Kids In Vancouver: 5 Places To Gaze at the Glowing Holiday Lights

Festival of Lights at VanDusen Botanical Garden | Photo: navci erfrefefer (Flickr)

As the holidays swiftly approach and the city chills with falling snow, the festive family fun is in full swing in and around Vancouver. Kids love to stare at twinkling lights and there’s no better time than the holidays to see the city shine under the Winter night sky. Here are just 5 of the best places in Vancouver to gaze at the glowing holiday lights this month.

Festival of Lights at VanDusen Botanical Garden

Snap a photo with Santa and ride the newly-added carousel, and then stroll through the garden and gaze at over a million lights that decorate your botanical surroundings.

TIP: Skip the lines and buy your tickets online, and avoid the crowds and visit on a weekday afternoon.

Festival of Lights at VanDusen Botanical Garden
December 1 – 15, 4:30pm – 9:00pm
December 16 – 23, 4:30pm – 10:00pm
December 24, 4:30pm – 9:00pm
December 25 Closed
December 26 – January 2, 4:30pm – 9:00pm

Canyon Lights | Photo: Clayton Perry (Flickr)

Canyon Lights at the Capilano Suspension Bridge

It’s not often that you get to teeter along a suspension bridge that dangles 230 feet above a river, but doing it at night is a whole new thrill, experienced only once a year at the Capilano Suspension Bridge. The bridge, Treetops Adventure, Cliffwalk, and rainforest and canyon areas are all transformed into a world of festive lights and visual enchantment for Canyon Lights – a holiday light spectacular like no other in the city.

Canyon Lights will donate partial proceeds to the BC Professional Fire Fighter’s Burn Fund for fire/burn education in schools.

TIPS: To avoid line-ups, visit the park on weekdays, ideally before 10am or after 2pm. Leave strollers at home as they are not permitted on the attractions.

Canyon Lights at the Capilano Suspension Bridge
November 24 – January 8, 11:00am – 9:00pm
December 25 – CLOSED

Lights of Hope | Photo: Brian K. Smith*

Lights of Hope at St. Paul’s Hospital

The annual Lights of Hope display that dazzles the front of downtown Vancouver’s St. Paul’s Hospital is a must-see, awe-inspiring attraction during the holiday season. Taking 6 weeks to build, and constructed by over 150 volunteers using donated materials, this glowing display is also the greatest fundraiser for the hospital, with funds from the sponsored stars going towards much-needed comfort and support items for the hospital.

TIP: Check out this cool construction time-lapse video to see how it all came together!

*NOTE: Prints of this photo can be purchased at St.Paul’s gift shop with partial proceeds going to support hospital programs.

Lights of Hope at St. Paul’s Hospital
November 24 – January 9, all day/night

Enchant Lights | Photo: Global News

Enchant Christmas Light Maze & Market

Known as the world’s largest light maze, Enchant brings a new light event to Vancouver that spans 55,000 sq. ft. and features an illuminated maze, a market featuring over 40 local vendors, food trucks, and holiday drinks to warm up on a chilly Winter evening.

TIPS: Check availability and buy your tickets in advance on the event’s website, where you can also check for up-to-date high-traffic times. Wear rubber boots, and if possible, leave your strollers at home.

Enchant Christmas Light Maze & Market
November 25 – December 31, 4:00pm – 10:00pm
December 19 & December 25 – CLOSED

Bright Nights at Stanley Park | Photo:

Bright Nights Christmas Train in Stanley Park

Visit Santa, enjoy live entertainment and displays throughout the park, and hop onto the Stanley Park train for a 14-minute ride through over three million twinkling lights that transform the forest and train-accessed areas. Embrace the magic of Bright Nights, and support an important cause.

Bright Nights will donate partial proceeds to the BC Professional Fire Fighter’s Burn Fund for fire/burn education in schools.

Bright Nights Christmas Train in Stanley Park
December 16 – December 26, 10:00am – 11:00pm
December 25 – CLOSED
December 27 – January 1, 10:00am – 10:00pm
Matinee Trains run 10am – 2:30pm Fri-Sun

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