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!)

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Get Festive: 8 Unique to Vancouver Christmas Season Activities

Vancouver Santa Claus Parade is coming to downtown this Dec 2, 2018!

santa claus parade 2018 vancouver

Image courtesy of Telus Santa Claus Parade

The big man is coming to downtown Vancouver on Sunday, December 2, 2018. Whether you’ve been naughty or nice this year, be sure to get some quality time in with Santa at the 15th annual Vancouver Santa Claus Parade!

The annual parade and food drive, which grows bigger each year, typically attracts around 300,000 spectators to downtown Vancouver for a full day of holiday festivities, including the signature parade that travels through the heart of the city.

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Vancouver Santa Claus Parade is coming to downtown this Dec 2, 2018!

Vancouver Christmas Tree Lighting Celebration Lights Up Downtown

vancouver christmas tree lighting 2016

Image courtesy of TOTORORO.RORO | Inside Vancouver Flickr Pool

If you’re looking for an event to kickstart the holiday season, look no further than the 11th annual Vancouver Christmas Tree Lighting celebration happening this Friday, December 1, 2017 at the Vancouver Art Gallery (750 Hornby Street).

This free festival is a highlight for kids of all ages and includes music, crafts, free hot chocolate and cookies. In addition, Santa will be there to help light the trees (there will be four in total)!

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Vancouver Christmas Tree Lighting Celebration Lights Up Downtown

#VanKiss Mistletoe Popping up in Vancouver for the Holiday Season

vankiss vancouver 2016

Image courtesy of VanKiss Facebook page

What would the holidays be without a little mischief under the mistletoe? Mysterious sprigs of mistletoe are starting to pop up around the city with only a #VanKiss label on their bright red post.

This fun, annual tradition first began in 2013 when a group identified only as the “#VanKiss Elves” first tweeted about the smooching stations. Since then, several hundred kisses have been photographed and posted on social media.

The mistletoe is back for the 2016 holiday season, so we’re challenging you to take a selfie with your sweetheart at one (or all) of the 2016 locations!

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#VanKiss Mistletoe Popping up in Vancouver for the Holiday Season

Vancouver Christmas Tree Lighting Festival Dazzles on Dec 2, 2016

vancouver christmas tree lighting 2016

Image courtesy of TOTORORO.RORO | Inside Vancouver Flickr Pool

No need to fly to New York, Vancouver has its own Christmas Tree Lighting celebration that takes place every year to mark the official start of the holiday season… (despite the fact that stores were already full of Christmas decorations just after Halloween).

Back for its 10th year, the 2016 Vancouver Christmas Tree Lighting celebration will be taking place on Friday, December 2nd from 5:00 – 7:00pm at Robson Square. This free public festival is a highlight for kids of all ages and includes music, crafts, free hot chocolate and cookies, and even a visit from Santa himself!

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Vancouver Christmas Tree Lighting Festival Dazzles on Dec 2, 2016

15 Unmissable Vancouver Christmas Events

Photo: どこでもいっしょ | Flickr

By now you’re probably well underway with household preparations to make the yuletide bright. You’re on top of sourcing a Christmas tree. You’re decking the halls, browsing gingerbread cookie recipes, making lists and checking them twice. I’ll leave that in your capable hands.

But when it comes to getting out and attending Vancouver holiday events and attractions, rely on us. From light displays to live music, hanging out with Santa and classic Christmas theatre productions, here’s everything you need to know about Vancouver’s best Christmas events.

15 Unmissable Christmas Events

1) Grouse Mountain’s Peak of Christmas, ongoing through Dec. 24
Walk in a winter wonderland a thousand metres above the city at Grouse’s annual holiday celebration, Peak of Christmas. The festivities include Santa’s workshop, an 8,000-square-foot outdoor skating pond, real reindeer, sleigh rides, Christmas choirs – all set against an alpine backdrop. The Peak of Christmas is in included in the price of an Alpine Experience Ticket ($39.95 for adults, $35.95 for seniors, $23.95 for youth 13-18, $13.95 for children 5-12).

2) Bright Nights – Stanley Park Christmas Train, ongoing through Jan. 1
Come on, it’s lovely weather for a train ride together. Parents of small kiddos consider Bright Nights to be one of the most enjoyable Vancouver holiday traditions. But make no mistake, grown-ups will melt like Frosty in summer over the view of 2 million twinkly lights illuminating Vancouver’s 1000-acre Stanley Park, visible as you ride the park’s Mini Train. Continue reading:
15 Unmissable Vancouver Christmas Events