If you are still not in the holiday spirit, get out on the town and throw yourself into the holiday mood. There’s no point sitting at home downing double rum and eggnog when there’s fun to be had around town. So get out the santa hat and get your holiday groove on.
1) The Vancouver Christmas Market, located on the Plaza at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, is guaranteed to get you in the festive mood! Stroll through the festively decorated outdoor Christmas village and be treated to row upon row of illuminated wooden huts offering handmade gifts and tempting treats. Listen to the sounds of bells, trumpeters and carolers. As day becomes night, thousands of Christmas lights sparkle and delicious aromas of mulled wine and spicy gingerbread waft through the air.
2) Canyon Lights at the Capilano Suspension Bridge. With over 250,000 sparkling lights adorning the Bridge and Rainforest in 2010, this annual winter event ensures the holidays are merry and bright. From Friday, December 3, 2010 until Sunday, January 2, 2011, guests will be treated to the ultimate seasonal sensory celebration, including gingerbread cookie decorating, seasonal music from the Holiday band, glass ornament blowing with Malcolm McFadyen and of course, the splendor of magical twinkling lights throughout the park.
3) Peak of Christmas at Grouse Mountain November 27th – December 24th 2010 Sleigh bells ring, choirs sing! During the month of December, the spirit of Christmas comes alive with a magical celebration and a multitude of festivities on top of Grouse Mountain. Bring your family to Santa’s Workshop and meet reindeer, or take a sleigh ride* through our mystical alpine forest. You can also experience the tranquil beauty of skating on our 8,000 square foot mountaintop Ice Skating Pond, surrounded by snow-topped trees. Learn more about Santa’s reindeer at our daily ranger interpretive talks or have a digital photo taken with Santa to keep a memento of your Peak of Christmas visit! Visit the Theatre in the Sky to enjoy classic Christmas movies on our large high-definition screen. Or listen to joyful Christmas carols sung by the enchanting voices of Vancouver choirs. Visit the spectacular SOS Children’s Village Parade of Trees in the Spirit Gallery starting December 2nd. These fabulous Peak of Christmas activities are all complimentary with your Grouse Mountain Admission, Annual Membership, Winter Pass, or Lift Ticket.
4) 13th Annual Bright Nights in Stanley Park November 26, 2010 to January 2 (Closed Christmas Day) 3pm – 10pm (farmyard open to 9pm) The Vancouver Park Board and British Columbia Professional Fire Fighters’ Burn Fund invite everyone to nights of magic and illumination for the 13th annual Bright Nights in Stanley Park. Get in the spirit of the Holidays – take a train ride through our forest transformed with two million twinkling lights, see the animated displays and listen to holiday sounds as you enjoy hot chocolate, fresh popcorn and roasted chestnuts. Mortal Coil’s fabulous creations bring laughter and artistry to the Park. Christmas tunes serenade you as you ride the train. Professional and community choirs and bands will also be in the Plaza on special nights. And don’t forget to visit Santa in his workshop! Student volunteers act as festival ambassadors. Individuals, companies and foundations donate goods and funds to ensure that the over 200,000 annual visitors to Bright Nights enjoy the event called “the most spectacular lighting display in Canada”.
5) Heritage Christmas at Burnaby Village Enjoy the boughs, red bows and all the other old-fashioned ornaments and decorations throughout the village and farmhouse. The season features traditional entertainment, demonstrations, hands-on activities and exhibits from the early 1900s. The craft is a popular with children as is a chat with Father Christmas. Complete each visit with a whirl on the C.W. Parker Carousel. 2010 Christmas Traditions, Past and Present – Scenes from seasonal storybooks and songs bring Christmas memories to life at the museum. The smell of cedar and pine boughs, the sight of festive wreaths with bright red bows, and the sounds of carollers remind visitors of Christmases past and present. Also, look for decorations inspired by: The Nutcracker Suite, Twas the Night Before Christmas, O Tannebaum, The Gingerbread House. Father Christmas listens to children’s wishes. (Father Christmas represents the spirit of Christmas and is depicted as a lean man wearing a long belted robe & hat.) Footlight Theatre returns to entertain visitors for another season with the children’s play Of Course There are Fairies by Karin Asbrand and readings of The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry. During Heritage Christmas, they perform over 42 times! Admission to these performances is included with museum entrance.Party in the Farmhouse Parlour. Enjoy the Canadiana Costume Society’s display in the parlour of the Love Farmhouse. Party outfits from the 1890s will adorn six mannequins – 2 women, 1 man, 2 girls and 1 boy. The costumes reflect the time period in which the Farmhouse was built. Twelve Days of Christmas” scavenger hunt. Items mentioned in the song have been placed throughout the site: pick up your check list, locate all the items, and earn a small prize.
6) Woodwards Window Displays Home for the Holidays! The Woodward’s Windows have been a Vancouver Christmas tradition since the 1960s, delighting shoppers with holiday scenes and characters from years gone by. The displays have been a treasured part of the Christmas magic at Canada Place since 1993. For the first time in 17 years these historical treasures will be viewable in the newly-restored Woodward’s building and in five additional locations in Vancouver’s downtown core. A Walking Tour to visit the six grand displays will take you on a nostalgic journey back in time. Get bundled up, snag a warm eggnog and enjoy. Learn more about the Woodward’s Windows Walking Tour. Be sure to make a donation to Strathcona Community Centre at the Woodward’s TD Canada Trust! Take part in the BC Ferries Vacations contest as part of the Woodward’s Windows Walking Tour. Christmas at Canada Place proudly supports the Strathcona Community Centre’s Food Security for Children, an essential program that helps to feed children on Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.
Musicians, entertainers, demonstrators, story tellers, community choirs and heritage crafts are also scheduled throughout the season.
7) Van Dusen Festival of Lights
- Santa’s Living Room: Dec. 10 – 24 with Santa appearances 5:30, 6:30, 7:30, 8:30 p.m.
- Svend and Jens, our Scandinavian Christmas Elves appear nightly in the Centre Court
- Dancing Lights on Livingstone Lake: starting at 4:30 p.m. Two different shows – one show on the half hour and a different one at the top of the hour. Two different shows repeating in sequence throughout the evening.
- Gingerbread Wood
- Golden Chain Walk
- Community Choir Concerts on the Deck at 6:00 pm and 7:30 pm – view choir schedule
- Make-a-Wish Candle Shrine
- Candy Cane Lane
- Sparkling Spruce in the Centre Court
- Candy Cane Express model train
- Dinner nightly at Shaughnessy Restaurant, reservations recommended 604-261-0011
- Dr. Waffle serving up fresh-made sweet and savoury waffles, real apple cider and Thomas Haas Hot Chocolate – Cash Only
- Mrs Claus’ Kitchen next to Santa’s Living Room and Shaughnessy’s Patio both serving: Hot dogs, smokies, fresh-popped kettle corn, chicken fingers, fresh-baked apple-walnut-cranberry turnovers, and other sweet treats along with hot coffee/tea , hot cider and hot chocolate, pop and bottled water – Cash Only
- Mr. Doughnut serving up hot, freshly made mini-doughnuts – Cash Only
Dates and times 4:30 to 9 p.m. every night, December 10, 2010 through January 2, 2011 except December 25th when the Garden is closed.
NOTE: In the case of heavy snow storms or other extraordinary weather conditions: please call the Garden Shop 604.257.8665 to confirm that FOL has not been closed for that one evening.
VanDusen Botanical Garden thanks event sponsors Blenz Coffee, Vivid Lighting Solution, Western One Rentals and Sales as well as media sponsor The Vancouver Courier for their support of the 2010 Festival of Lights.
Ticket and price information
8) Vancouver Aquarium November 27, 2010 to January 3, 2011
A Winter Wonderland in Canada’s Arctic Exhibit
This holiday season experience the Magic of the North as you explore the fascinating Canada’s Arctic exhibit, transformed into a winter wonderland. You can join Santa’s helpers with holiday crafts, write a letter to Scuba Claus and sing along to holiday carols.
Christmas Tree Switched On By Our Electric Eel
A traditional Vancouver Aquarium holiday favourite is back by popular demand. Witness the sparkle and lights of a special Christmas tree that our electric eel helps light through electricity generated when it feeds.
The Polar Express 4-D Experience
Hop on the board The Polar Express 4-D Experience – a 20-minute cinematic adventure combining the high-definition excitement of a 3-D film with amazing sensory effects. Feel the rumble of the train and the magical falling snow. Plus, smell the heavenly scent of hot chocolate on this mystical ride to the North Pole.
Scuba Claus Returns
Back for his annual dive into the Strait of Georgia exhibit, watch Scuba Claus swim with ease amongst the halibut, herring, sturgeon or sea stars. Weekends starting November 27th and daily from December 18 to 23rd.
A Gift of Belugas
This Holiday season put a smile on the face of a child in need. Purchase a plush beluga for 50% off the regular price and it will be donated to the CTV Toy Drive. All donations will go to the Salvation Army (.. more)
9) Arts Club Theatre’s Holiday Theatre – Check out the Patron Saint of Stanley Park, White Christmas or It’s a Wonderful Life and you’ll being feeling all warm inside in no time!
10) Twelve Days of Christmas In Richmond – Shop, Eat, Wine, Farms and more in Richmond!