VanDusen Festival of Lights Opens December 1

VanDusen Botanical Gardens dazzles during Festival of Lights.

The holiday season is one of my favourite times of year in Vancouver, because it means I get to experience one of my favourite Christmas traditions: the VanDusen Festival of Lights! Opening December 1, this unique annual event is a winter wonderland in the city.

Photo courtesy of writer

[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Top Tip: The event will proceed rain, snow, or shine. Make sure to dress accordingly![/perfectpullquote]

With over one million lights strategically and creatively strung around one of Vancouver’s most beloved spots, the VanDusen Festival of Lights is a dazzling display to be enjoyed by visitors of all ages. Experience the magic of the season with these event highlights:


What else brings on more holiday cheer than a ride on a carousel amidst an enchanting setting. From grandkids to grandparents, it’s family fun for everyone!

[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Top Tip: All tickets include a free ride on the carousel.[/perfectpullquote]

*This activity is suitable for ages 2+ and children 36” and taller.

Dancing lights

VanDusen Flickr – Photo Credit: Raymond Chan

Be mesmerized by lights dancing to classic, disco, and soul music sets on Livingstone Lake, every 20 minutes. (This is my favourite!)

Fireside Lounge

Gather around the fire pits and warm up with a specialty holiday beverage in this new outdoor licensed area.

Santa’s Place

Families, kids, and couples alike can take photos with Santa in the Visitor Centre halls until December 24. This is now a free experience included with entry.

Make-A-Wish® – Candle Grotto

Make a donation to our charity partner, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and make a wish while you light a candle to fill this picturesque grotto.

Recycled rhythms

Let your kids have some fun making music with recycled instruments.

Selfie spots and photo ops

Photo via VanDusen Botanical Garden Twitter

Look out for frames, sets, and other selfie spots throughout the show and make sure to share with #VanDusenFOL and #VeryVancouver

Tinsel tunes

Play the piano and sing along to holiday tunes in the garden.

Food vendors

  • Vancouver Soup Company
  • Japadog
  • Cin City Donuts
  • Frosty’s Patio & Bar
  • Shaughnessy Restaurant
  • Santa’s Kitchen
  • Truffles Café
  • Truffles Pop-up Café
  • Fireside Lounge



VanDusen Garden Festival of Lights 2018

When: December 1, 2018, to January 6, 2019

Where: VanDusen Botanical Garden – 5251 Oak Street, Vancouver

Time: Operating hours are as follows:

  • December 1 to 20: 4:30 to 9 pm
  • December 21 to 24: 4:30 to 10 pm
  • December 25: Closed
  • December 26 to January 1: 4:30 to 10 pm
  • January 2 to 6: 4:30 to 9 pm



  • Dec 1-20, Dec 27-Jan6: Adults $18.50 online and $20 at the gate.
  • Dec 21-26: Adults $21.25 online and $23 at the gate.
  • Prices vary for youth, children and seniors.


[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””] Top Tips: 

  • It is highly recommended to buy tickets in advance to save money, skip the line, and secure your spot.
  • There is a maximum number of online tickets available each night and they are likely to sell out from December 15 to 24.
  • A limited number of tickets will also be available at the gate. The best time for walk-up entry is after 8pm.


Purchase your tickets online here to skip the line! To learn more about the event, visit the website.


Share your #VeryVancouver #VanDusenFOL adventures with us by tagging us @inside_vancouver on Instagram!

Tagged: , , , , , , ,

Comments are closed for this post

2 Responses to VanDusen Festival of Lights Opens December 1

  1. Pingback: Escape into a tropical holiday experience at the Bloedel Conservatory – Vancouver News