Now that we’ve made it through Black Friday and Cyber Monday, there’s nothing left to do but admit it: Holiday season is officially here.
Over the next month, expect to see the streets, parks and even ships of Vancouver come alive with millions of multicoloured lights in celebration of the season. Here are the top five holiday light displays around town:
Festival of Lights at VanDusen Botanical Garden: Every year, the stately botanical garden in the heart of Vancouver is decorated with thousands of strings of coloured lights. The centrepiece is a “dancing lights” display over Livingstone Lake, a choreographed light dance set to seasonal music that illuminates every half hour. Also on hand are roving elves and food vendors serving holiday treats. Dec. 7 – Jan. 1, 4:30 p.m. – 9 p.m. Closed Christmas. Adult $14.25; Senior and Youth $10.50; Child $7.75.
Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge: The iconic, 137-metre suspension bridge is decked out with lights every December – forming a glittering string of pearls over the Capilano River. Walk across and step into an enchanted rainforest, bedazzled with hundreds of thousands of lights. There’s also a scavenger hunt, gingerbread cookie decorating, glass blowing demos and sing-along carols. Dec. 1 – Jan. 5, 4 p.m. – 9 p.m. Closed Christmas. Adult $31.95; Child $12; $65 per family (2 adults and 2 kids).
Bright Nights Train at Stanley Park: Vancouver’s 1,000-acre Stanley Park is decorated with two million twinkling lights every December as part of Bright Nights. Hop on the miniature train and chug through a dazzling display of lights hung in the pristine coastal rainforest. Then grab a warm cocoa and some roasted nuts and listen to holiday classics in the plaza. Nov. 29 – Jan. 1, 3 p.m. – 10 p.m. (11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays). Afternoon matinees Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Closed Christmas. Adult $10; Child and Senior $7; Matinee train $5.50.
Lights of Hope at St. Paul’s Hospital: Every year, the facade of the downtown hospital is covered with 10 kilometres of lights – enough to stretch the length of the seawall. The display is some six stories high and includes nearly 200 rainbow-coloured stars. Built by volunteers using donated materials, Lights of Hope aims to inspire the community to donate to the hospital. Nov. 15 – Jan. 7. Free.
Carol Ships Parade of Lights: Throughout the month of December, more than 50 brightly decorated boats will troll the waters around Vancouver on nightly excursions, carrying more than 30,000 people. The route of the floating parade varies nightly, ranging from the Inner Harbour, Outer Harbour and False Creek to as far as West Vancouver, Port Moody and Deep Cove. Different cruise ship companies offer varying types of excursions, which usually include caroling, dancing and holiday dinners. Dec. 1 – Dec. 23.
Got another favourite holiday light display? Let us know below.
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