Skip to Content

Christmas in Vancouver, Victoria and Whistler, BC- Christmas Events 2023

Christmas in Vancouver, Victoria and Whistler, BC- Christmas Events 2023

British Columbia is one of Canada’s most beautiful provinces. During the holiday season, Christmas celebrations abound in cities like Vancouver, Victoria and the mountain wonderland of Whistler. Ready for the inside sccop? Here are some of of the best ways to celebrate Christmas in Vancouver, Victoria and Whistler, British Columbia. Updated for 2023!

Christmas in Vancouver

Vancouver Christmas Market – Jack Poole Plaza

Christmas in Vancouver
Photo by Lindsay Elliot

One of the most popular ways to celebrate Christmas in Vancouver is a visit to the Vancouver Christmas Market.

Held at the Jack Poole Plaza, the market features colourful decor, German crafts, artisan gifts, sweet and savoury food and drinks, and live music. Families also love the Holiday Carousel, photo opportunities, scavenger hunt and incredible light displays.

Plan to attend fun events like Christmas Karaoke and Christmas Trivia Nights and experience the walk-in Christmas tree adorned with 36,000 lights, glowing gifts and shimmering ornaments.

There are over 80 traditional wooden huts full of handcrafted holiday decorations and great gifts options! This year’s market takes place November 16 through December 24, 2023.

Vancouver Aquarium – Holiday Splash

Scuba Claus Vancouver Aquarium

Trekaroo families love the Vancouver Aquarium at any time of year, but it’s extra special during the holiday season!

Christmas in Vancouver would not be complete without a visit to the Vancouver Aquarium’s Scuba Clause. Kids will also love checking out the holiday tree powered by electric eels and watching a 4D showing of Polar Express. Advance tickets are required. This year’s event kicks off on November 12, 2023 and runs through January 7, 2024.

Burnaby Village Museum – Heritage Christmas Event

Christmas in Vancouver, Victoria and Whistler, BC- Christmas Events 2023 2

Next, in the town of Burnaby, located just outside of Vancouver city limits, you will find the Burnaby Village Museum. During the holidays, this village is brightly decorated for its Heritage Christmas event.

After visiting the historic buildings, enjoy holiday crafts, meet Father Christmas, and much more. Best of all, admission to the Village is free! This year’s event runs from November 25, 2023, through January 5, 2024. Burnaby Village Museum is closed on December 24 and 25th.

Grouse Mountain – The Peak of Christmas

Grouse mountain holiday

Head on up on the tram to the top of Vancouver’s Grouse Mountain for The Peak of Christmas on Grouse Mountain! During this fun festival, you can meet Santa and his reindeer or twirl on the skating rink.

Then, don’t miss making some snowman-themed crafts, touring a gingerbread village, and more! Activities are included with the tram fare.

Capilano Suspension Bridge – Canyon Lights

Christmas in Vancouver
Photo provided by Capilano Suspension Bridge Park

Another favorite destination for Trekaroo families is the Capilano Suspension Bridge. From November 17, 2023, to January 21, 2024, the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park comes alive for Canyon Lights.

Experience thousands of twinkling lights and the world’s tallest living Christmas tree! There is fun to be had while traveling around the park and admiring the lights. In addition, kids can take part in special events like a scavenger hunt and cookie decorating.

Bright Nights in Stanley Park

Bright nights in Stanley Park
Photo via City of Vancouver

Visit Vancouver’s famous Stanley Park for a wander through the park while admiring the three million sparkling lights. Back for its 26th season, Bright Nights in Stanley Park features a fully decorated plaza packed with sparkling illuminations and Christmas displays, all created by the hardworking volunteers from the BC Professional Firefighters Burn Fund.

Brights Nights is open November 30, 2023, through January 1, 2024. It is closed on Christmas Day so that Santa can get his work done. Admission to Bright Nights in Stanley Park is by donation.

VanDusen Festival of Lights 2023

VanDusen Festival of Lights
Photo via City of Vancouver

Christmas in Vancouver is not complete without a visit to the VanDusen Festival of Lights. A true winter wonderland, the VanDusen Botanical Garden features more than one million lights strung across 15 acres of gardens. Visitors can explore an enchanting winter garden, visit themed areas, and dine on tasty holiday treats from November 24, 2023 through January 7th, 2024.

See what made our list of the top things to do in Vancouver with kids

Christmas in Whistler, BC

Sharing the best B.C. and Vancouver Christmas Events with Kids.
Photo by: Blake Jorgenson

Whistler, B.C. doesn’t believe in limiting the holiday fun to the month of December. Instead, they leave up their festive lights for the whole winter ski season!

After enjoying a day on the slopes, grab a hot beverage and head out with your family to enjoy the sight of thousands of festive lights twinkling on the picturesque buildings that make up Whistler Village. Best of all, enjoying the lights is completely free!

Christmas in Vancouver
Photo by Tourism Whistler / Mike Crane

Want to take to the ice in the heart of Whistler Village? Check out Whistler’s Olympic Plaza for some ice skating! The outdoor rink is open every day from December to late March. Admission is free and skate rental is available.

In addition, there’s another free event taking place in Whistler. Wintersphere celebrates the festive season with activities for the whole family. Visit with Santa, enjoy live entertainment, participate in holiday crafts, dine at the holiday café and get lost in the signature holiday maze. Wintersphere begins December 23, 2023 and runs through January 6, 2024. The event is closed on December 25.

Check for deals on family-friendly hotels in Whistler, B.C.

Christmas in Victoria, British Columbia

Christmas in Vancouver
Photo provided by Tourism Victoria

While Victoria B.C. is gorgeous and family-friendly at any time of the year, it does offer some special activities for the Christmas season.

Victoria Christmas Market

Victoria Christmas Market

During your visit to Victoria, get some shopping done in Victoria’s Christmas Market. Pick up unique and beautiful gifts for your family. The market features traditional German deli items, Christmas Wreaths, German Baking and Christmas Stollen as well as artisan booths. This year’s event is November 25th from 10am to 4pm.

Butchart Gardens

Christmas in Vancouver
Photo provided by Butchart Gardens

Victoria’s famous Butchart Gardens are all decorated with lights from December 1, 2023 to January 6, 2024. Timed tickets must be purchased in advance. 

Stroll through the Twelve Days of Christmas display, sing along with Traditional Carollers or listen to the Festive Brass. Warm up with hot chocolate and gingerbread by the fire.

Festival of Trees

The Festival of Trees, an annual event takes place at Victoria’s Bay Center and is a beautiful sight. It runs mid-November through January.

Sharing the best B.C. and Vancouver Christmas Events with Kids.
Photo by: Brandon McGeachie

From late November through the end of the year, Victoria’s Parkside Hotel will be home to the Annual Canada’s National Gingerbread Showcase. Admire the works of art constructed by amateur and professional chefs. Admission is free, but donations are accepted on behalf of Habitat for Humanity Victoria.

Find more Christmas events near you! Trekaroo has guides for dozens of cities across the country.

Pin this to bookmark all the holiday fun; we update it yearly:


Featured photo provided by Tourism Whistler by Mike Crane

Thanks to Carrie Yu for contributing to earlier versions of this article.