Vancouver really knows how to get you into the Christmas spirit. In fact, it so full of Christmas activities it is hard to know what to do first. Luckily you have me to decipher that for you!
If you are wishing to cross the water to the big city in the near future, here are some Vancouver Christmas attractions one should not miss out on.
For most, the point of seeing Christmas attractions is being able to witness everything lit up with twinkling lights. However, if you are only visiting Vancouver for a weekend, it is just not possible to fit all the attractions into one or two evenings. So this post is broken up into what is doable during the day, followed by the attractions that are best seen at night.
This flight simulation ride is so much fun, and an absolute must when visiting Vancouver. During the Christmas season (Nov. 21 – Jan. 5) FlyOver Canada is transformed into a magical winter wonderland. You will join Santa on a flight across Canada in search of his missing elves, and end up at his workshop in the North Pole.
If you have experienced ‘Soarin’ Around the World’ at Disneyland California Adventure, FlyOver Canada is much like that, only better! For one thing, the experience is much longer at FlyOver Canada…and it showcases the best of OUR country.
Due to the popularity of FlyOver Canada, I highly recommend booking online…if not for the savings alone! There is a local discount on now too (when booked online)!
Location: 201-999 Canada Place.
For more information or to book online, please visit FlyOver Canada
Christmas at Canada Place Experience
From December 6, 2019 – January 1, 2020, the Canadian Trail (west promenade at Canada Place) will be all decked out in Christmas attire. This outdoor display will have guests enjoying a multitude of festive activities.
- Woodward’s Windows – following the closure of the Woodward’s department store, Canada Place purchased the much treasured Christmas displays and now incorporates them in the Christmas at Canada Place experience. The displays are nostalgic for those who remember seeing them at the historic Woodward’s location.
- Avenue of Christmas Trees – a selection of beautifully decorated trees.
- Arts and Crafts – lots of festive crafts for your children to enjoy, including the opportunity to write a letter to Santa.
This is a FREE event!
The Christmas at Canada Place Experience is located on the west promenade of Canada Place – 201-999 Canada Place.
*If time allows, this would be a good location to view in the evening as well. Even if it’s just a drive-by!
Gingerbread Lane at the Hyatt Regency Vancouver
The Hyatt Regency Vancouver has a large display of gingerbread creations called Gingerbread Lane. With over 30 magical displays you are sure to find a favourite! The gingerbread houses are submitted and designed by a range of participants, from schools and businesses, to professional and amateur culinary artists from the pastry arts department at Vancouver Community College.
This is a FREE event!
Viewing the gingerbread creations is completely free. However, you can make a donation when voting for your favourite display. All proceeds go towards the Make-A-Wish foundation.
Location: 655 Burrard Street.
The display runs from November 30 – December 31, 2019
Ice Skating at Robson Square
Skating takes place at the outdoor rink at Robson Square (corner of Robson and Howe). Skate daily from 9:00 am – 9:00 pm on weekdays or until 11:00 pm on Friday and Saturday nights. Skating is free if you have your own equipment. Rentals are $4.00.
The rink is open until the end of February.
Peak of Christmas
Ride the gondola up to a multitude of magical festivities and experience Vancouver’s North Pole at the top of Grouse Mountain. There is so much to do at the Peak of Christmas that a full day is definitely needed.
- Skate on their 8000 square foot outdoor skating rink (skate rentals are not included with ticket price)
- Enjoy a Light Walk
- Visit Santa in his workshop
- Meet Santa’s Reindeer
- Turn yourself into an elf
- Listen to the enchanting voices of a choir
- View the fabulous Gingerbread displays
- Walk among the trees and enjoy stunning light displays (dusk – 10:00 pm)
- Rent a snow carpet and slide down the slopes
- Enjoy storytime at the Elf Headquarters (1:00 pm – 4:00 pm)
- Get educated at the Reindeer Ranger talks (12:00 pm & 3:00 pm)
- Create your own Christmas memory at the Craft Station
- Send a letter to Santa
- Watch a family Christmas movie at the Theatre in the Sky
- Enjoy live entertainment
- Partake in a sleigh ride (snow-permitting)
Something to note: Santa is a very busy man! If you want to visit Santa in his workshop you may be required to get a time-stamped pass. Just ask one of the helpers at the end of the Workshop lineup and they will guide you.
Peak of Christmas is found at the Grouse Mountain Resort – 6400 Nancy Greene Way, North Vancouver.
When: November 23, 2018 – January 6, 2019
Tip: This attraction can easily be an all-day/evening event. If you want to make the most of it, head up around mid-day so you can see the magic of the mountain at night too. That way you can also sneak in one or two of the above-mentioned activities beforehand!
Best Vancouver Christmas Attractions to See at Night
Vancouver Christmas Market
While you can most definitely take in the festivities of the Vancouver Christmas Market during the day, it is most spectacular at night. Here you will find an authentic German Christmas market showcasing traditional German crafts, delicious food and entertainment for all ages. It is truly a unique way to get into the Christmas spirit. The Market is also home to Vancouver’s only Christmas Carousel.
Location: Jack Poole Plaza (home of the Olympic Cauldron) – 1055 Canada Place.
Hours of Operation:
The Market is open daily from November 20 – December 24, from 11:30 am – 9:30 pm. And on December 24th, from 11:30 am – 6:00 pm.
Stanley Park Bright Nights Christmas Train
During the holiday season, Stanley Park Plaza sparkles with three million twinkling lights. Ride the train through this magical illumination. The Stanley Park Bright Nights Train is definitely something you have to plan in advance. This is a very popular event and sells out quickly. If you are hoping to take in this spectacular sight you need to book ahead. Tickets are available through TicketLeader.ca
The Stanley Park Bright Nights Christmas Train is located in Stanley Park, accessed on Pipeline Road, via the West Georgia Street park entrance.
Capilano Canyon Lights
Head to the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park in North Vancouver for a spectacular display of hundreds of thousands of twinkling lights at their Winter Light Festival. While you are there you can also see the world’s tallest living Christmas tree!
Also available on-site:
- Snowy Owl Prowl
- Gingerbread cookie decorating
- Christmas card making
- Live entertainment
- Interactive lighting display
Canyon Lights operates daily from November 22 – January 26, from 11:00 am – 9:00 pm. Closed Christmas Day.
Please note: the holiday activities mentioned above don’t begin until 4:00 pm.
Location: The Capilano Suspension Bridge Park is located at 3735 Capilano Road, North Vancouver.
Festival of Lights
Head to VanDusen Botanical Garden for a magical winter wonderland with over one million lights. Enjoy the Dancing Light Show on Livingstone Lake, look for roving Scandinavian gnomes and reindeer in the garden, ride the carousel, light a candle at the Make-A-Wish candle grotto, and/or take a photo with Santa.
The Festival of Lights is in operation from November 30 until January 4th.
Cost: Tickets vary in prices, depending on when you go. (December 21 – 26 cost the most). Book your tickets online
Location: VanDusen Botanical Garden is located at 5251 Oak Street, Vancouver.
Bring together the people you love to stroll, laugh and play under the twinkle of a million lights. The playgrounds and interactive features will entertain the kids for hours, while the adults kick back at the licensed bar and enjoy some seasonal beverages and live music.
This year help the elves recover Santa’s lost presents.
Location: Harbour Convention Centre (760 Pacific Boulevard, Vancouver)
When: November 21 – January 5.
Please visit the Glow Vancouver for times and ticket cost.
Have we missed any of your favourite Vancouver Christmas Attractions?
Let us know in the comments below.
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