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.
Christmas in Vancouver
Vancouver Christmas Market – Jack Poole Plaza
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 for over 6 weeks, 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 opportunties, scavenger hunt and incredible light displays.
There are over 80 traditional wooden huts full of handcrafted holiday decorations and great gifts options! This year’s market takes place November 12 through December 24, 2022.
Vancouver Aquarium – Holiday Splash
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 powere by electric eels and watching a 4D showing of Polar Express. Advance tickets to are required. This year’s event kicks of November 12 and runs through January 2, 2023.
Burnaby Village Museum – Heritage Christmas Event
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!
Grouse Mountain – The Peak of Christmas
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 . Head on up to the mountain and have fun!
Capilano Suspension Bridge – 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
Who can resist a holiday train ride? Visit Vancouver’s famous Stanley Park for a ride on the train through the park while admiring the three million sparkling lights. After your train ride, visit with Santa Claus at the train station!
Brights Nights is open November 25, 2022 through January 2, 2023. It is closed Christmas Day so that Santa can get his work done.
VanDusen Festival of Lights 2022
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 25, 2022 through January 2nd, 2023.
See what made our list of the top things to do in Vancouver with kids.
Christmas in Whistler, BC
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!
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 is the Whistler Holiday Experience. Kids can have a blast playing a game of mini golf, bouncing in a castle, exploring their crafty sides, or testing their video game skills.
Meanwhile, a lounge area with coffee and hot cocoa is also on-site for parents to rest and relax. It is open daily 10am- 6pm. Another fun event for the whole family is Family Apres, a chance to relax with a hot beverage or take part in winter activities!
Christmas in Victoria, British Columbia
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
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 26th 10am to 2pm.
Victoria’s famous Butchart Gardens are all decorated with lights from December 21, 2022 to January 6, 2023. 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.
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.
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Featured photo provided by Tourism Whistler by Mike Crane
Thanks to Carrie Yu for contributing to earlier versions of this article.