Top 5 Family-Friendly Holiday Attractions in Vancouver

Photo from Grouse Mountain

Photo from Grouse Mountain

Yes, you’ve still got presents to buy, holiday dinners to plan, office parties to attend and in-laws to pick up at the airport.  But don’t forget to leave a little time for some old-fashioned fun on the holidays.

In Vancouver, a bevy of amazing holiday attractions are sure to get the whole family into the Christmas spirit. Here’s a look at 5 can’t-miss family-friendly attractions for 2014:

Peak of Christmas on Grouse MountainGrouse Mountain is transformed into a little piece of the North Pole for this annual celebration.  Take the mile-long Skyride to the base of the ski resort, where you’ll discover a winter wonderland complete with lots of snow and an 8,000-square-foot skating pond. Kids can see live reindeer, take a mountaintop sleigh ride and get in some quality time with the big man in red himself at Santa’s workshop.  Through Dec. 24; $41.95 for adults, $23.95 for youth 13-18, $13.95 for kids 5-12.

 

Photo credit: Rick Chung | Flickr

Photo credit: Rick Chung | Flickr

Bright Nights Christmas Train at Stanley Park: Kids can climb aboard a mini locomotive and chug through forests decorated with more than 3 million lights as part of the festivities at Stanley Park.  Check out the gorgeous displays at the Train Plaza, then ride the Christmas train deep into the 1,000-acre park, where you’ll see breathtaking lights and live performers. Through Jan. 4; $11 for adults, $8 for kids 3-17 and seniors (daytime matinee trains are $6 for all ages).

 

Photo credit: JWPhotowerks | Flickr

Photo credit: JWPhotowerks | Flickr

Ice skating at Robson SquareThe outdoor rink in the heart of downtown Vancouver is open daily during the winter season for free ice skating.  Bring your own skates – or rent some for the bargain price of $4 – then carve up the ice at one of city’s most iconic locations. Coloured lights and holiday music add to the enchanted feel, while vendors keep skaters warm with hot chocolate and other snacks. Special ice walkers are available  for ice-skating newbies and ice cleats can be rented for $2 if you don’t skate. Through Feb. 28; free, ice skate rentals available for $4. 

 

Photo from Vancouver Trolley Company

Photo from Vancouver Trolley Company

Karaoke Christmas TrolleyCombine Christmas carolling and holiday light sightseeing on this unique three-hour tour with the Vancouver Trolley Company.  Guests board a decorated wooden trolley and are whisked to two of the city’s top light displays: Bright Nights at Stanley Park and the Festival of Lights at VanDusen Botanical Garden, which features 1 million “dancing” lights.  En route, you get the chance to belt out holiday tunes on the trolley’s onboard karaoke machine. Through Dec. 30; $40 for adults, $35 for seniors and students, $25 for kids.  

 

Photo from Capilano Suspension Bridge

Photo from Capilano Suspension Bridge

Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge: The famous, 140-metre long Capilano Suspension Bridge is decorated with thousands of lights for this one-of-a-kind display.  Cross over the swaying bridge, high above the Capilano River, to the other side of the canyon, where you’ll discover an entire Pacific coastal rainforest bedecked with lights – you can even climb into the canopy for a bird’s-eye view on a system of special platforms and hanging bridges. And don’t miss what may be the world’s tallest live Christmas tree: a beautifully decorated 46.4-metre Douglas fir. Through Jan. 3; $32.95 for adults, $30.95 for seniors, $21.95 for youth 13-16, $12 for kids 6-12.  

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