Get Festive: 8 Unique to Vancouver Christmas Season Activities

Image courtesy of the Westin Bayshore

The holiday season spirit is alive and well in Vancouver! If you’re looking for a fun date night, family outing, or something to checkout on your own, let us illuminate you with some the city’s unique offerings of holiday cheer. (Also make sure to have your camera at the ready, as all of the below has been waiting all year to be featured on your Instagram!)

Vancouver Christmas Market

Vancouver Christmas Market

This European-inspired Christmas market is romantic, aromatic, and full of good food, drinks, and crafts. Based on the centuries-old tradition of Christkindlmarkts in Germany, the Vancouver Christmas Market brings an authentic pop-up village to the Jack Poole Plaza for the holiday season. If you haven’t yet done your Christmas shopping, this is a great place to start, and this event is the perfect daytime or nighttime outing.

Canyon Lights Winter Festival

canyon lights 2018 vancouver

Image courtesy of Capilano Suspension Bridge

From November 22 until the end of January, Capilano Suspension Bridge park will host the Canyon Lights Winter Festival. The park will be open from 11am to 9pm (except for Christmas Day), with the suspension bridge, Treetops Adventure, Cliffwalk, the rainforest and the canyon all transformed into a dazzling display. This is annual event is popular with both tourists and locals, and is a magical way to spend an evening.

Festive Weekend Away

Image of Vancouver Christmas Market by Lindsay Elliott

The Westin Bayshore has partnered with the Vancouver Christmas Market to create the perfect staycation for locals, or weekend away for Vancouver visitors. From November 21 to December 23 you can savour the season with the The Westin Bayshore‘s Vancouver Christmas Market Package. Enjoy a rejuvenating stay for two and two complimentary passes to the Vancouver Christmas Market, and two carousel ride passes.

[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Local Tip: Take the scenic route an make your way to the Vancouver Christmas Market by walking along the Seawall.[/perfectpullquote]

Skating at Robson Square

Image courtesy of spantossed |

This winter enjoy some old-fashioned fun with a beloved Vancouver tradition. Robson Square’s outdoor skating rink is open, so celebrate winter in style with free skating in the heart of downtown Vancouver. It’s a magical place to enjoy the holidays with your friends, family and loved ones. Admission is free if you bring your own skates, otherwise skate rental is $5 per pair. Helmets are also available.

VanDusen Festival of Lights

Image via VanDusen Garden Twitter feed

While I am fan of everything Christmas in in the city, I am not afraid to tell you that the VanDusen Festival of Lights is my favourite Vancouver Christmas tradition. With over one million lights strategically and creatively strung around the gardens, the Festival of  is a dazzling display to be enjoyed by visitors of all ages. Grab a festive beverage at the Fireside Lounge and stroll along the illuminated pathways.

[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Local Tip: Be sure to catch the Dancing Lights at Livingstone Lake and say hello to Santa![/perfectpullquote]

Grouse Mountain

Image courtesy of Grouse Mountain

Grouse Mountain has once again transformed into Vancouver’s North Pole for their annual Peak of Christmas event. Santa’s workshop, a gingerbread village, and other holiday activities will be featured. An especially popular feature at the Peak of Christmas is the spectacular Grouse Mountain Light Walk! The Peak of Christmas is enchanting way to spend a winter evening, and on top of a mountain, no less!

Bright Nights Christmas Train at Stanley Park

Image courtesy of the Burn Fund

During the holiday season, the Bright Nights Christmas Train and Stanley Park Train Plaza sparkle with three million twinkling lights. Buy tickets to ride the Bright Nights Train and experience the lights, breathtaking displays, and live performers along the train route. Or view the displays at the Train Plaza by donation. Your donations at the front gate and a portion of ticket sales go to the BC Professional Fire Fighters’ Burn Fund.

Festive Afternoon Tea

afternoon tea

Image courtesy of the Westin Bayshore

Just in time for the season, H Tasting Lounge at the Westin Bayshore is offering their Festive Afternoon Tea. Treat yourself to holiday temptations, including apple fritters, pancetta bread pudding, mini apple pies, and fresh baked scones with maple butter and cranberry jam, paired with (Vancouver-based) Tealeaves Sugar Plum Fairy and Tealeaves Nutcracker loose leaf blends for $55 per person. Tea-infused cocktails will also be on offer.


Share your #VeryVancouver Christmas cheer with us by tagging @inside_vancouver on Instagram!

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