4:30 – 6:30 (continuing event)

Join the VIU community at this fun light-up event.

View the light-up of VIU’s Quad to help bring some warmth and light to the VIU campus during this season! There will be hot chocolate, fire pits in the Quad, marshmallows, a photo booth, music, and of course, the light up.
If you can’t make it to the event, the lights will be left up throughout December to be enjoyed by VIU students and the surrounding community.


Santa’s Gingerbread Village

Location: 201 – 70 Commercial Street

When: Saturday’s and Sunday’s – November 27 – December 19 – from 12:00 – 4:00 pm

Santa will be at Gingerbread Village in the old Quentissentials location on Commercial Street each weekend during the dates above. He will be arriving by air, sea, and firetruck on Saturdays at 11 am, and you are welcome to watch the arrival. Tickets to talk with Santa and photo opportunities must be pre-booked. Each ticket is good for one family to have a visit with Santa and snap a photo. Please note, you are required to take your own photos this year.

Proof of vaccination is required and all other Covid protocols are in place.

To book your time with Santa and for more information about this event, visit the Eventbrite website.


Light up the Night

Location: Nanaimo Community Hospice House – 1080 St George Street, Nanaimo

When: Thursday, Dec. 2, 2021, from 6:00 – 8:00 pm

Join the Hospice House for their inaugural Light up the Night event! To help bring the community together, enjoy coffee or hot chocolate, classic Christmas carols by the Wellington Jazz Band and indulge in a treat from the local food truck, Donairnutz. While there, honour a loved one by placing a memory tag on the trees. Countdown to the light-up will happen at 7:00 pm.


Nanaimo Yacht Club’s Christmas Light Cruise 2021

When: Saturday, Dec. 4 at 6:00 pm

The Nanaimo Yacht Club’s Christmas Light Cruise begins at 6 pm in the Nanaimo Harbour.
Decorated boats decked out in Christmas lights will travel around Nanaimo Harbour through Newcastle Channel to Departure Bay and then return. Head out to any of these points of interest to watch them cruise and sail by.


Home for the Holidays – A Nat King Cole Christmas

Location: Port Theatre (125 Front Street)

When: Sunday, Dec. 5 at 7:30 pm

Acclaimed New York Actor and Singer James Rich brings an exciting and festive concert to Parksville for the first time. Featuring over 2 hours of holiday favourites’ HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS – A NAT KING COLE CHRISTMAS’ will have you feeling the spirit of the season all through the evening.

Advance tickets can be purchased at the Port Theatre


The Great Nanaimo Toy Drive and Holiday Train

Location: Steve Marshall Ford (3851 Shenton Road, Nanaimo)

When: Saturday, Dec. 11, 2021, at 5:00 pm

The beautiful Holiday Train will be lit up for you to enjoy while you drop off a new, unwrapped toy for The Great Nanaimo Toy Drive. The train will be parked on the tracks for a couple of hours in front of Steve Marshall Ford, and Santa will be beside the train handing out candy canes!

This is an outdoor event, so dress for the weather.


Santa’s Wonderland

Location: Cabela’s – 6902 North Island Hwy, Nanaimo.

Enjoy the magic of Christmas inside every Cabela’s Canada and Bass Pro store from Nov. 14 – Dec. 24. Visit with the big guy himself at Santa’s Wonderland and receive a free photo.

This year, advanced registration is required and can be made up to 7 days in advance.

Cost: FREE!


Singing for Christmas

Location: Auditorium of St. Andrew’s United Church (311 Fitzwilliam, Nanaimo)

When: Saturday, Dec. 11, 2021, at 2:30 pm

Join Island Consort for a 75-minute singing performance of beloved Christmas classics from this Nanaimo chamber choir. Please note, all Covid protocols are in place, including the need to provide proof of vaccination.

Tickets are $20 per adult and $5 for students. Children under 13 are free. As they cannot pre-sell tickets or offer an electronic payment system, they ask that attendees bring the exact money required to avoid any unnecessary handling of cash.

For more information, please visit the Facebook event page.


Christmas Charity Concert

Location: Beban Park Social Centre (2300 Bowen Road)

When: Sunday, Dec. 12, 2021, at 2:30 pm

Join the Nanaimo Concert Band for an energetic Christmas concert. The Nanaimo Concert Band has been operating since 1872 and is the oldest continuous community band in Canada. Admission is by donation to the Loaves and Fishes with either cash or non-perishable food items.


Skate with Santa

Location(s): Frank Crane Arena & Nanaimo Ice Centre

  • Frank Crane Arena: Wednesday, December 15 from 6:30 – 8:00 pm
  • Nanaimo Ice Centre: Thursday, December 16 from 6:15 – 7:45 pm

Head to either Frank Crane Arena or the Nanaimo Ice Centre for a chance to skate with Santa! Regular admission rates apply.

Winter Wonderland

Frank Crane Arena turns into a winter wonderland snow globe on Dec. 24! Head for a family skate for only $1.00 and enjoy complimentary helmet and skate rentals.

  • Fri, Dec 24 – 11:45 am – 3:00 pm
  • Sun, Dec 26 – Thursday, Dec 30 from 11:45 am – 4:45 pm & 7:45 pm – 9:30 pm

Cowichan Valley

Magic of the Season

Location: Ladysmith Museum (721 1st Avenue, Ladysmith)

When: Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021, from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Join the Ladysmith & District Historical Society to open the new seasonal exhibit Magic of the Season at the Ladysmith Museum. The event includes a crafts table, seasonal decor, lots of holiday lights and light refreshments. This family-friendly event is sponsored by the Ladysmith & District Credit Union. If you can’t make it to the opening day, this exhibit will be viewable for the entire month of December during opening hours.

Enhance your late afternoon visit by walking along 1st Avenue to view the many lights and seasonal decor among rooftops and businesses in downtown Ladysmith.


Christmas Express

Location: BC Forest Discovery Centre – 2892 Drinkwater Road, Duncan

The BC Forest Discovery Centre offers sixteen nights of holiday magic this year. Hop on the Christmas Express steam train and enjoy the many festive lights, decorations, and displays. Although Santa is still on hiatus, the museum promises a fantastic light show for you!

Dates: Select dates and times starting Dec. 3 until the 23rd.

Tickets must be purchased ahead of time. For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit the BC Forest Discovery Centre website.


Winter Harp

Location: Cowichan Performing Arts Centre (2687 James Street, Duncan)

When: Sunday, Dec. 12 at 2:00 pm

Winter Harp is a hauntingly beautiful Christmas concert that combines flutes, violin, rare medieval instruments, percussion, poetry and song. The musicians are dressed in medieval attire, and the stage is set with beautiful backdrops of cathedrals and snow. It’s truly a feast for the eyes and ears. Don’t miss out on this treasured annual Cowichan tradition!  

Please visit the Cowichan Performing Arts website for more details and to purchase tickets.


Send me an email if you feel I have missed a Christmas event for the Mid-Vancouver Island area, or leave a comment below.

And don’t forget about the many Christmas Craft Fairs and Markets happening now too!

2 Comments

  1. Hello!
    Just an FYI Christmas on the farm at the cheese works is $5pp this year, not free as has been

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