The Best Christmas Events and Activities in Vancouver

Festive knick knacks, carollers and strings of sparkling lights… here’s how to get in the holiday spirit in Vancouver

Victoria Christie

There is no denying our eternal love for the holiday season. In fact, we may or not be listening to a Christmas playlist right this second. Between binge watching nostalgic-inducing festive films (we’re looking at you Elf and Home Alone) and finally dusting off Michael Bublé’s Christmas album (aptly titled, well, Christmas), there are tons of ways to add some holiday spirit to your life. But if you’re looking to take the festivities outside of your cozy apartment, here’s how to hit up the best holiday events in Vancouver—we’re talking markets, light displays and concerts. And if you want to get festive in another major city in Canada, click here.

All the best christmas events and activities in Vancouver
Vancouver Christmas Market in Vancouver (Photo: Vancouver Christmas Market)

Festival of Lights

Find it: 5151 Oak St., VanDusen Botanical Garden, 
The low-down: With over one million lights (nbd), this lush botanical garden is transformed into a luminous oasis during the holiday season. You will be transfixed by all of the trees, plants and other foliage topped with colourful displays of sparkling lights as you venture through the festive garden.
When: December 1, 2017 to January 7, 2018
Times:
All week from 4:30 to 9 p.m. (December 1 to 14 and December 26 to January 7), 4:30 to 10 p.m. (December 15 to 24) 
Prices: $18.50 to $19 per person

Vancouver Christmas Market

Find it: 1055 Canada Pl., Jack Poole Plaza, 
The low-down: From gorgeous handcrafted jewellery to nordic winter gear and mouthwatering eats from around the world (we’re talking Italian cannoli, Austrian waffles and German gingerbread, to name a few), this Christmas market is home to a diverse array of international vendors that are here to help you check everyone off of your shopping list.
When: November 22 to December 24, 2017
Times: All week from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. (6 p.m. on Christmas Eve)
Prices: Free for admission

Vancouver Symphony Orchestra’s A Traditional Christmas

Find it: St Andrew’s Wesley Church (1022 Nelson St.), Kay Meek Centre (1700 Mathers Ave.), Centennial Theatre (2300 Lonsdale Ave., North Vancouver), 
The low-down: Classical music enthusiasts, rejoice! The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and the UBC Opera Ensemble are joining forces to perform a unique selection of traditional Christmas repertoire for the 25th year in a row. They are performing in Vancouver, Burnaby, Surrey and Delta so make sure to mark your calendars when they bring the holiday tunes to your area.
When: December 8 to 17, 2017
Times: 4 p.m. or 7:30 p.m., depending on the day, see the full schedule
Prices: $37 to $43 per person

Christmas at Canada Place

Find it: 999 Canada Pl., 
The low-down: With the Port of Vancouver at your back (a.k.a. seriously stunning waterfront views), the Christmas festivities at Canada Place are perf if you’re looking for a casual nighttime stroll that will put you in the holiday spirit immeds. Check out the nostalgia-inducing Woodward’s Windows (window displays from the 1960s that have been a Vancouver holiday tradition for decades) or hit up the Avenue of Christmas Trees for all of the festive photo ops.
When: November 23 to December 31, 2017
Times: All week from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m (6 p.m. on December 31)
Prices: Free admission

Capilano Suspension Bridge Canyon Lights

Find it: 3735 Capilano Rd., North Vancouver, 
The low-down: Vancouver’s iconic suspension bridge slash tourist hotspot is getting a holiday makeover. The 140-metre bridge offers up breathtaking views of the rustic boreal forest and winding Capilano River on a good day, but add twinkling lights and holiday cheer into the mix and you’ve got a truly magical (and gravity-defying) experience.
When: November 23, 2017  to January 28, 2018 (closed Christmas Day)
Times:
All week, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Prices: $33.95 to $42.95 per person

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